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Hi RBenford:

You wrote:
I retired in Dec97 and left my 401K in company plan, but moved from Equity Index to the 6%Guaranteed fund. Completed the educational steps and have been reading this board for about a month. I moved back into the Equity Index (S&P 500)just before the recent drop. So far I am down about $15,000 (paper loss), but am quite concerned. I am one of those people who you can use to manage your investments. WHENEVER I INVEST YOU SHOULD SELL. I cannot believe it, but as soon as I moved my money the S&P took a major nosedive. By the way, my wife predicted this would happen and I told her how could I be so powerful to affect the value of 500 stock prices? I do not plan to use this money until age 67 (three years from February) but I am REALLY scared. Can someone reassure me?

Please go to the "quotes" tab at the top of this page, then sellect the symbol for the S&P index (SSPX.X). Select the tab for "Chart", and then on the chart select the option for "3 years".
As you can see, the past three years have shown about a 200 point gain per year, in spite of several downturns equal to or greater than the current. While no one, especially a Fool like me, can say with certainty that the same will be true 3 years from now, I can with reasonably good feeling, say that what is concerning you at present is simply normal and somewhat cylical volatility in the S&P. That you came along and bought at the high end (for the moment) before a drop, is the way of all long term investment. I happened to have bought into one of my stocks the day before it dropped about 10 points. I could have had a heart attack if I was as fidgity as you, because that was about 25% of my retirement and it dropped 8%. I simply clicked off the Fool and went about my other business, and a week later, it was up 15 points from where I had bought. Since then, I am looking at a 200% gain in that particular investment. I fully believe that the S&P will recover from its current slump and do its normal 200 points this year as well, leading to an index of around 2000 by your target date. If it doesn't do quite that, you'll still be a long way ahead of the 6% your currently missing out on.

Fool On RBenfordfool

The Nerdifool
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