So the stock market had reached new lows a few weeks ago, and I decided to pull my IRA out of cash and into the market.
And the stock market has been going up ever since!
I'm pleased it didn't drop like a stone.
About this housing sales going up last month? Yes, from a 40 year low the month before, but -- still lower than last February.
Unemployment rate in Bend over 16.% when not seasonally adjusted. But good lord, how many of my customers have had their hours cut, or were never included in the employment statistics in the first place? If you leave town, that removes you from the statistics, right?
I'm going to have my worst sales month since 2004; and I'm still going to turn a good profit.
After holding back for a couple of weeks, I felt comfortable enough with our sales level to make reorders, and I was able to order everything I had sold that I wanted to replace.
After all, the point of having these perennial best-sellers is to keep them in stock; by diversifying I was able to figure out what sold and what didn't, and that's a hell of a luxury in slow times.
Keeping the store fully stocked and all the bills paid. I must be doing something right.
My friend Steve is in the Bulletin today with apparently one of the few models for building houses that still works. Still don't understand how having 'designs' in advance helps them save money, though. Can't every builder do that? It sounds to me more like simple smart money management -- making sure the owner can afford the house, trying to build it under market rates, not owning the lots, etc.
I've been trying to figure out why I'm so optimistic. I think when I started writing about the housing "bubble" two and half years ago, I was alarmed and dismayed that no one saw the dangers. I continued writing about it, because people continually underestimated the problems.
Not sure that's true anymore.
First step to making good decisions is seeing the reality of the situation, admitting the problems.
Now that we pretty much have, it's time to start looking at how things may improve.
I think it'll probably get worse in Bend for awhile; I think the national economy will improve first. A year from now, a lot of bad news will have happened in Bend. I think it will take a long time for things to turnaround. Maybe bumping along the bottom for a couple of more years.
But I'm starting to feel that my own situation is going to settle in at above the survival levels -- unless there is a disaster. (I'm not sure that my business has ever been so strong that a 'disaster' wouldn't have hurt.)
It's the uncertainty that hurts, and I'm starting to get a feel for where my store is heading, and feeling like I can handle it.
I don't want to get into a political wrangle here, but personally, I'm very comfortable with Obama's moves. Very reassured. I think the timing and scope of his efforts are the best that can be accomplished in the political landscape. I wasn't sure anyone could really turn this sinking ship around -- I'm still not -- but I think Obama and his team are doing about as good a job as could be done.
That's what I think.
Don't argue with me, man.
3 days ago