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DOW Down 778 Points – My Response

by The Happy Rock on September 30, 2008

Nothing.  Ok, nothing is a exaggeration, but it drives home the point that nothing has changed from a personal perspective.  The principles remain the same after after a horrid financial day as they were on Sunday when things weren’t this bad.  If anything a day like today should make you more eager to dump your debt and get on solid financial ground so that you can be in as much control as possible.  Ultimately other than trying to influence your representative, you can only control what you do.  Wasting energy in fear and stress will only harm you unless it provides stronger motivation to change you financial future.

  • Spend Much Less Than You Earn
  • Get Out Of Debt
  • Have a 3-6 month emergency fund.  If you feel uncomfortable in these time, 6-8 might be a better goal.
  • Save For Retirement.

Since I have already accomplished 1-3, I will continue to save for a house down payment.  As far as retirement, I will continue my deposits(with company) match.  If you have faith that the US economy and stock market will figure things out in the long run, then keep buying like you have been.  Things like selling your stock and going to cash type assets might save you some money, but adds a lot of stress and opens the window for missing out on bargain buys.   I won’t be changing a thing with regard to my investments other than making a concerted effort to not check my balances to avoid stress, fear, and the motivation to do something stupid.

As far as the bailout is concerned, I was glad to see that there were representatives that were listening to constituents and doing their best to make sure that taxpayers didn’t get taken advantage of.  I loved to see government in action like it was last week with everyone working together, although I could do without the political name calling and posturing.

I would love to see a solution that allows those that caused the mess to bear the burden rather than the taxpayers.  Options like government loaning money rather than giving Paulson a blank check to give free money were he deems fit.  It seemed like there were many good changes to the bill over the weekend like removing earmarks, allowing for non free money help, and adding more protection for the taxpayers, but ultimately the bill stayed about the government going into much more debt so that they can hand out free money to keep the housing market artificially inflated and keep the credit markets flowing.    Should they have signed the bill today, possibly.  Although a collapse could end up being a self fulfilling prophecy fueled by fear. 

I do know that government needs to get back to the principles above, but neither candidate has come close to committing to anything of the sort.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug - Mr Promotions September 30, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Scary times ahead, the Irish government have just said they will supply US$400 million to support the Irish country.
D

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Amortize John September 30, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Great advice. I think getting out of debt is essential.

I don’t plan to change anything about my investment strategy despite the current economic conditions. Every month I put a set amount into my investment accounts. This keeps me from acting irrational.

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Thecpa September 30, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Happy Rock,
This is a great post and well said! Did you buy shares in your mutual funds when the DOW dropped 700+? And my final thought, Secretary Paulson must go! I don’t want to live under socialism.

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Glory October 1, 2008 at 11:58 am

Thankd for your advice, happy rock 😉

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jacquelin October 1, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Hopefully, if this ever happens again, then I will be in a position to buy…..bet to Warren Buffett this is a total shopping spree- an “Everything must go” sale.

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The Happy Rock October 1, 2008 at 11:35 pm

@Doug – Not sure what you are talking about there?

@John – Keep up the good work.

@Thecpa – I think the whole Fed needs to go. They have been given too much power and tend to create and control the market rather than support it. They can only print more money and control interests rates for so long before the dollar is worthless. The government continues to spend more than they make, but that can’t cause any problems… Now the Fed wants control of almost a trillion dollars to hand out to what ever companies they think are worth saving.

@jac – I don’t go out of my way to buy more, but I do keep buying each week.

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Sue October 4, 2008 at 11:18 pm

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