A midlife money checkup

Are you still on pace to reach your goals despite today's market woes? Find out by taking this nine-step test of your financial health. It won't hurt a bit.

2. Is your portfolio properly diversified?

DO IT NOW
Best move now: no move at all. Okay, take a peek at your portfolio and make sure sharp market moves haven't thrown off your chosen mix. Rebalance if necessary to get back to your plan. Then stick to it.
2. Is your portfolio properly diversified?
In just the first weeks of this year, the stock market has slid some 8% and recession talk has reached fever pitch. That's especially worrisome for midlife investors. You've lived through bear markets before - 1987, 1990, 2000-02 - but now you have more money on the line and a tighter portfolio-building schedule to meet.

At times like this, you want to make sure you have a mix you can live with. So check on your investments but don't chicken out. As long as you are properly diversified, you can ride out this market downturn too. Retirement may seem close, but your investing time horizon is still decades long.

While boomers should have a sizable stake in bonds and cash to cushion risk, stocks should continue to be the linchpin of your portfolio. Yes, stocks can often deliver sharp losses, but they remain your best bet for outpacing inflation.

By your late forties, a sound asset mix, according to planners at T. Rowe Price, is 83% stocks and 17% bonds. Gradually shift so that by age 65 you have a 60/40 mix. For maximum diversification, your equity stake should include large-caps, small-caps and foreign stocks. To create your own allocation, use the tools at morningstar.com.
Last updated February 11 2008: 1:33 PM ET

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.