An accountant recently told me that a number of her clients remained nervous about the stock market. Apparently the residual fear from the great upheaval of 2008-2009 and the uncertain state of the world economy is making them extremely cautious. I am sure that for many of these people the stock market appears to be a casino—a game of chance with no apparent explanation for its movements.
This perspective may be impacted, to some extent, by the growing popularity of index funds. An article in Morningstar Advisor argues that the proliferation of index funds corresponds to "increased trading commonality among index constituents through the interactions of market participants." Huh?
For those of us of a certain age, it seemed like the distant future when we first heard the Beatles sing: "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?" I clearly envisioned that, by that time, we would live in a world as depicted in The Jetsons. But as that age approaches (or has been reached), mundane matters like Medicare start to impinge on our thoughts of flying cars and robot maids.
Of course, no one really wants to think about Medicare, with its jumble of letters—Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. What a mess. The basics on what this alphabet soup means can be found on Medicare's web site.