Jewish World Review July 3, 2000 /30 Sivan, 5760
When to diversify assets
DEAR BRUCE: I am wondering if there is any merit to diversifying my assets among fund families. I currently have 90 percent of my investments in one of the largest fund families and have just received a moderate inheritance.
It would be easy to manage all of my money in one family, but what are the risks in having all of the money in just one fund? -- M.C., Largo, Fla.
DEAR M.C.: Having a degree of diversification cannot hurt. There are many fine families of funds out there, and since you have most of your assets in one, I would choose a second one that has demonstrated a good performance.
DEAR BRUCE: We were leasing an apartment when we found a house to buy. In order to buy the house, we had to break our lease two months early. We gave the apartment manager 30 days notice, which is what he said was all he needed if he had a new tenant in line for the apartment. We left on the seventh of the month, and the apartment was leased on the 15th. Now they want to charge me a termination fee of one month. Is that legal? -- R.C., Indialantic, Fla.
DEAR R.C.: The fact is that you had a written lease, and while the manager may have given you assurances, he may not have had the authority to do so. It seems to me that if they are only going to charge you a month, you're coming out ahead. They could have easily said we will not allow you to break the lease.
Breaking a lease cuts both ways. You can imagine what you would have done if they had come in and said that you had to leave two months early. I don't think that you have been mistreated.
DEAR BRUCE: My husband is 61 and has worked for the same company for nine years. Recently he was let go along with 11 others. He has an MBA, and although he has mailed and faxed his resume to various companies, there has been no response.
I am sure that age is an important factor. It's hard to believe that a person with his education cannot find a job when there are so many out there. What do you think of these agencies that want to charge a fee of $4,000 to search for a job? -- J.C., via e-mail
DEAR J.C.: I would not pay anyone for a job unless the job was delivered. There are many agencies who claim that they will help you seek a job and spruce up your resume, but in my judgment these are not worth pursuing.
Your husband's age is going to work very much against him. For one thing, benefits packages for older employees are far more expensive, and it's difficult to add a "new" older employee when you consider that health insurance, life insurance, etc. are far more expensive. Your husband might want to seek part-time employment, where the company would not be obliged to provide the fringe package. That could make a difference.
Further, if he has the skills, he might wish to offer himself as a consultant on a per diem basis. Once again, the ordinary overhead is considerably reduced. The final possibility is to start his own business. Faced with the same problem, many men his age have done just that and, to their surprise and pleasure, have done very
Send your questions to JWR contributor Bruce Williams by clicking here. (Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.) Interested in buying or selling a house? Let Bruce Williams' "House Smart" be your guide. (Sales of the book help fund JWR).
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