.
January 3rd, 2009
03:40 PM ET

Ok, you lost your shirt. Here's what you have to do now:

Ali Velshi
CNN Chief Business Correspondent

You could not have escaped 2008 unscathed.

*The Dow ended the year 33% lower.
*The S&P 500 ended 38% lower
*The NASDAQ was down more than 40%

Even if you followed all the rules and diversified your savings, you lost 30-40% or more in 2008. Virtually nothing could have saved you.

But history tells us that big opportunities follow those kinds of
declines. And you can start building – or rebuilding – your wealth right away.

Friday's massive market rally is a perfect example of why you can't be trying to wait out this market turmoil.

You have to be in this market, period. A lot of people don't want to hear that but unless you have a rich uncle who is about to pass on and leave you a small fortune, the markets are the only real (legal) way to create wealth. And you can take part in them without become a trader, and without buying a single individual stock. Spend just a few hours learning about how markets work, and how they can work for you, make a few tweaks to your 401(k) or IRA, and you're on your way to a more secure financial future.

YOU HAVE TO DO IT.

Take these 10 steps right now to become a better investor:

1. Pay off any debts costing 10% or more per year before investing for retirement.

2. Take a "risk tolerance" test to find out what kind of investor you are, and don't put money you'll need access to within five years into the market.

3. Tax-advantaged savings plans – especially those to which your employer contributes – are just about the only "free money" you'll ever get.

4. Asset allocation – the appropriate distribution of your money
across several types of investments – lowers your risk AND earns you
a higher return than if you just invested in one or two types of assets.

5. Understand how different "asset classes" work. Take a few hours
to learn the key features of stocks, bonds, cash equivalents and
alternative investments.

6. Mutual funds, index funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) give
you instant diversification, with less risk than owning individual stocks.

7. Keep your investment costs low. Fees, commissions and expenses
can eat a big chunk of your returns over time.

8. Rebalance your portfolio at least once a year. Keep your portfolio aligned with your "asset allocation" by selling some of your winners, and buying more of some investments that have suffered.

9. If you leave your employer, roll your 401(k) over into an IRA immediately. It's the only time you can convert your 401(k) into a retirement vehicle with many more options.

10. Remember that investing takes discipline, but it allows you to
control your financial future.

Watch Ali on CNN at 3pm Sunday as he introduces his new book, "Gimme My Money Back: Your Guide to Beating The Financial Crisis"


Filed under: 360° Radar • Ali Velshi • Economy • stocks
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Burned twice shame on me

    Obviously, this was written to fool people into investing more, allowing bigger players to pull their money out.

    If you have extra money – start investing in yourself and family – buy extra storable food, a gun, and basics – excess money goes to gold or silver.

    The past three months have really opened my eyes as to what our elected officials consider important (follow the money). There is absolutely no benefit to the average citizens (the politicians can't even account for the money that was given in the bail-out).

    There are rumors others are lining up for a bailout from the taxpayers – in this condition the stock market is the last place you want to put your money.

    Inflation will kick in – deflation before inflation – read about the first depression. We are currently in a deflationary period, by the government foolishly or purposely printing money, inflation will be extreme. (Therefore, It is extremely foolish, to hold cash long term today -> stocks idiotic).

    The government is testing waters to see how far they can reach.

    January 4, 2009 at 6:24 am |
  2. Jim

    I am one of those "baby boomers" who is to retire within 5 years. Dispite the fact my 401K is down 30%, I still am contributing the maximum per year allowed by law plus catch up contributions. With that said, I do recommend keeping 10 to 20% of these 401K contributions in a so called "cash account", 30% in bonds, and the rest (50%) in stocks. The reason for this is I still need to make money (I hope) long after I retire and stocks provide the best means to beat inflation over the long haul. Since I have been investing for over 30 years now, this approach does work but it is not for the faint of heart.

    January 4, 2009 at 5:52 am |
  3. Jim Rogal

    For perspective, read any one of the several books about Warren Buffett. He's become one of the world's wealthiest people by ignoring market sentiment and buying extraordinary values (really cheap stocks). There are a whole lot of very attractively priced stocks available right now, for those with cash to invest....and patience.

