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Old March 5th, 2013, 05:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hugo Chavez Dead: How do you think this will impact the Venezuelan people & the US.

Caracas, Venezuela (CNN) -- Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who cast himself as a "21st century socialist" and foe of the United States, died Tuesday, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro.

Chavez, who had long battled cancer, was 58.

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Old March 5th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't know if it will change much. We'll see if they actually have fair, non rigged elections.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 06:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The government is going for a quick election - as specified in the constitution - so I expect the only change will be that they'll win more with more than the 55% they got last time around.

Chavez has been out of action for a while now so the govt has some experience of running the country without him. I expect they'll be fine for a while, though probably no less anti-US - the vice-president said that the US (well, he didn't actually name the US, but you knew who he meant) gave Chavez his cancer yesterday. The fact that Chavez and most of the dodgy tyrants he hung out with are dead now clearly isn't going to make them any less entertaining.

Be interesting to see what happens at the next election, though. Have to hope that no American is involved in an assasination attempt on any future president.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 09:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't know if it will change much. We'll see if they actually have fair, non rigged elections.
To be fair, the last election was not rigged. Of course, the media is somewhat restricted and there are plenty of shadowy things going on, still Chavez got a margin of 10%.

As for Hugo himself. He lifted an awful lot of people out of poverty and helped address the issue of inequality in Venezuela. His methods though were lacking at best. Seemingly random, and unfair, nationalisation has led to a capital flight. Venezuela is not a country one would want to invest in. Furthermore, stupid, dumb measures such as subsidising petrol to the extent that it costs 5-8% what it does in Europe per litre are indicative of Chavez's typical 'sounds good' economic strategy.

Chavez may have helped a lot of Venezuelans, and the economy to an extent, but he was not a good or intelligent premier in my opinion. Furthermore, his foreign policy was idiotic in the extreme. Constantly criticising the US and Europe, while supporting dictators such as Gadaffi and Assad was painful to watch.

Hopefully Venezuela will move away from Chavismo - any benefits such leadership may bring have run their course at this stage. What Venezuela needs now is a smart leader, who isn't in the pockets of the rich, but actually understands the necessity of capital, and knows how to run an economy.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 10:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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My only quibble is with the comment regarding the media being 'somewhat' restricted. I think when you send a judge to jail for siding with a journalist who criticised you, that's a little more than 'somewhat' restricted

Apparently, Chavez himself claimed his rabid anti-Americanism was because three Americans were involved in an attempted assassination that very nearly killed him. The only reason it failed was a guard who was involved realised the killers would also kill any witnesses and turned his gun on them.

Naturally, Chavez blamed the CIA. Don't know if there's any truth in that. I know at one time the CIA stopped assassinations, however it is killing an awful lot of (mostly innocent) people these days.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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(Happy Dance) Hugo is dead and the smell of sulfur permeates the country side. It is a great day, ain't it?
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Old March 6th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Apparently, Chavez himself claimed his rabid anti-Americanism was because three Americans were involved in an attempted assassination that very nearly killed him. The only reason it failed was a guard who was involved realised the killers would also kill any witnesses and turned his gun on them.[/COLOR]

Naturally, Chavez blamed the CIA. Don't know if there's any truth in that. I know at one time the CIA stopped assassinations, however it is killing an awful lot of (mostly innocent) people these days.
Not sure those that tried to eliminate that oozing black but boil would kill the guard who was just doing his job poorly.

Does not seem reasonable.

And who really knows what some guard over there has to say. Perhaps he was more scared of what Chavez would do to him if he did not turn his guns of these mean old killers.

Perhaps this guard is telling a story just to stay alive? That is, if he does not say what he was told to say, he is ended prematurely. Or his family.

Not sure the story is accurate.

The CIA could have been behind it. They are not allowed to work in this country. Perhaps they do after all. Nobody in this group is deep enough inside these three letter groups to know anything anyway.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 06:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Cuba is probably shitting bricks wondering if the tap will be turned off on all of the free oil they have been getting.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 09:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Not sure the story is accurate
Almost certainly not, but it's what Ken Livingston, the former London mayor who did a lot of work with Chavez and had a good personal raport with him, reported that Chavez himself claimed.

