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January 24th, 2006 at 07:34 am

I haven't thought much about the stock market or investments for a long time, as I've been preoccupied with budgeting and just getting by. So there's been quite a large chunk of cash sitting in my IRA brokerage account. It wasn't just because I was ignoring the whole subject, though. I'd thought I wanted to move the whole account to Scottrade for lower fees. But then Scottrade had some kind of security breach, and I changed my mind. Also, being kind of worried about money I was leaving it in cash "just in case," even though the last thing I want to have to do is take money out of the IRA.

Anyway, this morning I rebalanced things in a method I read about years ago in a book called America's Finest Companies by Bill Staton. He had you invest equal amounts in high quality companies, in different kinds of businesses. (I actually did index funds to diversify). Every year or so you buy more in all of them, but you buy less of the ones that have done really well, and more of the current laggards. The idea is that different industries do well at different times--you are putting more money into a company when it's a bargain, and not putting too much money into it when it's overpriced. You try to end up with equal positions in each company again. I like following a mechanical system like that because it keeps me from getting carried away.

So I did that this morning, and had a pleasant surprise. Schwab is now only charging $19.95 per trade rather than the $29.95 they did before. And I got a letter awhile back saying they weren't charging an annual fee anymore. So I guess I'm content to stay with them. Sometimes procrastination is a good thing. Wink

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