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What should I invest in?

Good question. And though zillions of books have been written about this, the basics are hardly rocket science.

There are three main kinds of investments, or "asset classes": stocks, bonds and cash. Your retirement accounts should probably contain a mix of stocks and bonds - and maybe cash too.

You can invest in stocks and bonds in one of two ways: by buying them individually or by buying them via a mutual fund. A mutual fund is simply a collection of stocks, or bonds, or cash equivalents - or sometimes a mix of all three.

Some people also invest in "hard assets" like real estate or gold, but those aren't always great choices for the average person's retirement account.

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