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CNN IN THE MONEY

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Provides Care For Veterans; Price Of Oil; Dave Barry Pokes Fun At Endless Stream Of Self-Help And Money Books; Outsourcing Less Of A Threat?

Aired January 21, 2006 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Imagine losing an arm or a leg or maybe both legs while serving your country in wartime. The least you might expect from the country that you served for is when you come home with those kinds of injuries you get the kind of good care you need and deserve.
But wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan aren't getting the help they need and that's a disgrace. Their numbers are bigger than in any past war and the government says it can't cope. Critics say Washington isn't doing enough or spending enough and the critics I think are probably right. This week "Newsweek" Magazine covered a nonprofit that's doing the job Uncle Sam isn't.

It is called the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and Bill White is the president, and we're delighted to have him on the program today because this is a subject that happens to be near and dear to me, and I am hopeful that in the next few minutes we might be able to raise a few bucks for what is a worthy cause. Welcome it is nice to have you here.

BILL WHITE, PRESIDENT, INTREPID FALLEN HEROES FUND: Jack thank you very much for being here. Andy, Jennifer how are you?

ANDY SERWER, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Good.

CAFFERTY: Tell us a little bit about what you're doing and why it is necessary.

WHITE: Well, I think the main point is that the Fisher family and Rich Santully (ph) who run our foundation with these great super duper trustees, the who's who of American business as you can tell. Basically feel that what we're doing is really not a charity. Can you imagine the men and women coming back from Iraq being thought of as a charity case?

We actually consider this our duty to build this state of the world, the state of the art and one of a kind, this is going to be state of the world technology that has never been implemented on the planet to give care for these wounded, severely burned servicemen and women returning from war who we care about, love and respect.

SERWER: Bill, your effort beg as very serious and very obvious question. Where the heck is the Veterans Administration in all of this? What are they doing? WHITE: Well I have to give credit where credit is due. We're working closely with the V.A. and the military and the doctors and occupational therapist on the ground are some of the most caring, loving, giving professionals that we have ever met in the world. You know politics aside, we're an organization that truly believes that the debate is better left to the debtors and that our organization wants to get in their and do the right thing and help these people.

We're working closely with the V.A. to make sure these people from across the country, now if you are from Vietnam or Korea or even World War II you will be can go down to this center and experience the best possible physical rehabilitation that will be available on the planet.

JENNIFER WESTHOVEN, "HEADLINE NEWS" CORRESPONDENT: Bill, you are doing a great job stepping up to do something where the government seems to me is really not taking on some responsibility that it has here. Do you ever worry or do you ever talk to politicians to make sure that they don't somehow use this as an excuse not to do their duty in the future and not to keep taking responsibility?

WHITE: Well, I guess the best answer for that is folks like Senator Clinton in New York and John McCain are personal contributors to this particular fund. Senator McCain actually raised $55,000 for us and one of the things that we know is that once we build this facility the military and the V.A. are actually going to be responsible for the upkeep, the finances, the staffing, and the major expenses to cover that.

One of the things you mentioned, Jack, and I appreciate that, is we have actually raised $27 million of the $35 million that we need to build this center. We started construction. We are looking out to America who when asked is very generous and we have $8 million to go and we owe these men and women today for them to pick up the phone and call us. Our Web site is Fallenheroesfund.org or you can dial 1- 800340-hero and please get involved with this today because they need our help and we're grateful that you put this story on to talk about it.

CAFFERTY: Let's just leave that on the screen while I ask you this next question and get you to talk a little bit. When we say catastrophic injury, most of us have no idea what that entails. Give us a sense of the degree to which some of these kids and they are kids to me, come back from these war zones having been exposed to these explosive devices and all kinds of things that happen to them over there, give us an idea of the degree to which they need help, the kind of shape that some of them are in and how far the road is for them to get back.

WHITE: Well thanks Jack. Mr. Fisher also calls them kids. That's a very affectionate term. If you close your eyes and think of an IED being stuffed in the carcass of a sheep or a cow along a road in Baghdad or Fallujah and your Humvee drives over it and god for bid this explosion goes off and you lose, let's say, both of your legs or a combination thereof, these are multiple amputees. And then they actually get stuck in the Humvee in some cases and aren't able to get out because the vehicle is on fire so we have severe amputations caused by the accidents and we also have severe burns and the magic of this is that the technology that we have in this country is saving these lives.

