5 key tips for self-directed investors

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When Jeffrey Krein, a Bucks County, Pa.-based retired professional photographer, gets sick, he sees a physician. If his tooth aches, he sees a dentist. But when it comes to his money, Krein masterminds all of his investments.

He read a book on stocks and opted to invest in a balanced portfolio of large-cap stocks and real estate investment trusts, or REITs, which have done well over the years. He declined to hire a financial adviser and fork over 1 percent of his assets. After the Bernie Madoff fiasco, he wasn’t sure he could trust anyone.

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But when people who have no degree in finance or little experience in investing assume control of their finances, what are the key things they must do? And what are the risks to avoid?

Following are five tips for self-directed investors.