July continues to be an enforced “rest” period for many. I mentioned in my Minogue Times that July would be an assessment month–not a very productive month. If you are frustrated with with where you are with your finances and outlook, keep in mind a few important ideas.
I am not a financial adviser so I can only give you opinions and beliefs based on the cycles and trends. Here are a few:
Gold Looking Good
Due to the worldwide uncertainty, and as long as it stays this uncertain, gold will continue to climb. Silver is its step sister so it could ride on its coat tails. It would not surprise me to see gold pass 1800. The Euro and the European market situation remains very precarious and fraught with problems. Since both the dollar and Euro have so many problems, I would expect gold to continue to be the flight to safety.
There are a few good currencies–Singapore for one.
Nobody is paying much attention in Washington to the job plight in this country. The focus on the deficit and not on job creation is very short sighted. Since out of work people do not contribute much to campaigns nor do they necessarily vote as often or as much, this group is being ignored. There is conversation and such but nothing of substance to help create jobs. Without them, housing cannot recover. Voting the incompetent out of office and monitoring their replacement is very important. I do believe the Congress will raise the debt ceiling.
People are Running Out of Money–Watch Out
Until people run out of money, they remain passive. If nothing is done by the government to support the middle class and working poor, the recovery will be a non-event for most Americans and a brooding, bubbling pot that could boil over in the next few years.
Expect to be creating your own means to make money. I just went to a craft fair and people were selling all kinds of items that they made. They sell through the internet or through local farmers markets. Expect more of this type of creation of making your own income.
Washington is ignoring the plight of small banks and small businesses. Small businesses (the bulk of business and jobs in the US) cannot get adequate financing and cannot hire without demand for their products. They are struggling and have been given tougher standards than large banks.
Housing will stay bumping along the bottom for a few more years as the banks begin to shed all the foreclosed properties they are currently holding back off the market. A few markets will thrive–one of them being Silicon Valley in California. They are having multiple bids over the asking price on houses. Not so in other parts of the State.
Home modification remains a joke. Few homeowners have been helped by this poorly planned and executed program.
Large Corporations Very Profitable
Large corporations will continue to thrive. A majority of their profits come from overseas. This helps their shareholders but lends little to jobs in America. For the investor it can be very good. Study the larger companies with good management and good cash flow. Check their dividends. Invest wisely and make sure you know the story on their management. Many big companies raked in profit gains of 15% from April to June. For many small businesses, they remain in a recession as does the job picture.
Stop creating large student loans for an education that won’t serve you
Boutique your knowledge. Translated–go to school, university, college for a specific transferable skill as well as an education. Until they change the student loan laws, do not put heavy debt on your back for an education that takes you nowhere. Not everyone benefits from a college degree. How about $50,000+ in debt out of college with a $30,000/year starting job. Not too bright. Avoid private high cost schools that provide limited education but promise great placement. University of Phoenix, or Apollo and schools of this variety. Stick with community colleges and public trade schools.
Expect small car prices to return to better value once Japan is up and running. Gas prices have softened a bit.
Cities and States will continue to downsize. Expect to be called on to be a volunteer in your community or your state. Belly up because more things will close as cut backs continue. Pension funds and benefits of government workers will continue to come under the eye of the public. Do not expect hiring in the government sector for a long, long time. Maybe permanently. This really is also hurting the economy.
America is in transition–She is not going down the tubes
Stop saying that the US is going down the tubes. The government is pretty nutty right now. Vested interests remain–hanging on to their perks and power. Pandering to their base. Long term the US is fine. Short term there will continue to be dysfunction and dumb behavior. Start calling people on their garbage. For example: Would-be candidate Michele Bachmann keeps voting against anything to do with raising taxes, entitlements and government supports. BUT she and her husband have received at least $160,000 from Medicaid for clients that he sees in his 50 person counseling clinic (Medicaid for training of his employees) . She receives several hundreds of thousands of dollars of farm subsidies for the “family” farm in Iowa.
Stop using the Founding Fathers and their sainthood as the drum beat. Somebody should really read up on the history of that period and expose many of the falsehoods. I still recommend the book “America’s Invisible Guidance” as well as “Robert Morris”, the Financier of the American Revolution. You will appreciate what we are going through today if you read the Robert Morris book.
Water, clean water will become extremely important. It can be a good source of revenue for municipalities.
If it all looks like a Roman event, you might be right. Make sure you do a few things:
Get educated. Follow the money trails and stop listening to uninformed but loud talking heads.
Expect to get involved. You will be needed to fill in areas of your community that will be closed down.
Stop using “God” as the great punisher and sky-God who sits on a cloud and rains down AIDS, tornadoes, floods and one who plays favorites. Christians don’t have a corner on the market. The rain falls equally on all of us. There are some wild and crazy preachers in this country who use fear and punishment as tools of control and to make money. Use your own Divine intelligence and get educated. God, the creator, Supreme Intelligence or whatever name you like does not answer one’s prayer in battle and avoids another’s prayer in battle.
Stop sending chain letters with good luck and bad luck if you do or don’t send it out in 24 hours. It is usually a way to get email addresses. You don’t have time for that. There is much to do to improve your own life and the life of America.
Stay away from quasi snake oil New Age healers, gurus and preachers. Read “Blind Sided–How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America” by Barbara Erhenreich (she also wrote “Nickel and Dimed”. A great hard hitting but honest appraisal. She exposes the pseudoscience and pseudointellectual foundation of the positive thinking movement. Extreme case in point–the recent deaths of those who believed the self-anointed guru, James Arthur Ray, who led many to their deaths. He was highly touted in the simplistic self-help book “The Secret” and charged $10,000 for the 5 days event and a chance to participate in the life threatening workshop. Just the words “spiritual warriors” is an oxymoron.
Part of our problems now stems from realizing that positive thinking is not enough. It takes effort and discipline and routine.