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Investing Specialists

Why Your Investment Strategy Should Fit on an Index Card

Distilling your investment approach into a few sentences can further some important goals.

Harold Pollack, a professor of public policy at the University of Chicago, generated a good deal of buzz a few years ago by scratching out "all the financial advice you'll ever need" on a 4x6 index card.

Morningstar.com readers may disagree about some of Pollack's advice--specifically, his exhortation to avoid picking individual stocks and to skip actively managed funds. But it's hard to disagree with Pollack's overarching goal of helping investors cut through the clutter and focus on what really matters. Investing well doesn't have to be complicated, despite the "financial complexity complex's" efforts to make it seem otherwise. Instead of getting bogged down in byzantine and often expensive products and strategies, investors will have a better shot at reaching their financial goals if they tune out the noise and focus on basics like saving enough and taking advantage of tax-sheltered wrappers.

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