Category Archives: stock market and pensions

My Own Personal March Madness

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 05:  Traders work on the f...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I am totally sympathetic with the Libyan rebels and I sincerely hope they prevail. However it is March. March is the month when my pension resets. We have been seeing a nice steady growth in the stock market since last March. Now it is March again and, as usual the market is taking a downward turn. However temporary this downturn may be, the timing is what drives me crazy. There is, in fact, a slump almost every March. I checked. You can too. There is a graph at http://stockcharts.com/charts/historical/dija2000html. If you check the period just before April there is a dip in March no matter how healthy the market is looking. I always wonder if my pension group is powerful enough to assist in this downturn, although I do realize that this is probably just paranoia. It is uncanny how consistent this trend is. It explains why I live through March on tenterhooks wondering how much the bad old month of March will shave off my pension income for next year. My pension “consultant” used to explain that the pension was determined by whatever value was in the market on March 31st. Last year, when the market was a bit up on March 31st, they changed this litany and said instead that the value of my pension was an average of the value for the entire year. Whatever, I have no control over this matter except to sit helplessly with my anxiety until March ends. Of course the Libyans could not have planned their bid for freedom around my pension, but I can still wish, in my selfish human way, that they had chosen the month of June instead. (I must say that I have been lately amazed by how tenaciously these old men will cling to power. Khadafy is 87.)

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