3 Nobel prize winning economists, Robert C. Merton, Robert Solow and Paul Samuelson, took questions about the impending retirement savings crisis from PBS NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman in October 2008. Paul Solman asked them about their personal portfolios in the clip shown above.
Robert Merton tells his portfolio portfolio is in a Global Index Fund, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, and one hedge fund. He said he had been invested in a TIAA commercial real estate fund until recently, but sold in early 2008 when he worried commercial real estate prices had increased too far. He also sold out his Municipal bond holdings.
Robert Solow says he has no idea of his portfolio.
Paul Samuelson declined to say. He did offer that timing is not something investors can successfully do. He stated that timing the selling of assets was not as difficult as timing when to get back in. And that markets move very quickly so you can miss out on big gains. 2009 provided a great example of this. Many people sold stocks in late 2008 and early 2009. And most did not get back in. In 2009 the S&P 500 was up 26%.