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What The Media Tell Americans About Free Enterprise

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April 1997


Kudos: ABC News

Something odd happened during the recent stock market correction: Reporters didn't panic.

Take ABC News. On the April 1 World News Tonight, Bob Jamieson told viewers: "What's significant here is that individual investors watched today's gyrations with more interest than anxiety, and shrugged them off, as they have the market's sharp decline the last three weeks."

He interviewed average investors, all of whom were calm about the correction. A man told him that "it's a non-event and it should be a non-event. People should focus on the underlying businesses that they're buying." Another investor agreed: "I'm in for the long haul, so no panic selling, not for me."

Jamieson also interviewed Melissa Brown of Prudential Securities. "I think it does tell us that when people have said that they are investing for the long term, maybe they really do mean that and they're not going to get scared away," she said.

In the next story, correspondent Ned Potter reported that "if the market is making you nervous, most advisors will urge you to sit down until the feeling passes."

He advised: "Remember the long-term picture, they say. If you look at the Dow Jones Industrials over the last three months, true, you'll be disheartened to see that you're almost back where you started on New Year's. But if you back up and look over the last five years, you'll see that stocks have gone up more than 17 percent per year, never mind the bumps along the way."

Potter also pointed out that young investors should be especially calm. "These are the years to be mostly in stocks," he said. "If they go down, you have plenty of time to recover."


Rich Noyes


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