They drop poorly performing funds and select replacements with stellar recent track records. In making these choices, they often rely on the recommendation of their consultants, who dazzle them with charts and graphs supporting their selections. This ritual is repeated endlessly.
Our national debt keeps growing. And the administration is not showing the kind of leadership Congress needs to stop kicking the fiscal can further down the road. This month, Team Romney asked, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" Many Americans couldn't say yes.
So what happens in a marketplace when buyers lack information and can't easily exercise consumer choice? Sellers can charge whatever they want. And this is pretty much the case in the 401(k) marketplace.
401(k) plan investments are a primary driver of the investment markets. They are also the reason that many people are pacing the floors at night, worrying if their retirement will get delayed or destroyed.
In addition to traditional gifts like candy and flowers, consider spending a few hours helping your mom organize her financial, legal and medical records so that she -- and you -- knows where she stands.
For a decade, Wall Street was playing funny money games, and many Americans also felt like they were invited to the celebration. We were living in fantasy land, but the fantasy is over and we woke up to a nightmare.
I've been reading Maria Bartiromo's new book, The Weekend That Changed Wall Street. A better title might have been "The Weekend that Changed the World." It was America's chance to bottom out. We didn't.