I read a piece yesterday that I have attached below. I find it interesting to gauge the opinion of others when researching how we feel about our current economy. As mentioned before, I am a self-proclaimed “market junkie”.
That title alone does not separate me from anyone or give me favor when answering the title to this post. However, I can say that I have invested in the stories, stats and economic indicators that one would use to extrapolate an educated opinion. It is my thought and belief that the recession is over. Using a mix of news, research and everyday living helps to support my opinion.
On the news front; I have seen a very optimistic side of reporting both on CNBC and BloombergNews. Are they experts? Yes. Are they always right No! With that being said, I can appreciate their candor. The level of expertise amongst their guests is staggeringas well. I have noticed an overwhelming number of Bulls lately. They won’t go on record about the future, but they are generally the assertion that the recession over by providing data on the Stock Market, less contraction and the stabilization of the housing market.
My own research includes but is not limited to the real estate market. There are still a large number of declining markets, but today was proof that the market turmoil has eased. We are starting to see price increases, more existing home sales and stronger than expected numbers from new home builders. In addition to housing, I have kept a close eye on the stock market. Since March 9th, we have seen unbelievable gains. This didn’t surprise me. I have always been from the camp that felt that “fear” led to “hoarding” and ultimately that led to a significant amount of contraction, which ultimately led to job loss/bankruptcy. The reason this can be tied to the stock market, is because we are human. As humans, we function on emotion and confidence. When times are good, we have a tendency to spend. When times get tough, we can’t imagine pulling out our wallet to spend money on anything that may be considered a luxury. Since March 9th, we have begun to see this money come off the sideline and back in the game. I expect the average investor will be thinking about getting back in the market right now! Typically we are behind the curve and miss much of the run-up as we have seen over the last 4-5 months.
Last, but not least, I find one of the best ways to test the temperature of our economy is to talk to the people we know and to go shopping. We find our best info, from our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family. They will tell us their hopes, fears and will give us their perception of our economic state. I find it most interesting to go to the mall. The energy found in shopping centers is almost palpable. Back in November and December of last year it was modest, careful and selective. I went to NordstromCafe yesterday; and found it fascinating that there were lines of people waiting to purchase and to be seated as well. This has been a growing trend. As we all get more comfortable that the sky is not falling, we head back out to the real world and begin what we do best; consume!
My objective of this post has not been to sway the opinions of others. We are already exposed to this type of behavior. Instead, I wanted to provide my opinion, while challenging your thought process. Asking you to take the temperature of your on confidence and that of others. Dip your foot in and see how it feels. I find that most often our “perception is our reality”.
Please feel free to respond and share your insights as I would love to hear them.