20081003 charlotte coffee klatch 18
Don Brown tells how he won on A.I.G. stock, but lost on Wachovia over the past two weeks. - 


Steve Chiotakis: It's been about six months since Marketplace went on a journey. Looking to find out if the economic fallout had set this country on the Road to Ruin. This week, Tess Vigeland and Amy Scott are back on the road. They're following up with some of the people they met along the way. And Amy filed this dispatch from Charlotte, N.C.

Amy Scott: Almost every morning, this group of mostly senior citizens gets together for coffee at a Panera Bread in Charlotte. When I visited last fall, the Dow had dropped below 11,000. And Bob Brown was feeling thankful he'd sold all his stock just after the peak.

Now that the Dow has crept back above 8,000 points, he's wondering if he should start buying again.

Bob Brown: If I go back into the market it'll be tiptoeing, because I'm afraid of the bear trap, you know. So much bad news on the horizon I think we're, we gotta play it very carefully.

Across the table from Brown, Jane Francisco is even more cautious. She's a retired teacher. She's lost more than $20,000 in retirement savings.

Jane Francisco: We just have it in a bank account right now, and that's where it's gonna stay until I'm really sure that this is on an upward swing.

And by sure she means she's gotta see the market rebound for more than a few weeks.

In Charlotte, I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

Follow Amy Scott at @amyreports