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401(k)s and Coffee Cups

| February 01, 2013
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For the fragile, the cumulative effect of small shocks is smaller than the single effect of an equivalent large shock.- Nassim Nicholas Taleb

On occasion, when drinking my morning coffee, I have suffered the unfortunate consequence of not retuning the cup to the countertop and it fell to the floor, shattering into many pieces rendering it useless.  In his book AntiFragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb says, letting a porcelain cup drop on the floor from a height of one foot has more than 12 times the damage from a drop of one inch. The same holds true in protecting your 401(k) account.  During certain, identifiable economical periods or market cycles, it is more prudent to protect your assets from a large shock while experiencing several small shocks (small up and down account movement), but avoiding one large shock.

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