Dear Dr. Don, 

My son will turn 18 years old in December. He has $150,000 from a settlement now sitting in the bank. What is the best plan to pursue for investing this money? Is investing in precious metals a good way to proceed?

Thanks, 

- Mike Amass

Dear Mike, 

Put simply: no to precious metals. Your son needs to decide what he wants this settlement to do for him in the long term. He shouldn't be trying to hit the proverbial home run by investing all of the settlement in precious metals. Using that game plan, he's more likely to strike out, financially.

A settlement awarded to compensate your son for continuing health care or disability issues should not be viewed as a windfall. It must be invested to maximize the likelihood that his needs will be met.

If such needs aren't a concern, perhaps your son could opt to take on more risk. That would be translated as accepting more fluctuations in the portfolio's value. I would prefer a diversified investment portfolio that spreads that risk over several different asset classes, like stocks, bonds, real estate and money market securities. You could include a small level of exposure to alternative assets such as precious metals.

You should interview a few fee-only financial planning professionals with the goal of finding one he's comfortable with. One of these pros can then make suggestions.

Once your son's specific needs and goals are determined, the proper mix for an investment portfolio should become obvious.

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