how to make millions, now

I know that things look bad now. I grimace every time I peek at the market.  I work in the financial services industry, and trust me, it’s bad.  Real bad.  I know that we still have room to fall.

Yet I have the same conversation with my co-workers over and over again. One of two things will happen here.  One possibility is that we will enter a massive and unprecendented period of stagnation, and those of us relying on the market for our retirements will be in dire straits.  The other possibility is that this market downturn, like 1987, like 1999-2000, like 2002, is temporary.

So imagine if the bad scenario occurs. Investments in the market plunge, the dollar is replaced by the amero (google it), and revolution occurs.  In the good scenario, however, we emerge in a few years from the current mess with a weakened but still whole system, and the market resumes a slow climb.  In the bad scenario, we are on the ropes, not just as an economic superpower but as a country.  In the good scenario, we still have a few rough years ahead but we’ll manage to pull ourselves (and the rest of the world) out of the abyss.

I prefer to assume the good scenario’s going to happen, at least from an investment point of view. If the bad scenario’s coming, then all of my savings are more or less worthless, anyway.  If the good scenario is true, then money put in the market now will buy securities at a discount. Fortunes are out there to be made.

I like to look out the window once in a while and remember that people are still eating at McDonald’s; people are still buying food at the supermarket and socks at the department stores. The media would like to confuse all of us and convince us that a market downturn is an economic downturn – and while the two are closely related, they aren’t the same thing.  People who are ready to take on risk now are going to profit from the fear and panic selling of uninformed people now.   Make sure you’re positioned to profit and not part of the panic.  And look on the bright side – if I’m wrong, we’re all going down anyway.  That’s a plus, isn’t it?  Isn’t it?

14 comments

  • Dude,
    I “know” eactly what you're saying, and I “thought” I was OK with all this, but I have to tell you that over the last couple of days, I sometimes wake up around 2 or 3 am wondering “what if”. At the end of the day, if the “bad scenario happens, the best thing I can do is to prepare my sons(and myself ) for this. If the good scenario happens, then the best I can do is to keep working hard at my job, keep learning and increasing my skills and finally, keep investing as I can. Like you said, if the bad scenario happens all bets are off!!

  • You know, right after 11 Sept (when I still lived in NYC) I had to stop reading the newspapers – there was so much garbage and rumour and jingoism being reported as straight news that today it's laughable, but it was making me incredibly panicky. I was reading some of the comment threads at The Big Picture this a.m. and thinking I'm almost at that stage with stock market news now. You're right, in the case of scenario 1 what are we going to do anyway? So why give yourself heartburn over it. On the other hand, all of this doom and gloom makes me really appreciate how valuable my international woman of mystery work permits/residencies, my job and not least my husband are. So that's a positive, right?

  • Chad @ Sentient Money

    I couldn't agree more. I've been telling all my friends and co-workers this for weeks. If the doomsday scenario happens it won't matter if you had all your money buried in the backyard, as it will be worthless. So, take a little risk, and I do think it is only a little, and start getting back into the market. GE at $20 with a 6% dividend…nice. Apple, the most desired brand, in the $80's…nice. This is the time to load up on the Peyton Mannings, Walter Paytons and Joe Montanas of the stock market. It doesn't come around often.

  • You know, strangely enough, all your talk of revolution and McDonalds made me feel better. 🙂

    How to position ourselves for a gain – now there's the rub!

  • I am mildly concern, but not enough to stop me from continuing our contributions to our 401k. As a matter of fact, we are going to increase our contributions by $300/mon. We should have at least 25 year to retirement. I am just glad that this is happening now for us than later.

    But with my parents, I think my dad might have to work a little bit longer than he initially planned.

  • I have taken on an ostrich-like quality lately – avoiding the news, taking value in what we have, looking on the bright side, etc. There is a lot of comfort in the simple things in life – valuing what we have that is immaterial. There is also a lot of comfort in history – nearly all recessions have rebounded within 6 months to a year – I'm hanging my hat on the fact that I have 30+ years to retirement, and I can wait this one out. (fingers crossed)

  • I don't live in California, Florida, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, or NYC. I don't work in financial services, transportation, or housing. My friends and I are aware that there are people out there who are in some financial straits, but we don't see much if any impact on our daily lives. Rush hour traffic is still painful, and the malls are still crowded. From that standpoint, it's problematic to say that there is a recession, let alone a major one. I suppose that your outlook on this depends on your own circumstances.

  • I just sold one of my very profitable Chinese stocks while I still had some gains. I plan to have cash in hand and be ready to invest again.
    Reading and listening to the news can really make everything look so desperate, you just have to take it with grain of salt or not at all.

  • Chad @ Sentient Money

    No time is ever different. It's tough for us to measure, when we think 5 years is a long time, but everything that will ever happen has already happened in history. It might not be exact, but can be similar. Bad decisions on mortgage loans isn't the end. A meteor the size of Argentina…maybe.

  • I bought lunch today near a mall and the restaurant was packed, so the economy is still moving. However, people are not buying cars (and likely other large purchases) which does have an impact on the economy.

    I am glad to see a few people who agree with me. Someone at work was talking about hording cash rather than holding or buying more stocks now. I said about the same thing that you (and other commenters) are mentioning — if stocks drop to worthless we are not going to be worried about cash, investments, or even the value of your home. We will be worried about what to eat and wishing that we already the spent cash, while it was still worth something, on ammunition. Unless you think that is the likely scenario, now may be a brilliant time to invest as long as you have a long term time frame.

    To optimism! I think that this is an over correction. But you might want to buy a few spare bullets just in case 😉

    I am starting to wonder if a large number of pundits muttering “This time it is different” is a leading indicator of any market downturn. Think of the recent tech, housing, and oil markets. Maybe they were not so different.

  • i worry about my parents, and i worry about people with little room for flexibility. but i'm not worried for myself.

  • I am thinking the same. Looks like a great chance to start to build a solid portfolio of blue chip stocks!

  • I am thinking the same. Looks like a great chance to start to build a solid portfolio of blue chip stocks!

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