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"Playing the market really isn't that much different than playing the lottery. They're both a gamble, only the investment and stakes are higher."

So opines Jill Nelson (MSNBC writer), preaching her brand of ill-conceived horse-sense in today's article "Working-class Wall Street - For small investors, a sucker's game."

Ms. Nelson laments how we silly Americans have abandoned plowing money into 1.5%-yielding savings accounts, and instead taken to the insanity of our throwing hard-earned wages into the stock market (read: out the window). Further:

"Reassurances from millionaire financial gurus and pundits abound. If they have a mantra for the rest of us, it's “Hang in there!” What few seem interested in discussing are the underlying reasons why such a significant number of working people, eschewing traditional savings accounts with their small but reliable interest rates, have chosen to gamble on the stock market."

Ms. Nelson is, it seems, unacquainted with Foolery. Ms. Nelson is, it seems, is unaware of the stock market's track record of double digit returns over the past several decades. Ms. Nelson is, it seems, unaware of the phenomenon known as inflation.

Ms. Nelson, it seems, is wedded to the anachronism of 'work hard, save some, and you should be able to count on economic security.' Why? Because you just should, and things would be nicest if that were true.

"The sad fact is that when it comes to investing in the stock market, many of us have already lost. We no longer believe that hard work will be rewarded, that retirement will be a time of economic security, or that government programs like Social Security will be there to lend a hand."

What frustrates me about ridiculous articles like this one is that nascent Fools, taking their first uncertain steps toward seizing control of their own financial destiny, are often easily persuaded to return to their former, "safer" ways. Who knows how many Fools-to-be will take this sort of bad advice to heart. Not many, I hope.

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