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Playing chicken with the market
Is it time to pull out your retirement savings?
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f you’re at the point where you don't think you can take more stock market losses, said Tom Petruno in the Los Angeles Times, “you have plenty of company. Worldwide.” But is it time to sell and cut your losses? The answer depends on how far off your retirement is, because bear markets don’t last forever.

If you’ve got a decade, “the current crash is actually good news,” said Henry Blodget in Clusterstock. In fact, it would be great if stocks stayed this low for a decade—dividend-reinvestment will buy you more shares for when the market recovers, and selling now would be “market-timing at its worst.” If you have only five years, your savings shouldn’t have been in stocks.

Investing in “booming overseas markets” was supposed to protect U.S. portfolios from losses, said Ben Steverman in BusinessWeek online, but that has backfired, as the U.S. crisis spreads overseas. So while it’s probably too late to pull out of your foreign holdings, the U.S., ironically, is now seen as “a relatively safe haven.”

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