    January 4, 2009 at 5:40 am |
  4. Melissa

    I did all the right things. Retired debt free, had my 401K diversified with a Portfolio Advisory Service, which I paid for. I got out of the plan as soon as the mess started even though they advised me not to. I wound up losing money, but not very much. Some of my friends stayed in and lost 1/2 or more of their retirement money. I will never, ever, invest in anything that is not insured again. Wall Street and their ilk are full of crooks and robbers.

    January 4, 2009 at 5:38 am |
  5. Heather

    The money I put under my big dog's house in the back yard last year is still all there. Nick hasn't let ANYBODY within a hundred yards of a single dollar of it. The money I put in a supposedly top notch mutual fund in my 401K LOST 70% last year. Guess who is going to get to guard this year's money? It may not grow, but at least it won't disappear to pay some dishonest CEO's year end bonus..

    January 4, 2009 at 5:31 am |
  6. G. Plant

    Federal I-savings bonds are worth considering if you have $10K to put away each year. The current interest rate is 5.6%. If inflation returns with a vengeance over the next few years, the rate will go even higher. Some of the I-bonds I purchased 6 or 7 years ago now yield a 7.9% return. Federal income tax on the bond interest is deferred. The interest is also exempt from state and local taxes, but is not compounded (which means that you should cash them in after 10-15 years and not hold them to maturity).

    January 4, 2009 at 5:18 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    Sorry guys this is investment 101.
    It takes insufficient account of the various and different needs of different people.
    The solution is a variable depending on whether you are working or already retired, or have been working are now out of a job and what flexibility you have in the latter case as an individual.
    The 10% debt bit is great, the chances of after tax earning that rate are zero at present and very risky even in a good economy.
    Timescales and your individual current financial situation can override much of this advice.
    Problem is there is no 10 step solution that works at the individual level.
    Greed and overstretching credit lines or mortgage borrowing based on effectively "Wooden dollars "( e.g. over valued housing) is the problem, combined with excessive credit card expenditure on the assumption that shares or commodities held including ETF's and mutuals would rise, rise, rise for most investors. QED like the big banks you are going to have to give back the "wooden dollars"
    Its tough but that is reality, and therefore feel and be worse off than you were yesterday.
    My advice if you can cut your losses to your level of wealth 2 years ago, do it, and if you have time hang onto the rest, and wait for the recovery in a couple of years, do that as well.
    If not then you will have to face the music of the "live now pay later syndrome", that made you "feel rich" ( wooden dollars) and "Pay now to live later".
    Life is tough is it not. Mr Average is not going to bailed out directly as the banks are, sorry.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    January 4, 2009 at 4:40 am |
  8. Michael Melinchok

    Ali's advice is spot-on....if you are 20 years away from retirement (like I am) all of your retirement investments should be 100% in stocks and stock mutual funds. I did not pull a cent out and am down 40%. So what? Stocks are on sale! I'm continuing to put every retirement dollar into stocks. Now if you are near retirement or already retired, you should probably be 50% or less in stocks, with the majority in corporate and govt bond funds. Maybe some REITs too. Never put a cent in the stock market that you will need in 10 years or less. You invest in the market for the long term, not to make a quick buck. Sounds like some of the posters here got burned because they got greedy. If you want the long-term upside you have to be able to stomach the short-term downside...otherwise stick to CDs.

    January 4, 2009 at 4:04 am |
  9. E. Merij

    Buy Canadian oil company stocks. EnCana, Cdn Nat.Resources, Suncor, Husky, Petro-Can ... you name it. Esp/ those in the Ft.McMurray oil-sands. Yes, I own stock in Encana, I would like to see it skyrocket again - there, I said it.

    But I am not kidding. All the environmental bull aside (thank you "Bill" on Jan-03,2009,7:36pmET), oil is still king. Chevy's Volt, Toyota's hybrid, all the solar-panel car races, blah-blah ... it's all crap. Sorry folks, but for the next 20-30 years, it will continue to be good old-fashioned OIL and good old-fashioned GASOLINE.

