After a long and self-indulgent break, the Spendology category is pleased to get off the recliner and return to the turf of BreakAway. And thus ends the good news—and the party. Because we are here to predict that the U$A is exactly two years away (or less, maybe much) from the next recession. Duh.
Market timing remains a foolish and dangerous sport. So “SELL” makes little sense. But neither does “BUY.” So here’s our best recommendation: “GO!”
Stick to your plan, of course. If you have one. But if you’re like most Merrkuns, you don’t. Even worse, a recent LAT article made a painfully compelling case that most of us have not improved our fiscal fitness since armpit of the last downturn. Yep, despite the longest uptick in our history, our national personal debt has actually risen…from $12.7 to $13.3 trillion.
Last spring, CNBC reported that 1/3 of Americans have less than $5k saved for retirement, while 78% are “extremely” or “somewhat” concerned about having enough for their golden years. Naturally, we’re all also getting older. Meantime, youngsters are afraid of making babies and our “leaders” are afraid of immigrants. So, absent willing & able taxpayers, the next bust could be particularly painful on our aging populace (and bodies).
Let’s not even go into the recent tax cuts that may ultimately benefit only certain lucky citizens certain large corporations. Meanwhile, our government will go wa-a-a-ay deeper into debt. It’s the American Way, right?
Student loans are the new cash sow and guilty party. And really, let’s hope they’re enjoying their bookish bash because when the crash comes and they enter the Real World, the party’s over. Ironically (or not), the brain trust in DC is the loan shark here. And FBOW, they go all Soprano about collections: Death may be ex-students’ only option to escape paying somehow, somewhere, someday. But hey, as a fellow Armchair Economist chuckled, “Student loans are a killer way to pump up the economy…because kids spend that cash immediately!”
Later, many of them kids can’t afford a house and are missing that rare boom moment. Rents soar, while wages stagnate like a draining swamp. “Fintech” loans have created a new way to float billions that, when the levee breaks, we have no idea who will sink and who will swim.
Speaking of sinking, remember in winter of 2009 when the S&P 500 hit an epic low of 6,443? You don’t? Good for you. Even better for you is if you bought (or at least held) in the 9 ½ years since—because you’ve nearly quadrupled your money! In record time!
All to say…Buy low/get high applies. Right here and now is a GREAT moment to consider cashing out some gains and taking a sabbatical. Skip the second property. Punt the Porsche or vintage Pinto. Or if you’re like most folks and are still watching and waiting to get your financial act together, you may as well go anyhow.
What are you waiting for? The biggest boom in the history of Our Great Nation? Bummer if you missed it. Awesome if your ship came in.
Either way, it’s a good time to ship out. Winter is coming. Again. You ain’t getting any younger. It’d be a dirty rotten shame if your dreams died before you do.