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Money panel

ADRIAN NENU, Detention deputy, 38, St. Petersburg

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 30, 2003

Q. How did you get started in investing?

At first, a few years after high school, I started investing in EE Savings Bonds. Did that for quite a while. Then started investing in my employer's tax-deferred plan and a Roth IRA. I have an emergency fund that I keep outside of that, a municipal bond fund. I also have one fund which is tax-managed.

Q. What is your best investment so far?

In the past three years? A total bond market index fund.

Q. What is your worst investment so far?

In the same past three years, S&P 500 Index Fund, probably down about 45 percent.

Q. What have you learned about investing that you think other investors should know?

The most important decision investors face is their stock-bond mix. I've come to the conclusion that a globally diversified mix of stock index funds and/or ETFs (exchange traded funds), coupled with an investment grade, short-to-intermediate term bond fund, suits what I like to call an investor's willingness, ability and need to take risk. These are basic building blocks of a diversified portfolio.

Q. What do you find most difficult about investing?

Even after having the information, staying the course and not letting the short-term news events distract you.

Q. Where do you get investment tips?

I read a lot of books on investing. The first book I read, John Bogle's Common Sense on Mutual Funds in 1993, made a lot of sense.

Q. Do you have a goal for your investing?

I'd like to accumulate enough for a secure retirement. Anywhere around $500,000 would be quite adequate by the time I'm 55, in 17 years.

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