Sunday, March 29, 2009

Merging Portfolios After Marriage

- By Kevin Yu

Like most investors, Wendy and Doug Kirk were worried about how the stock market was doing last fall. But it was hardly at the forefront of their thoughts: After knowing each other for more than 25 years - they both grew up in Ocean Township, N.J. - and dating for more than three, the couple tied the knot in September.

Now, with the wedding behind them, the pair, who live in Oakland, Calif., have begun to look at their collective finances. And they're starting to wonder whether they were investing properly to begin with.

Wendy, for instance, says some of her mutual funds fell more than 50% in 2008. "I never thought I was that aggressive," she says. Having lost more than $60,000 in the bear market around the time they hoped to start saving for a home, Wendy, 38, and Doug, 41, want a fresh start.

As they combine their portfolios, they want to make sure that they are properly diversified. They also want to know whether they're still on track to buy their dream home. Says Wendy: "Now that we've joined our finances, we want to make sure we're on the right path."

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