If this is a sucker's rally, I'll take it

A globally diversified portfolio of low cost index funds, conservatively invested 60 percent in stocks and 40 percent in bonds, is up 20 percent year-to-date. How's your portfolio doing?

Probably not very well if you listened to "market beating" brokers or to much of the financial media.

During this period, the financial news has been dismal: The bankruptcy of Chrysler and General Motors; Madoff's sentencing; sabre rattling by North Korea; downgrading the credit of (gasp!) Berkshire Hathaway; the sad spectacle of California issuing IOU's to stave off bankruptcy. And don't forget the swine flu pandemic.