Investors eye the rising Dow

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Hearing the Dow Jones Industrial Average is nearing 20,000 elicits all kinds of emotions.

Don Lough, a computer engineer only several years from retirement, feels a bit closer to retirement.

"With conservative investments, I took a hit, but it bounced right back," he said.

To Terri Pinkham, who plans to retire in two decades, it means nothing more than a looming cliff.

"The stock market, it's going to crash soon," she said.

To financial advisor Geoff Simon of Raymond James, the number itself isn't a big deal.  Rather, he says, the key is the trend.  "The foundation for an improving economy has been in place for quite some time," he said.

Since 2009, the Dow has tripled from 6,600.

Unemployment has been cut in half. 

Total output is up by more than $2 trillion.

"We are at a phase now where people are beginning to believe that the horizon, the economic horizon, is looking bright," said Simon. "We are seeing a real rush of people investing."

When she raised interest rates Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellin gave further indicated the economy can grow without historically low costs for borrowing money.

Simon says not to change direction every time a new milestone is hit or the fed makes a move.

"If you try and time the market, the chances of your success are nil," he said. "People should have a personal plan that is geared towards where they are now, where they want to be in five, ten or twenty years."

Computer engineer Don Lough says his own plan is on track to fulfill his goal in just a few years, 20,000 or not.

"I'm going to fish. Grow a few vegetables. Goof off. Do woodworking. Do things I have wanted to do," he said.