In Vietnam they actually would have probably passed away or succumbed to their injuries on the battlefield but thank god they are surviving to come home to their moms, their dads, their families and their children and we have to be there to help them pick up the pieces so to speak in a very respectful way and get their lives back in order and get their dignity back.

SERWER: I think it is 20,000 soldiers and counting unfortunately have been wounded in that conflict. Let's put that screen back up again so we can allow people to jot down that number or Web site.

Bill, thank you very much for the work you are doing and for coming on our program. Bill White is the president of Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. What a job he is doing. Thanks Bill.

WHITE: Very grateful to you all. Thank you.

SERWER: OK. Coming up after the break, nothing to Yahoo about, the Web search company numbers help sink the techs this week. We will see if it time to get in or bail out?

Plus a financial book that doesn't double as a sleeping aid. Dave Barry is going to tell us about his new jab at the get rich quick show.

We'll check the tech job outlook for the coming year in our "Brain Storm" segment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WESTHOVEN: Let's look at the week's top stories in our "Money Minute." What's in your wallet? That's what the SEC wants to know if you are a CEO. The agency voted for new rules so that companies with stockholders will have to clearly reveal all of the salaries, stock grants and big perks they pay top executives.

Good news in the job market. A surprise drop in unemployment claims. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits for the first time shrank to its lowest levels April 2000.

Disney is in talks to by Pixar. The "Wall Street Journal" says the deal could be worth $6.7 billion. That would make the man behind the iPod a big say in Disney's future as its biggest individual stockholder. That would be a big change. The companies have been warring till Michael Eisner left Disney; the companies have been partners for years. Disney distributed Pixar movies including "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo."

SERWER: Yahoo shares took a beating midweek after the Internet media company's profit report fell short of expectations. Here's a look at how bad the damage was. Shares fell a whopping 13 percent on the news and still haven't recovered much since then. Yahoo's numbers sent most other major techs falling, too. But is the news really that bad for this company and the rest of the sector? That makes Yahoo our stock of the week.

Now you know how they have that exclamation point after the name Yahoo, maybe they should get rid of it for this quarter. Sales up 36 percent, profits up 32 percent. I mean come on.

CAFFERTY: What's wrong with that?

SERWER: It is just the expectation game.

WESTHOVEN: This is a moment for chickens. Or maybe you think OK I have tripled my money. Maybe it is time to -- bulls do well, bears do well, pigs get slaughtered.

CAFFERTY: There is also a red flag going up about Google. I don't know that there is any cause in effect there, but the street ever nervous as they are immediately started wondering if Google's numbers will meet expectations. Of course the stock has gone from $70 bucks to $400 in 18 months. I mean they have had quite a run.

SERWER: Everyone always lumps these two companies together. For a lot of reasons they should, they are both cutting edge Internet companies. A little bit different, you know Google has the sponsored links, Yahoo! more traditional advertising.

But Google is a lot bigger, here is it's marker value $127 billion, it has got a price-earning multiple of 95, where as Yahoo! is only about $50 billion and it has a P/E of 32. So already Google is more cutting edge than Yahoo! Yahoo! is already kind of an old school company. That was last year. It is amazing how quickly things are moving in this sector. Plus they have a gray beard Terry Simmel running Yahoo. An old guy,

CAFFERTY: How old is he?

SERWER: He's 62.

CAFFERTY: Wow that is almost as old as I am. Do you buy these stocks? Do you buy a Yahoo? They are not going anywhere. Yahoo will be around as long as there is an Internet situation. Do you buy the stock on the dip?

SERWER: I mean you could consider it. I would probably buy Yahoo before I would buy Google at this point.

WESTHOVEN: Yes, Yahoo! isn't sitting on that kind of a giant mountain of cash though that Google has.

SERWER: That is true, cash counts. That's one reason why the stock is up so much because of all that money there on its balance sheet. All right. No doubt they will be back up at some point.

Coming up on IN THE MONEY, enough with the whining already. Oil companies like their profits and Ben Stein says they deserve them. He is going to tell you why.

Also ahead, Wall Street without the bull. There is a new financial guy that won't make you rich but will make you laugh. Dave Barry is the author and he is joining us later.

Plus there is just one sure way to make money off techs, get them to hire you. John Challenger of Challenger, Grey & Christmas will look at this year's job outlook for the sector.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Here's what's happening now in the news.

