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Subject:  Time for a Few Small Repairs Date:  1/22/2008  3:45 AM
Author:  SpecBear Number:  27136 of 531

Thank heaven for whisky, cigs, and lolcats.  I strongly recommend that you stock up on your coping mechanism of choice for dealing with what's coming.

Yeah, I'm running low on optimism these days.  Seriously.  If there were an ETF that tracked my level of optimism, shorting it would be an excellent idea.  Unless something very interesting happens between now and morning, the market's going to be down big at the open.  And this is on top of already being down 10% for the year (all three weeks of it).

I'm pretty sure this is just the beginning.

Much of my negativity towards the future of the market comes from my experience with the tech crash.  I made my first attempt at investing back in 2001.  The Nasdaq had dropped about 70% from its high and recovered a bit, so I figured it was safe to say we'd hit the bottom of the tech crash.  If you look at the chart for the following two years, you'll see why it took me until 2006 to work up the nerve to start investing again.

The lesson:  Calling a bottom based on arbitrary numbers is pointless and hazardous to your portfolio.  The best you can do is try to figure out what's driving the market down, and assume that the bottom is near once it's no longer a factor.  This isn't going to be over until fear wins out over greed and transparency wins out over fraud.

By the way, have you ever seen what happens when somebody actually tries to catch a falling knife?  I have.  It's not a pretty sight.  Unless you enjoy bloodshed and stitches, I strongly advise against it.
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