DC politicians have gone all in with your 401ks/IRAs

What's that sound? The U.S. economy — and my 401k — being mistreated.

Anyone else getting sick and tired of watching those nitwits on Capitol Hill play rope-a-dope with our financial standing and economy?

The debt-ceiling “crisis” is boring, I get it. Most Americans just want a good outcome, since well, confidence is already basically shot. But all you Most Americans, wake up, and take a look at your retirement plans. As has been the case all to often the past three years, they are once again crumbling before your blind eyes. Don’t worry, I’ve done some light lifting for you.

For six straight sessions — or days, for the laymen and laywomen — the Dow Jones Industrial average has fallen roughly 600 points. The DWI is perhaps the easiest way to analyze how all the world’s financial markets are doing. It’s not exact, but it’s easy to read and what’s written is: “You’re losing cash, and quickly.”

The dang thing hasn’t gained any ground since April 1. What’s that sound you say? That’s you working and putting money away and getting nothing for it.

That’s how I feel anyway. Meanwhile, these plods in D.C. and their clueless approach to governance does nothing to instill the much needed confidence that any expert will tell you — unless he/she’s a conservative wonk and then it’ll be “less taxes” rhetoric or a liberal wonk and its more spending necessities — is the key to growing an economy.

CONFIDENCE, that intangible, most important of human attitudes is what moves markets, not less taxes or more spending. And we lack it and other countries’ economies lack it and so my 401k lurches every day slightly down.

My 401k is worth roughly $21,000, as of the end of June. Not counting my contributions and my employer’s contributions, that was actually $80 less than three months earlier. So I actually lost nearly a C-note to the ether. Nevermind what’s happened the last week. I’m afraid to do that math.

I also have a small IRA fund managed by a college friend separate from my 401k that idles at just over $1,500. It’s been pretty stagnant for a couple years, during which time I have pushed for my buddy/financial adviser to re-allocate the small fund into investments in China and India. God forbid! all you Made in Americans say.

Well, my confidence may have finally broke thanks to this boring debt-ceiling crisis. It may get resolved today, but longterm, Congress should expect lots of smart money (and my pittance of investment cash) to head someplace where they know how to handle an economy.

College buddy/financial adviser, start researching Beijing movie theater construction companies and Mumbai real estate. Pronto!


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