This is my last financial column for The Washington Post. I have decided to dive into a project that I have been thinking about for a long, long time -- creating an organization to educate America's 50 million investing families and stick up for their interests, a group that may, if it's successful, be something like the AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons.
This is a project that is incompatible with The Post's concerns about conflicts of interest and participation in the political arena, and I understand and respect those concerns. So I am signing off here, though I don't expect this column will comprise the last words I write on financial topics.
I have been writing for The Post -- with a two-year hiatus -- since 1993. My rough calculation is that the newspaper has published about 600 columns of mine, and it has been a high privilege and a deep pleasure to work with three exceptional editors at a great American newspaper: David Ignatius, who hired me in the first place; Jill Dutt, who runs The Post's Business section; and Nancy McKeon, who ensures that my copy each week is engaging and accurate.
I realize that I have done this before, almost precisely five years ago. After that departure, I received many kind e-mails, including one that said, "Of all the people out there offering financial advice . . . I have come to trust and rely on only two -- you and another, whose name, for the life of me, escapes me at the moment."
I am happy to be in such distinguished company.
The most rewarding part of writing this column has been the enthusiastic and heartwarming responses from many readers, who have derived not just information and analysis, but a certain courage and comfort from the investing principles I have espoused here, emphasizing moderation, diversification and a long-term perspective.
My own long-term perspective involves a new venture -- the kind of leap I have tried quite a few times in my life and which, even though it's always accompanied by remorse, I recommend to the rest of you as well.
James K. Glassman is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank, and host of TechCentralStation, a Web site focused on issues of technology and public policy that is sponsored by various corporations and trade associations. He is also a member of Intel Corp.'s policy advisory board. His e-mail address is email@example.com.