21 ways to stomach a sour market

Feel like you're getting nothing but lemons from the stock market? Allow us to introduce nearly two dozen recipes for lemonade.

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1. Simplify your portfolio
For you, perhaps, "portfolio" seems too orderly a word. "Junk drawer" might better describe that disorderly jumble of fund and brokerage statements your future depends on. You've long wanted to streamline but were put off by the taxable gains embedded in many of your holdings.

Well, now is your chance. The market's 20% decline has shrunk many gains and probably also handed you some losses to offset against them. That makes this a great time to eliminate duplicates (you need only one S&P 500 indexer, for example), unload funds you don't understand and create a simpler portfolio.

For a model, see "The only 7 investments you'll need." Or, for the ultimate in simplicity, boil it all down to a single target-date retirement fund, essentially a lifetime investment strategy in one portfolio.

Two such funds - one from Vanguard, the other from T. Rowe Price - are on the Money 70, our list of recommended funds and ETFs.


NEXT: Ditch your energy stocks
Last updated August 16 2008: 4:37 PM ET
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