There was a special conference round-table discussion recently that involved Carlson Capital Management, Plancorp, and Savant Capital Management, members of the Zero Alpha Group, a nationwide network of eight fee-only investment advisory firms that manage more than $3.5 billion assets. In effect, they issued a warning that investors who are without long-term financial plans are making the same five costly errors over and over.

According to Justin Stets, principal at Carlson, "Uncertainty and confusion are the number one enemies of the investor who operates blindly and without the benefit of a long-term plan."

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