by Jean Chatzky, Money magazine editor-at-large and author of Make Money, Not Excuses
Boring is better—that's my mantra. I decide, when I first invest it, how I want to divvy up my money between stocks and bonds. As markets fluctuate, that distribution can get thrown out of whack. If I put 60 percent in stocks and then those prices go up, my investment will increase and—because stocks are less stable than bonds—I'll be taking on more risk than I originally planned. But I set it and forget it—I choose my mix and tell my 401(k) plan or brokerage firm to rebalance it, so my investments run on automatic pilot.