There’s a line in Miss Buncle’s Book (which is lightly set in the depression in England) where she writes about having read that there was all this economic trouble but that she didn’t really understand it until her dividend checks came in at half their value, or not at all. I think there is an element to that for all of us. Bad news happens all the time, and it has little day to day effect on us, until some part of it does suddenly touch our lives and draw us up short.
Happily, my little “moment” today isn’t big or important. It has nothing to do with my job or employment. I just got a notice from E*TRADE (where all my non-401k retirement savings are) that they’re completely eliminating all their nice cheap index funds. As they say:
After long and serious consideration, E*TRADE Securities has made the decision to discontinue our family of proprietary index mutual funds.
Of course, pretty much all of our IRAs are in said nice cheap index funds.
2 years ago, no one would even have considered that this would ever happen. I suppose it isn’t all that surprising, but somehow I never realized the ways this might affect me.
Also, I have my reports set up to tell me about my earnings since I bought into the fund. In a rising or even volatile market it’s a good reminder that while I might be down on the day or the quarter, I’m still up since I bought them. Right now, not such a good idea. It makes it too easy to see how much lower they are than their purchase prices…. in 2002. Ouch. And now they’re making me lock in my paper losses.