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Investing during turbulent financial times

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One World, Taking Risks Together

HUGE financial losses in the United States spark fears in Europe. A credit crisis ensues. Soon the fear spreads to Wall Street, where the biggest banks fight off rumors of insolvency amid a broader economic panic, and Washington is forced to step in. The market swoons. If this sounds familiar, it should. Except we’re not talking about the subprime mortgage crisis, or the deal brokered by the Treasury Department last week with three American banking giants to cough up $75 billion for a fund aimed at stabilizing the global credit market, or Friday’s 366-point drop in the stock market.

In fact, it’s a brief history of the Panic of 1907, which culminated exactly 100 years ago today.

This was the week that E and I sat down with a Chinese investment advisor at HSBC. I learned, no surprise if I had taken the time to think about it, that I was taking “big risks” with her savings. By the end of this week XLE’s slight dive put the investment fund down $1,000. Welcome to bad timing and choices that were ill informed and running against market forces globally. First of all I did not take into account currency fluctuation, which hit our profit taking. Then I picked the wrong ETF. It’s not easy to make money in the short term with a modest amount of money. But that’s not new for me!

I never pretended to be a financial genius and my sense of timing is disastrous, completely unlike my sense of direction, most of the time. But my impatience tends to lead me into costly choices over and over again. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2007/10/21 at 08:25

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