The money's spent. With a quarter of the nation's annual budget marked solely for servicing our national debt (forget about the principal), tax revenue doesn't come close to covering even that much. And this is before recently enacted and incredibly expensive entitlements come due. As usual, the Beltway crowd has yet to learn simple fiscal lessons experienced by so many overextended homeowners.
I'm not a pessimist; I'm just adding the numbers. Two plus two equals four, no matter how hard they try to make it five. Acknowledging this makes me a realist. The latest market rally is in large part due to the government's stimulus action and can't be sustained on that alone. Inject more money to keep it going--whether in a jobs bill, another stimulus or whatever--and we end up like Greece.
We've got historically high unemployment, bank failures that outpace last year and home foreclosures as high as any previously seen. Despite rosy media coverage, economists are reluctant to call the end of the recession. We now see why.
Which brings me to my point (finally). None of it matters. If you're doing what you should be doing for your clients' retirement, fluctuations of any caliber shouldn't impact the portfolio. They haven't for Mark Cortazzo, who we're proud to announce as our 2010 Boomer Market Advisor of the Year. He got his clients through it all unscathed, and to hear him describe it, it wasn't complicated. He has a keen eye for fundamentals and lacks the product bias that dooms so many "sophisticated" advisors. No whining, no complaining; just solid execution. In short, he's real. Exactly the type of advisor so many retirees and near-retirees will increasingly come to rely on.
For so many others, the case can be made this last downturn was unlike any we've ever experienced. Fine, now we've experienced it. Learn the lessons and ensure it doesn't happen again.