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Is Google Another Enron, Facebook or Knight Capital?

For decades, we fell into the sleepy assumption that real estate investment carries no risk. That dream died hard.

Stocks are no different than real estate. Or any other inherently risky endeavor.

Part of that risk -- like it or not, fair or not, for better or worse -- includes unnatural, unexpected or sometimes nefarious occurrences.

Somebody hits send too early. People lose money.

Knight Capital's computers go haywire. Somebody has a heart attack after logging into their E-Trade account.

Facebook's IPO doesn't go to $100. Rip Mark Zuckerberg a new rear end because he wears a hoodie and honeymooned with his new wife.

Enron collapses. Ban 401(k)s.

Where does it end? Where do we draw the line? What's "preventable?" What can we regulate? What can't we regulate? It's all a big mess. Always has been.

It's nobody's job to hold our hands, as humans making our way through this thing called life or investors navigating the stock market.

As with most of life's pleasures, you're going to get screwed from time to time.

I don't see the sense in complaining about it, demanding more laws or regulation from bloated entities who clearly have no idea how to regulate.

Learn from your mistakes. That's key. And do whatever it is that you do to protect yourself (diversify, use options, buy bonds, get an emergency fund, put it all on Sloopy in the 7th at Belmont, pray). That might even mean staying out of the stock market completely. That's extreme, but, for some folks, it's probably the choice that brings the least anxiety and most sanity.

At the time of publication, the author was long FB.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Rocco Pendola is a private investor with nearly 20 years experience in various forms of media, ranging from radio to print. His work has appeared in academic journals as well as dozens of online and offline publications. He uses his broad experience to help inform his coverage of the stock market, primarily in the technology, Internet and new media spaces. He has taken a long-term approach to investing, focusing on dividend-paying stocks, since he opened his first account as a teenager. Pendola, 37, is based in Santa Monica, Calif., where he lives with his wife and child.
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