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Stay the course with your long-term investing plan

Like most investors you’re probably concerned about the recent volatility in the financial markets. But as a participant in the Con Edison Thrift Savings Plan, you need to remember that the plan is designed to be a long-term savings program. So rather than jumping in and out of investments trying to catch the next run-up or avoid the next decline in stock or bond prices, you should stay the course.

Keep in mind that you’re investing money now for your future, which includes the years leading up to retirement as well as the years you spend in retirement. Retirees are living longer; it’s a good guess that a 65-year-old may live another 25 years!

Your mix matters
It’s important to determine the best mix of stocks, bonds, and short-term reserves to help you weather the markets’ ups and downs. No matter how much the markets fluctuate, a diversified portfolio is the best approach to long-term investing. By spreading your money among the asset classes, you can safeguard against putting “all your eggs in one basket.” In other words, the rewards from one type of investment can help to offset risks from another asset class.

As you plan your savings strategy, consider these five steps:

1. Identify your financial goals and time frame for investing.

2. Decide how much risk you can handle comfortably.

3. Choose your target mix of investments.

4. Select funds to match your target mix.

5. Review your investment program annually.

Changes may necessitate change
If your situation or financial circumstances change—for example, if you have a child, buy a house, or retire—you may need to make adjustments in your investment mix. If you decide to move money already invested in funds, experts recommend doing so gradually—over at least 6 to 18 months.

For more information
If you need help determining a suitable investment mix, complete Vanguard’s Investor Questionnaire. The questionnaire will lead you to a suggested investment mix based on your risk tolerance, goals, and time frame. It’s available online at or by calling Vanguard Participant Services at 1-800-523-1188.

For more information about any fund, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses, call The Vanguard Group at 1-800-523-1188 to obtain a prospectus. The prospectus contains this and other important information about the fund. Read and consider the prospectus information carefully before you invest. You can also download Vanguard fund prospectuses at

© 2008 The Vanguard Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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