Columnist Kathy Kristof is putting her real money into the market so she can help you be a better investor. By Kathy Kristof, Contributing Editor January 28, 2013 Can a wise but moderately lethargic investor beat -- or at least equal -- the stock market? Kiplinger's columnist and author of Investing 101 Kathy Kristof aims to answer just that question with this practical investing project. She is taking $200,000 of her own money and dividing it into two pieces -- $10,000 going into Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF (symbol VTI), and the rest going into individual stocks that she selects. SEE ALSO: Kiplinger's Model Portfolios Each month, in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, we'll compare the results of the two portfolios with real numbers that reflect trading costs and taxes, describe Kathy's mistakes and her coups, and divulge new additions to and subtractions from the portfolios. (She plans to focus on U.S. firms, but she may occasionally invest in foreign stocks.) See her previous columns: How Investing Is Like Cooking; November 2011 How Investing Is Like Cooking; November 2011 Our Practical Investor Picks Her Stocks; December 2011 Hard-Knock Lessons for Individual Investors; January 2012 How an Individual Investor Picks Stocks; February 2012 Our Practical Investor Gets Performance Anxiety; March 2012 Buying Stocks on the Cheap; April 2012 Beware Overpaid Executives; May 2012 Our Practical Investor Fight Inflation; June 2012 Why You Need REITs; July 2012 Why I Pick Stocks; August 2012 Why I Pay Taxes Now; September 2012 5 Moneyball Lessons for Investors; October 2012 Sell Stocks Slowly; November 2012 A Year-End Assessment of My Stock Portfolio; December 2012 Advertisement And in the table below, keep track of her portfolio's performance. Contact Kathy directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KathyKristof.