Unemployment offices are doing a brisk business these days. For the rest of us, times are tough. Rather than playing state lottery games, investors now play a game called "waiting to see how far the Dow Industrial Index dropped" at the end of each day in order to gauge the state of one's investments or retirement funds. As the latest market studies (see below) show, few companies are exempt from the effects of the current economic recession.

What makes this economic event different than past downturns is the way we receive our news. While evening newscasts still exist, few people wait for the news. With Internet access via almost any computer or cellular telephone, the latest economic reports and forecasts are always available. And with up-to-the-minute information on stocks and bonds, and the steady stream of bad reports from Wall Street, investors have grown cautious where, in the past, armed with less information, there was more of a tendency to "take a chance" on an investment. Wireless technology has us connected at all times, but having too much information is not always for the better.