As for Cuba, I'm sure they are watching the situation with interest

Truth is, with Ramon at 84, Fidel at 85 and Chavez's Socalist Party likely to win the forthcoming election, chances are good that Venezuelan policy's not going to change until after the Castros - and with them, the remnants of the communists - have gone.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 01:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well, according to that Kennedy tv commercial? Chavez was a great leader helping the American poor with help for their heating bills. Kennedy will miss him. I surely won't.
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Old March 8th, 2013, 03:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've made a remembrance piece in my bathroom for him....

Got the taps engraved with his initials ;-)
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Old March 8th, 2013, 05:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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me too!
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Old March 11th, 2013, 08:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Well, according to that Kennedy tv commercial? Chavez was a great leader helping the American poor with help for their heating bills. Kennedy will miss him. I surely won't.
Some of the things he did for the poor were pretty good, there's no getting around it. There were also reasonable arguments for nationalising some companies/industries where the Venezualans had been royally screwed.

On the other hand, some of the things he did with the opposition and dodgy dictators across the world, not so much.

But anyone with an ounce of compassion will miss a world leader who stood up before the press and said "Mr Bush, you are a donkey".

Classic.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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People that praise Chavez absolutely do not know their history. Clearly, that is a problem. they listen to the left that loves Chavez and sadly, they do not know their history, either.

Chavez is dead and that is a grand thing.

Grandma was right. "We buy 'em books and they eat the pages."
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Old March 12th, 2013, 01:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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But anyone with an ounce of compassion will miss a world leader who stood up before the press and said "Mr Bush, you are a donkey".

Classic.
Too bad Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel and a bunch of your beloved Democrats didn't feel that way, huh? Heck, even Pelosi called him an everyday thug.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 04:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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People that praise Chavez absolutely do not know their history. Clearly, that is a problem. they listen to the left that loves Chavez and sadly, they do not know their history, either.

Chavez is dead and that is a grand thing.

Grandma was right. "We buy 'em books and they eat the pages."
To be fair, it really is only naive young people in shitty colleges who believe that. And socialist types but they are few on far between across the pond.
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Old March 13th, 2013, 07:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I guess it's fair to say that in Europe, we don't fear socialism the way you do in the states. It's just another political theory that has some good points, some bad but has never worked in practice.

We probably didn't see Chavez as the devil incarnate in the way people in the US clearly did. He was just another in a long line of unpleasant south American dictators. Certainly not nice, but probably not quite as unpleasant as many of the south American leaders the west propped up during the cold war.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 08:41 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I guess it's fair to say that in Europe, we don't fear socialism the way you do in the states. It's just another political theory that has some good points, some bad but has never worked in practice.

We probably didn't see Chavez as the devil incarnate in the way people in the US clearly did. He was just another in a long line of unpleasant south American dictators. Certainly not nice, but probably not quite as unpleasant as many of the south American leaders the west propped up during the cold war.
We don't fear Socialism. We fear those who are doomed to repeat history. I've worked for the same company for over 30 years. Some pension, but mostly money I put away for retirement. With SS (if I get any) I will have about 1/3 my monthly income.

If I lived in Greece, I would have retired with full pension, medical/dental over a decade ago.

Where are they now? Socialism and entitlements (think Democrats here in the US) will NEVER work. The many living on the backs of the few.

There's nothing wrong with offering someone a hand. It's when it becomes a handout that things go awry.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 09:39 AM   #19 (permalink)
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We don't fear Socialism.
The American people as a whole sure do fear "Socialism" in a vague and ignorant way. That's why bashing non-existent "Socialism" as bogeymen has been very successful propaganda for the GOP in recent years. It's all based on ignorance, and the fear that comes from being ignorant of how everyday things work.

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Where are they now? Socialism and entitlements (think Democrats here in the US) will NEVER work.
Why should I connect the word "Socialism" with the Democratic party in the US? I can see your game (see above), but the fact of the matter is that South Americans have every right to react to centuries of gunboat diplomacy from the US, that the former banana republics have ample reason to reject ALL of the doctrines that the US stands for. I can't blame them one bit. This is a monster that the US created, and we need to accept that the US not only can be the "bad guy", but often is.

