The difference b'ween then and now
When it comes to the financial world, the difference between then and now is, then, I didn't invest as much. Again, the difference is, then I wasn't as confused as I am now. Half the time, I don't even understand what's happening to my money that I've parked with Investment banks. Every time I try and read about any financial instrument that I've bought, I can't for the life of me understand what's written on all those long winding sheets of paper that come along.
What's really happened is this. Note what WSJ reports on the contrast between now and then, and note how the consumer is the loser in the process. 'Thirty years ago, a typical consumer had a fixed-rate mortgage, a life-insurance policy, a bank account and an employer-paid pension plan. Nowadays, that same consumer may have a payment option adjustable-rate mortgage, a 401(k) retirement-savings plan, a home-equity line of credit and perhaps even a health-savings account instead of traditional employer-sponsored health insurance.
In the process, risks previously borne by big banks and employers have been placed squarely on the shoulders of consumers. Individuals increasingly bear the risk of interest-rate fluctuations, rising health-care costs, stock-market gyrations and outliving their retirement savings.'
Well, what can I say? Let the buyer beware?