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Crisis Schmisis



September 17, 2008 – Comments (21)

One can't surf the internet, turn on the television or radio, or even chat with a friend, neighbor, or co-woker without hearing about the current financial crisis.  People are confused, worried, panicked.  House values are falling, banks are failing, the government is bailing out companies left and right it seems, consumer confidence is down, the job market is getting tougher... the list goes on, and on, and on.

On the day of the 500 point drop in the Dow recently I remember talking to a colleage -- we both agreed that we have a ways to go before retirement, that we were investing in the long-term, and that any single-day gyration wasn't going to, in and of itself, derail our financial plans for the future.  I have to admit, though, that the conversation took place with a bit of nervous uncertainty in the air -- as though we were attempting to reassure ourselves that this too would pass.  It will, right?  Right?

Some couple of hours later I was getting into my car to head home from work when something struck me.

I was thinking about a family we are acquainted with (let's call them the Smiths) and thought, "I bet they could care less that the Dow dropped 500 points today."

You see, Mrs. Smith, a young woman in her early thirties with a husband, and two children (a preschooler and a toddler), has recently been diagnosed with stage IV cancer.  Their lives have been completely turned upside-down as their days have been filled with CT scans, blood tests, MRIs, radiation therapy appointments, making plans for surgery, and trying to arrange that their children are cared for during this upheaval.

Suddenly the Dow dropping like a rock, banks and other financial institutions failing, and the whole huge crisis didn't seem to loom so large anymore.  I realized that worrying about these things is, in fact, a luxury.  It means that I don't have anything bigger to be worrying about.

Crisis, schmisis.

What the Smiths are facing, that's a crisis.

Worried about the financial mess?  I only wish it were a luxury that everyone had the profound fortune to indulge in.


Russell (a.k.a. TMFEldrehad)


21 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 17, 2008 at 1:07 PM, HooDaHeckNose (75.86) wrote:

Exactly! I've been obsessing about the markets lately and I had just recently come to the same conclusion. I'm not bailing and I'm not putting any more money in at the moment. (I am really tempted though) I'm just gonna let it do what it will and get on with my life.

F*** the market.

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#2) On September 17, 2008 at 1:14 PM, EnigmaDude (52.09) wrote:


Thanks for the reminder of what is truly important.  Money can't buy love or happiness, but being healthy sure does help.

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#3) On September 17, 2008 at 1:28 PM, leohaas (29.51) wrote:

Well said, Russell!

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#4) On September 17, 2008 at 1:41 PM, BigDMan64 (57.41) wrote:

As usual Elder, you have hit the nail on the head.  It is hard for people to keep things in perspective though when they are closer to retirement than you and I and the fear generated by all of the uncertainty feeds on itself.  In the scheme of things, I think we should all remember that most of us will get to live to see retirement, even it that retirement is abject poverty.  Some like the Smith's have to deal with things that would break the average person.  I wish Mrs. Smith the best and have hope that some of the recent developments in fighting some of these types of issues hold promise for her.  The sad reality is that even if she survives, the financial burden of an event like this will follow their family for much longer than a single day drop in the Dow will affect most of us.

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#5) On September 17, 2008 at 2:10 PM, russiangambit (28.83) wrote:

Well, on the other hand I am worried how I am going to pay my medical bills when I retire. Not with my salary savings in my IRA account, that is for sure, if the market of the last 10 years is any indication. IRA account doesn't allow short positions, and shorting indexes via ETFs is not as effective. So really, IRA only works in bull markets. I am 30 years from retirement, so I have time to figure it out, but I do worry anyway. I am not a fatlist, I beleive in planning, even if all sorts of personal disasters could happen to anyone at anytime.

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#6) On September 17, 2008 at 2:47 PM, anchak (99.89) wrote:

Couldn't agree more....the human impact of it if any is all that you care - and hope there's no adverse angle to it.

All the best!

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#7) On September 17, 2008 at 4:12 PM, dinodelaurentis (86.29) wrote:

nobody... and i mean nobody lies upon that last resting place and thinks

"gee, i wish i had bought microsoft in 1998!"

and if that ain't a clue, then nothing is...

hug the ones you love and realize that life goes on, before and after the dowjones.

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#8) On September 17, 2008 at 4:32 PM, floridabuilder2 (98.65) wrote:

agree 100%... i'm hedged in the market so there is no reason to even look at what is going on day to day...  additionally, there are stocks that I think are great values trading for under 5 a share and lower...  It reminds me of when the Fool launched and one of their first picks was MVL

In any event, the problem with the US is too much information and people taking on the economic, environmental and social ills of the world...  the only problem that the average caps player should be taking on is his work/job assignments and his household chores.... 

