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I have been traveling so unaware of any local flyers as to exactly what time the

sales will begin the day after Thanksgiving, but I'm guessing it'll be midnight
this year. I've always thought Black Friday sounded too racist, so I prefer to
call it Friday Fire Sales instead. You see, in addition to the generally accepted
meaning of fire sales, we've been burnt this year in the stock and bond markets
such that retailers are going to HAVE to induce us with some pretty special
savings. What will it take to rouse you out of a deep sleep,haul yourself into
your car and for those of use living in cold weather states, possibly have to
clean the frost or snow off that same car, and elbow your way into a store or two?
Discounts of 30%? Discounts of 40%? How about 50%? Now THAT'S a real bargain by
anyone's standards.

Yet if I invited you to consider buying into some stock mutual funds now, you
would probably not take the same view, correct? Yet, I've always said that
investing involves common sense, and common sense would say that a heavy discount
of a quality item is usually an invitation to buy, in anticipation of gaining
terrific value without having to pony up a retail (or even wholesale in some
cases) price.

They don't ring a bell at the bottom of the stock market, nor do they ring a bell
at the peak. So, unlike retailers, who advertise their sale days and the exact %
off (in advance) with glossy mailers, the stock market doesn't advertise to the
masses or event a select few, but rather gallops along, available for purchase at
any time. And hint, hint, wink, wink, the stock market is on a HUGE fire sale
right now!

Obviously the combination of buyers and sellers is what makes the market--when one
person thinks it's a great time to buy, another will be equally convinced it's a
great time to sell. So, now in the midst of heavy selling, and some panic
selling, I invite you to ask yourself, are you one who prefers to pay retail or
wholesale prices? Or are you one to take advantage of a real fire sale?

If you have extra money that you can comfortably afford to invest for 3-7 years,
there has not been a time like this to buy in many a year. Will the market go
lower? Perhaps. Will the market improve such that you "feel" more comfortable
investing? Perhaps, yet statistics abound about how much investors lose out on by
waiting too long to buy, and it's a sizeable percentage indeed! Remember the age
old advice, buy LOW, sell HIGH!

So, rather than wade in by buying individual stocks, I recommend the purchase of
no-load mutual funds--a collection of stocks--to mitigate some single stock risk.
In other words, why "pick" a stock now, when so much changing news could adversely
affect your whole investment; i.e., single stock--hey who thought Lehman Brothers
would now be dust just 4 months ago? I mean if this whole financial meltdown
caught Alan Greenspan by surprise who are we to wax eloquent on matters financial.
Nothing saying you can't buy a little at a time over the next several weeks and
months either, utilizing dollar cost averaging.

As you stand in those long lines then this Friday, remember that you may make some
of your wisest purchases this holiday season from the comfort of your home,
dialing your financial planner or broker, or placing the trade(s) into the stock
market yourself.