65 Stupid; 70 Crazy; 75+ Unhinged and Totally Out of Time
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65 Stupid; 70 Crazy; 75+ Unhinged and Totally Out of Time

In the best of times, the stock market goes up and down, always without advance notice. And those ups and downs can never be predicted precisely. But, when they go down big time, it is often after a period of sustained growth and the lulling of people into believing that things have changed and that the only direction for the market it up.

We are at such a moment now, believing that this time the market will never go down. And, this is actually a time when things are really unstable (the presidency, tariff wars, political crises, and much more). So, it doesn’t take a genius, even a slightly intelligent person, to come to terms with the fact that the market will drop and drop precipitously. And, it will do so very soon.

But like times past, most people in the market will try to “stay the course,” unwilling to suffer a small loss over a short period of time before all comes tumbling down. And, that is the problem. People cannot, it seems, let go before the market turns down, even when it is obvious that it will do so in the immediate future. It is stupid, but it is also human behavior, not wanting to let go of a good thing -- until it is no longer. But, that kind of hesitancy will play out now as it has over and over again in the past badly for the vast majority of people.

But, it is the older people among us who will pay especially dearly for a lack of resolve. They, unlike most others, simply do not have the time to recover major losses in the market that will come from not acting now. It seems so obvious, but reality is often in conflict with the lull that comes from enjoying recent gains.

So, no matter how bright the flashing yellow lights may be, it is human for young and old, to hold on for just a little bit more. But that little bit more will be the downfall of the oldest among us. If you are such a person, or know someone 65 and older, do your best to get them to raise cash now.

Compare savings rates here.

Daniel Socolow
Daniel Socolow: President, Socolow Group. Former Director of the MacArthur Fellows Program, President of the American University of Paris, Vice President of Spelman College. BA, MA, Ph.D.

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