    There is absolutely no way that solar or hydrogen or wind or w/e will replace oil. I like nat/gas, but even that is far-fetched.

    China and India are buying gasoline cars like crazy. And they don't want to wait. They won't wait for some "green" car; they want fun NOW. And they don't care about the environment, global-warming, w/e. They want a car. Plain. And. Simple.

    "See the U-S-A, in your Chev-Ro-Let" -- does anybody remember that TV-ad from the 60s? I sure do. It's what drove America in the 60s, and it is what is driving China and India today.

    Oil.

    January 4, 2009 at 3:27 am |
  10. harry

    Our government is printing dollars faster than the speed of light ... and the current spin is deflationary forces will prevent inflation...which is utter nonsense.,,,, just more spinola from the bush administration.

    buy gold buy silver. they are money > now they aren't investments that a broker is going to make any commission on, so you aren't going to hear about them....but investors in gold and silver have been the winners in every financial panic of the last 500 years.

    No matter what Wall Street tries to tell you, this time is not different. Gold and silver.....or gold and silver stocks.

    January 4, 2009 at 3:19 am |
  11. M C Crockett

    Transferring retirement assets from your 401(k) to an IRA to increase your investment options is addressed in Ali Velshi's point 9. This point needs to be broken into two parts.

    The first part, point 9a, is exactly as is stated in point 9.

    The second part, point 9b, applies only to those over 59.5 years of age. There are provisions in the laws governing 401(k) accounts that allows an employee over 59.5 to transfer funds from a 401(k) account to an IRA without penalty.

    Since the early Eighties when a 401(k) was first offered to me, all of the companies that have owned my organization have always paid interest on investment options in shares/units of company stock. As a result, a 100 percent investment in company stock was the best option in terms of return.

    After periodically transferring funds form my 401(k), my yield hasn't matched my 401(k) returns but I'm still ahead.

    January 4, 2009 at 2:45 am |
  12. MR

    Everyone is worried – I don't see the political top heads worried, this crisis started mainly with oil going up so high like it had a mind of its own. Well let me tell you, our real enemy is the ones that benefited with our money. We also know that the middle eastern who have a lot of money from oil gains are also the ones who by investing in our US Market can manipulate its ups and downs. I trully wish the US Government or YOU "THE MEDIA" will find out whose moves and I mean real BIG MOVES on buying or selling affected us. SOMEONE IS MAKING MONEY, and they are declaring war "FINANCIAL WAR" that will destroy our economy without even laying a FOOT in OUR BELOVED LAND!

    People – BE STRONG, Contain from getting gas to travel by car, plane, you name it. Teach them a lesson and they will have to bend untill they crack as far as we WILL IT!

    We are the ones that are hooked with their resources – We have to have our own. (How come all of a sudden gas went down, and it can start going up if they controll us like puppets who can't live without their OIL. They can hurt us – and what hurts the most is that OUR POLITICAL TOP HEADS are the ones who know what is going on and don't care as long as they get richer by their actions.

    January 4, 2009 at 2:23 am |
  13. Bob

    I'll bet anything the recent 3 day rally will be short-lived. First, the volume was light. Second, there was no basis for the rally. Third the normal bell weathers before a real rally did not track. My guess is that it'll at best continue a little bit longer but we should see a pull back be mid to late next week.

    As for Mutual Funds... Long time ago people at Dreyfus funds convinced me that anyone investing money in a mutual fund deserves to lose it. Dreyfus money managers were front-loading their purchases – meaning the were buying for their own accounts BEFORE buying for the fund and selling BEFORE selling the fund. The investors lost money while they made money for their personal accounts.

    My personal approach has been: Trust that you'll get screwed and do NOT invest – TRADE. Last year I only took a 1% hit compared to the investors. The only thing given as fact is that Wall Street and company executives WILL screw small investors any chance they get. So why are you surprised again and again and again?

    Happy new year!

    January 4, 2009 at 1:54 am |
  14. Orion

    If the average consumer was aware of things like the Quadrillion dollar derivatives market bubble that's set to pop, or the multi-tiered pyramid schemes of AAA rated mortgage backed securities they would be absolutely petrified at what the greedy and illogical people in charge of finance have done to us.

