Forget the election for the moment. We will know the outcome in two weeks. The question one ought to consider seriously is what to do with one's money. Lord knows there is a great deal of advice out there. One of CNBC's gurus has advised especially older folks or anyone who will need money in the next five years should take all of their money out of the stock market. On the other hand the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, has said the current situation represents A remarkable opportunity to buy. So from his personal account he is investing - and buying American. He is perhaps the shrewdest investor in the world.
What we know about the market is that it will come back. We have had many bear markets from the 1800s. The average recovery time has been around 16 months. We cannot predict when we have hit bottom and will begin to turn around. Only in hindsight will we know. We can say that when the market does recover it most often recovers at least a third higher than when the decline began. My financial advisor is Ric Edelman, who has a better track record then almost any other advisor. He tells his clients to stay in the market. He makes the best case for doing so that I have heard from anyone else. Last year he switched many of us to a different program which he monitors more closely than other investments. While we were hit hard during the recent bear market, those of us in Edelman's program were less severely hit than those who had traditional programs.
This past week we have a new figure on the scene who ties the economic issue together with the political process. I speak of Joe Wurzelbacher, now known as "Joe the Plumber." Senator Barack H. Obama was campaigning door to door near Toledo, Ohio. He knocked on the door of Joe the Plumber. He asked Obama about his economic program. He said he hoped to take over the small plumbing business when his boss retired but that higher taxes would preclude his doing so. Obama said he didn't want to punish Joe's success but he wanted to be sure the people behind Joe would not be hurt. Then he said something which has put him on the defensive. He said that when you spread the wealth around it is good for everyone.