Ultra safe to risky: How 10 Gen Y-ers invest

Surveys show young investors are strikingly less eager to take on risk now than they were in 2001. Why some are holding and others are folding.

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Robert White, 23
Robert White, 23
Robert White is a recent graduate of Northern Arizona University and plans to return to his hometown of Maui to start a job at a financial planning office.
Portfolio allocation: 10% stocks, 90% cash

About five years ago, I decided to take control of my future and invested $25,000 into an aggressive mutual fund. It was performing pretty well, so I kept adding more money to it. But in 2008, things started to go downhill and I was unsure, so I pulled out and opened a one-year certificate of deposit.

Since early 2009, I have been dabbling in stocks, but I can't seem to commit to anything significant. Of my $60,000 portfolio, I can only muster the courage to put about 10% into stocks, while the rest remains in cash.

It's almost embarrassing to talk to anyone about my portfolio because I know how stupid it is to normally keep my portfolio in cash. I picture myself as a value investor, and I know I'm supposed to be buying in the downturn, but the swings of the market are intimidating. I'm just waiting to get the next piece of advice or news that will make me more comfortable about my decisions.

I'll be starting a job at a financial planning office soon, so I hope that I can talk to the pros and get my stock allocation up to 75% by the end of the quarter.


NEXT: Shawn Lakhani, 28
Last updated September 06 2010: 3:43 PM ET
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