    There's no fixing these problems, just staving them off with half solutions cooked to well done in the public eye. We are collapsing, and people should prepare to fend for themselves.

    January 4, 2009 at 1:47 am |
  15. Jeff

    Bob, the point of this article is that if you wait until you see 6 months of sustained growth and you've missed it. You're too late.

    As for Bill, you're the one looking at junk science. Or rhetoric is more like it. Global Warming is an engineering principle at this point. We can model it and calculate it. Predicting the weather patterns resulting from it is much less precise, due to all of the convection going on with jet streams, ocean currents, and the like. That's why intelligent, informed people have come to use the term "Climate Change" instead of global warming because some places will actually get cooler as a result of global warming, and the effect on climate will vary over the earth.

    I suppose this cooling trend of 2008 you refer to will continue so that we can see the Northwest Passage close back up, rapidly melting glaciers restored, and the arctic ice that has disappeared restored in short order. Wake up and stop listening to Rush and any radio station with "Progressive" in its name.

    January 4, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  16. doug

    Bill,
    You are a total idiot. Climate change is real. You are a sucker for corporatist propaganda. I feel sorry for you and you offspring. But back to topic, by end of 2009 we should see improvements. Bill, you are still an idiot.

    January 4, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  17. John B

    Explain to me this Anderson. The city I work in is 1/2 billion in dept (San Francisco), the county I live in is 1/2 billion in dept (contra costa county), the state I live in is 40 billion in dept and my country is 10 trillion in dept. And this is a CYCLE? I will not invest in the stock market until someone can explain to me how all of this is going to resolve itself without me forking over a ton of cash. And these amounts don't even include the defined benefit pension obligations and health care promises to millions of city and state employees.

    Here's how it look now. I will be working until I'm 95 to pay for the publice employees retirement at 52.

    Lastly, I would have a lot more trust if Henry Paulson signed this short little contract: I, Henry Paulson, will not receive any financial payments, either through consultancy, subcontracting, employement, service fees, off-shore accounts, affliated accounts in my name, LLC's, LP's, or any other form of financial assistance related to me, from any of the firms that are receiving financial assistance from the US Treasury, from now until 2025. My guess is who wouldn't sign it.

    January 4, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  18. Joe

    When you buy stocks you lose control and that is exactly what the Wall Street crooks want.Then you are playing their shell game by their rules.Better to keep it in cash,

    January 4, 2009 at 1:11 am |
  19. Bill

    Your position that no one left 2008 unscathed does not apply to me. 2008 was my best investing year EVER. If people would simply do a little homework, examining the cash flow of many of these companies, it becomes quite obvious they were unsustainable. I shorted LEH, FNM, FRE all to zero. I made hundreds of percent this year; truly my best year by far. I do feel somewhat guilty as I look around; however, I warned many people about this and no one would listen. So here's some more free advice... buy gold as an inflation hedge. Governments can not print billions and billions of (intrinsically worthless) dollars with consequences.

    January 4, 2009 at 1:02 am |
  20. Jerry

    Ali Velshi states, "You have to be in this market, period." Nine hours later, CNN Money senior writer, Alexandra Twin, posts an article on your business page titled "Wall Street: Bracing for Bad News" and and cites the opinion of an investment strategist who believes "... it's likely Wall Street will (make gains and then) drop back down to the lows of last November, or fall even further, as the focus on recession resumes." Your reporting is as volatile as the market.

    I quit investing in the stock market. I think it's also time to quit investing my time in reading the opinions of those who pretend to have the answers.

    January 4, 2009 at 12:59 am |
  21. Ruggy

    I recommend snapping up distressed Real Estate deals. The Stock Market could easily fall another 50% but it's unlikely that Real Estate could ever do the same.

    January 4, 2009 at 12:33 am |
  22. Caral from SoCal

    That would be great advice if I had any money to buy investments with. With paycuts in place, my income is down 30%. With the value of my house fallen below the value of my mortgage, I am stuck here. I haven't just lost my shirt, thank you very much, I am just steps away from losing the closet (in fact the whole house) in which I used to hang that darned shirt.

