essays

Make Up Your Mind!

stock boardAre boomers going to kill the stock market or create great investment opportunities? Or is the answer both?

Financial analysts (where do you go to school for that job?) are warning that as boomers hit retirement, there will be a big sell-off as they liquidate their assets. This could, in turn, put a dent in stock prices.

I’m no analyst or stock expert (phew!), but it seems to me that the stock market seems to tank on rumors of anything (Greece default, gloomy Fed forecasts, take your pick), so the prospect of boomer asset liquidation seems like just one more lame excuse for depressed stock prices.

But the real flaw in the boomer asset liquidation prognostications is that analysts actually believe that there are a lot of boomers out their who are in any position to retire. The anecdotal evidence I can collect is that a big batch of boomers are nowhere near ready to retire and won’t be liquidating any assets anytime soon unless it’s due to an underwater mortgage or loss of a job.

Another flaw? As boomers start leaving the stock market (and I concur that they will eventually, albeit not in the stampede some are predicting), the depressed stock prices mean that the liquidated assets will be substantially lower in value than a retiree would have hoped.

But fear not. Even the analysts are quick to ouijapoint out the silver lining in lower stock prices is that younger generations can afford to buy bluechip stocks. In other words, our loss is their gain. Wow, that is good news! It’s always good to know that someone can profit from a down market.

Sad to say, we may be looking at a years-long (as in 3 or 4) economic recovery, and that means we will all be working longer and retiring later. If we still have jobs.

Am I the only one that thinks a ouija board has more chance of being right on which way the market is moving?

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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