2008 Is Coming To a Close

Reminder: the markets close early tomorrow.

As this year draws to a close, there are many moments to remember – unfortunately most of them focus on negative events. 

For traditional investors, there's not much in the way of highlights.  Those who think for themselves and avoided the traditional advice of buy and hold, probably fared better.  If you really bucked the traditional idea of 'owning a piece of America' and were short stocks this year, congratulations.  A well-deserved victory lap is yours.  But please don't gloat in front of your friends or family.

To anyone who used options to hedge investment risk, I offer a hearty 'well done.'  Some of you may have reduced losses to an acceptable level.  Others may have come out ahead for the year.  In either case, you deserve congratulations for significantly outperforming the 2008 bear market.

2009 looms, and the market outlook is uncertain.  Some believe the market bottom has already been seen, while others see only more bad news and the possibility that the recession will turn into the dreaded 'D' word. 

Unless you are decidedly bullish and are willing to place a huge wager on that opinion, please consider learning to adopt an option strategy that reduces your exposure to a continued decline in the stock market.

However you choose to handle your investments going forward, I wish each of you a very happy holiday season and a wonderful new year.

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