Friday, October 03, 2008

Not worried

Ack and a half I have nada to say. I could talk about the weather (splendid and fall-like) or the monster BLT's we ate last night (my mouth just gushed saliva remembering it) or the nervousness in classes I'm giving in the financial district (the hot-shots are especially so) but I'm not going to because I was able to sum them up parenthetically. It really HAS been interesting working down there this week, there is palpable fear in these people's eyes. Where I'm working, there are men charged with "managing" the portfolio for the "social security" of Quebec. There is a giant cube suspended above a huge open-aired atrium that houses the trading room. This is where a cadre of day traders attempt to protect and grow the province's collective nestegg. Apparently the atmosphere in the cube is beyond grim. Is there anywhere to make money these days? That is the trillion dollar question.

They told me I was lucky since we're invested in real estate. That the REIT funds have been going up because in hard economic times, there are fewer homeowners and more renters. And that I have nothing to worry about. I countered with the fact that Montreal experienced a huge surplus of rental units in the early nineties with nearly 30 % inoccupancy at one point. They said it would have to get "really bad" before I had to worry.

And how about you? Are you worried? There's really nothing any one of us can do and I remind myself of that often and then I can just kind of watch from the sidelines excited to see how the plot will develop. I have formidable penny pinching skills too, so I'm really not worried. Except when I read the doom and gloom articles. Or like the other night when they showed the homeless tent city in Reno. Dee pressing. Okay I suppose I've rambled on quite enough. And here I thought I had nothing to say. Happy Friday!

19 comments:

Summer said...

WOW, I'm first! Yes, I'm nervous and can't bear (bare) to even look at my statements. I feel bad for young people starting out, older folks living on their retirement funds and us, the middle class.

Mel said...

Well, considering the fact that we just closed on our house yesterday and our payments are going up by nearly $600 over what we were paying to rent the same house, yes, I'm a little bit worried. Seeing my IRA drop by about 12% in value in one day is also not pleasant. And we're off to Peru tomorrow in the hopes that we can keep my partner's business from imploding due to production problems.

Not. Fun.

Still, I'm in a profession with high demand and have another 20+ years before retirement will roll around. Plus I'm pretty good at figuring out creative ways to serve up beans, so I expect we'll ride it out okay.

Anonymous said...

Hey Guy:

Well I have been in the market for several decades and it is a mess ... helped very much by usual American politics! As they say in the market ... chickens get slaughtered! There will be a dramatic turn around but it is going to get worse before it gets better. It is too late to sell ... except for the "dog stocks"... time to let the tax man give you your losses back ... and too early to buy. Just remember when the economy gets started again, we are well positioned in Canada ... the commodity market will come back hugely so look around for bargains and get ready.

cheers

M (& J)

David said...

I'm worried about how all of this will relate to the philanthropic community. With governments slashing their budgets, corporations tightening their belts and foundations watching their core asset values shrink, giving to non-profits is going to take a nose-dive. My job is going to get very tough. Not happy.

Birdie said...

This is an arena where I feel at a complete loss. I don't have any idea how this is going to affect me, except that I don't expect any sort of "cost of living" raise at the turn of the year. At least I have a job. Hubby's income will drop because he's in a luxury industry. It will be where people stop spending first. I think like most people, we just hope to ride it out.

Lemuel said...

I am not "worried" per se because I know that I can do little else than hold on for the ride. My own thought is that panic is our worst enemy. So far I think I am seeing that most common folk are not panicing. It's the leaders and the "high priced spread" that are doing most of the arm waving. I think I just want to tell them to sit down and shut up.

"Just David!" said...

I've been listening to friends talk about it, the only money I have in the market is a gift card to my local grocer but I keep hearing that it's really nothing to worry about and the country will be much stonger in 10 years and everyone's investmests even better. They're all rich so I have no idea what that means and I doubt I'll live that long anyway! You're smart to have it in real estate, land is always $$.

Polt said...

Its hard to be worried about what you have when don't have much. I rent my apartment, will pay off my car loan this month, so the car will finally be mine. In the bank, I have less than $5000 total. I do have a deferred retirement account through work, but I'm not eligible to retire until 2026, so what happens right now, doesn't concern me much, as I won't see ANY of that money for another 18 years...and the market's gonna go through a whole horde of fluctuations between now and then.

HUGS...

Roxrocks said...

I'm not worried. I just think back on the days when Derwood and I were just starting out and our combined income was 26K per year. We thought we were rich. There are help wanted signs all over my town and if push comes to shove, I'll go get a job.

dirkmancuso said...

Am I worried? The bigger question is when am I NOT worried? Thank God I am fairly frugal (books and dvd's aside...)

Java said...

What, me worry? :P

Anonymous said...

I'm only worried about the high cost of fuel. I am on a very tight budget and if the home heating bill goes up any higher I'll be unable to pay. I keep the heat turned down but risk getting Pneumonia. My old uninsulated house is like living in a greenhouse. It arms up when the sun shines and gets very cold at night. ed

Laverne said...

The thing is, if they took that 700 billion and just distributed it to each American over 18, we'd all get a bit more than $500,000.

Forget Wall Street, just shore up the basic dude or dudette on the street.

I kid.

Sortof.

Patrick said...

I'm not worried really. Strictly speaking I live well below the poverty line, with several 'jobs' that are freelance, and thus highly vulnerable, but I also have nothing in the way of investments or debt. So in some ways I'm very precarious, but in the ways of the stock market I'm unaffected. Of course I don't really get what kinds of ripple effects there could be. I guess what little I have is safe, and I'm lucky in that I have more than the average number of safety nets when it comes to family and friends. Knock wood I stay healthy of course, so I can keep working, but that's a gamble I take whether the economy is booming or not.

Jen said...

I'm worried more about how the markets affect government decisions. Whatever government we get is going to be limited in spending and solutions for the doctor & nurse shortage. Since my future lies in nursing (clinical practice then policy then academe) this is the cause of the decade*.

Sadly too, more health funding is going to be channelled to the money sinkholes, the hospitals. So much benefit could be derived from health promotion, injury prevention and harm reduction. However, recent governments were limited by intellegenc... er, I mean "ideology" and future governments will be limited by economic forces.

Jen

*Technically it was the cause of the decade past, but it wasn't on any radar other than the health community, so now it's the cause the decade coming as it affects the rest of you.

franck said...

Yum! Monster BLT's... now my mouth is watering too!

Doug said...

We have very little debt, and can cut back on some luxuries like satellite TV and radio if we need to. Overall I'm not worried, but there's a little corner of my mind that is. The investments I have will go down. I'm in "hold tight" mode.

Naked Boy said...

I am afraid to call my financial guy who handles my retirement account. It's been AG Edwards and they were taken over by Wachovia and now Wachovia is being taken over, so I don't know where my money is, who is handling it now and I'm afraid to call. So I avoid the issue. :(

Mark in DE said...

I still think real estate is a good investment. I've also found (from years of landlord-dom) that difficult economic times and rising interest rates mean more renters. Fortunately both of our rentals signed new leases so I think we're going to be fine, for at least a year.

Mark :-)