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Money panel

Tom Halvorsen, 36, financial planner, St. Petersburg

Published July 9, 2006

How did you get started in investing?

I bought my first mutual fund when I was 21, a senior in college.

What is your best investment?

Residential real estate, then mutual funds in general.

What is your worst investment?

Some individual tech stocks back in 2000. Cisco wasn't so hot.

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

Have a long-term approach, diversify properly and don't make any decisions based on emotions.

How would you describe your approach to investing?

Moderately aggressive.

What do you find the most difficult about investing?

Sticking through the bad times and not letting your emotions take over your decisions.

How are you invested?

Probably 30 percent real estate, 70 percent stocks/mutual funds.

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

A little more shift to international funds. The economy is more global. There's more growth opportunities outside the United States.

Do you think now is a good time to invest?

If you have a long-term outlook, it's always a good time. The best time to invest is when you have the money.

What is your biggest money concern?

College for the kids.

What is your goal for your investing?

Retire by age 50.

Where do you get your investment tips?

It's more a basic investment philosophy. Wall Street Journal. Sometimes MorningStar. com. But there's more misinformation than anything else on the Web.


[Last modified July 9, 2006, 01:31:18]

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