Our Practical Investor's Portfolio

Columnist Kathy Kristof is putting her real money into the market so she can help you be a better investor.

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.

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:

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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.