My fellow Americans. What we need now is stability offered by the bailout package, and patience, exercised by you all. During this time, there will be a lot of risk in staying put, but the potential for greater damage is much larger, given the extent of people panicking.
I was a firefighter for 3 1/2 years with some of the greatest guys in the world (nod to Saratoga Fire District!), and during my training with them, I learned and came to a better appreciation that rushing around and doing without properly thinking a problem through can be severely detrimental to your health. If you don't fully investigate and have a firm grasp of the problem, there is no way you an effectively address the situation.
That being said, I saw on October 6, that Jim Cramer (of CNBC's "Mad Money") urged "... any investor who has money they may need in the next five years tied to stocks to pull their dough out." My friends (in my worst John McCain impersonation) - this is what could potentially cause a panic and run on the banking system, on the investment system on the economy. This type of advise is bad because it does nothing buy destroy the already unstable market. Here we are just 5 days later and the stock market has gone from a 10,322 on the day the statement was made down to 8,328 today (as of 8:00 AM PST, 10/10/2008).
It is easy for me to advise people to leave the market alone and allow the stability package (i.e. bailout plan) to take effect, but I don't have a 401K taking a shit and I don't have stock in the market!
I hope that all of you weather the storm and we will all survive - just try to keep your head above water right now!