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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cash and Consciousness

There’s a lot going on in the U.S. today.  Last week we saw signs of a modest improvement in manufacturing with factory orders up slightly, including those for capital goods (products ordered by businesses).  Private sector hiring is up modestly and consistent with recent performance.  The real estate market is slowly improving in some areas and may be approaching bubble territory in others.  Interest rates are still at historic lows.  Contrarily, more people are renting than in the past four years.  Auto sales have started to improve.  The stock market is up overall, though down for today.  Gas prices are down.

Despite this, the government is shut down, if just partially.  The shut down has furloughed 800,000 government employees and may affect private industry as early as next week.  Washington has to decide, yet again, whether or not to raise the debt ceiling.  The Federal Reserve is still propping up with economy with its $85 billion purchase per month of U.S. Treasuries.  Obamacare started off with its fair share of glitches yesterday.  The USPS has defaulted on payments to retiree’s health benefits.  Detroit is bankrupt and more cities face the same fate.

What’s the average person to do?

Have enough cash on hand to get through the tough times.  Be aware of what’s going on in the world and understand how what’s going on, whether in the U.S. or internationally, impacts you and prepare accordingly.  Then, we times are as unsettling as they are now, your anxiety and sleep won’t ebb and flow with the volatile news.  We’re not all economists or financial advisors, but we can all be more prepared and aware.

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