retired tool designer. Sold all equities/ mutuals 06Aug07 (dow 13,200) and bought short term treasuries. Since then ive increased portfolio wealth considerably (by my standards anyway) by investing in gold and certain derivatives. Less than a mil to invest makes me a scrounger after scraps- it was safer racing motorcycles! That said, I've learned very much by reading the wonderfully learned articles and responses in this website. Enough so that I'm beating hell out of results by folks I've paid good money to for advice. (hey, I'll listen and make up my own mind if they arent paying me to follow it!) I believe in America, her energy and her Constitution. I grew up poor and it was the best thing that could've happened to me. I feel hugely grateful for the opportunity to have served my country AND for the many opportunities to succeed that were provided by those who served before me. I detest all forms of social entitlement. It rewards that which is least in us and penalizes that which is best. Welfare is an insult to those who receive it, teaching them they are not able to do it themselves. It has been and will be the demise of the greatness of our country. I distinguish between the 'social security' for which I have paid and is therefore owed to me, and programs that give those monies away to those who have not contributed! That said, anyone who knows me knows I've got their back in a jam... THAT is what America is to me. Vastly different from the 4 layers of bureaucracy between neighbor helping neighbor. Mind you, nothing wrong with a tithe for the common good, we need roads and dams and bridges to mutually prosper. We DONT NEED pork barrel politics by the cynical pricks with their hands on the wheel and a 900+ page TAX CODE. Of course, your mileage may vary and I wish you Godspeed in making your dreams happen but you need'nt tread upon me whilst I pay your bills! And by the way, if I feed your kid, does that mean he's working for me now?