Friday, July 22, 2005

Gamblin' man

This article in today's NY Times rang a bell with me. The premise: Alan Greenspan has forced us all to become gamblers. Before he took over, "banks were advertising one-year certificates of deposit at more than 8 percent, more than double the annual inflation rate." Now, the safest investments barely keep pace with inflation, if at all. (Except for I-Bonds) So you have no choice but to take risks.
I think at my first job, I had some vestige of a defined-benefit pension plan, but ever since then, it's been "you're on your own, baby." Lord only knows what they'll do to Social Security, I don't think I can count on having any. So all my retirement plans are totally in my own hands, for me to manage as best I can. If I didn't have some interest in managing my money, I wouldn't be writing this blog, but the fact is, I have nothing but common sense and very basic research to guide me. I never even took Econ 101. If I've done ok so far, it's mostly luck. (And I've made some choices that haven't gone so well-- see post re. buying GM stock!) It's like playing poker or blackjack-- there may be some factors you can control, but in the end you're at the mercy of chance. Poker is certainly very popular these days, but would you really want to stake your retirement on it?

1 comment:

Madame X said...

All true. It would be nice if I could count on having SS and a traditional pension for some part of my retirement, and my own savings for the rest-- I would never not do my own saving. It's that idea of having a bit of a safety net.