    January 4, 2009 at 12:16 am |
  23. Richard

    For the last 6 months the experts have been telling us to get back into the market. Most of these experts are only trying to prop up the market for their own selfish reasons. We are in unknown waters, for anyone to say that now is the time to be in the market is simply pushing a new version of a pyramid scheme. We put our money in and temporally drive up stock prices and they sell their stocks before the market eventually goes down again.

    January 4, 2009 at 12:02 am |
  24. josh cox

    Putting money "under the mattress" is the WORST idea right now.
    Further reducing cash flow is what turns recessions into depressions!

    Noel is right about making "real" investments; if you have the resources to do so, buying real estate is always a wise decision, especially with prices low (and if you don't have to finance it).

    However, 401K's are still a wise investment.
    As my father-in-law pointed out over Christmas, a wise investor simply CAN NOT lose with a 401K.

    If you invest the amount that your company matches, no more & no less, then you DOUBLE your investment from the start. Even if your stocks take a 50% loss, you haven't actually LOST anything; so, when you are whining about a 30% loss, you should actually be looking on the bright side that you have gained 40% (trust me, the math holds up). That's a pretty good return on an investment. And, if you invest wisely in safe, slow-growing stocks, they may never "earn" you much, but even a 5% gain becomes a 110% gain (again, trust me, the math holds true).

    January 4, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  25. Andy Rosenberg

    Facinating that someone like Buffett says when to buy stocks but never when to sell.... Frankly, my 401K is only a 205K and falling. Why would/should I listen to YOU and buy stocks now?

    January 4, 2009 at 12:00 am |
  26. Sarah

    Kevin, I share your frustration - it seems that every day brings a new announcement of a plan designed to hand out money to short-sighted bottom-feeders who didn't save anything for a rainy day. Exactly how much money do they think they can squeeze out of us who didn't buy houses we couldn't afford, didn't run up our credit cards with vacations and trips to the mall, and developed a healthy emergency fund to save for a rainy day, including possible unemployment?

    It's frustrating to see legislators fall all over themselves to reward the least responsible members of ours society.

    January 3, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  27. David

    I agree with you guys. I figured I lost about 45 – 50K and my "financial adviser" answer was so did everybody else.

    I was cautious before (at age 58 I figured I planned to retire in 4 years). Now I'm more cautious and I'm going to try to learn more about the market and not trust experts.

    Also beware of load fees and working with someone based on a common affiliation. I hope I learned my lesson.

    January 3, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  28. eddy (toronto canada)

    Ali, the fed and wall street are one big ponzi.

    January 3, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  29. Warren Daniel

    No, NOT everyone... You could have weathered the storm and in fine style in Paradise on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii... Many investors from around the world already know this... They come from Canada, Europe, South America and Asia to this safe, clean, tropical paradise that is the 11th largest city in the U.S. but with over 6 million visitors annually...Property values have been marginally affected, and in some cases increased. High end retailers such as Nordstroms, Target, Whole Foods and others are building stores here and not retreating, as in areas on the mainland. Hawaiian Banks are some of the best rated and strongest in the Nation. There is a 5 Billion $ public works project approved and in the works for elevated public lite transit rail and Disney has broken ground on a half billion dollar project on the West Shore of Oahu...The spirit of Aloha is alive and well here and as Hawaiians we always offer a welcoming and helping hand, including our Hawaiian Born Next President Obama... So live the dream and visit, invest, move and even retire in Hawaii. Yes there is still such a thing as Paradise, even in these trying times...
    Warren Daniel CEO Distinctive Homes Hawaii LLC

    January 3, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  30. ACinNC

    I agree completely. I've got a sizable portfolio and at its worst I was down around $1,000,000. I changed my mix, bought more stock very near the bottom and am making more on the upside than I lost on the way down.. I'm back up $300,000 to $350,000 and have every expectation I will come out of this with even more money than when I started. Of course, I have a high risk tolerance (including using ptions, short sales, etc to leverage my portfolio), a sizable portfolio and no need for the funds for at least 10 years. In times like this you need courage. The old adage about buying when there is blood on the street was never truer than today. This is the buying opportunity of a lifetime for those with the courage to invest.

