All week long, all I heard was the stock market is down as investors take risk off the table, and I want to scream. I've written about this over and over, and I will continue to shout when this line is used because it is simply a huge mistake and the wrong message. The notion that investing is the risk in a nation where only a handful of people are prepared for retirement is a disservice of the highest order. It also dovetails with the greater narrative that being an owner is not worth the effort. Moreover, if you endeavor to be extraordinary and achieve, then you have somehow gamed the system and are a villain. In the America being shaped by the administration and its crony's, individual achievement is the enemy.
The idea that we must lean on one another to reach common goals works in war and football but even then there is the assumption everyone is trying their individual best. In the society being promoted these days', slackers would have cover to underperform while those with the spirit to achieve will be discouraged. That's the real risk in this world. The fact is we are in a crisis and anyone thinking so-called safety nets and taxing the "rich" will solve the problem isn't being honest or smart. They are being vindictive and jealous and dumb. In the meantime there is an amazing sense of urgency for individuals to find ways to augment their income and grow wealth.
Fidelity Investments updated is report on how much a retiring couple would need to cover healthcare costs. This year the number leaped to $240,000 up 4.3% year over year and 50% from the initial reading in 2002 (at the rate of inflation the number would be $204,017). That is a lot of money, and it doesn't factor those enormous expenses associated with end of life care. By the way this retiring couple is on Medicare. The fact is the individual must prepare for a golden retirement and that means they have to make investments. It doesn't have to be the stock market but something must be done so you aren't tethered to the mailbox every two weeks waiting for checks that only cover the basics.
People are living longer and want to have fun in those years. It's not going to happen in a system that takes your fate out of your hands and puts it in the hands of a welfare nation. The greatest risk in the world is sitting on your hands.