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Taking stock(s) of your retirement fund

Are you mad at the dudes and dudettes who ciphered themselves a large, large, pile of dough by selling at the right time, while you, per your adviser and the so-called experts on television news shows, stayed the course during the tumble? (They say stay the course when numbers are rising, too. Oh, to know when not to stay the course.) Are you mad at our political leaders, congressmen and women, representatives and senators and president, for not being heads up to the point at which they could have saved us our paper fortunes? Are you mad at them for charging us for the fix? If you dont have money in the market are you mad anyway because folks you know, and millions you dont, have seen their retirement savings cut, in many cases almost in half, by beady-eyed greedy dastardly nasty fancy-college-going, cigar chomping multi-generational Wall Street pin-heads who in your mind are simply not good people if only for the fact that they have more money than you? A year ago when the Dow was over fourteen thousand youd see a one-day gain of seven percent and think on that days haul alone you could afford you and your wife a fancy vacation, or at least dinner. Now a one-day seven percent gain may still be enough to send you on a vacation, but will most likely be washed well away by an eleven percent loss tomorrow. Does that make you mad? Does feeling anxious about your monthly statements to the point at which you dont open them make you mad? Are you mad, mad, mad, because debt-paid-dead youre worth a silly sized chunk less than you were only a couple moons ago? All the smarties say these type market losses happen every fifteen years or so and if you are a long term investor youll be right back, and even above, what you were when the calendar shown 2007. But you cant believe them because they dont look so smart crying the blues, and what you imagined to be truth, you now feel is actually true, that is, you cant trust them anymore. Anyway, wasnt your trust based more than partially on your own affair with greed? Are you mad because of that? Im not mad, Im happy. Im happy because I feel this section of our countrys financial life has taught me its not wrong to listen to my own instincts. Ive done well through this trouble cause I, for some strange reason, like the old logger with a steal plate in his head is able to feel when the rains will begin, felt this coming, and took care. Im also not mad because its never good to be mad, especially at other people, especially when it relates to money, especially because they dont control our finances unless we ask them to. Should perhaps anger for our personal financial difficulties be, in large part, pointed at ourselves more often than not? I should say so. Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act The Logger. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at rustyd@pshift.com. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com

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