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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An Old Folks' Guide to Solvency

No one can successfully predict the future.
There are too many variables in the financial picture
To be resolved in easy steps.
For the older investor, long term is short term.

The big boys down at the pool room
Have time-honored rules that are generally helpful.
"Hold your gains; sell your losses."
"Don't sell into a panic."

"Don't double down your losing investment."
"Don't try to time the market."
"Maintain a diversified portfolio."
"Rebalance periodically."

The sophisticated investor violates all those rules.
He/she reads Section C of the Wall Street Journal,
Absorbs all the conflicting news,
Plots trends in his/her head, and acts on gut feel.

Both the dotcom bubble and the housing bubble
Were foreseen months ahead and duly reported.
Anyone who paid attention to the financial news
Could avoid being trapped by either.

Current financial dangers are a run on the dollar
Together with galloping inflation.
Both threaten the value of our fixed investments.
But there is not much we can do about it as investors.

Don't buy gold or some other nutty dodge.
Have faith that the ship of state will right itself.
Congress is too scared to pursue bold steps now;
We are always better off when Congress does nothing.

If you have sufficient means for long-term care
And something more; spend it while you can
And enjoy life as much as possible.
That's what my children tell me.