The Stock Market: Zap!

True, a lot of our stock-market wealth is getting vaporized in front of our eyes, but how bad it gets still depends on how spooked we get

Let's start with some comforting news: a lot of stocks are doing well. Despite awful headlines and a palpable fear, the average diversified stock fund has fallen a manageable 13% in the past year. Meanwhile, if you owned Philip Morris, Duke Energy and Ralston Purina in that period, you made money. Good money. Of course, those stocks killed you the two years before that, so nobody really loaded up with them. Still, it's a mistake to assume that everyone is losing his shirt in this bear market.

Lots of people are doing well too. Job creation is growing at a faster...

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