When it comes to entitlements, I presume that you're hoping the reader will confuse it with welfare, right? Well that's not true! Entitlements are things that we are entitled to! It's our money! Money made by the sweat of our brow, taken out of our paychecks (FICA deductions) and put into trust funds so that we will have our money when we need it in our old age. It's none of the things that you're claiming!

Does Venezuela even have social trust funds? Or is this a snipe hunting trip?
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Old March 25th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The Democrats are 'socialist'?!!

On what planet?

In most policy areas, Obama has been more right wing than Reagan was - and Reagan was a self-declared right wing radical. Sure, these days the GOP would spit in his eye and call him a Liberal (incidentally, a compliment almost anywhere else on earth), but that's only a measure of how ridiculously right wing the GOP have become.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 01:14 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The American people as a whole sure do fear "Socialism" in a vague and ignorant way. That's why bashing non-existent "Socialism" as bogeymen has been very successful propaganda for the GOP in recent years. It's all based on ignorance, and the fear that comes from being ignorant of how everyday things work.

Why should I connect the word "Socialism" with the Democratic party in the US? I can see your game (see above), but the fact of the matter is that South Americans have every right to react to centuries of gunboat diplomacy from the US, that the former banana republics have ample reason to reject ALL of the doctrines that the US stands for. I can't blame them one bit. This is a monster that the US created, and we need to accept that the US not only can be the "bad guy", but often is.

When it comes to entitlements, I presume that you're hoping the reader will confuse it with welfare, right? Well that's not true! Entitlements are things that we are entitled to! It's our money! Money made by the sweat of our brow, taken out of our paychecks (FICA deductions) and put into trust funds so that we will have our money when we need it in our old age. It's none of the things that you're claiming!

Does Venezuela even have social trust funds? Or is this a snipe hunting trip?
Here's an idea. Why not stop taking our money and let us keep it and let us put it in funds of our own where it'll grow at more than the paltry 2-3% the feds are giving us and we'll all be better off in old age?
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Old March 25th, 2013, 03:26 PM   #22 (permalink)
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We don't fear Socialism. We fear those who are doomed to repeat history. I've worked for the same company for over 30 years. Some pension, but mostly money I put away for retirement. With SS (if I get any) I will have about 1/3 my monthly income.

If I lived in Greece, I would have retired with full pension, medical/dental over a decade ago.

Where are they now? Socialism and entitlements (think Democrats here in the US) will NEVER work. The many living on the backs of the few.

There's nothing wrong with offering someone a hand. It's when it becomes a handout that things go awry.
Actually Greece has worse "entitlements" than many an ex-communist country. It has one of the highest rates of private health spending in Europe, it's awful.

Greece's problem was lack of collection of taxes, lack of taxes, and a bloated, overfull public sector. And crucially, corruption.

France is widely regarded as uncompetitive (because it is), yet it has a budget deficit half the size of the US's, and has a better quality of life.

You can pick and choose I guess.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Here's an idea. Why not stop taking our money and let us keep it and let us put it in funds of our own where it'll grow at more than the paltry 2-3% the feds are giving us and we'll all be better off in old age?
Tell that to Cypriot savers. Banks collapse. Stocks fall.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 04:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Tell that to Cypriot savers. Banks collapse. Stocks fall.
If things get so bad that you're left w/nothing then the government is going down at that point anyway so you're screwed no matter where you have your money.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Is anyone talking about Venezuela any more? Nobody?
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Old March 25th, 2013, 05:25 PM   #26 (permalink)
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If things get so bad that you're left w/nothing then the government is going down at that point anyway so you're screwed no matter where you have your money.
The Cypriot government is going to be fine. However in certain banks 40% of savings over 100,000 are not.

Likewise people can lose savings in rapid currency devaluations and such. The government is the safest bet, the less risk and more security the better.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The Cypriot government is going to be fine. However in certain banks 40% of savings over 100,000 are not.

