17 January 2003
A bustle in my hedgerow
And a considerable row it is; being a defensive person by nature, I have constructed my 401(k) accounts in such a matter that dismal stock-market performance is largely offset by gains in other areas. While this hedging wasn't as startlingly effective last year as it was in the two years preceding, I did manage to hold my losses (the fund manager calls them "negative returns", which is a tad too euphemistic to suit me) to less than 3 percent, which, given yet another year of stocks in the toilet, isn't all that bad.
Younger and more aggressive investors, as you might expect, took it on the chin, or perhaps in more painful locations. Of course, if stocks actually turn upward for an extended period, the way they used to in the Good Old Days, their portfolios will perform better than mine, but in the meantime, there's still time to change the road they're on.