NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Few people would suggest that Mick Jagger is a good source of advice on lifestyle, especially during his younger days.
But I would posit that Mick got it right with his ionic 1969 song,
You Can't Always get What You Want
As a matter of fact, the metaphor continues with the album name,
Let It Bleed
, because bleeding is exactly what most Baby Boomer investors have been doing lately.
However, old Mick comes through with ..."but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need."
The notion that you can't always get what you want stems from the realization, by me as well as many others living through it, that the traditional apparatus for building and storing wealth has failed us, and that there isn't going to be a return to "normalcy" any time soon.
Think about what boomers have lived through over the long haul, and in the very recent past. The transition of the economy from manufacturing to service, and the attendant loss of high-paying, secure employment that offered health care and retirement benefits. Two stock market crashes. A 10-year period with zero -- zero -- gains in the market (as measured by the
The collapse of the real estate market, and with it the security that comes from knowing that your largest asset will always be worth more than you bought it for. The attenuation of interest rates to the point where fixed-income has become associated with the idea of no income.
Between inflation and taxes, fixed-income investors are allocating their precious capital for the privilege of simply getting their money back.
There's more of course, but I think these points spell things out pretty clearly.
The source of this malaise is the collapse of what I like to call the wealth storage industry. There's never been another industry of the size and scale of wealth storage -- not autos, or steel or energy -- and it has collapsed both in functionality and in the number of jobs and opportunities it offers.