A Bear Market is Your Friend

A friend of mine posted this comment on Facebook last week “Yeah!  The market is up 345 points! Finally it is going in the right direction.”  Well, I was NOT happy at all to hear this news.  You see, that day (Thursday October 27th) was the day our company made its annual contribution for all of our employees – the employer matching contributions to everyone’s 401(k). I was certainly happy to receive a company contribution but not so happy about the timing. Because mutual funds pick up the end of day pricing, that means everyone in our company received a contribution to their 401(k) AFTER the market went up that day.  If the contribution had been made a day earlier, all of us who invest in stock funds would have been over three percent richer. Read more

Why Didn’t I Sell?

“Why didn’t I sell before the market dropped?”  is a question I got from a caller to our helpline last week.  This is a common question, as you can imagine, after a big drop in the market or during an extended bear market.  This caller was extremely frustrated because he was stuck between a rock and a hard place.  He had already turned in his paperwork to retire within the month (too late to cancel) and was making a transfer from his 401(k) to a pension purchase to provide additional fixed income – essentially changing the goal of this money from long term growth to income.  The market drop would lower his monthly income for the rest of his life because his lump sum was being used to calculate his monthly income payment.  He was distraught. Read more

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