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What Recession? I’m Going Shopping

The markets are seesawing, the big banks are panicking, and W. is throwing U.S. taxpayers a $300 – $1,200 bone. At my age (27 as of next week), I couldn’t be happier.


The markets are seesawing, the big banks are panicking, and W. is throwing U.S. taxpayers a $300 – $1,200 bone. At my age (27 as of next week), I couldn’t be happier.

Don’t get me wrong, listening to an episode of Marketplace or watching CNBC can be downright depressing these days. Left and right, Americans are losing their homes, stocks are deflating, and unemployment is creeping up. On top of all that, of course, is oil. (I predict an average of $3.50 for a gallon of gasoline by July and $4.00 in a year. Any takers?)

Whether the current downturn lasts another month or several years, however, we need to remember to put things into perspective. Economies, like the markets that drive them, go up and down. That is just what economies do. Our grandparents survived the Great Depression, and all those guys who made and lost millions in the dot com bubble are here to fight another day.

Perspective is not easy if you’re losing your home or your job, but it is possible. For the optimistic and the resourceful, there will be another home. There will be new work.

If you are young, like me, and still have a roof over your head (even if you don’t own it) and a job; today’s economic climate spells opportunity.

Interest rates are plunging: perhaps it is an opportunity to get a lower rate on any unpaid credit card balances.

In most areas of the country, real estate is cheap. It might be time to find a bargain property. (Though you may need flawless credit, given lenders’ recent missteps);

And, it’s a great time to buy stocks. Snatch up those sinking securities. Even if you don’t have thousands to dump into the market, up your 401k or IRA contributions a few points this year. Don’t worry if stocks continue to slide after you make a buy – you’re investing for at least 30 years!

Even if the economy gets as bad as the media fears, there will always be new opportunities. The only question is: Will you look for opportunities in the adversity? If not, prepare yourself for the alternative—utter submission to an unfounded fear.

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

Comments

  1. Great Article…I agree with just about all of it. I especially think now is a great time to buy securities. There are many great companies that are trading very cheap..And I am talking about companies like Campbell Soup, Clorox, and Budweiser to name a just few stellar companies that are trading near their 52 week lows. My portfolio this past week had an upswing of 6 percent as the market rebounded a bit, and is up 13 percent for the year. I still think the stocks of financial companies are very shaky even though they appear to be cheap right now.

    However, I have to respectfully disagree with regards to Real Estate prices across the country. They have come down lately, but for the most part they are still inflated and I don’t believe they have bottomed out yet. There are signs that even the hot NYC market which up to this point has been strong may be slipping.