Monday, August 8, 2011

Money Rules



While the S&P downgrade of America is a direct indictment of Congress's behavior by using the debt-ceiling as a pawn in a dangerous game, the fact remains that this punishment for not taking the debt-ceiling seriously is punishing the many and will profit the few.

Water Works 

I was recently asked to write an article about whether it is better to invest in the market or pay off the mortgage.  My answer was: Invest in yourself.  Unless you know where the financial wizards from Wall Street are parking their personal stash, venturing to guess what will do well in the upcoming months is a crap shoot.  You might as well take your chances at a Casino in Las Vegas and enjoy yourself. 

How can you, the average human being, make a profit from this man-made financial crisis by investing your hard-earned cash in the stock market? The Dow-Jones has lost over a trillion dollars since the S&P downgraded the United States' AAA rating to AA.  All this money lost is affecting the 401K's of hard-working Americans.

Make no mistake, the top 2% of the population is not suffering.  We are.

The stock market is taking a dip, the middle class is taking an economic bath and the wealthiest top 2% will be showered in cash.  Those are, and will be, the realities of this self-created economic crisis.  

If you listen to the pundits, you will come out more confused than ever, they don't have any answers for you about specific stocks you can buy blindly or think of them as a "sure thing."

If I had money to invest, I'd keep an eye on the companies the Federal government is going to contract with to invest in infrastructure and on the suppliers of materials to these companies.  Maybe investing in our country and ourselves first is a better idea than listening to the financial "experts." on the tee vee machine.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are still low and I would seriously consider refinancing the home to lower rates.  This saves you thousands of dollars and allows you to own your home in full a lot sooner.

Rentals

A friend of mine never understood her father purchasing small homes and renting them, she is very happy now that, as his sole heir, there is a steady stream of income that is unlikely to go away any time soon - It finally dawn on her that her dad was right - people need a place to live; if they have money and they are skittish about investing it, they are going to rent.  If they don't have the financial resources or credit to afford a place of their own, they are going to rent.

Find ways to invest in yourself with the things you can control, such as lowering the interest rate in your home or paying off high-interest credit cards. Saving thousands of dollars on interest benefits you - isn't about time something benefited you?

Take control of your own finances and you will do better for yourself than Wall Street is doing with your 401K.  




Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 comments:

sandinbrick said...

That is sound advice. Right now, the time has come to get rids of the credit cards, if you can afford a good down payment on a home, and go for a fixed rate, they can't do a thing about it. On other hand, probably better to rent at this time. And to invest in stocks that you know that are safe. is good. The stock market is gambling. One day you have it all, and the next you're broke. The worst scenario, is bankruptcy, then start over and change your ways. We are the ones that will suffer in the next year of so, smart thoughts, Olivia, you're the best!

BlueTrooth said...

I was watching our local news at noon and I kind of chuckled when the anchor stated that there had been a tremendous loss of wealth. The wealth wasn't exactly lost, it was transferred or *gasp* redistributed. There was certainly some real loss, but there was some real gain for a select group. Just the other night I was watching a program on "The Big Short" and how the housing bubble "bust" made Billions for the right people.
I also made note of the irony that a lot of that wealth went running to the very instrument that S&P had downgraded, the Treasury Bonds.
What am I doing? I'm sticking it out just like I did in 2008-9. I had just started feeling good with a slight gain over 2007. The sad truth is that I'm quite confident that if a Republican gets in the White House, the economy will bust open. Every asshole CEO in the country will start hiring and pumping a good chunk of that $2.5 TRILLION into R&D and expansion. Am I rooting for that? You should know better than that. I'm just trying to come up with a strategy that makes it impossible for the "John Galts" to continue this public lynching of our President. There, I've said it. Because that is EXACTLY what is happening and every day we are silent, we are contributing to the opposition. We HAVE to organize demonstrations, we HAVE to disrupt the Corporations. It's infuriating to see Capitalism used as a political weapon by and for the "Party of favor", the Republicans.

Olivia Emisar said...

You are so on the money! ~ and those trillions of dollars they are sitting on are ours.

They own the Republican party. It was never more obvious than with their hired help as governors. Those people could careless about the job as governor, their real bread and butter is the Koch bros and others like them.

Their salary & benefits as governors is just "pocket money". When Scott Walker is out, I want to know where is he going to be hired? = as a lobbyist in DC on behalf of the coal industry?

Interesting times we live in my friend. Where we go from here will chart a course that will last for decades. I hope we make the right choices for everyone's sake.

JoyfulA said...

So you are a freelance writer, then, Olivia? As a long-time freelance editor, I've been wondering what "freelance1m" worked on!

My favorite article ever on investing for retirement advised learning a skill you can use to supplement your income.

Olivia Emisar said...

Joyful,

- Love that name -

Having skills to supplement income is a necessity in today's economy. I just don't see someone who put in 40 years of hard labor and they find themselves with horrific pain having to continue to supplement their income just to make ends meet.

Something is seriously wrong with a country like ours that finds this to be the norm.

Our counterparts in industrialized countries enjoy a much better quality of life. We need to strive for that.

Who do you edit for? are you still working as an editor? -