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Bear Markets Do Wonders for Retirement

Ritter says it's a challenge to keep investors, young and old, from overreacting to bubbles and cycles.

"How do we change people's perspective from what happened in the past 18 months into the broader perspective that is appropriate for their goals and time horizon?" he says. "We see it at both times [bull and bear]. At the peak of the tech boom, all people see is that 'Tech stocks always go up; why shouldn't I have everything in stocks?' With the real-estate boom, it was 'Real estate has been doubling; why don't I have everything in real estate?' Then it was, 'Oh, no, 2008 was a disaster; why would anyone have anything in stocks.' It is just a different variation on the same theme. Our advice is to look beyond the short term and be appropriately invested for your time horizon."

-- Reported by Joe Mont in Boston.

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