Dow's decline changed investment dynamics

Investors are more interested in selling high than buying low.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — As the financial markets have dropped to levels not seen in more than a decade, investors' strategies appear to have changed.

"Where it was buy on the dips, now it's sell on increases," Raleigh financial adviser Gerald Townsend said.

"So, we have a run up in the market. Is that an opportunity to buy more? No, it's an opportunity to sell," Townsend said.

Battered by the mortgage crisis, the credit crunch and the resulting global recession, the Dow has tumbled from its October 2007 peak of 14,168 points to close Friday at 7,278. The market had been below 7,000 until a recent two-week rally.

The steep drop has unnerved most investors.

"I just don't look anymore," investor Brad Rich said.

"I'm very concerned about the future," investor Mary Gurganus said.

Townsend said many investors continued to buy until the Dow fell below the 10,000 mark, hoping to pick up deals. That philosophy changed as the losses mounted, he said.

"You reach a point where you're cynical. You become tired," he said.

Townsend said he still has a long-term outlook. He said he still likes equities, but he has been looking to safer investments.

"We may go another 10 years of modest (returns). I won't say nothing. It'll be positive, I think, but it may be 5, 6, 7 percent – average, modest returns," he said.

Brian Ingram, who drives a rickshaw in downtown Raleigh, said he's used to a bumpy ride. Still, he's putting his money in a savings account, he said, because his stomach isn't strong enough for the stock market.

"My ride, even though it's wild, can be safer than the stock market because nobody's falling out," Ingram said.


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