Tom Scollon
Tom Scollon
Chief Editor

Only a few days ago Bear Stearns said all was OK. She’ll be right. So from $170 a share to $2 a share and all is OK?

So who do you believe and what do you believe?

Many investors who thought they were millionaires with their shareholdings in Bear Stearns have now been rendered close to penniless. Many prospective retirees will now have to change their plans – retire to a more modest lifestyle than had been planned or work for many more years.

Many have been caught up in the Bear Stearns debacle but there are many lower profile examples and there will be more to come.

For many investors the horse has bolted on their share portfolios, which they hold as ‘cream’ over and above their planned retirement nest egg. But it is not too late to look at some aspects of your superannuation and your cash holdings.

There are certain regulations surrounding the conduct of super funds and they are there for good reason. One of these concerns where you or your trustees may invest funds. It is still not too late to look at where your super is invested and ask the question: Is too much invested in any one stock or sector? Is too much invested in a company – whether listed or unlisted – that is financially unstable? When did you last look at the financial health of such companies in which you are invested?

Next – cash. Where do you hold your cash? In one institution? How secure is it? Will ‘on call’ mean just that if you need cash?

I do not want to be unnecessarily alarming. Even though we have seen a rebound on the DOW with the Fed 75 basis point interest rate decrease it is possible the worst is not yet over.

Maybe you can and should put some safeguards in place.

Enjoy the ride

Tom Scollon
Chief Analyst