I know you have heard this before from me, “Life is a collection of experiences!”
However cliché this must sound, isn’t it really true? Our experiences drive and shape the way we process important information like retirement. Who can afford to make choices that result in monetary losses in the market and with commodity costs higher now more than ever it’s critical for you the investor to make really smart choices with your money?
I’m no economic expert, and clearly there are many opinions out there on what is actually happening to our economy, but I urge you to consider these three factors that I believe are relevant going forward that may cause a correction in the U.S. stock market.
Again this is my opinion, and I do have a propensity to hyper-focus on the “safety of my client’s monies,” but I’m of the opinion that this is not really a bad thing! If your office were like mine, located on Route 3 and Plymouth Street in the middle of Meredith, you might understand my personal concerns for my own viability as a successful business owner and responsible leader in my community.
The Never Ending Learning Process
This summer, I have been devouring books and magazine articles on the economy trying hard to truly understand what is actually happening to our economy. My thoughts are the more I know, the greater chances I can help my clients. That also being said, there are so many opinions. Here are my thoughts:
1. The American consumer(s) are tapped out with this market. Credit card debt is rising at exponential rates. Gas prices and the food costs at the supermarket are having a real effect on the middle class. Savings rates are almost nonexistent and this is problematic for retirees and future retirees. They say we are in a recovery but it’s a weak recovery. In fact Consumer Confidence Index at 85.2 is a long way from its historic highs. In 1999 just before the .com bubble burst the consumer confidence level was 144.7. The middle class is broke, looking for work, and leveraged to the max! This recovery according to the experts is weak at best.
2. Large companies and corporations have been creative in their accounting approaches. They are laying off employees, holding capital in reserves, using stock buybacks and debt offerings. Essentially corporations have driven earnings by cutting costs right to the bone and the balance sheet looks good for now, but at some point the shell game is going to collapse.
3. Lastly, sales are not up across the board for most of these Fortune 500 companies. Corporations are squeezing more out of workers, outsourcing jobs, and trimming costs or adding fees, (i.e.,airline industry baggage fees, and cramming people in tightly spaced seats).
Plain and simply stated, “Be smart with your money!” Anticipate change and work with your advisors to mitigate losses and costs to your retirement. The "essence" of a good retirement plan is to always be hyper-vigilant and look at what factors could interrupt your lifestyle.
I tell my clients that these are different times, and require good and solid advice from expert professionals. Lastly, my late dad used to tell me, “Getting older isn’t for sissies!” The aging process has its own issues. Let’s not let money related concerns rob you of your dignity.
Talk with your advisor about how he/she can help you going forward. Not sure where to turn, contact us or come into the office today. We'd love to see you!
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