It’s retirement savings plan time here in Canada, the deadline having been yesterday for the 2011 tax year.
Ever since I got out of the equities markets, I’ve been able to detach myself from the transactions that used to either inflame or soothe me, depending on which way the wind was blowing on any given day. I never thought that my own specialty, Psychology, would turn out to be the most useful discipline in understanding market performance, but that was in the days before I had realized that it was all a highly manipulated Casino game.
I bought gold two years ago, much to the protestations and almost ridicule of my broker. I bought it at $985/oz and today it’s around $1700/oz. The stocks she was pushing all tanked. I had no specialist knowledge of the stock market, but it seemed like a good bet that with all the emerging global turmoil, gold was a reasonable option.
Markets were in the toilet until about two months ago, and then, lo and behold, just before RRSP season, they perked up to rousing endorsements from all the gurus in the press. Nothing has changed in the world. Iran has cut off the oil supply to much of Europe, the Arab Spring has produced nothing but weeds, and Greece will likely default since little has changed there economically. Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Italy, are all waiting in the wings for their own economic Armageddon. But stock prices are up on “renewed confidence” according to the expert talking-heads.
Standing back from my former vested interest in the market’s performance, it’s clear that this is nothing more than the care and feeding of the sheep prior to the inevitable cull. Everyone sings the same song: “Yes, but I can’t live with only 1-2% growth, I’ve got to retire”. My perspective is somewhat different: While I may not like it, I can live with 1-2%, but I can’t live with a 25% drop! Having listened to and invested with top-tier advisers over the last 20 years, my very modest portfolio remains at the same level it was when I started, plus the additional capital funds I’ve put in over that time.