Financial Planning

Financial planning: Hold ’em or fold ’em?

Poker NPR's John Ydstie asked an interesting question a couple of days ago:

In the wake of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, have the rules of saving for retirement changed?

The stock market has traditionally played a big role in most retirement plans. Confidence in the market is waning, though, and that leaves some investors questioning conventional wisdom.

Others, though, cling to the tried-and-true formula.

"The real message is, we're going to get big rises and big declines in the stock market, and if you keep investing through them you will build yourself a terrific retirement account," John Bogle, who founded the Vanguard Group, told Ydstie.

At its worst, the crisis stole about 40 percent of the money my wife and I had stashed away for retirement. We're fortunate, though, to be young enough to ride out the storm. We kept our money where it was and have made back most of our losses as the market rebounds.

I realize not everyone has that luxury, though -- and that the market might not have yet completed its evolution. Our portfolio might have to evolve a bit more before all is said and done.

Ydstie's report was thought-provoking, to be sure ... but I'd rather hear from you financial planners out there.

Are you seeing any changes in the ways your clients save for retirement? Are they fleeing the market and embracing more conservative strategies? Or are they staying put and trusting in the market?

More important, what do you think? What kind of advice are you handing out during these difficult days?


Bill Sheridan