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5 Investment Pillars of a Retirement Portfolio

A useful roadmap to a retirement strategy

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Foreign Stocks

It’s a global economy, and Cramer wants you to keep it simple with investments in China- or Japan-based companies or ETFs. I would prefer to own a stock rather than a country, one with which I have some familiarity.

Jeff Reeves recently called out an opportunity to invest in Europe, citing Germany’s Daimler (DDAIF) as one company seeing growth. Daimler’s a nice place to start: It has a 4% dividend yield, and at a P/E of just over 8x, you certainly won’t feel as if you’ve overpaid. As for familiarity, you can’t watch any sporting event without seeing their commercials.

If you want to own a country instead, Alyssa Oursler points out in “The 5 Best ETFs in the World” four countries with soaring opportunities (the fifth is the good ol’ U.S. of A.).

Speculative Stocks

Again, another category that I like with a caveat — understand your time horizon. You certainly don’t want to tie up money with a long-term play if you need it in a shorter time span. There’s no time limit on the speculation, just on your need for the money.

Some long-term suggestions?

Well earlier this year I put money to work at a rebounding Yahoo (YHOO), looking for a turnaround that is still in the making; I have a target price as opposed to date at which to sell, so I keep a close watch on its movement.

How about electric-car maker Tesla (TSLA)? It’s shot up over 300% year-to-date so you might be concerned, but a play on this name is all about the future of alternative vehicles in the U.S. — a potential long-term bonanza.


Gold is generally viewed as the long-term hedge against … well, just about everything. But the precious metal has not had a good time of it lately. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is down 20% over the past year, and the gold miners themselves (as proxied by the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX)) is faring even worse, down over 40% in the last year.

Truthfully? Unless you have some money to put into metals for a very long time, it’s an area I find a little disquieting … and will avoid.

So there we have it. I like four out of the five categories in which Cramer suggests investment. I’m with him on the need for diversification across asset classes, and I like where he’s going with stocks — four out of five categories — as the lead dog.  My advice: Use the guide as a template, dig into some of your favorite ideas, and start building that portfolio.

Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at As of this writing he is long YHOO.

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