Understatement: People nearing retirement have had good reason to be concerned in the last few weeks.
Our friend who likes to check on his stocks everyday has suddenly developed other interests. And who wouldn’t blame him. It’s no fund getting whipsawed – down in the depths one day, brought back to euphoria the next – only to have all hope snuffed out the following morning. Better to take up macrame.
Which leads so many folks to wondering what is a safe investment these days. Precious metals were red hot last week – for a while. Ditto for commodities. Stocks – only the bravest went there. Even staid money market funds, last refuge for the faint of heart, took big hits with net outflows of $173 billion for the week. The Primary Fund “broke the buck” – going below a net asset value of $1. Fortunately the Treasury Department announced a new insurance program like the FDIC for money market funds, helping bring stability back to that market.
All this uncertainty leads one to the question – is real estate a good investment now? Not being liquid, it is only for those with a long term perspective. Only time will tell when the bottom hits, although a few experts think it will come soon. We were cheered by one blogger’s report from Las Vegas that investors are cherry-picking foreclosed properties, snapping up the most desirable ones and bringing some measure of stability to the chaotic market there. If true, more of that would be a good thing to see!