Has our supply of gasoline disappeared? Are U.S. refineries slowing their production? Is the amount of oil flowing across the globe reduced?
Have U.S. companies lost their massive amounts of unencumbered cash? Has their cost-cutting been terminated with a big round of bottom line-destroying spending?
The president might have boxed himself into a corner with his declaration of a "red line" in Syria, but that shouldn't cause folks to make irrational decisions on investments. Will that one country and our actions there have a dramatic impact on the U.S. economy? As a professional, I urge you to think back. Did that happen in Bosnia, Iraq (twice), Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.?
When the stock market crashed on Oct. 19, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 22.6 percent to 1,738. But for that year, the Dow was up 2.26 percent.
When the financial and real estate bubble hit, the Dow's rock bottom close was 6,547. Today, after all those wars, bubbles, elections, recessions, 9-11, the Fort Hood shooting and the Boston bombing, the Dow is near 15,000.
One last number to ponder: 50 percent. That is the reduction in number of shares of Standard & Poor's 500 companies that are available to the investing public today versus 20 years ago.
Meanwhile, 401(k), IRA, public and private pension, baby boomer retirement and other individual money needs a place to go that grows, pays income and is liquid.
Is now really the time to end a disciplined, long-term investment plan?