Thursday, September 29, 2005

What Not to Do

The Motley Fool instructs us on how to ensure a miserable retirement:
  1. "Don't worry about calculating how much you'll need for retirement; don't save or live below your means. After all, saving is much less fun than spending."
  2. "Good old Uncle Sam will take care of you. Medicare and Social Security are all you'll ever need to live in the lap of luxury."
  3. "Bond yields are low, and returns on cash are staggeringly low. Don't be satisfied with a measly 3% return on your cash. Follow the herd and get in on some volatile market action. A good place to start is real estate, which is a no-brainer with prices flying so high today. You can employ all kinds of destructive instruments for a chance at better returns. Let's start with leverage. Borrow the money you need, and better yet, use an interest-only loan. Then speculate in a condo in Miami. Everybody else is doing it -- 40% to 70% of condos in the Miami area are being bought as investments. That could definitely end badly. Using large amounts of leverage in a speculative market is a fine recipe for fiscal disaster."
  4. "There's no need to research your investments or even know exactly what business they're in."
  5. "Asset allocation is for fuddy-duddies. Make sure you invest all of your savings in few obscure, high-risk investments. If you want to make some serious money, you've got to pick something that's difficult to understand and very technical."
  6. "You just retired and earned yourself an extra 40 hours of free time each week. What are you going to do? Eating out and shopping are two great hobbies. We've heard a lot of stories from folks who took the lump sum and spent it in the first five years!"

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