August 19, 2017
Pension Plans
During the last careening, gut-wrenching stock market tumble my wife reminded me that neither of us have a pension. I don't know why, as our mini-portfolio took to negative territory like pigeons to a stray french fry, she felt plopping that cold reality on the table was helpful but she did.

One of her motivations I am sure is that like many comedians long range planning skills are not my forte'. In fact for many years my long range planning was knowing where I was going to play golf next week.

Karen pointed out that our parents worked for the same companies their whole careers and now get 30, 40, maybe 50%, of their final salary in pension benefits. They are getting paid to not work. That is so cool.

No wonder our parents could afford to buy speed boats and summer cottages and fondue pots. They didn't have to worry so much about their retirement. So I said, where do you get one of those pensions, I want one. She said you have to work for someone for a long time. I said, Boy I don't do anything like that, do I?

I work for myself and there is no Comedians Union. There's probably a Rodeo Clowns Guild with a pension and great dental but nothing for us comedians.

So now I'm bummed but a comedian friend of mine said "Yes, we don't have pensions but we love our work and don't have to slave away year after year for a boss we hate." I said "When you're 84 and can't afford socks remind yourself that you never got up at 6 A.M. and I had a single digit handicap. When I'm 89 and the bank comes to repossess my house, what can I say- I once had four pars in a row at Pebble Beach? At that point I'll need money, not golf memories.

What's my point? On behalf of all of us pensionless Americans out there please, please, please, leave your money in the stock market. So what if tech stocks are a big Ponzi scheme. If everybody plays, everybody wins... more or less, right? Be optimistic. Buy in the dips. Buy and hold. If the big runup of the past few years was emotional then the sell-off was emotional. And negative emotions are wrong. Ummmm, ummmm... as the poet once said, "Don't worry, be happy..." And remember if you don't buy a ticket you can't win the lottery. The net is the future. A bird in the hand... forget that one... Please, don't beat up my little portfolio by dumping tech stocks. I WANT A SPEEDBOAT!!!!! In Los Angeles, I'm Tim Bedore for Marketplace.