Commentary: Confessions Of A Financial Bungee Jumper

When it comes to personal finance, I'm a procrastinator par excellence. But a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet: Tired of staring at the measly returns that my 401(k) money was getting in the safe-but-sorry fixed-income category, I picked up the telephone, pressed a few buttons, and boldly remade myself into a financial bungee-jumper, plowing 80% of the existing and new contributions into a stock-index fund. Next, I'm going to reshuffle the money in my lazy individual retirement account, which could easily be worth triple what it is today if I had done the right thing years ago. I'll try an index fund, a small-cap fund, an emerging-market fund--the whole ball of wax. Just in time to be too late, you say? Doubtless many readers, including some of my colleagues, will guffaw as they read this and interpret my tardy activism as a sure sign that the market will go into a free fall. But I think the market has some growing room. Here's why:

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