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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Don't Panic

(Just thought I'd show you this Obama cupcake -- oddly enough it's vanilla.)

Over the past several days, as we've watched the markets flounder and plunge, I've gone through a range of emotions: fear, denial, anger, resentment, fear again, more denial, bleak resignation. Over the years Lane and I have sacrificed in order to invest for the future. It's been hard to see our favorite fund sink 22% since September.

As many of you know, Lane is an artist; that's his only source of income. I'm not much help, either, since I've just started freelancing a few hours a week while Jasper in in school. Unlike families with real jobs, we have much to lose in the immediate future in this economic climate.

However, at this point we've decided to be cautiously optimistic. Here's why.

Lane and I have been talking about this article in the New York Times. You know the old adage, "buy low, sell high"? Well, here we are. Countless solid corporations are currently undervalued. That means bargains are to be had. It's like Wall Street has become Century 21.

If you've never invested before I really believe this is a good time to start. Do your homework and talk to a financial adviser (or at least your smartest investing friend) first, but do think about getting into the game. If people start investing again we can sway the current mood on Wall Street from fear and gloom to hope. You stand a good chance of increasing your net worth over the long term. We all win.

This week on The Daily Show, guest Sarah Vowell talked about reading Roosevelt's Fireside Chats and feeling comforted. FDR talked about everyone's responsibilities, those of the president, government, bankers, and ordinary Americans. So what did FDR say ordinary Americans could do? NOT PANIC. "Okay, I can not panic," Sarah said. Yeah, me too. My panic stops now. Not. Panicking. Anymore.

Recently a prominent art dealer stated that despite having over a million dollars' worth of sales canceled this week he is determined to be optimistic. Pessimism is catching, he cautions. But it doesn't have to be that way. Maybe we can make optimism contagious.


Luisa Perkins said...

Hear, hear! What an excellent post.

(I want an Obama cupcake.)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. There was an article in the paper the other day about how the state treasurer is not pulling his funds out of Oregon's College Savings Plan, and observing that now would be a good time for people with young children to start buying shares. Exactly what I was thinking.

I want an Obama cupcake, too. Maybe I'll make some at the end of this week, when my schedule loosens up a bit. Before the Obama Barndance I'm hoping we'll attend on Saturday. :)

Kate The Great said...

How do you know it's an Obama cupcake? It doesn't look like him. Does he have his own logo?

Adriana Velez said...

Kate, so glad you asked. Yes, it's Obama's logo. You can see it -- and also check out how much you'll save in taxes under his plan -- here