Often the opposite is also true. Many people have trouble buying when things are going poorly. This leads to contrarian investing. If you want to buy low and sell high, you have to overcome your own emotions, the madness of the crowds and think more objectively. The psychology of investing may very well be as important as any other factor, don’t you think?
We have moved, quite quickly, away from defined benefit (pensions) to defined contribution (401K) plans. This provides a company with the advantage of contributing and forgetting it but burdens the employee with management of their own retirement investments. Although many company plans are set up by reputable investment companies that offer a range of sound investment opportunities, once employment is changed, capital can rolled into just about any investment and there are plenty of sharks in the waters. This means that many will fail to invest wisely and end up on public assistance even though they had ample opportunity to do otherwise.
Is it cynical or maybe just realistic to predict more regulation?
One reason some don’t believe that we will face the same economic problems as Japan after a bubble bursting is that we have a more efficient financial system. One that will not tolerate corporations, especially banks, that are insolvent remaining in the marketplace. In some cases efficiency equals pain, hopefully short term. This is something many feel Japan has yet to learn.