West Virginia's governor calls it a rescue mission and releases the names of the two men trapped inside a coal mine in Melville, West Virginia. They are 33-year-old Don Israel Bragg and 47 year old Ellery "Elvis" Hatfield. Officials also said they think they have contained the fire deep inside the mine that trapped the men when it broke out on Thursday.

It is now a race against time to save a stranded whale in London. Marine rescuers say the bottlenose whales condition is deteriorating because it has been out of water too long. The rescuers are taking the whale to the English Channel aboard a barge. It could be another two or three hours away.

There's been no word out of Iraq about kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll. The 28-year-old American was abducted two weeks ago in Baghdad. Her captors are threatening to kill her unless U.S. forces release all Iraqi women in their custody.

I'll have the day's news at the top of the hour. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Now back to more of IN THE MONEY.

SERWER: It is very easy to moan and grown about the price of gasoline especially when it has been on such a wild ride over the past year or so. Did you ever step back and think about the cost of gas and oil compared to, say, a bottle of wine? An old friend of ours did and he says it's not so bad. Economist Ben Stein, welcome back. Ben good to see you.

BEN STEIN, ECONOMIST: Honor to be here sir.

SERWER: Now you can't possibly be defending oil companies. They are taking money out of our pockets every single day and every single day they are taking more money.

STEIN: They're not taking more money every single day. The price of oil has collapsed since they cut post-Katrina days and they take money out of our pockets but they are putting gasoline and heating oil in our cars and in our houses so they are doing a useful service. It is a difficult service.

They bring gasoline from under the ocean as oil in the Nigeria or Indonesia or the deserts of Libya or Saudia Arabia a great risk, a great danger. They pipe it across to some refinery. They ship it to America. They put it in my car's gas tank and it cost less per fluid ounce than milk, or bottled water of a premium variety. Of most varieties that I can see at the grocery store.

That's pretty much a miracle. I don't know why we're mad at them. They don't set the price of oil. The price of oil is set by traders and suspenders several miles south of here on Wall Street and not by the oil companies. It is not a conspiracy set by a group of Oliver Stone like conspirators in Texas. It is set by traders in suspenders.

WESTHOVEN: Then why the oil executives? You are talking about how they have such a difficult life. They make a lot of money.

STEIN: They make a lot of money compared to me and I suspect compared with you as well though, I don't know maybe not compared with everyone on this show. I suspect they don't make as much money as Dave Barry but they make less than Hollywood stars and they make much less than Wall Street traders and they do a much greater service. I mean what is the service that is done by Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie compared with the service of putting oil in our houses and gas in our cars?

There is no shortage of people who get paid a great deal more than oil company executives for doing a lot less work and less useful work. They are paid well compared to me but they are not paid well compared to many, many, many executives in this country.

CAFFERTY: Based on recent news reports there was some sort of a service provided by Angelina Jolie --

STEIN: That was a service he provided to her. It wasn't a service provided to you and me.

WESTHOVEN: They are creating a master race.

CAFFERTY: I happen to agree with you on this whole premise that the market controls the prices of things. We live in a capitalistic society, and people are in business to make a profit. Why is there this animosity toward the oil companies?

STEIN: That's a very good question. I think it has to do with animosity that my teenage son feels towards me and I think it has to do with the fact that he's dependent on me that makes him feel angry. People tend to be very angry at those upon who they are dependent and if you are dependent on the oil companies to get you the gas you need to go to work and oil you need to heat your house, you tend to be mad at them especially when they raise their prices.

But look they are the victims of the price system in oil too when the price collapses and they have had $10 a barrel oil just recently and they also had $70 a barrel oil and they made money. They are just out there plugging along like everyone else. The idea that they are somehow able to control the world is just nonsense. It is a vestige of the John D Rockefeller days; he has been dead for a long time. SERWER: Hey Ben, earlier this week I was talking to another great economic mind, Willie Nelson. He has this bio diesel business going on where he is making diesel fuel out of diesel fuel and part vegetable oil. Like soy beans and he has a product called Bio Wille. Now, why aren't we doing more things like that? Things to wean ourselves from foreign oil? Shouldn't we be doing that?