Likewise people can lose savings in rapid currency devaluations and such. The government is the safest bet, the less risk and more security the better.
Less risk, more security = returns that don't keep up with inflation. Yeah, that's a good idea.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 09:09 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Less risk, more security = returns that don't keep up with inflation. Yeah, that's a good idea.
, if you don't wanna lose any money!


I'm due some inheritance, nd although it is a low amount(I'm very grateful for!) I'm still looking at where/what to invest in, currently I'm considering a few hundred minimum in premium bonds.Very low risk(none) and probably no returns at all, but still a possibility of a million!
Even the best savings accounts are coming up with poor returns after all!
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:06 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Is anyone talking about Venezuela any more? Nobody?
Have there been any developments? The election's not happened yet, has it?
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:21 AM   #30 (permalink)
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, if you don't wanna lose any money!


I'm due some inheritance, nd although it is a low amount(I'm very grateful for!) I'm still looking at where/what to invest in, currently I'm considering a few hundred minimum in premium bonds.Very low risk(none) and probably no returns at all, but still a possibility of a million!
Even the best savings accounts are coming up with poor returns after all!
You do lose money though if your return doesn't keep up with inflation. I don't know what it is where you live, but here in the US inflation is ~4% a year over time. Bonds and Social Security return much, much less than that generally so over time you actually lose money.

Here in the US if we get to the point where the stock market has hit 0 and the dollar is worth 0 and our economy has completely collapsed then your money is gone no matter where it is and chances are the government is on it's way out at that point.
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Old March 26th, 2013, 06:31 AM   #31 (permalink)
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You do lose money though if your return doesn't keep up with inflation. I don't know what it is where you live, but here in the US inflation is ~4% a year over time. Bonds and Social Security return much, much less than that generally so over time you actually lose money
Absolutely.

The thing is, people have different risk tolerances and for the last four or five years, unless you've been prepared to accept very high risks, you simply were not going to beat the inflation trap. Sure, a lot of people accepted the risk and put an unprecendentedly high proportion of their money into stocks to produce the current highs, despite the underlying economics: there were no alternatives.

The stock market is at a high now, but it's not that long since it was tanking. If you don't have 30 years ahead of you to make up any losses, it looks like a pretty unacceptable risk - particularly when a stock superstar like Apple can drop 40% while the market is building to an historic high.

With property recovering, how long before enough people start to diversify out of stocks to cause prices to fall?

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Here in the US if we get to the point where the stock market has hit 0 and the dollar is worth 0 and our economy has completely collapsed then your money is gone no matter where it is and chances are the government is on it's way out at that point.
Except that, given we only just avoided a similarly cataclysmic situation but 5 years ago, it's kinda hard to make out that it's impossible now
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Old March 27th, 2013, 08:37 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SiempreTuna View Post
Absolutely.

The thing is, people have different risk tolerances and for the last four or five years, unless you've been prepared to accept very high risks, you simply were not going to beat the inflation trap. Sure, a lot of people accepted the risk and put an unprecendentedly high proportion of their money into stocks to produce the current highs, despite the underlying economics: there were no alternatives.
The stock market has never been an "extremely high risk". Yes there are stocks within the market that are high risk, but as a whole it's a low risk, high reward investment. I laughed and laughed and people who jerked all of their money out of the market as it was going down and I bought more than I ever have before. Stuff is on sale. Why not stock up? I cracked up at the people who pulled their money out when everything was low and then started buying it when the market came back up. Buy high, sell low isn't exactly what you're supposed to do, but people did it.

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The stock market is at a high now, but it's not that long since it was tanking. If you don't have 30 years ahead of you to make up any losses, it looks like a pretty unacceptable risk - particularly when a stock superstar like Apple can drop 40% while the market is building to an historic high.

With property recovering, how long before enough people start to diversify out of stocks to cause prices to fall?
People need to diversify within and without stocks. You're a fool if you put everything on one stock.

