The Money Blog

January 8, 2016

Focus this week was on global stock indexes as players watched them go up and down while they invested time, energy, and money into that aspect of the game. Money rules and the players love the thrill of it all even when there are losses. Once again we realized the cycles of the stock market are not only volatile but created by a global conspiracy/consortium. When the thrill of the roller coaster ride is over the markets creep up again only to fall as players regroup for the next. The focus of this weeks down slide is China and its attempts to manage its outsize economy which have flailed since the summer, with cascading effects around the world. And then there's currency devaluations. Follow this and play if you must but it's something that is just in the moment and changes - more emotional busywork.

What I have found in my 72 years of being in this part of the hologram, is that the securest investments always turn out to be real estate. Even when that market is down, it's a given that it will come back up and anyone who has invested in commercial property that creates income is generally safe no matter how bad things become. I have one female client, 26, who already owns five investment properties. It started when she inherited a small amount of money from her grandmother, invested it in the first property, and things grew from there. Newer properties are of the greater value than her original investment and allow her time to explore the things she wants to do in her life.

My daughter Zsia and her husband Jon are partners in different CPA firms. This week they went to see The Big Short and loved it. The movie follows the simultaneous stories of three groups of people who discovered the groundwork for the financial crisis of 2007-2010 and manage to enormously profit from it. Though I didn't see the movie, I read the Plot which took me back to blogs I wrote about the real estate industry and other markets in that timeframe. We knew the bubble was going to burst but we also know it was going to turn around and come back and people who invested wisely when things were down have turned a very nice profit.

Though this morning's U.S. unemployment report is expected to confirm that a healthy labor market generated more than 200,000 jobs in December - those numbers are deceptive because in December many people take part-time jobs for the holidays. People are finding it more emotionally satisfying to take two part-time jobs then one full-time job and the pressures that go with it. This is particularly good for someone who supports himself or has a partner to share expenses. This is not the way to go if one has children to support where insurance is needed. Remember that many people remain in full-time jobs that are stressful because of the medical insurance.

On the matter of spending money - Do you overspend? Did you overspend on Christmas gifts and now can't afford to pay your bills? Do you know how to budget money based on income not pipe dreams? Are you living in the metaphysical world where people spend what they want believing the money will come - meaning the Law of Attraction and Necessity? These are seriously dangerous ways to live - often putting family security at risk. If this is you ... you are no different than the people in the stock market who gambling every day. Gambling should be done after a reasonable degree of security has been assured. Metaphysical theories about shifting your grids and matrix to attract the money you need - no longer apply.

For whatever time is left - if you inherit money, receive a cash settlement, inheritance, or other investments, be careful what you do with it. I can't tell you how many clients have inherited hundreds of thousands of dollars - and blown through it within two years. One female client blew through most of a $300,000 inheritance but came to her senses before it was gone, went back to work, managed to keep $50,000 and invested it in a home in 2014, which has now gone up in value after remodeling.

I've blogged before about people burning out very quickly these days and will do anything not to work ... so plan carefully while you are emotionally able to work. You know how humans like to blow things up ... you can't control the global economy but you can control your personal spending. If you don't have it ... don't spend it. Simply put ... if you blow things up ... get help.