4 Investing Rules to Live By

These time-tested tips work in any kind of market.

1. Diversify.

Stocks, bonds, cash, real estate and other investments provide varying rewards: Some protect against inflation, and others provide the growth or income you might need for specific goals. Plus, their prices move at different speeds and, sometimes, in opposite directions. Owning something in each investment category allows you to take reasonable risks without producing unreasonable volatility for your portfolio. Likewise, you should diversify within each category.

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Kathy Kristof
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kristof, editor of SideHusl.com, is an award-winning financial journalist, who writes regularly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CBS MoneyWatch. She's the author of Investing 101, Taming the Tuition Tiger and Kathy Kristof's Complete Book of Dollars and Sense. But perhaps her biggest claim to fame is that she was once a Jeopardy question: Kathy Kristof replaced what famous personal finance columnist, who died in 1991? Answer: Sylvia Porter.