So for others who have determined the demise of America is inevitable - have you made any decisions financially?
I also wonder if increased instability in the Middle East is one more red flag. I suppose if Iran or North Korea fires off a nuclear bomb soon, the stock market might take something that qualifies as more than a bump down.
Just a couple of thoughts. A fixed rate investment, other than a bank CD which is FDIC insured, is going to lose value when interest rates increase. If it is a long term instrument, you can see your principle erode by 10% for every 1 percentage point rise in rates. A more "Normal" interest rate on long term paper is around 6%. So potentially you could see a 50% lose of principal as rates move up to that bench mark.
Making matters worse, is that we face potential double digit inflation rates because the Fed has been printing money like there is no tomorrow, futilely trying to improve the economy. So in addition to a potential loss in principal you would be faced with reduced purchasing power for the money you would have left.
Despite the positive tone to current economic news, those positive numbers are masking a lot of very negative data. The supposed decrease in the unemployment rate is not the result of those rosy new jobs created data, but because so many people have stopped looking for work. We now have the highest non-participation in the labor force rate since the depression. Too large a percentage of the new jobs that have been created are, in reality, only part time jobs. Because of Obamacare the number of part time jobs will continue to increase as employers try to minimize the costs of providing health insurance to their employees. There is also less incentive for small employers to expand.
Europe is in a deep financial mess. How long Germany can continue to carry the rest of the Euro world is a big question mark.
The moronic economic policies being carried out both in Europe and here are the same policies that have kept Japan mired in a multi-decade deep recession.
We are told that both here and Europe are partly in trouble because of austerity caused by budget restraints. That, of course, is patent nonsense as both here and there, no Government has actually cut even a single penny is their out of control expenditures. And the budget pushers are all due to social justice program costs.
The only good news in this whole picture is the fact that, believe it or not, inflationn is good for stocks. Unfortunately, that will come, with a lot of volatility that will provide a lot of sleepless nights to anyone invested in the market that has not achieved the ability to ignore the wild fluctuations. So either invest in quality no-load mutual or ETF funds. Investing in individual stocks is always risky, but if one must, look for high quality companies paying decent, but not excessive, dividends.
As an aside, there are a lot of quality companies which pay dividends of between 3 and 6%.
The old saw still works. If you are under 50, you should be heavily in stock, buy and hold works. For older folks it all depends on just how much you are worth and your ability to handle risk without loss of sleep.