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I strongly but respectively disagree with the previous advice. I do agree that you must choose a strategy that you are comfortable with.

And I strongly disagree with how this perspective is presented although not with the conclusions, and not with the suggestion to choose a strategy that you are comfortable with.

A few days ago I asked if anyone had seen a crash that lasted longer than 6 weeks. I guess I need to refine the point. Their hasn't been a crash or bear market that lasted longer than 7 1/2 weeks for 25 years. Thats a quarter of a century! What are the real risks here?

If you're going to retire early, I hope you are planning on more than 25 years of retirement, in which case you should be prepared for that 25 year event, or even a 100 year event! In my case, I plan on following a strategy close to that recommended by ChuckONeil, but that is with the full knowledge that I'm likely to see at least one major bear market during retirement. I'll keep less than three months of living expenses in cash and the rest in stocks. When the market is good, I'll make a better profit on all my holdings, while during the bear markets I'll have to sell "at a loss." My expected return is higher that way, although variations will also be higher. I don't have a problem with that and I've planned my balances accordingly. More important, I'm psychologically ready to handle that major market downturn when it happens, which is a prerequisite for any financial strategy.

Feel free to keep as much or as little in stocks as you are comfortable with, but give that number some serious thought. Don't dismiss the sort of event that only happens every 25-50 years, especially not for a retirement that should last 25-50 years.
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