    January 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  31. Jim,

    Ali – I don't even trust the Banks- many allready lost their shirts next will be the pants & then uncle Greedy will say BEND OVER.

    January 3, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  32. Tony

    After this is all over, They are going to have to do something to repair credit for those affected by the mortgage meltdown as well as those who have lost jobs and have gotten behind on payments. The only way to get the market moving again is to allow the investors back into the market without being penalized for things they had no control over.

    January 3, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  33. Peter in Melbourne

    Thanks Ali for the great advice. But my company has gone under and I no longer have an income. I living from hand to mouth and have nothing to invest.

    The value of a portfolio declining isn't the same as loosing your shirt....

    How do we start again from nothing left in savings, no income and rising unemployment diminishing prospects?

    January 3, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  34. bill, alabama

    What about we retirees who do not have 10-15years for a re-investment into the market to come back and make money because we lost enough on this last fiasco?

    The taxpayer through the treasury bailed out the overzealous investment bankers and the brokerage houses, but we were left sitting by ourselves.

    No one, and I mean no one has done anything to bail us out. The homeowners who bought a home that was too expensive are the next to be helped, but the people who worked, saved, and invested are the one to get the shaft.

    January 3, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  35. Kerry

    For some strange reason, I pulled all my assets from the market, mutual funds and stocks. I felt so strongly about it I had my father (81 yrs old) to pull out all his money from the market. We both realized a lot of gain and will have to pay taxes on it. But, we would have lost 55-60 %, and for my father that would have been devastating......I still don't remember exactly why I pulled everything out. I remember the dot-coms and how I lost 60% then, so this time I knew the market could not go up and up.....

    Wait another year for the market to start recovering, don't go in too early and remember you have a 6 month window to get back in once it starts to recover.

    January 3, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  36. Judy from Halifax, Nova Scotia

    I've heard some predict that Dow will hit 6500 in the next 2 years. There is no reason to believe this has bottomed out. So it's very true that you can do very well if the market has dropped and you're willing to sit thru the ups and downs of the recovery. But what if the market hasn't finished taking the big plunge down and the uneven recovery with all it's ups and downs is actually not even close to starting yet ?

    January 3, 2009 at 8:50 pm |
  37. M. in New England

    Unrealized gains are called unrealized for a reason. You make decisions based on value. With my earned money I am an investor... not a gambler. I believe in America, and I will continue to invest my money in America. I live here, I work here, I and I believe that in the long-run, this crisis will only serve to strengthen our economy by sounding an alarm and awakening us from our slumber. In order to remain great, we must re-devote ourselves to excellence and lean ourselves of fat and rid ourselves of entitlement in order to compete in a hungry and competitive global economy.
    It is way, way passed time to get to work, and now we must work harder and smarter than ever before. We have so many problems to solve and so many future needs to meet. We need new energy sources and new kinds of transportation. We need more efficient homes and better ways to work and communicate. We need lots and lots of focus right here. Education, healthcare, transportation, infrastructure.... all of these things are areas in which we must innovate and grow... fast. We are going to require new ways of financing new businesses.
    It is time to shift the dependence upon retail based, material-consumerism, and re-focus our energy toward innovation. It is time to focus less on what we have and more on who and what we are. Lots of businesses are going to collapse. And lots of businesses will begin. The focus of our needs is shifting. Opportunities are shifting. Sometimes what looks like a death, is really a metamorphosis accompanied by necessary losses. Invest in what you know, and tend your crops.

    January 3, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  38. Bill

    Despite the fact that California is facing its greatest economic crisis in the history of the state, environmentalist extremists are hindering what's left of the business climate with measures designed to curb global warming.

    The Earth cooled in 2008. Last year's global warming hysteria has not yet been countered by responsible media coverage. If the media peers closely at the issue, it will have to acknowledge that Al Gore and his friends have pushed junk science down the World's throat. Global warming is more about the weakness of the human mind and psychological group think. That's the real story.

