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The first thing to look into is how you invest. I'd bet that most of your funds carry names like "opportunity" or "growth." They owned high-tech and telecommunications stocks, with a few dot-coms tossed in for fun. Those are the principal stock groups that dropped 70 percent.

The broader market lost 32 percent. Most bond mutual funds are up. It's fine to keep some of your money in one of your growth-stock funds. Shift the rest into funds that call themselves "balanced" (stocks and bonds), "index" or "value." --Jane Bryant Quinn

If you won't need the money for five years, you might put half in stocks and half in bonds, using index mutual funds. You'll reap the benefit whenever either market does well. But read up a little first--try a book like "Investing for Dummies" (John Wiley & Sons) or browse aaii.com--and make sure you're comfortable with the risks. --Temma Ehrenfeld