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Money panel

KAREN HORVATH: 59, real estate, Palm Harbor

By Times Staff Writer
Published March 5, 2006

How did you get started in investing?

I inherited some stocks and bonds in 1989. I knew absolutely nothing about any of them. Since they were now mine, I had to figure out what to do with them. I read articles and took some classes.

What has been your best investment so far?

Don't laugh - WorldCom. I got into it when it was LDDS, in the early '90s. I bought it at $17. It split several times. I think I sold it just before it crashed and burned.

What is your worst investment so far?

Taser, but I'm still hoping that it will be the best one ever. I was up last year, but down this year, but I'm hoping to be up again.

What have you learned about investing that you think all investors should know?

If you have a good company, what goes down, for whatever reason, if it's a good company, it will come back up. Just make sure if you know whether it's a good or bad company. Know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.

How would you describe your approach to investing?

A mixture of moderate to risk-taking. I'm not opposed to taking a flier every once in a while on something.

What do you find the most difficult about investing?

Keeping track of everything.

How are you invested now?

About 80 percent in stock (and) 20 percent real estate and mutual funds.

What changes, if any, have you made in your investments in the past year?

Because I'm getting close to that magic 60, I'm doing a bit more in dividend-yielding stocks.

Do you think now is a good time to invest?

Sure. Like anything else, it depends on what you're investing in. There's a season for everything.

What is your goal for your investing?

I think basically follow the rule of seven: double your money every seven years. If I could do that, I'd be happy as a clam.

What is your biggest money concern right now?

The global economy.

Where do you get your investment tips?

Publications like Money magazine and Smart Money. I go onto individual company Web sites. I check Yahoo Finance, Motley Fool, MSN Money.

[Last modified March 3, 2006, 17:37:02]

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