    January 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  39. kevin las cruces

    i have lost 70 persent of my welth this year and the taxes i pay are bailing everyone out when will it be my turn i would have been better off to put my money in a coffee can and burried it in my back yard

    January 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  40. Grace Bryant - Canada

    I am thankful that my mutual funds have been saved unscathed although the gains are down from last January. Ali is right in his thoughts on this blog, his suggestions are very good and I would suggest to follow his advice.

    January 3, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  41. Matt

    I agree that the market is the best place to invest and now is the time, but having said that, I feel that the lying, cheating, stealing and fraudulent so called "experts" and "keepers of the faith" of our economy have caused me to not want to move any money at this time.
    I'm disgusted!!!

    January 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  42. Noel Cook

    I am purchasing REAL PROPERTY like houses, LAND, and other GOODS that I can convert readily into cash. Lots of people are shying away from the stock market, refusing to put money into it, and I am one of them, nor would I push any clients to do so either. There are other investment strategies besides 401K's, Keogh's, and financial vehicles leading to Wall Street. Screw Wall Street. They stabbed us in the back and we are not coming back.I don't even like putting cash into a bank anymore since I am fearful it will close on my. People dont trust Wall Street or bankers anymore. We are not coming back to you-EVER.

    January 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  43. carol

    What do you recommend for all of the Baby Boomers who want to retire in the next 2 years, the recently retired, or those who bought into the "retire at 55" dream and are 5+ years into living on their retirement investments?

    January 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  44. Maria Isabel, RJ, Brazil

    The global crisis, triggered in the USA, is the most serious in the history of capitalism. No country is immune to its destructive effects. In Brazil, the vulnerability is less cyclical today. Even so, the country has already been reached. Brazil is still very dependent on external liquidity and export of products with low added value of commodities. To prevent the flu turn tuberculosis, all governments need to adopt tougher measures to control the flow of capital and people should contribute in an effective, but for that the people should have sufficient maturity to know that is still to come.

    January 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  45. bob

    Jude Suszko, YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD! One day rally and the financial gurus are all saying to get back in the market. Show me 6 months of sustained growth and I might be interested.

    The market has become so convoluted over the past six decades with their myriad of complex investments that the average investor can't understand them. The days are ahead where Mutual Funds will haunt us, much less Mortgage Backed Securities.

    Don't know the answer but putting it under your mattress doesn't look like a bad idea right now.

    January 3, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  46. Ted

    When I lose or rip my shirt, I just get another one. I definitely don't go and buy stocks.

    January 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  47. Maria Isabel, RJ, Brazil

    We are facing a serious crisis with unpredictable consequences, but crises come and go.
    Even being so serious, when we live the apex of a crisis, we believe that no one will survive to tell the story. Some survive. These survivors have become much stronger and more aware.
    Some people will have to start from point zero, reborn from the ashes, like a phoenix. And the role of the press, this time, can not be pessimistic. The press must relinquish hope.

    Good luck to us all. And what seems hopeless, by force of will, work and struggle, it’s possible a turnaround with a happy ending.

    January 3, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  48. Arden Rynew

    This year has convinced me to stay away from mutual funds. It seems that almost all the "experts" told us to invest in DODGX. (Dodge & Cox Stock Fund – Supposedly a 5 Star Value Fund.) I lost more than 50% of the money I had in it. I lost much less in Stocks. I could track an individual stock much better and exit much quicker. Mutual funds are too submerged. I've also learned not to trust anyone. Yes, I must do homework, but even with homework there are a lot of pitfalls. This is because I can not depend on information sources like Morningstar or in particular, Jim Cramer. Cramer's portfolio lost a lot of money. He's a good salesman, but I won't buy any more snake oil from him. As for Henry Paulson, couldn't take away his $600 Million Dollar Bonus from Goldman Sachs for his S.I.V. Scheme? I don't know if I'm any wiser, but I certainly am more poorer......

    January 3, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  49. charles link

    Where does the money to purchase investments come from?

    January 3, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  50. Jude Suszko

    You suggest that we get into the market now, but how do we know we won't just be propping up stock prices while the big players unload their positions to leave us holding the bag when the market tanks again?

    January 3, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
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