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Except that, given we only just avoided a similarly cataclysmic situation but 5 years ago, it's kinda hard to make out that it's impossible now
Let's be realistic here. The US dollar was not anywhere close to being worth zero and the stock market never came anywhere close to being worth 0.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 08:57 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by A.Nonymous View Post
I laughed and laughed and people who jerked all of their money out of the market as it was going down and I bought more than I ever have before. Stuff is on sale. Why not stock up? I cracked up at the people who pulled their money out when everything was low and then started buying it when the market came back up. Buy high, sell low isn't exactly what you're supposed to do, but people did it.
But what good is all that money going to do a person building up if you die before cashing it out or retire 30+ years from now or doing those hard times? That is when alot of people was pulling their money out!

Should one just suffer doing the hard times and leave the money in stocks/401k and maybe end up homeless and wait till retirement?
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Old March 27th, 2013, 09:33 AM   #34 (permalink)
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The stock market has never been an "extremely high risk"
I think I said "very high", but that's just semantics.

If you count the number of stock market crashes in the last 20 years, I think most would accept that it's high risk - "extreme" or "high" is subjective, as I was also trying to point out.


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Originally Posted by A.Nonymous View Post
Yes there are stocks within the market that are high risk, but as a whole it's a low risk, high reward investment
Given that most professionals are incapable of producing consistent returns, I would beg to differ

I read a great quote the other day, I just can't find it now. It was something like, the only thing stock pickers can achieve consistently is losses. But better phrased.

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I laughed and laughed and people who jerked all of their money out of the market as it was going down and I bought more than I ever have before. Stuff is on sale. Why not stock up? I cracked up at the people who pulled their money out when everything was low and then started buying it when the market came back up. Buy high, sell low isn't exactly what you're supposed to do, but people did it.
I believe most were trying to sell while the price was still relatively high, then buy back while it was still relatively low. Tougher to do, but a good strategy if you can get it right.

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People need to diversify within and without stocks. You're a fool if you put everything on one stock.
Absolutely. Thing is people - and some institutions - have been piling into stocks over the last 5 years as it's the only thing that was offering any chance of beating the inflation trap. They're now over-exposed in stocks and will be keen to diversify as soon as there are other viable options.

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Let's be realistic here. The US dollar was not anywhere close to being worth zero and the stock market never came anywhere close to being worth 0.
I specifically didn't say anything about values, however the global economy was teetering on the edge of collapse: how much d'you think your stocks and dollars would have been worth had it not been saved?

If in doubt, take a look at what happened in the years after October 1929.

Doesn't have to be zero to be devastating.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #35 (permalink)
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If you count the number of stock market crashes in the last 20 years, I think most would accept that it's high risk - "extreme" or "high" is subjective, as I was also trying to point out.
It's not high risk though. Not at all. You're operating on the assumption that when the market crashes (which it will) you lose everything and have to start all over at 0. That's just not true at all. The market averages 10% long term. If you stick with it, take advantage of dollar cost averaging and don't push the panic button every time the market fluctuates you will be fine. The key is sticking with it long term and not bailing every time time the market hiccups which is what a lot of people tend to do.

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I believe most were trying to sell while the price was still relatively high, then buy back while it was still relatively low. Tougher to do, but a good strategy if you can get it right.
Not a good strategy at all compared with just sticking with it and leveraging dollar cost averaging. They've done studies on trying to time the market. It never works out.

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Absolutely. Thing is people - and some institutions - have been piling into stocks over the last 5 years as it's the only thing that was offering any chance of beating the inflation trap. They're now over-exposed in stocks and will be keen to diversify as soon as there are other viable options.
I don't agree with that, but whatever. Historically there aren't a lot of other things that beat inflation besides the stock market. Real estate will, but that can be very boom or bust and very localized.

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I specifically didn't say anything about values, however the global economy was teetering on the edge of collapse: how much d'you think your stocks and dollars would have been worth had it not been saved?

If in doubt, take a look at what happened in the years after October 1929.

Doesn't have to be zero to be devastating.
We weren't anywhere close to hitting a depression. Certainly not anywhere close to hitting anything close to the great depression.
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Old March 27th, 2013, 08:25 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Now where did I put that dang original topic???
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Old March 28th, 2013, 02:05 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Hugo dead ---- hopefully some relief for the people of venu
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