I Lived

"I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived"
lyrics from a popular song "I Lived" by Colorado-based band One Republic

Midway through February, consider that we are halfway through the decade, and what a decade it's been! We came into the 2008 stock market crash full of naiveté: home prices could only go up, and for a time we thought they would rise faster than stocks; interest rates remained low, even though we feared them rising; and we all thought the credit crisis was a myth until it exploded with the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Our memories of the financial events of 2008 still drive our feelings to this day. The stock market hit bottom in March 2009. We witnessed the biggest government bailouts of many of the largest corporations in the world. We were told more "quantitative easing" was needed. We ended 2010 doubtful that our retirement accounts would see growth again. We had 10% unemployment--double that of today. The U.S. credit rating was downgraded for the first time in history. The economic forecasts for the next decade were bleak.

In February 2015, we've not only survived, but thrived. We have had five years of the best stock market returns in history. We have record-low interest rates and low costs of oil. We have decreasing unemployment. Still, we feel skeptical. The majority of the financial news around us is negative. Why don't we trust the good news? Perhaps the lesson to learn is that we can survive. No matter what the financial conundrum, we will persist and ultimately thrive.

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