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Money panel

James Hlavacek, 70, retired, Hernando.

By Times Staff Writer
Published September 21, 2003

Q. How did you get started in investing?

I was in business for myself and had no retirement, and when the government opened up IRA contributions back in the 1980s, I started putting in what I could.

Q. What is your best investment so far?

At this point, I'm primarily in interest-bearing bonds and that kind of investment. I was into Burger Funds (a kind of mutual fund) in Denver in the 1980s, and they performed very well.

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

You have to really decide what your own needs and goals are.

Q. Do you have goals for your investments?

I'm in retirement. My goal isn't long-term anymore. I'm looking at this point for income. I always worked for myself. No pension program.

Q. How would you describe your approach to investing?

Rather haphazard when I started. Now, very conservative. Exceptionally conservative. Have to protect my base. I go with Treasuries, go with bonds. Once I thought I could live on 10 percent of my investment, now I'm looking at 5 percent.

Q. What is your biggest money concern right now?

Right now, because interest has fallen so much . . . we've had to tighten our belts. Bonds that were paying 6 to 7 percent aren't doing that anymore. Investment income I was working with isn't really there anymore.

Q. How are you invested now?

Probably about 70 percent in bonds, 20 percent in stocks and 10 percent in cash.

Q. Where do you get your investment advice?

I have a son who works on Wall Street. He's a treasury trader. I get some information from him and I've been reading the Wall Street Journal for about 20 years.

Q. Do you think now is a good time to invest?

I think it's starting to look better.

[Last modified September 21, 2003, 02:03:13]

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