Thursday, November 20, 2008

Don’t Let Go

The stock market is dropping like a rock.

After a yearlong slide in stocks and a giant bank rescue from Washington, even some pessimists had hoped that the worst might be over. But now, after the Dow Jones industrial average fell below 8,000 on Wednesday, the financial crisis and the bear market it spawned seem to be taking a new, painful turn.

Once again, investors’ confidence in the nation’s financial industry is draining away. And once again, people are rushing for ultra-safe investments like Treasuries. Many analysts agree that the short-term outlook seems grim now that the Dow has fallen below 8,000, a level that had lured buyers again and again in recent weeks.

“When you break through these kinds of levels, it strongly suggests there’s more to go,” said Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research.

I’m no financial wizard, but my guess is that if you own stocks or investments, the roller coaster ride is just beginning. And as they tell you at Cedar Point or any place where they have a roller coaster worthy of the name, “please keep your hands and feet inside the car and hold on until the ride has come to a complete stop or you risk injury or death to yourself and others.”

My broker e-mailed me the other day: “Now would be a great time to buy!” I wrote back, “With what?”