Hillary Clinton has earned right to save stock market

April 06, 1994|By ROGER SIMON

WASHINGTON -- Although the stock market is vastly complex and the current situation is in a state of flux, one lesson can be drawn from the activity of the last couple of days:

We are all doomed.

That's because almost nobody understands the stock market.

In the last few weeks, I have heard only one really intelligent comment on the subject:

"Half the people in the stock market don't know anything," one stock analyst said, "and the other half don't know that they don't know anything."

It used to be that this didn't matter as much.

When the stock market crashed in 1987, most Americans didn't have money in the market. It was a crash that affected Wall Street and not Main Street.

Today, things are different.

As bank interest rates fell on savings accounts and certificates of deposits and as more and more employers offered retirement plans with the stock market as an investment choice, the average American started to "play" the market.

And today a majority of Americans have money invested on Wall Street either through direct stock ownership, mutual funds or retirement plans.

But do a majority of Americans understand the stock market? Of course not. And why should they?

Fidelity Investments' Magellan Fund is the largest and most popular mutual fund in the world. It has $34 billion in assets.

These assets are under the control of one man, Jeff Vinik, who holds the financial future of millions of Americans in his hands. Fortunately, he is considered to be something of an investment genius.

So a few days ago, a reporter from the Wall Street Journal called him and asked him what he foresaw for the stock market.

"I have no idea whatsoever," Vinik replied.

Now take a look at the panel of top experts that the New York Times has assembled. These experts are given a hypothetical $50,000 and each quarter they show their investment strategies and how much they made.

Their results for the first quarter of this year?

They all lost money. The best lost .76 percent and the worst lost 4.98 percent.

And you can hardly blame them. While there are some predictable patterns to the market, it also can respond completely irrationally.

Take October, 1988. There were rumors that the Washington Post was going to print a story about an alleged love affair between George Bush and a woman employee.

Because of this, the stock market fell 43 points in a single day.

In reality, there was no such story. But the Post was forced to announce this fact in order to avoid further financial chaos.

Now ask yourself this:

Do you really want the safety of your money dependent on how much our presidents date?

In all my research, I have managed to find just one person who truly seems to understand the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the perils and pitfalls of the financial markets:

Hillary Rodham Clinton.

With no experience whatsoever, she turned a $1,000 investment in the commodities market into almost $100,000 in about a year.

Clearly, the rest of us need her help.

As with many of you, the money I have invested in my retirement account has taken big losses in the last few months.

But wouldn't it be nice if we could give our money to Hillary and have her invest it for us?

She could start a mutual fund. It would be perfectly legal.

I am not asking her to increase my money 10-fold like she did for herself. I would be very satisfied if she would merely double my money in a year.

But perhaps your needs are different. Perhaps you face retirement soon and need a five-fold or six-fold increase.

Here is what I suggest. Send a note to:

The So Help Me Hillary Fund

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, D.C. 20500

Just tell Hillary how much money you have to invest and how much you need to make. And let her do the rest.

nTC Send no money. Or, if you do, here is one piece of advice that is good for dealing with Wall Street or the White House:

Always get a receipt.

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