Friday, October 10, 2008

Stock Market

Folks, I want to interrupt this series on Being Used by God to post a letter of comfort. I used to be one of the financial writers for AOL, and I used to write the investment advice column for the Fortune 500 Company that I used to work at.

I want to send a message of comfort to my readers about the current economic crisis. I asked God why He didn't lead me to get out of the Stock Market last year, and I got an answer. I'm going to be all right, but how can I say that to someone whom God left behind when He told me to get out before the decline?

Most people in the world are too poor to own stocks, but most of my readers do. Stock market declines occur on a regular basis, and even the worst ones eventually end. Because bad news is more exciting, TV and radio like to broadcast bad news, even though there are many good things going on in the economy. The price of oil is dropping steadily, while the strength of the dollar is increasing steadily. Two months ago, $1,000 bought me 9,600 pesos. This morning it bought me 12,500 pesos.

Much of the decline was called for, but a lot of it is nothing but fear. Today (Friday, October 10) the Stock Market plunged 8% early in the day, then rallied 7% before the Market closed. Whatever else it means, it means this: much of the turmoil is due to panic and profit-taking, not to economics. Over the long term, the Market responds to economics more than to anything else.

I am re-assuring retired Christians here in Mexico that God has not abandoned them. We'll be okay, and so will you.

Adios, Vicente

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