When I started out as a strategist more than 30 years ago, I had the arrogance of youth, a long-term investing horizon and less wealth to worry about. Those three qualities worked well then, but not so much now. I have the wealth to enable a comfortable retirement - at the moment. What I don’t have is the time left to sleep easily at night in the event the stock market enters a serious bear market. I’m not alone: those aged 55 and older are a larger portion of the population than they’ve ever been. We’re 35 percent of the country and growing. Compare that to 27.4 percent in 2000 and 31 percent in 2008. I'll get back to those years in a bit. When you consider the recent gyrations in equities in the context of the aging population, logic follows that folks facing or in retirement will be much more defensive in their behavior than in the past. If that means they will be quicker to get out of equities in the next downturn and stay out, their impact will be felt for a long time. That's e...

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