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Bulls & Bears
This week’s Bulls & Bears: Gary B. Smith, columnist for RealMoney.com; Pat Dorsey, director of stock research at Morningstar.com; Tobin Smith, editor of ChangeWave Investing; Scott Bleier, president of HybridInvestors.com; Joe Battipaglia, chief investment officer of Ryan Beck & Company; and retired Lt. Col. Bill Cowan, FOX News military analyst.
Trading Pit: America’s Fear Factor
Thursday: Another terror attack on London's subways — the second attack in as many weeks. Thankfully, this most recent one was far less devastating than the July 7th bombings.
Friday: British police shoot and kill a suspected terrorist and release pictures of those wanted in last week's bombing.
With terrorism hitting closer and closer to home, take a look at this shocking poll.
FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll
More concerned about:
Having enough money for retirement — 59 percent
Surviving future terrorist attack — 24 percent
Not sure — 17 percent
(July 12-13, 2005. Margin of error: +/- 3 percent)
Americans are far more afraid of not having enough money for retirement than about a future terrorist attack. And by no small margin, either, more than 2-to-1!
But if terrorists go after our subways and buses will that poll tell a different story?
Joe Battipaglia: The market's reaction to the London bombings indicates that a terror-risk premium is already built into financial market valuations. Unless there is a terror event of a 9/11 magnitude, which in my opinion is unlikely, investors should worry more about having enough money and medical care coverage for retirement. Overtime, inflating health care costs and eroding living standards are the greatest challenges to retirees.
Tobin Smith: Saving for retirement is a much bigger problem. I think the average savings for a household over 50 years old is something like $58,000. That is absolutely scary! These terror attacks are being put into context. Americans are realists and realize we can’t stop someone from putting a bomb in a subway.
Lt. Col. Bill Cowan: You’re more likely to die from a terrorist attack than a bad retirement plan. Those poll numbers will shift when we hear about a terrorist plan to set off a thermonuclear device in a major U.S. city. Then people will stop worrying about their retirement plans and start worrying about the threats against their own lives.
Gary B. Smith: We’re complacent and don’t worry about things until they’re on our shores. However, if there’s a nuclear device in Washington, D.C., I’d be worried too. But like Colonel Cowan said, you don’t die from a bad retirement plan, but it is a slow death. If you only have $58,000 saved for retirement, and you still have 20-30 years to live, you’re in for tough times.
Pat Dorsey: The low rate of national savings is a disgrace. Most people save 1 percent of their yearly income. But at least you can control how much you save for retirement. Saving is something you control. Terrorism is not, unless you move to the middle of nowhere and never leave.