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Had President George W. Bush decided to discuss 401(k) plans during last year’s address to a joint session of Congress, he very well could have singled out Enron Corp. as one of the nation’s most inspiring success stories. Sure, employees had sunk an average of 57% of their retirement funds into the company stock, but that statistic wasn’t likely to have concerned the president back then. The 401(k) balances of Enron employees were bloated, thanks to a healthy spike in Enron’s share price; between the first trading days in January 2000 and January 2001, Enron’s shares had shot up more than 84%. At their peak in August 2000, they touched 90, more than double their price in the beginning of January. Needless to say, holding too much Enron was probably not a big concern for employees. No doubt, some were probably still buying shares in 2001, hoping for a bounce in both the market and the stock. Timing, as they say, is everything.

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