I don't get paid to worry so why should I do it for free?  anybody who didn't see this coming wasn't paying attention...  the non-stop blog posts about the end of the world are laughable...  If we do have an economic crash that is fine with me...  i have no debt but a mortgage and I would love to buy paper and tangible assets on the cheap

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#9) On September 17, 2008 at 8:18 PM, eldemonio (98.31) wrote:

Having a loved one fall seriously ill at first seems surreal, like it is not actually happening.  Over time reality slowly sinks in.  My thoughts go out to that family during this difficult time.  I do fairly well keeping myself in check with an ever present sense of humor, but once in awhile everybody needs to gain a renewed perspective on life.  Thanks.

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#10) On September 17, 2008 at 10:18 PM, jester112358 (28.15) wrote:

Health, happiness and prosperity.  In that order!

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#11) On September 17, 2008 at 11:20 PM, mgiv (37.59) wrote:


"Money can't buy love or happiness, but being healthy sure does help."

Money can buy health that's for sure.

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#12) On September 18, 2008 at 2:17 AM, barich1 (38.59) wrote:

Yes there are more important things in life than stocks and money...but I wouldn't say crisis schmisis, we are watching history be made this week, fortunes are being lost, decisions are being made that will impact the entire country for years to come.  I'm hoping a fortune or two will be made too though!

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#13) On September 18, 2008 at 9:46 AM, jdlech (< 20) wrote:

Now imagine that conversation taking place on Oct. 28, 1929.
It couldn't happen, right?

My most heartfelt condolences to the family - cancer is a terrible disease and it disrupts everything even when cured.

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#14) On September 18, 2008 at 5:36 PM, starkmango (41.97) wrote:

pass the pipe

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#15) On September 19, 2008 at 11:57 AM, stockgripes (99.57) wrote:

I live in Houston and biggest thing we have to worry about is getting life back to "normal". Half the people in Houston don't have any power, I was lucky that I got the light in 5 days. Then there is Galveston, Bolivar and Crystal Beach counties that people are not allowed to go to their homes. So, in essence we worry about stuff that we think are important to us. Money worries can be fixed, sooner or later. My 2 cents.

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#16) On September 19, 2008 at 7:05 PM, JereBear1 (95.96) wrote:

Thanks, Russell, for the reminder.  I have been greatly blessed by God and have much to be thankful for.  My momentary difficulties (including the market) are only a slight variation in the level of that great blessing.  I have no worthy reason to complain, worry, or get upset. 

I have prayed for this family you mentioned, confident God knows who they are.  If you have the chance, encourage them with the knowledge that your anonymous mention of their situation has caused many prayers to be lifted on their behalf.

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#17) On September 21, 2008 at 5:05 AM, ikkyu2 (98.52) wrote:

As a working doc, Russell, I have to say I agree with you completely.  I'm far more worried about some of my patients on a day-to-day basis than I could ever get worked up about the stock market.

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#18) On September 22, 2008 at 1:41 AM, dwot (29.46) wrote:

Having lost a mother as a child...

Well, yes, life and death issues are the real crisis...

I have spent way more time fighting cancer by fight tobacco companies and people on here still justify that killing people is ok if there's a buck to made on the market.

So my question, when it hits home and they finally realise what f--kheads they are and what making money off killing people really means are we supposed to feel sorry for them?

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#19) On September 24, 2008 at 12:22 PM, manuvns (< 20) wrote:

why are we getting emotional on a financial portal like fool caps ??? Any did did this posting got so many rating !!!$%#&.???

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#20) On September 28, 2008 at 8:22 PM, jack21222 (91.27) wrote:

Thanks for the sense of perspective. It's easy to get lost in life's luxuries without some sort of grounding.

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#21) On September 30, 2008 at 2:13 AM, pjani06 (28.60) wrote:

Yes, right on.

Today big drop in the market is focused on, but not the fact that the US dollar is stronger, Oil got cheaper, everyone's salaries are worth more (fixed stream of income worth more), and anyone's social security payouts are worth more. 

the poor & working class won out with all those moves.  those in the froth or being naughty & speculating were likely losers today (i lost quite a bit in the markets today)

We don't need it, say NO BAILOUT. 

See the link below for the FULL list of representatives with first name, last name, and state represented, & indicates if they voted for the bailout or against the bailout with CLICKABLE LINKS for their contact information!!!

see this here :

Now its personal, full names & links to all the Representvs. who voted YES or NO to the BAILOUT

this is far from over! 

do something, pat them on the back or convert them them OUT!



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