If you're anything like me, you spent some time digging through your investment accounts over the weekend, cackling with glee.
The first quarter was over, and the big numbers were good. Very good.
Simply stated, the stock market had just had its best quarter in 14 years.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8% and the S&P 500 12% during the first three months of the year, their best start to the year since 1998.
And the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index? It was up 19%, a feat it hadn't matched since 1991.
So I was anxious to see how my retirement funds had done.
The answer was gratifying.
My portfolio was up 10.6% -- and I hope you enjoyed the same double-digit gains.
I was pretty happy with that since about 20% of my portfolio is in CDs and another 25% is in bonds.
I think the 55% of my holdings that is in stocks (large cap, small cap, international -- you name it, I've got it) performed pretty well.
The quarter left my portfolio at an all-time high, a position that I always find to be particularly gratifying.
I'm not racing out to buy a new car or grab a first-class flight to Antigua, but I'm a living, breathing example that the "wealth effect" is real.
My previous high-water mark was last June, before congressional Republicans launched the summer's totally unnecessary battle over the federal debt ceiling.
Then came Greece's brush with default, and by the time the third quarter mercifully ended, my savings was down 8.6% for no damn good reason.
Nothing had actually happened, but my financial security had taken a beating.
A modest rebound began in the final three months of the year, adding 4.0% to my holdings. Now this quarter's solid results completes the comeback.
Of course, I'm not totally happy with the forces behind that.
Forcing savers to abandon CDs and move our money into riskier stocks is part of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's radical plan to manipulate the economy.
But I don't make the rules. I just have to play by them.
The pursuit of financial security can be a pretty thankless, anxiety-filled task much of the time.
You've got to find motivation somewhere, and I was hoping to have a few days to savor the modest success I had been able to wring from the markets.
Of course, there were those out to deny even that simple pleasure.
Less than five hours after the markets closed on Friday, Reuters had a story with this headline on its wire: "Stellar first quarter gives way to cautious second quarter."
Geesh. The second quarter didn't even start until Sunday, and already I was being told "investors are looking for potential potholes to derail a stock market rally which has already shown signs of tailing off in recent days."
I wanted to scream, "No we're not!"
I mean, I'm sure there are lots of things out there that can derail this rally.
Can't I at least see how my mutual funds ended the quarter before plunging back into Wall Street's usual doom and gloom?
And then the markets opened the second quarter up today.
The down gained 52 points. The Nasdaq, 28. The S&P, 10.
I don't doubt that a rally-wrecking shock awaits somewhere in the future -- maybe as soon as this Friday's unemployment report.
But for now, we've got another day with the Dow within 1,000 points of its record high.
Let's enjoy it.
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