STEIN: I agree we should. You know I used to be a speechwriter for Mr. Nixon and I wrote a speech out lining a proposal for a project that would make us less dependent on foreign oil out side of the western hemisphere within ten years and that was in 1974 that I wrote that speech. We haven't done much about it. I would like to see us do more about it. It is an enormous undertaking; I think it is very worthwhile. I would like to see us do more about it.

WESTOVER: If you are somebody who says you are trying to support a whole family. You have a job, you have to drive a long way, and there are no buses where you are. You can understand why somebody would get pretty mad.

STEIN: I totally understand. Look at my gas station near my house; gasoline was close to $4 a gallon right after Katrina. I was hysterical when I filled up my car. It is not the fault of the oil companies. It is the fault of the hurricane; it is the fault of forces of nature and acts of god and the fault of the traders that bid up the price. Oil companies don't set the price. Being angry with them is just being angry at a phantom. They don't set the price. They are middlemen; they are not setting the price.

WESTHOVEN: Then thank you so much for riding to their rescue. They needed a knight in shining armor. I have to confess, I always wanted to win your money.

STEIN: You may still.

WESTHOVEN: All right. Thank you so much for joining us. There are lots more to come on IN THE MONEY.

Up next, the book that puts the play back into playing the market. Humorous Dave Barry wrote it and will join us to talk about it.

Plus, one place where the pension isn't an endangered species. Congress has it good and Allen Wastler of Money.com will let you know just how good.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WESTHOVEN: Dave Barry fans have been going through a little withdrawal since he stopped writing his weekly newspaper column. But have no fear. Dave is back with a new book. This time he's poking fun at the endless stream of self-help and money and personal finances books out there. His book is called "Money Secrets: Like Why is there a Giant Eyeball on the Dollar." Dave Barry joins us from Miami. Dave so nice to see you.

DAVE BARRY, AUTHOR, "MONEY SECRETS:" Thank you it is good to be here.

WESTHOVEN: Thanks for joining us. My first question is on the question on the book. Why is there a giant eyeball on the dollar?

BARRY: National security, that eyeball actually is a camera; there is a little chip in there. It can see you. It is transmitting images to a computer in Washington. Mostly what they are picking up is the inside of people's wallets but if you see an act of terrorism you should hold your dollar up, eyeball out, your government will thank you.

SERWER: That makes a lot of sense to me, Dave. I have done a bunch of other journalism. I do business journalist mostly. I have done some rock music journalism. That was a great guitar solo Keith Richards. Did your teammates help you with a touchdown? Inside the beltway, boy, I have a scoop from the president's nephew's barber's dog. Is business journalism any stupider than any of the rest of the stuff?

BARRY: Andy stupider or equally stupid?

SERWER: Well either way you want to take it.

BARRY: Well here's my big complaint about business journalism. It is kind of like sports journalism in that it talks about -- when you get a stock market expert on television; generally his area of expertise is the past. You know what I mean? We would be more interested in the future. They never seem to do that.

SERWER: Right.

CAFFERTY: Aren't we a business journalism enterprise here?

BARRY: But you are one of the good ones.

CAFFERTY: Way to go, Dave. You just expanded the time for this from a minute and a half to two minutes.

BARRY: You guys are the Keith Richards of business journalism. Not in the sense that do you a lot of drugs before the show.

SERWER: That, too.

BARRY: After the show, whatever you do is fine with me.

CAFFERTY: I can't do that stuff anymore, too old. Why would you litter up your book with pictures of Suzie Orman?

BARRY: Well it is kind of a tribute to Suzie. I mean lets face it aside from your show when you turn on your television you will see Suzie Orman. It doesn't matter what channel you turn to. History. Nature. There she is.

CAFFERTY: You know if there was a cable company that would offer a cable package without her, they could charge a premium for it. BARRY: I believe it's an FCC requirement that Suzie Orman has to be on all the time somewhere. She is actually on your retinas, you close your eyes and you can see her.

WESTHOVEN: Dave you have a lot of really funny tips in here. One on how to get a job that I don't think I'll mention but also can you talk about --

BARRY: Well I do have a useful job tip. When you go for your job interview a lot of times they ask you trick questions trying to get you to reveal something negative about yourself. So there's a good way and bad way to answer a trick question. If they ask you like what would you say is your biggest weakness? A good answer is sometimes I work too hard. A bad answer is heroin. Common sense.

WESTHOVEN: What about your kid's allowance?

