We talk about why you should always be in the stock market (and NOT for the same reasons Wall Street wants you in, either). That's because being in the markets allows you tap into the inevitable growth that comes from capitalism and, by implication, humanity's upside.
Lately, though, people are beginning to doubt the premise behind that Total Wealth tactic.
That's due partly to recent trading action (which is unsettling), and partly due to the hype surrounding various indicators that are almost "guaranteed" to show a looming meltdown (which is unnerving).
Right now the scary indicator making the rounds is record "total margin debt." Chances are you've probably seen the emails, too.
According to the New York Stock Exchange, investors have borrowed more than $457 billion against their brokerage accounts as of November 2014 - a new record. The social meme - the mantra, if you will - is that so much debt is unsustainable, and that it potentially undermines the entire market.
I get that... Debt is a four-letter word after all, especially when it comes to the central bankers and Wall Street fat cats. But this is different.
In fact, I'd even go so far as to chalk this up to another case of "it isn't what it seems."