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NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ When the Dow first crossed 14,000, investors were overjoyed. When it closed at an all-time high of 14,253.77 on Tuesday, it wasn't so much a time for celebration as it was for reflection.
It's been a long five and a half years.
The ups and downs of the market touched us all in some manner. Jobs were lost. Retirements were delayed. Even those who came out mostly unscathed were still reaching for Alka-Seltzer during the many turbulent days.
Through it all, the stock market has slowly climbed back. And many of us have been left with a much more pragmatic view of the economy.
To mark the new record, The Associated Press asked three people to reflect on the fluctuations in the Dow Jones industrial average and how it shaped their own experiences. Here are their stories:
FROM WALL STREET TO LIFE COACH
Vanessa Loder is the ultimate type-A person, the kind who's often attracted to Wall Street. A self-described perfectionist. An overachiever who graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Columbia University while playing Division I varsity soccer.
"I thought it wasn't good enough to be smart or athletic, I needed to be both."
After college, there were jobs at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan. By age 24, Loder was making $250,000 a year.
Loder then headed to Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she was co-president of the ski club. After graduating, she took a job with a San Francisco private equity firm.
It was the spring of 2007 and the stock market was on fire. Her hours were consumed with deal after deal.
The Dow just kept climbing. In April, it crossed 13,000. By July, it had passed 14,000.
One of the firm's partners came out of his office and announced the milestone. Many workers had their own investments.