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COMMENTARY | Experts are warning that as baby boomers sell off their stocks to pay for their retirements, the younger investors are going to watch their portfolios sink like the titanic. As a Gen-X investor, I started thinking about the phenomena called the "baby boom bust" in the late 1990s. I realized much of the movement in the stock market was dependent on the 79 million people born between 1946 and 1964. In the 1990s baby boomers were investing in technology stocks as part of the dot com phenomena. This decade they bought gold. I figure next decade, any businesses related to funeral headstones, cemeteries and mortuaries are going to be booming.
Perhaps I'm cynical, but I've figured out a few ways to protect myself from the baby boom bust.
Getting sage advice
When I want advice about investing, I typically turn to my millionaire friend who a fellow Gen-Xer rather than broke baby boomers I meet. I have picked up some solid nuggets of financial wisdom from depression-era senior citizens. They convinced me that it's not about timing the market, but time in the market.
Having an exit strategy
Everyone who invests in the stock market or other investments needs to have a plan for how they will eventually exit the investment. I do not plan to exit the stock market while baby boomers are shifting their allocations to bonds or when the stock market is tanking. I am sticking to my timeline for retirement and other goals.
Taking part in the global economy
To be successful in years to come, I have to think beyond what's happening in the United States. To me, thinking global is not just about investing in foreign stocks or mutual funds, it's also about doing business with people from other countries and reaching a worldwide audience instead of just a local one.
Meanwhile, my children and others in Generation Z could pursue jobs that will receive a life boat because of the aging and dying older baby boomers, but I think they are better to pursue their own passions. From a practical standpoint, they will do fine with their social networking skills, hard work ethic and willingness to work with all kinds of people.
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