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View Diary: The heat is on: decimates Boehner and the republicans (229 comments)

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  •  It's very probable (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lujane, outragedinSF, ChadmanFL, Delilah

    that whatever happens in the next week, the US dollar will no longer be the world's major currency -- but in time. Financial markets have seen this coming for some time, and a lot of people fully expect the yuan to move up within the next 10-15 years.

    So, while change is coming, and this ginned-up crisis is exacerbating it, your doomsday scenario is likely a bit overstated for the moment.

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:03:14 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I've said this for many, many years (5+ / 0-)

      Don't invest in American stocks and bonds.  I have consistently kept <20% of my 401k/stocks in the U.S. market for years now and the bulk of my money in foreign stocks and commodities and it's served me well.  Sad to say but the era of averaging >8% returns per year in the Dow and S&P 500 are history.  The U.S. market returns are looking more and more like Japan over the past two decades.

      •  That is incredibly scary, because most people (7+ / 0-)

        (self included) have only a very limited opportunity to invest our 401 money in foreign stocks/bonds. That means most of us are locked into a market caught in the doldrums fro the rest of our working lives.

        I hadn't thought of it until you mentioned it, because I assumed that if the dollar goes, every dollar denominated asset (which are also foreign stocks bought in US mutual funds) goes as well.

        •  I had the same problem years ago (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          My company offered very limited 401k options.  Thankfully they expended our options greatly and we now have plenty of low expense international and emerging market funds.  This is probably because I work for a large company.  Smaller companies unfortunately give workers fewer options.  

      •  My 1980's self-directed no-fee IRA (5+ / 0-)

        has been convenient. This week, the account is held by Wells Fargo Investments. It's been through about 20 different holders over the years. I opened the account in person at a small, local, broker's office that was dumb enough to offer an account that was no-fee for life.

        I can't count the number of times that they've tried to convert my account to a fee-based IRA. Every excuse in the book has been tried.

        So I've made similar moves in investments, foreign mutual funds included in the mix. Still, the US economy has had a very negative impact overall, just when I really need the funds.

        I'm surprised that many people assume that a retirement plan such as a 401k that's offered by their employer is their only option. It's always wise to put as much as you can into your IRA, but you have many options available to you outside of your employer's plan. The convenience of an automatic IRA payroll deduction is probably best for most people. Not many, me included, have the discipline to do this on their own.

        "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

        by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:15:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the problem (6+ / 0-)

          People were never meant to invest their own funds for retirement.  The overwhelming majority of Americans have never taken so much as a basic finance course.  Even many college graduates have no clue what a stock or bond is.  Basically what happened over the past two decades or so is pensions were cut and people thrown into 401k's with literally no guidence on how to invest properly.  It also doesn't help that 401k's have very little regulation/oversight.  This is how people at companies like Enron had 100% of their investments in company stock that ended up worthless.  Thankfully I'm a Finance grad knowledgable about this stuff for my own sake.

          As far as IRS's, Roth, etc. go forget about it.  Most folks only know about 401k's because their company offers it.  The 401k actually could have a positive impact on retirement for most people IF they were highly regulated by government and people were better educated on them.  Australia has something similar to the 401k/IRA called Superannuation that works reasonably well due to greater regulation, enforced 9% employer contributions and public knowledge.  But good luck getting Congress to do anything on the regulation front here.

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