Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coping with Craziness

Feinberg sums up the frustration that many of us in the financial services industry have faced this year:

"Losing my cool. The last week of September and the first week of October were particularly bone-chilling for me. Spastic drooling had never been one of my problems. Now, I ask for the dribble cup along with the Wall Street Journal. The market's incredible volatility has made me a shell of my former, long-term-oriented self. I now think and trade like a hedge-fund guy. Recently, my cash and short positions totaled 40%. Three days later, they totaled 10%."

"Oh, my clients. They are unhappy and scared. Some sound like kids who have been stiffed on their birthday presents. They expect more from me, much more, and are now bombarding me with e-mails asking when the carnage will end. Each message feels like a kick in the gut. I know I've let them down, that I should have seen this maelstrom coming. I didn't."

"I don't know what will stop it -- and that's one of the things that drives me bonk-ers about the current market. I see a value, I buy some shares, and the sucker goes lower. Then it's rinse and repeat and repeat and repeat. Oh, the horror."

Its been a rough year for everyone.

Scott Dauenhauer CFP, MSFP, AIF