Monday, March 28, 2005

Let's take our Social Security Bux to Vegas!

Any one who plays the markets (NASD, NYSE, and others) realize and know that such "investing" really is just legitimized gambling. Short, long selling. Buy Low, Sell High, if you can. I have said this before: The folks who really stand to win big in the privitization of SS accounts are the money managers who will work the funds - Buy Low, Sell High. Or, Buy High, oops, Sell for a loss (may be down 100%). It doesn't matter. When you make a trade, the managers take their cut.

Anyway, the professionals are saying this about the W, Rove and Co plan to privitize accounts:

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush, promoting his plan to set up private Social Security accounts, is betting that stock returns will remain strong even as economic growth slows. Economists and equity strategists aren't so sure.

Bush is using forecasts from the Social Security Administration that say the economy will expand less than 2 percent a year -- the slowest sustained rate since the 1930s -- after 2020 as population growth eases. At the same time, the agency projects that stocks will return an annual average of 6.5 percent after inflation.

Thirty-nine of 58 economists and strategists surveyed by Bloomberg News say that if the economy slows that much, Bush's stock outlook is too optimistic. Over the last 50 years, as the U.S. economy grew 3.4 percent a year on average, almost twice as much as the agency is forecasting, the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index returned only 6.8 percent after dividends were reinvested.

``A 6.5 percent real equity return is not realistic'' at the growth rates being projected, says Thomas McManus, chief investment strategist in New York at Banc of America Securities LLC. ``If it were, we will not have a Social Security problem in 2050 because shareholders will be so wealthy they could easily fund the shortfall.''

End slice:

In case you are wondering, yes, I do invest my own money in securities. Just so you know, I am not talking out my rear end on this one. My single best investment stil has to be Starbucks. It is well over ten times the value I put in. My single worst (and I have had many more losers than winners) investment is a net loss of 100% in WebVan (I can still sell the paper stocks on Ebay for fun - I wonder what they would be worth if I did that). I thought they were going to go long. Who knew they would bankrupt themselves?

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