Wall Street Meltdown

I don’t know what to do.  I’m perhaps 5-10 years away from needing the money I’ve worked hard for and invested in Wall Street via a couple of mutual funds.  One fund has decreased 40%  in less than a year, the other is doing a bit better. 

Here’s the thing.  I’ve tried to educate myself on the financial markets, but I just don’t get it.  One day the price of crude oil is up because there’s a concern about Hurricane Katrina damaging the offshore oil rigs.  Next thing you know, the price of crude oil is down, but one of the largest hurricanes of the century is bearing down on an area filled with refineries and oil rigs.  What gives?

So I’ve left this money sit for at least 20 years and have done relatively well.  It will determine how my last days on earth are spent.  Do I leave the money and hope this turns around and all is well?  Or do I pull it all out, lick my wounds, and cry in my beer knowing I’ll have much less to help me in my old age?

I’m not sleeping well at night these days.  I’m frightened by what’s happening on Wall Street, by the continued lack of employment and decline in home prices, by the possibility of John McCain and Sarah Palin occupying the White House and not only not helping make these situations better, but actually making them worse. 

How in the world are we going to pay for all of this?  Billions upon billions of dollars to bail out the financial services sectors, billions and billions more being spent on Iraq, jobs being outsourced and even more homes going into foreclosure.  I read over the weekend that there will be another wave of foreclosures coming that will be even greater than the first wave.

So for anyone reading this that thinks it’s a good idea to privatize Social Security, I hope you are paying attention.  Humans are greedy by nature and without proper constraints a few people at the top become obscenely rich at the expense of everyone else.

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