Spin Cycle

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ALBANY - While young investors, older workers hoping to retire and just about everyone on Wall Street were in various stages of losing it Monday morning following the stock market's slide, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli who controls the massive state pensions system said he's keeping cool.

"This is clearly a challenging time for all investors, however the Common Retirement Fund's long term investment strategy is designed to maximize returns over the next 10, 20 or 30 years," said DiNapoli spokesman Mathew Sweeney.

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The wild ride on Monday saw the Dow Jones industrial average drop more than 1,000 points before a midday rebound that then faded. Monday followed a week in which the Dow dropped, cumulatively, 1,000 points through Friday.

DiNapoli is the sole trustee of the public pension system that is a major investor in the stock market. The pension fund serves more than a million members, retirees and beneficiaries. It was last valued at $182 billion.

"The fund is well diversified to find opportunities in downturns and to mitigate the ups and downs of the current roller coaster," the spokesman said, calling the fund one of the strongest in the country.

As the stock indexes gyrated Monday, DiNapoli predicted a "correction" and said the fiscal nightmare wouldn't impact the pension in the short term.

"Like all investors we don't like when the market goes down, but we're not in a position where we have an immediate reaction to it," DiNapoli told public radio's "The Capitol Pressroom" Monday morning.

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