Where Are You Putting Your Money?

Investment confusion. I have a lot of different interests, (wines, boating, volunteering, etc.) and I count ‘investing’ right up there at the top. I was about 25 years old in my first anchor job in California, and had a little money to invest. As I was only a couple month into my plan — Black Monday hit in that October 19th crash of 1987. The Dow dropped 508 points in one day, losing about 23% of its value. Talk about scary!! And no one really determined WHY the market crashed, blaming it primarily on a run up, and then ‘herd mentality’ in a rush to the exit. It took two years for the DJIA to recover its losses from that week.

Stayed with the plan. I didn’t pull my money out of the market since I didn’t have a whole lost invested. Instead, I continued my ‘dollar cost averaging’  — paying myself ‘first’ and investing set amounts every paycheck in a couple of different mutual funds. I figured I was young, had time to recover my losses, and would eventually come out ahead.

Flash forward to 2000. Those of us who live in Seattle well remember the dot-com bubble. Just about everyone I knew had jumped to a ‘dot-com’ and were on their way to riches, when suddenly, the bottom fell out. We were on a family vacation in Hawaii, and I can remember watching CNBC (something I do every morning) wondering where the bottom was this time around. Luckily, I still had my job in TV news, having refused the lure of ‘fast, easy wealth’ in a dot.com. Once again, it was time to build those investments back up in the retirement and college funds.

9/11 and 2008. We all know what happened next: 9/11. And it rocked everything, including the stock markets around the world. And needless to say, 2008’s collapse is fresh in our minds, although things are starting to build once again.

The question now — what’s the next best move? I’m no longer 25 years old, and I’m a little more conservative now.  But where are people putting their money? Are you sitting in cash, waiting til the election dust settles? Are you pouring money into emerging markets, trying to get the next spurt of growth? Are you investing in bond funds, hoping for those big dividends in spite of many voices saying there’s a bubble coming there, too? Where do you have your money? And it’s also October — historically not a friendly month to investors.

Working on some answers. I’m doing a lot of reading, trying to get a sense of what’s next. I have some ideas, at least for myself and where I’m at in my career and life, but I’d love to hear what some of you are doing. Drop me a line and let me know.

 

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