The Stock Market has been a total roller coaster ride for the past several months... here is a brief recap since August 2011;
1. Crash into early August, then hit a low where market rallied up 10% in six days.
2. We then dropped about 7% in 3 days.
3. We then rallied up about 9% in 7 days.
4. And then in 2 days we dropped about 8%.
5. In 2 days we rallied up 5.5%.
6. And then next 2 days we dropped 6%.
7. And the next 5 days we rallied up 7%.
8. And the next 3 days we dropped about 9%.
9. Next, we rallied up about 7%.
10. The next 4 days we dropped about 10%Culminating with the wash out on Oct 4.
11. And then in 5 days we rallied up 11%.
12. Sat around, had two big gaps into the highs of late August and then we did two big gaps down.
13. A little rally up.
14. Another big day down.
15. Within a day, a gap up. Then another big drop.
16. Went down about 9% in seven days.
17. And (week ending 12/2) on two days that gapped up, a total of about 640 points.18. We finished with a rally this week (week ending 12/2) of 8% and this one was for the books.
Wow, that is hard to imagine even as a made up, drama filled made for TV minseries. But it's totally real and totally frustrating if you're trying to invest and make ends meet. So, now time for the relax and breathe moment.
The US dollar has become the tallest midget or the cleanest dirty shirt as a perceived safe haven for those wanting to invest or park money until things improve. And surely the banks know this and offer virtually nothing in the form of interest on money in your bank and checking accounts. But today it’s much better to play defense and win by not losing; or staying even and not going backwards in your savings and investment accounts.
And the top person and head of the World’s largest single amount of bonds said this week; if you are lucky enough to make 5% on your money for the foreseeable future, then you are likely to be counted as one of the fortunate few. But until our Nation gets out from under the burgeoning humongous debt now topping $15 trillion, there isn’t much optimism on the horizon for baby boomers or generation X. Readjust your lifestyle now before it’ too late and reevaluate what you need and buy. And there’s no time like the present to begin educating our children to a healthy, less heavy footprint financially. Lead them by your example financially. Be your children’s financial hero and role model.
Burying your resources or money in a coffee can in the backyard or under your mattress is not being a good master or steward either. You do not have to become an expert yourself. Seek out advice and local help on places to stash your cash. With the New Year around the corner, it’s time to get serious about setting up your personal or family budget; and sticking to it. Whether you may need an IRA, add more to your 401K or 403B or start your own retirement plan, there’s no reason to go it all alone.
Remember that everything goes in a cycle and has a season. In this holiday season be mindful of this and also be thankful for that which you do have. It takes the tough times in life to help make us more appreciate the easier times when they return. Don’t fret about it but instead be relaxed, prepared and content knowing that you and your family will be okay.