This has been a pretty rocky month for most of us who invest in the stock market. After about four years of pretty good returns, the chickens are coming home to roost. There doesn't seem to be any refuge in foreign markets. I'm pretty impressed with the low-level french flunkie who managed to squander $7.2 billion from Societe Generale, perhaps triggering a big selloff on European markets. In short, no matter how diversified one is, there has been pretty much no refuge from the market's wild gyrations of the past few weeks. It truly has been like a giant casino, where the house almost always wins. Apropos of that, the Boregonian has a story in this morning's paper about how PERS has done during the past week. According to the report, PERS has lost about $5 billion of asset value during this month's swoon. Not to worry. The PERS fund is well-funded and remarkably well-managed. If any group of investors is prepared to weather this, the Oregon Investment Council seems especially magical when it comes to earning money in nearly any market. This may not be the banner year we'd hoped for, but there isn't much risk out there that the OIC can't mitigate. They're playing at the big casino, but they have the skill of a card counter without doing anything that pisses off the casino management. Keep the faith. I only wish I had my personal portfolio collectively invested in the way of the PERS Fund. I might be losing less money that way.
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