Monday, December 20, 2004

Social Security bullony

There are people in this country that are convinced that the Stock Markets are invincible. So, the grand plan is to have everyone invest in them as if Social Security is a gigantic IRA. So what if you have a freedom to choose which stocks you want? You still are stuck investing in the Stock Markets. Investing in the Stock Markets is not diversification of your finances. It's extremely homogeneous. There's an old rule, whenever everyone is doing the same thang, no one can get a head. It's worse with the Stock Markets. The assumption here is that not only anyone can make money in the Stock Markets, but everyone can! Well in the real world, most people lose in the Stock Markets, pros and amateurs alike. This is where we want to push future retirees to throw their money?
Additionally, with the ever increasing numbers of Babyboomers retiring, more money is going to be pulled out of the Stock Markets than put in. It's the same problem that faces Social Security right now, just in a different venue. The only way to support the retirement system is if the contributions grew exponentially. In other words, putting everyone on a retirement program based on the Stock Markets is a bit like a huge Pyramid Scheme. It is unsustainable after are very short time. It's almost like there's a bunch of people running around the country right now trying to sell America on their Pyramid Scheme so they can make their money and get out, leaving everyone else to hold the bag.
I can't offer an alternative right now, other than to say, less risk is better. The current system is unsustainable too, but its demise will impact the economy much less than the decline of the Stock Markets.
Check out this article for better information on the problem.
I do have some ideas that might help individuals. Diversify! There are other forms of invents besides the Stock Markets.

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