If you're a Baby-boomer—one from the fabled generation born between 1946 and 1964—there are a lot of companies and advertisers vying for your attention. The products run the gamut—luxury cruises and automobiles, teeth whiteners, belly flatteners, colon cleansers, energy drinks, Prozac, and of course the granddaddy that ultimately makes all the others even worth your time, Viagra.
Financial services are no exception, and in 30 minutes of CNBC viewing, you're likely to be bombarded by at least four or five commercials reminding you of your impending retirement, probably accompanied by over-amplified ‘60s rock to show that, hey, beneath the stuffy white collars and amortization tables, these firms aren't the conformist drones you spent your youth railing against. Dennis Hopper ranting over a soundtrack from The Lovin' Spoonful and interspersed montages of Woodstock and sexy sexagenarians kayaking or mountain climbing is perhaps the strangest among them. How anyone can take investment advice from Dennis Hopper—a man who spent a career portraying drug addicts, degenerates, and psychopaths—is beyond me, but then again I don't understand most of what happened in the ‘60s.
Commercial bastardizations of your youth aside, it is true the coming years matter a lot for baby-boomer financial health. Headlines warn of recession, home prices falling nationwide, and the US being on the verge of the biggest political transition in eight years. Is it time to play it safe, cash in everything for bonds, and brace for leaner times ahead? Or should stocks still play a role in your portfolio? I don't know the specifics of your situation, but before getting too conservative, consider the following:
Even if you don't have a 28-year-old grazing in your fridge every night, the implication of all this is you'll likely need stocks to give you a shot at a smooth retirement, and a lot of ‘em at that. The last six months of volatility may have given you pause, or may have even scared you out of the market. But volatility is never an indicator of future market direction. You still have opportunities to take the steps necessary to achieve financial success for you and your family. Don't let them pass you by.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go shoo a few listless 20-somethings off my front lawn. I guess they've been watching too many Dennis Hopper movies again.
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*The content contained in this article represents only the opinions and viewpoints of the Fisher Investments editorial staff.