Smart investors look for some stock gems amid the rubble

USA Today – Given the stock market’s wretched performance this year, your current retirement plan may involve a modest part-time job, such as woodworking or forgery.

Before you take up a life of crime, however, remember that really rotten markets sometimes uncover opportunities. In fact, the worse the market, the more bargains you can find. And right now, you can buy stocks and bonds of the nation’s best-run and most profitable businesses at astoundingly low prices. What’s more, you can collect dividends and interest while you wait for the economy to recover and for other investors to regain their senses.

First, and let’s not whitewash things here, the current market has all the appeal of a weekend in the local viper pit. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 679 points on Thursday alone; it has shed 5,585 points, or 39%, in the past 12 months.

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