Positively Terrifying

The Los Angeles Times published a fascinating (if a bit under-sourced) piece this week about how Baby Boomers who are worried about the lack of money in their 401(k)s and IRAs are day-trading within their retirement accounts.  The article as a whole is terrifying.  Here are some particularly scary quotes:

  • “[S]ome aggressive investors have begun day trading their nest eggs — all in a bid to make up for lost time.”
  • “As many as 40% of people trading options at the Motley Fool do so in retirement accounts, said Jeff Fischer, an options advisor at the investment website.”
  • “Americans are a collective $6.6 trillion short of the amount they need to retire comfortably, according to a 2010 analysis by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.”

Read it and weep.

 

5 thoughts on “Positively Terrifying

  1. Best line in the article hands down: “When I told my wife about it she was really nervous … until I educated her on what it all entails and how poorly [the 401(k)] was performing before that,” Hansman said. “She’s still not 100% behind it but she said, ‘Just don’t lose everything. If you do I’ll divorce you.'”

    Would be interesting to see how many parents are doing the same market-gaming with their kids’ college funds.

  2. My favorite quote is from the Gawker link: “‘Day trading’ is kind of like real professional stock trading, but done by people with no idea what they’re doing who are motivated by pure adrenaline-driven desperation.” God, they’d be better off investing in a Ponzi scheme and hoping they can time an exit before the inevitable bust.

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