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Look, Jane, Look! Noooooo!
Nightmare on Wall Street

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 — There was a time — four weeks ago, to be precise — when you could check your portfolio without having to screw up your courage. You could drop by every few days, often just to gaze with some mix of hope and pride, like a parent at their kid's school play.

But at some point, the stock market went from national casino to national crisis, and the country acquired a new way to tell people apart: There are those who can bear to look and those who avert their gaze; those who follow the nose-diving value of their investments and those who want to close their eyes and hum until the noise stops. This is what happens when the financial news gets truly grim.

I looked – and not just at last month's mailed mutual fund balances. I plugged in the numbers raw from Wall Street last week.

And I gasped and was amazed. So much money lost. Swept back four years in terms of household wealth.

But you know what? It doesn't really matter. It's all on paper. Makes no difference at all to my current life. By the time I really need it, ten or fifteen years from now, things will be very different.

I lived through the dismal 1970s, the 1987 crash and the fall after the dot-com boom at the beginning of this century. This is worse than any of those, but not that much worse. It may yet deteriorate a bit more or it may begin to recover. Regardless, it cannot go down forever.

So don't be afraid to look. It will get better. 🙂