Monday, March 30, 2009

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right - Pension Insurance

Pension insurer shifted to stocks - The Boston Globe
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The article above gives me a pit in my stomach on a number of levels, but one in particular. I think most people would get sick thinking of the money already "lost" . . . I get sick thinking about the money that might not be gained.

I'd like to think that the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp would operate under some pretty standard advice: if you need money in the next 5 years, maybe you shouldn't have it in stocks. I do think they need to be proactive and estimate if they'll have an onslaught of pensions to back and see if that changes their time horizon, but they also need to be able to face reality. With valuations where they are, it might very well make sense to "stay put" and not have Congress reallocate your portfolio.

As we say here: "Two wrongs don't make a right." From this observer's point of view, it seems like shift back to the old strategy right now might be wrong #2.

Note: The author recognizes that he does not possess the right mix of qualifications, connections, and unconfessed past sins that is required to work for the PBGC, the Government Accountability Office, or the Congressional Budget Office. Therefore, his opinions are merely that and should not be applied to your investment strategy or the government's investment strategy for that matter and frankly he's surprised you're reading this fine print.

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