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Mutual funds

Vanguard 500 Index Inv


Simple, solid strategies for investing money The economic tumult of recent years doesn't mean investors need a complicated game plan. Here are four ways to boost the odds of long-term success.,0,3012311.story

For Older Investors, Old Rules May Not Apply.

Tough day for stocks. But losses are pared in half after Dow drop reaches 800 points on credit crisis.

Cboe Volatility Index

Should you decide to go bargain hunting, Mr. Hodson has some advice. First, don't buy in one fell swoop. Determine how much you want to invest and then split that money up. "Split it up into 20-per-cent chunks and buy, say, once a week for five weeks," he suggests. That way, you have more than one chance to buy at the bottom of the market. "A lot of investors buy thinking it's at the bottom and two months later they realize they didn't buy at the bottom and then they want out." For investors who are too wary about the market's volatility right now, Stephen Foerster, a professor of finance at the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, says there are indicators to help you know when it's safe to go back in. For more about this see his piece at The one I like is to go to the Bank of Canada website and find the most recent data on three-month Treasury bills and three-month commercial paper. The spread between the two is a good indicator of the market's perception of the risk investors face lending to corporations rather than the government. Over the long run, since the 1950s, that spread has averaged 0.5 per cent, Prof. Foerster says. On Wednesday, that spread was a very high 1.8 percentage points; in mid-2006, it was 0.13 points. Prof. Foerster believes fearful investors should wait until it's closer to 0.5 points or lower.

Volatility index can help give investors the all-clear.