Let me emphasize the related point of maxing out your tax advantaged accounts. Assuming you are in a high tax bracket and don't need the cash to live on in the near future (and you probably are given thoughts of mortgage payoffs) I think that you should be making ZERO investment in anything until you have maxed out every tax advantaged account available to you. Don't forget 529 college plans. All earnings are tax free if used for college (and can be transferred to other kids). And, many states offer a state tax deduction for contributions (no fed deduction). Historically, a lot of states ran really crappy 529s but there has been reform so you can usually find an acceptable investment vehicle (vanguard index, simple CD ladders, etc). You can invest in any state's fund as a non-resident but the state tax deduction is usually only for your state of residence.