As the year comes to a close, I’ve been thinking of the main themes I’ve come across in doing these weekly online columns. And at first, it seemed like there wasn’t an overarching theme, but rather a lot of smaller issues. And often times, they even seemed to be working at cross-purposes.

Investor confidence, for example, was up in one survey and down in the next as I noted in a column in November. And even if confidence was on the rise, financial literacy was still woefully inadequate, which was the main idea of a couple of recent offerings.

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