BARRY: I have a lot of advice about children. I think it is important to be tough. Because kids today they think they need every little thing their friends have. It is important to sit them down and say just because your friends have food, clothing, shelter and medical care, that don't mean you, can have those things.

SERWER: Dave, have you ever read any of those self-help money books?

BARRY: I did. I read all of them. I analyzed them very carefully. They have one problem. I'm not getting any of the royalties from that book. I did read Donald Trump's book in writing my book. Donald Trump wrote a book called "How to Get Rich" and I read that all of the way through. It took almost an hour.

SERWER: Did it work?

BARRY: It worked for Donald.

CAFFERTY: One of the big financial hurdles facing any family with children is of course getting enough money to get them into college and get them educated. Give me help. I got four daughters here.

BARRY: OK, I have very sound advice there. College is extremely expensive. A good college can run you $30,000 or $40,000 a year. That's why it is important to start planning right now to get your child to go to a bad college. They are way, way cheaper.

CAFFERTY: Junior college maybe.

BARRY: Or maybe just a college that isn't really a college.

CAFFERTY: They call themselves a college but they're a trade school that will teach your kids to repair shoes.

BARRY: If the word refrigeration appears in the colleges name that is a good college. The key is bad grades. All right. Bad colleges demand bad grades. Be hard on your kids. Say you will not do your homework until you are finished with your video games. That's what I would say.

CAFFERTY: I like that.

WESTHOVEN: All right. The book is Dave Barry's "Money Secrets." Dave thank you so much for joining us. May you have a wonderful retirement. May many people buy this book and help you out.

BARRY: I agree with that.

WESTHOVEN: All right. There is more ahead here on IN THE MONEY. Coming up get a line on the telecom business. We'll check the prospects for tech jobs in the New Year in our "Brain Storm" segment.

And whether you are still on dialup or something a lot faster, drop us an email. The address is INTHEMONEY@CNN.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SERWER: In today's "Brainstorm" segment, working in technology. The jobs outlook for tech has turned around since the dot.com fallout of 2002 and 2001 and it appears to be holding steady now. A new report out this week says there are about the same number of job cuts in the sector last year as in 2004.

Is outsourcing becoming less of a threat or is something else at work here? Let's find out. John Challenger, the CEO of the outplacement firm Challenger, Grey & Christmas and he joins us now. John thanks very much for coming on the program.

JOHN CHALLENGER, CEO, CHALLENGER, GREY & CHRISTMAS: Nice to be here.

SERWER: So what is the answer to the question? Why is the tech sector seemingly rebounding at this point in terms of jobs?

CHALLENGER: Well it is rebounding in part because business spending, reinvestment in technology infrastructure is growing. A recent survey by a business round table that in 2006 CEOs expected it to grow even more, 56 percent of those thought the tech spending could go up in the first half of 2006. And that means more jobs.

SERWER: It used to be that if you had a son or daughter in college you would say go into engineering, become a double E. This is the greatest industry in the world, technology in the U.S. Is that still true? Would you recommend to a young person to go into this field?

CHALLENGER: I certainly would. There are still shortages of skilled workers here. The economy is globalizing and jobs are being spread around the world. When you have that kind of degree and expertise and you keep it up through your career you know that you can always move to other companies because those skills are in demand. Too many people who don't have them.

SERWER: So what about 2006? What is the outlook for this year and beyond? CHALLENGER: Well, we're expecting that technology cuts will continue to trend downward. Since 2001 we have seen tech cuts take a steadily lower percentage of the total job cuts in the U.S. economy down to just 16.3 percent of total cuts in 2005. Hopefully that should also improve continual along that path as we move into this year.

SERWER: All right, last quick question. Any sub-sector of the technology business specifically that is hotter than any other? Say software versus disk drive companies for instance?

CHALLENGER: Well, there are a number of areas that are hot. Great demand for network administrators, data base people the whole wireless sector is taking off. We are going to see growth in video demand. That transition this year. So it is going to be a good year for tech and computer electronics and telecom are the areas that you will find the jobs.

SERWER: All right. Good stuff. John Challenger is the CEO of the out placement firm Challenger, Grey & Christmas. Thank you for coming on the program.

CHALLENGER: Thank you.

SERWER: Coming up next on IN THE MONEY, sometimes the news media really is to blame, they say. Find out more on our "Fun Site of the Week."

