Nowhere To Invest

Rock-bottom interest rates forced investors to flee to the stock market, but now their last refuge looks scary

WHEN LAWSON BROWN SET OUT to reinvest his family's $70,000 nest egg a few months ago, the Minneapolis, Minnesota, probation officer found his options limited. Brown, 39, considered mutual funds to be "unexciting." Certificates of deposit? "Get real," he says. "Not with bank rates of 3%." Bonds? "Same problem." The only alternative, he says, was the stock market. He took the plunge, scoring short-term gains in high-tech stocks and banking issues, which lulled him into a sense of security. Now he and other investors are getting a loud wake-up call from the market's bumpy decline in the past few weeks, which...

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