Can the Bull Market Last?

If you stayed in the market through the recession, you may be patting yourself on the back as a successful buy-and-hold investor. I took a hybrid approach.  I didn’t sell into the falling market but I shifted new money away from equities. This allowed our retirement investments to recover with the market upturn beginning in March 2009, while reducing our overall risk from a double-dip bear market. Many are now asking whether this bull market can last.

< Let’s tale a quick look at what others are writing about retirement investing and the current bull market. Because I am a fan of investing toward a plan of guaranteed retirement income, I am inclined to listen to those who are skeptical about the future path of the current bull market.

As one example, Paul Farrell is of the opinion that we are being fooled by Wall Street propaganda. He cites plenty of evidence of a repeated historical pattern of so-called experts blowing smoke up our you-know-what, just to get us buying again.

This article on Ways to Boost Income on Retirement Holdings features financial planners talking about different strategies for retirement investors in today’s market. Risk vs. reward is the theme and so-called “capital preservation” is given lip-service. But no one seems to focus specifically on lifestyle preservation.

If you want proof that the experts probably don’t know any more than you do about what is to come for retirement investors, consider the split results of a survey of economists about prospects for inflation. No consensus means that the future is as unpredictable now as it was two years ago. It’s all very disappointing for baby boomers trying to make a smart decision about their investing.

I will repeat my mantra for at least part of your portfolio: Invest first for lifestyle preservation, i.e., guaranteed retirement income.

My bottom line: Can the bull market last? Yes it can, but don’t bet your retirement on it.

For more personal finance and baby boomer reading this week, don’t overlook the articles in the Carnival of Personal Finance and Boomers and Seniors: News You Can Use.

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