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Financial Planning

12 Essential Investing Tasks and Tools

The final segment in our four-part financial toolkit series highlights steps to safeguard and grow your money.

Key investing tasks can now be executed from the comfort of your home computer, from stock research to online trading. Even tracking an old stock certificate becomes a snap on the Web.

Investing Toolkit


When to Dump Stock

Even experienced investors hold on to stocks too long and sell to soon. Here's a concise, five-point guide to improve your investing decisions.



Find the Value of an Old Stock Certificate

This financial chore become a breeze with a free Web search, only a click away.



Build a Bond Ladder

The best way to manage a collection of individual bonds is to stagger their maturities. Here's the strategy.

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How Much to Hold in Stocks

This rule of thumb identifies the percentage of stock to hold and we show you how to maintain the balance.



Invest in a DRIP

A dividend reinvestment plan lets investors buy stock directly from a corporation.



Replace a Lost Savings Bond

Download a form, fill in the blanks and mail it to the Department of Treasury. It's that simple.



Diversify Your Investments

New investment products take the guesswork out of diversifying your nest egg.

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Buy Treausries Online

This safe investment move takes less than five minutes -- and -- there's no fee.



Get the Inside Skinny on a Stock

Annual corporate reports arm investors with buy-or-sell information. Here's how to find key details in these documents.



Understand a Mutual Fund Prospectus

This document discloses fees, a fund's investment strategy and it's historical performance. Review the five key points.



Track Your Investments Online

Recommended Web tools and resources for keeping tabs on your investment choices.

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How to Open a Brokerage Account

Online brokerage sites let you manage investments from any computer, any time of day. See our recommendedations.


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