It is time to hear from you as we read some of your emails from the past week. You can send us an email right now, in fact. We are at INTHEMONEY@CNN.com.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CAFFERTY: We talk frequently on this program about retirement funds and how many Americans aren't really prepared for the golden years. Wouldn't you know there's one kind of American that really doesn't have to worry about it at all. Here's a hint. These Americans live in Washington. Allen Wastler joins us now with the story as well as the "Fun Site of the Week." How are you doing?

ALLEN WASTLER, MONEY.COM: You know with all the talk about pension reform coming up, we have airlines on the edge and we have car makers and pensions cost too much and we'll have to do something about that and of course here comes Congress, we'll look into the problem.

When these lawmakers talk about economic reality. We have to change things. Keep in mind they got a sweet, sweet pension themselves here. Did a little research. They are vested after five years.

SERWER: One term for a Senator.

WASTLER: That is right. And they can retire at 62, if they have more than 20 years of service, they can retire at 50. That would be sweet. CAFFERTY: They do such a great job.

WASTLER: How much do they get paid? Well it is a formula based on your years of service, average salary and on an accrual rate you whip it all together and it is possible for a Congressman with 22 years of service based on the later years of salary pay and $165,000 is what they are going to get at the end of this month, that ain't to bad. They could collect about $85,000 in pension a year.

On top of this you have your Social Security benefits. You also have their equivalent of a 401(k). They call it a rift savings plan. But they can put in 15 percent and they get a 5 percent match. Remember their dental and medical; they get that covered too, so there is lots of opportunity for saving here.

This is a sweet job. These are the same guys that say you know what? Under the crushing load of the pension program at GM and these airlines we'll have to revise the rules so that the companies can go back and change the commitments they made that people base their lives on and yet they are up there still collecting their money.

CAFFERTY: If they impose term limits on these clowns, you could do away with this stuff. Take them out of the private sector for two years and come to Congress and do their thing and go back to the private sector and worry about retirement in the private sector and we wouldn't be stuck with this tab. What do you think of that?

WASTLER: Or you could put them on programs like Medicare and Medicaid and what you are given to lowest level of people in your country, that's what you are going to live with guys.

WESTHOVEN: I don't know why they get a better quote rate, that's not fair.

SERWER: Give them GM's pension.

WASTLER: There you go.

CAFFERTY: I'm depressed. What's the "Fun Site of the Week?"

WASTLER: I will put this up. This could be a set up. If it was, it is a pretty elaborate setup. It is cringe TV at its best. Lets check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brian is a 1990 graduate of Northern and he's going tell us a bit about this amazing structure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, as you can see it is about 12,000 blocks. It took over two weekends to build. I'm really excited because next week the Gunnies Book of World Records team is going to come to evaluate it and I'm looking forward to that.

WASTLER: That's got hurt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SERWER: I know what to say. Get lost.

CAFFERTY: Don't you feel you want to reach out and do that, 350,000 -- you want to destruct?

Time now to read your answers to our question of the week. About where you are you are more comfortable investing in the stock market?

Charles wrote, "I was feeling more comfortable when the market hit 11,000, but since then the bottom fell out! It seems like the big investors these days are afraid of their own shadows."

Another viewer wrote, "You're kidding, right? In the last five years I've made more money in CD's with as little as a 1 percent interest rate than my Dow Jones Index Fund. You guys are focusing on the wrong things. The market is still a lousy place for normal investors."

And Greg offered this, "When it comes to investing in the market, I'm not waiting for the Dow to stay above 11,000. I'm waiting for President Bush to leave office. When he's out of the White House, my confidence in the economy will get a real boost."

Here is next weeks email question of the week, "Will entitlements to the baby boomer generation ultimately bankrupt the country?" Send you answers to INTHEMONEY@CNN.com. You should also visit our show page at MONEY.com/inthemoney, which is where you will find the address of our "Fun Site of the Week."

On that note I thank you for joining us for this edition of the program IN THE MONEY. My thanks to "Headline News" correspondent Jennifer Westhoven, my pal "Fortune" Magazine editor at large Andy Serwer and my other pal Money.com managing editor Allen Wastler.

Hope to see you here next weekend; we are on Saturday's at 1:00, Sunday at 3:00 that is Eastern Time. Till the next time enjoy the rest of your weekend.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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