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The New Rules for Retirement Investing

The retirement math has changed along with retirement itself: You can no longer sit back and watch your money grow. You’ve got to always be investing to be on top of where your money is and where it’s going.

Joe Terranova, frequent CNBC contributor and chief alternatives strategist for Virtus Investment Partners, stressed the importance of finding the right mix between value investing and growth investing for your retirement portfolio.

Value investing, the Warren Buffett model of investing, is when you buy asset classes that you believe are reaching significant value. A value investor buys when he or she sees something – a stock or bond or other asset – that looks overvalued to them but is undervalued by Wall Street.

Terranova recommends a strategy that involves a little bit of growth with a little bit of value, and always puts diversification above all else. Some other pointers: Be careful of dividend-paying funds now that tons of companies are aggressively slashing their dividends, and don’t be too tempted by small-cap stocks. Small caps thrive on investors looking for instant gratification – an announcement or event that triggers huge moves in their stock prices – but these moves are becoming fewer and further between as small caps survive primarily on the availability of credit. Small-cap investing is not a long-term strategy, according to Terranova, but if you want to dabble at least wait for the credit markets to thaw.