If you had $10,000 to invest, where would you put it today? Here is advice from some experts: Ric Edelman, chairman of Edelman Financial...

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If you had $10,000 to invest, where would you put it today? Here is advice from some experts:

Ric Edelman, chairman of Edelman Financial Services: “I’d put it exactly where I’ve been putting my money all along: into a highly diversified portfolio that features all 19 major asset classes and market sectors. This is not the time to make big bets in stocks or cash. If you place most or all of your money into the stock market, you could face substantial losses if stock prices fall. Conversely, placing everything into bank accounts, CDs and T-bills and money-market funds virtually guarantees that you’ll fail financially because their low interest rates are eroded by taxes and inflation.”

Bernard F. McGinn, president of McGinn Investment Management: “I would keep my $10,000 in familiar territory with familiar companies, and a large-cap, domestically focused mutual fund would accomplish this. The U.S. economy has slowed dramatically in the past several months and seems poised for recovery in the first quarter of 2009. That means now is a good time to buy large-cap funds.”

Steven Thalheimer, principal of Thalheimer Financial Planning: “First, use it to pay off your highest-interest personal debt, including credit cards and high-interest car loans. Next, make sure you have an adequate emergency fund saved (an amount equal to three to six months’ after-tax living expenses) in a liquid high-yield savings or money-market account. Choose low-cost diversified index mutual funds. It might also make sense at this point to pay down high-interest home-equity lines of credit or second mortgages.”