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Thursday, 7 February 2008

Market Survival Guide

1. Keep costs down

In the new era of low returns, it's important to keep fees down to build a winning portfolio. Buy index funds and ETFs, and don't pay for Wall Street's often unreliable advice.

2. Go for dividends

A big gift of today's rocky market is a surge in dividend yields. If you want income for life, grab solid but beaten-down names right now. Two good bets: pharma and utilities.

3. Take a chance on battered stocks

Sure, it takes courage, but the best investors pounce when sectors are bloodied and expectations in the cellar. Two reviled sectors: banks and homebuilders.

4. Look abroad

Diversification is the foundation of a strong portfolio. One way to get there is with a big allocation in international stocks. But true diversification is tricky. We'll tell you how to do it right.

5. Be smart about bonds

You need fixed-income investments for ballast, but the trick is staying ahead of inflation. The three picks for an inflation-racked world: munis, TIPs, and CDs.

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