It seems lately, the harder you work to save for retirement, the less you actually have.
When will the market stop declining?
How can you manage to keep track of your investments while providing care for a loved one?
What is REALLY going on?
Let’s look at the last question first. After thirty years of investing (read brief bio about my investing experience), and living through four of these drops in the market, I am getting increasingly suspicious of our markets–in particular, the May 6th 1,000-point drop.
Two things about the May 6th market drop surprise me–
One, we still haven’t figured out what happened. You mean to tell me, with all our technology, we still don’t know what really occurred to cause such a dramatic drop in 20 minutes?
Instead, reports point to a host of disparate reasons such as a trader mistakenly entering Billion instead of Million, a hedge fund trading a large number of contracts, the NYSE slowing down trades while desperate traders have their trades filled through the electronic exchanges, or market makers filling orders at $0.01 due to some never-before-used model of pricing of securities in order to ensure a market exists for them.
You should be! It makes no sense!
Two, after a brief recovery from that 1,000 point-drop, stocks are still heading back down to this May 6th level. If the May 6th drop was truly an (unexplained) anomaly, why are the markets declining again and touching or even going below these lows?
I am not by nature a conspiracy thinker–focusing instead on the goodness in our world.
After all, I learned a big life-lesson after tasked with clearing out my hoarder parents’ home of 45 years–don’t accumulate and get rid of things I don’t need. I’m still getting through my paper clutter; but, c’mon, I want to keep my dollar bills!
Yet, a bit of conspiracy thinking creeps in as I reflect on what happened.
What if we’re being played here?
What if the elite who control the top 1% who own 80% of the world’s riches are manipulating the markets in such a way to keep us hopeful and satisfied? The markets recover a bit and we forgive all as we tend to our jobs and caregiving. The elite follow this recovery with an orchestrated disaster and the global markets decline while they reap their harvest.
The truth is, this affects you whether you invest in stocks, ETFs, or place your money in CDs, money market funds, and even your mattress. Those dollars in your mattress are depreciating with each breath you take. Who will pay for all the spending to get our nation strong again? We will, with inflated dollars.
Even the “big boys”–the ones who manage our 401Ks, IRAs, pensions, and our other investments are affected by market manipulation. The only difference is they still collect their multi-million dollar compensation packages; whether or not our 401Ks appreciate or our pensions are suitably funded. Sometimes, the “big boys” get called on the carpet or fired after a very public blunder. (Orchestrated by the elite?) What happens then? Some settle for a lifetime retirement package worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The interesting footnote is they rarely retire for long. They’re often tapped for another leadership position, a teaching position, or for a role in government.
Is there a problem with this picture?
You and I, middle-class Americans, are left shouldering this burden (through declining portfolios, higher taxes, and higher-priced goods). Clawing our way toward The American Dream and a better life for ourselves, while trying to maintain sanity as we manage caregiving responsibilities; we are left feeling helpless and trapped.
And that’s not all!
Have you considered the pressure today’s news and declining markets place on our elderly parents whose lifetime savings, fixed incomes, and pensions are threatened? Just a few short years ago, they could tap the appreciated value of their homes to afford in-home care. They could even sell them for a profit and move into an assisted living community.
It’s no wonder the numbers of people being diagnosed with dementia are rising. Look at the stress we’re all enduring!
How much more of this can we take?
We need your thoughts. Together, our voices will be heard loudly.
Please add your comment below.
Brenda Avadian, MA
Caretaker to The American Dream
Founder & Editor of TADWU.us and TheCaregiversVoice.com
See related post: Financial Analysts are Bad for Markets.