The stock market has just plummeted by eight million points. Your retirement fund has retired. You are in need of financial advice. Here it is.

With the market plummeting, should I get out of stocks and go into bonds?

It would probably be better to go into plummets.

What’s the difference between playing the market and throwing away your money down a deep, dark hole?

Historically, throwing away your money down a deep, dark hole has only a .32 expense ratio, which, if you include dividends and redemption fees, leaves you with a vested aggregate balance of a pig in a poke. Playing the market gives you a pig without the poke.

How should I diversify my portfolio?

Buy more pokes.

Is diversification important?

Yes. Look at it this way. If you were going to a movie and only bought popcorn at the refreshment stand, would you be exceeding your Lipper average for the year to date and since the inception of the refreshment stand?

If you diversify, you could have popcorn AND Dots, not to mention maybe Milk Duds. Thus, if there was a run on popcorn between the interminable previews and the feature presentation, you would be protected.

How can I tell the difference between a bear market and a bull market?

Bear markets are generally asleep during the winter, a period that investment analysts refer to as a market correction because the bears can correct the mistakes they made in the summer.

When it comes to investing, how do I determine my tolerance for risk?

Ask yourself this simple question: Do you think that a convertible security is a sports car that General Motors no longer makes?

Are mutual funds the way to go now?

Mutual funds are where investors pool their money together so they can lose their money together so when they go out to dinner together they can’t pay cash and have to use credit cards. This is considered careful investing, but only if you get frequent flyer miles from your credit card.

What are indexed funds?

Indexed funds are a type of mutual fund that instead of footnotes at the bottom of each page that are really difficult to read and disrupt the flow of the narrative puts all the almost-relevant stuff at the back of the annual report you receive from your broker but never actually get around to reading.

What’s the difference between tax exempt and tax deferred?

Tax planning is an essential part of any investment strategy. So is having more money.

While both tax exempt and tax-deferred accounts can help you minimize your tax bill, making a mistake in your favor while you subtract line 72 from line 67 on your 1040 tax form is also quite effective.

I am worried that I will outlive my money. What should I do?

Eat more Twinkies. You won’t outlive anything.

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