So, why read this? I am limiting the information to three topics with a summary of what has recently occured in the marketplace. What you think you should do about it is your choice. I have "no dog in the fight." I just read the news, struggle with my own personal investments, and choose to do my own thinking because my 35+ years of entrepreneurship has ingrained the fear of debt in me. Our Washington leadership, the Federal Reserve, has announced that they are going to keep the interest rates abnormally low for the next year or so. That means keeping your cash in the bank will not earn a reasonable rate of return. (5% or more)
Buying and Selling Stocks
The world investment picture is dismal as we all know. But, let me begin with a very positive outlook in the Standard & Poor's report. This index is the broadest of the indices which makes it a truer indicator of the big picture in the U.S and the world.
BIG GAIN - The earnings projected to be generated by the
companies in the S&P 500 stock index in calendar year
are more than 6 times as large as the actual earnings of
the 500 companies during 2008 (source: S&P).
I know 500 choices are too many; but, if you have the wherewithall to invest, this may just be a better time than you thought. I suggest you consult a financial advisor and planner or your regular stock broker to start making your money work harder for you.
Buying A Home and/or Investing in Real Estate
Today in my hometown paper they reprinted an Associated Press story by Hope Yen which paints a bleak picture of housing in the U.S.
Nationwide, the home ownership rate fell to 65.1 percent -
or 76 million occupied housing units that were owned by their residents -
from 66.2 percent in 2000. That drop-off of 1.1 percentage points is
the largest since 1940, when home ownership plummeted 4.2
percentage points during the Great Depression to a low
of 43.6 percent.
Since I own my home free and clear and don't plan on selling it, low interest rates don't excite me. Demand for housing purchases is low because there is a general lack of confidence in real estate value that leaves many wondering where and when the bottom is really going to make itself obvious. The article TAG above will give you some additional insight.
At age 75 I consider myself too old to be dabbling in speculative real estate ventures, but if I was in my 50's I would buy myself a few house bargains for rental. Rentals are hard work, and they work better if you have access to an honest handyman.
This is an investment category that is long term. Not because it takes a long time to sell things, but the key is knowledge about what the antiquities are really worth. If you have storage space, time and some extra dollars to invest you may do very well. With the internet, E-Bay, and thousands of people in the world who dabble in antiquities a hobby could turn into a pretty profitable business. Lots of time and lots of risk equal successful antiquing. If you seek travel adventure and pursuing profits in art objects, paintings, coins, stamps, etc. this would be a great way get out and about! This type of speculation is not for the faint of heart because their is a pretty long learning curve. Go for it!