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The Alchemist (03/19/2008)


Have you been to any of those Money Shows? They have them all over the country. Orlando, Las Vegas, New York.

Just about every type of investment vehicle you can think of is offered to the hapless investor. By the time he leaves he is more confused than before he attended.

Would you care to invest in domestic or international? Stocks, bonds or mutual funds? How about those chancy limited partnerships?

Need a money manager for your portfolio? Maybe you are smart

enough to buy one of those sophisticated software programs that will find winning (?) trades every time. Options are always an option. And many more.

The wylie mavens give free seminars to mesmerize the little

guy with big Wall Street jargon. As a professional trader they are too complicated for me. Questions are usually allowed, but not once did I hear the one that separates the winners from the losers:

"How did your model portfolio perform from 2000 to 2003?"

Almost without exception the best any domestic or international fund would answer: "We outperformed the S&P500". They fail to add the S&P lost 40%. And 80% of all mutual funds do NOT outperform the S&P500 index in any year.

Mutual fund managers are not able to protect customers money.

The charter of most funds requires they must be 90% invested at all times.

When everything is going down the fund manager must continue to buy and is not allowed to sell, BUT YOU CAN.

During any 10-year period history records at least one or two bear markets of 20% to 40% or more. Dur≠ing those times brokers do not counsel their clients to sell and hold cash in a money market.

Think back to 2000. If you had sold 10% or 15% off the top how much more cash you would have had when the market turned up in 2003.

The market is screaming it is in that same 2000 mode and headed much lower. Will any investor want to take that ride again?

There is once secret to the market Wall Street does not want you to know. It is not how to buy right. It is how to SELL. Any investor without an exit strategy will never make money in the stock market.

Do you or your broker or your financial planner have an exit strategy? Check with them immediately before your portfolio disappears. Have it put in writing now. This is your only protection.

It is the intelligent investor who understands it is better to be in a money market paying 1% than in an equity position that is steadily losing 1, 2 or 3% every month.

Do not wait until losses pile up. CASH IS A POSITION.

Al Thomas' best selling book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter and receive his market letter at no charge on www.mutualfundmagic.com to discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

Medicare Part B deadline approaching

by Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

If you didn't sign up for Medicare Part B medical insurance when you first became eligible for Medicare, you now have an opportunity to apply " but time is running out. The deadline for applying is March 31, 2008. If you miss the deadline, you will have to wait until 2009 to apply.

Medicare Part B covers some medical expenses not covered by Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), such as doctors' fees, outpatient hospital visits and other medical supplies and services that are not covered by Medicare Part A.

When you first become eligible for hospital insurance (Part A), you have a seven-month period (your initial enrollment period) in which to sign up for medical insurance (Part B). After that, you have to pay a higher premium " unless you were covered through an employer's group health plan or a group health plan based on a spouse's employment. You are given another opportunity to enroll in Part B during the general enrollment period, from January 1 to March 31 of each year. But each 12-month period that you are eligible for Medicare Part B and do not sign up, the amount of your monthly premium increases by 10 percent.

You can learn more about Medicare by visiting their website at www.medicare.gov. You may also call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).



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