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(NECN: Josh Brogadir) - It was exactly a year ago - European markets were tanking, unemployment numbers were rising, and the Dow dropped 419 points in one day.
That day in August, we spoke with two investors, following opposite paths.
So what's happened in the last year?
The roller coaster ride that was crushing investors in last summer's dog days is gone for now.
The question, when might it return?
All is far from stable in this economic forecast.
Both men we spoke with one year ago, and again this past week - get that - and think they made the right decision for them.
"This could get worse before it gets better," Bernie Lizotte said last year.
"I'm riding it out" Mike Gonnerman said last year.
To paraphrase New England's own Robert Frost, one year ago, two New England investment paths diverged in a wood.
Bernie Lizotte, of Charlton, Mass. took the one less traveled, and for him, it has made all the difference.
He lost 50 percent of his investments a decade ago, and so this time, he took all his money out of stocks.
"I took that money, invested that into annuities, fixed annuities, which pay me between 4 and 5 ½ percent per month guaranteed," Bernie said.
The market is doing much better, but Bernie's too risk averse to come back at this point.
"Who knows if one day, it doesn't take a dive for any, any reason. As we all know, it's so volatile - an oil tanker sinks, and the stock market drops, and it may have nothing to do with terrorism or anything else. It's just too volatile for me," Bernie said.
"Yeah, it's very volatile, and it's not surprising. If you were to get a call from your advisor saying, Mike it went down 400 points today, I'd say ok, it went down 400 points. Should we do anything? No, not today. Ok," Mike Gonnerman said.
Gonnerman, formerly of Sudbury, Mass., now of Hanover, NH took the other road, staying the course, leaving his money in, investing in large American companies.
A year ago, the 69-year-old grandfather of four, avid distance runner, and high-tech industry consultant, told us the market was going to come back.
We asked if he knows what his portfolio is up from last year at this time until now?
"Yes, it's up 15 to 20 percent," he said.
Trepidation ruled a year ago.
The Dow had dropped to 10,991.
On the day we spoke with Mike and Bernie, it's up to 13,191, a robust 16.7 percent gain.
Bernie's not reaping those rewards, but cruising on his boat on Glen Echo Lake with his wife Maryellen, the 68-year-old retiree, former GE executive, tan from running and golf, and an Arizona winter, is doing just fine, thank you.
"Life is good, it could have been better but you know, I'll take what I've got and I'll run with it," Bernie said.
As for Mike, the path well worn - is a path of patience.
"We all endured significant market gyrations and frankly it gives you a little stronger stomach for things that are going to happen in the future," he said.
So Bernie plans to stay out of the stock market, Mike will stay in.
Both men have a financial advisor - and check in regularly, though Mike says quarterly meetings are perfect for him, more than that would be too many for the type of investor he is.
As they said last year, both think young investors should still be in the market.