Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Live Blogging: Retirement's Collapse

I had intended to live blog about today's market. In the end I couldn't do it, hypnotized by the stock ticker. So I settle here for the close, as the Dow tumbles down more than 500 points. That's a 5.11% decline in value for the Dow Industrials. Things are worse for the S+P 500 and the Nasdaq, where losses are 5.74% and 5.80% respectively.

A friend of mine commented the other day that when everyone is panicking it might just be rational to panic too. The downturn is being fueled by the anxiety of retirees who are quite rationally judging that they may not have the time to hold fast.

Traditional wisdom is always that the investor should stay invested, waiting for the turnaround. Many elderly retirees probably hear time's winged chariot hurrying too near for such dallying. They're outa here! . (Interesting Reuters story about that: click)

On a personal note, echoed by other members of our local Geezeropolis, we have postponed projects and purchases we had planned before our retirement nest egg had dropped 30% in value. This behavior is another way in which local merchants and tradesmen are going to pay the price for the economic policies of the Republicans.

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