Bailout hasn’t done much goodWritten by Nolan Baker Mark Clair | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In the past four months, the government has been an open checkbook, printing money faster than a speeding bullet, and many are taking the hit.
The stock market is at one of the lowest levels in recent history with no end in sight. In the four months since the first bailout, stock market indexes are down more than 25 percent. January was the worst January in the history of the market for several of the indexes, and it’s hard to believe that the market is back to where it was more than a decade ago.
Billions of tax dollars have been given to banks, insurance companies and automotive companies, among others. Stocks in the financial sectors are down more than 50 percent in the past few months. AIG is broke again, Citibank is almost at the city morgue, and the government is considering nationalizing banking. No thanks.
The stocks of the automotive companies haven’t done well, either. The stock price of Ford is down about 25 percent, and General Motors is down nearly 50 percent in the past month alone.
Do you know why prices are falling so fast? Maybe it’s because the bailout companies are wrongly spending their money. They are spending money sending lobbyists to D.C.; they are using our money for bonuses and parties; they are using our money to settle lawsuits with shareholders; and they are using our money to pay shareholder dividends.
We feel terribly for many of our friends, neighbors and clients who have lost, or are at risk of losing, their jobs in this mess. We have always believed it’s a good idea to help people get on their feet, but we also believe in people helping themselves.
Remember what can and cannot be controlled. Keep focused on taking advantage of the opportunities and avoiding money traps. Don’t dwell on the past; focus on the future and make smart financial decisions.
Learn about little-know strategies to tap into retirement funds and avoid tax penalties if you are under 59 ½, and learn how to tap into your 401(k) if you are older than 55.
Consider a Roth Conversion for long-term retirement money. If you own a traditional retirement account, you can lock in your retirement tax bill and build tax-free money in the future.
Be wary of salespeople who try and switch investments without proper planning. We realize how important it is to get control of financial affairs, but rushing helps no one.
There is no one financial product or investment that makes sense for all of your money. Take time to go through a detailed planning process. Focus on now and the goal for the future. Look at current needs, five-year goals, 10-year goals and long-term needs. Build a financial roadmap and then make a decision.
For more information about The Retirement Guys, tune in every Saturday at noon on 1230 WCWA and every Sunday at 11 a.m. on 1370 WSPD or visit www.retirementguysradio.com. Securities are offered through NEXT Financial Group Inc., Member FINRA / SIPC. The Retirement Guys are not an affiliated of NEXT Financial Group. 7135 Sylvania Ave, 2B, Sylvania, Ohio 43560. Neither NEXT Financial Group, Inc. nor its representatives are qualified to give tax advice. Please consult your tax professional regarding your particular situation before making investment decisions.