Is anyone else not really affected by all the financial turmoil?

If I had much money in the stock market, I guess I might be more worried. But what money I do have is in utilities, so they’re still fine.

If I lost my job I’d be very worried about getting another one. But I work for a small company and know that we’re doing ok, sales are good.

My house mortgage is reasonable and affordable; I knew exactly what I was getting into.

I’m not some rich guy, I make less than $50K per year. But luckily I can’t see much downside to the financial problems of Wall Street banks with bad loans unless maybe I need to get financing for something in the near future.
Anybody else feel this way? And if not, how has the crisis affected you?

Nah. I have a good amount in my 401k, rather aggressively poisitoned but I honestly don’t know how the value has been affected. Not that it matters because I won’t be seeing that money for another 25 years or so. I’m still in “buy” mode for that account so as far as I’m concerned the market can’t stay down long enough–shares are on sale!

I’m an insurance guy, people are going to continue to wreck their cars and get their houses blown apart by hurricanes for the forseeable future, and since houses and cars with loans pretty much HAVE to be insured I don’t need to worry as much as others about job security.

I am concerned for my business as it depends on consumer spending, but I do have substantial cash reserves in a variety of currencies and several banks. One huge issue is that I am planning to move back to the US soon and will not have any health insurance… I can’t afford the group rates which are several thousand dollars per month, and because of a pre-existing condition I can’t get an individual plan.

For long term stuff I am keeping my UK private insurance so can just go to any country other then the US for care, but for emergencies, I’d be up a creek.

I have less money in stocks and bonds than the average person of my age (35), so I was less affected by this mess (and I’m in a relatively stable industry, crossfingers.)

Don’t get me wrong, I max out my 401k and Roth IRA, but a good chunk of the money is in cash since I have a certain amount of cash on hand I want and rather than keep it in a bank I put it in the Roth IRA so I don’t lose that year’s contribution.

Plus I put quite a bit of money to paying off my mortgage early. This crisis may affect me in that I might buy more bonds now that their yield is finally decent!

I don’t see low stock prices as too big of a deal, like Warren Buffet says, now is the time to buy!

I guess low stock prices are mainly a problem if you needed to sell right now for whatever reason. The stock market has always come back in the long run.

Warren is the man.

That’s the whole reason why you’re supposed to shift your portfolio more and more towards bonds as you get older. Bonds return less than the market over the long term, but they’re completely non-volatile. My portfolio of index funds has taken a beating, but I’m not retiring for at least 30 years, so I don’t care. I know that over a few decades I will see excellent compound returns, and I am buying aggressively now. It also helps that my employer is in a market sector which is not hugely affected by the current crisis.

On the other hand, if you were planning to retire two weeks ago and you had my portfolio, you might be in for some pain.

I have a coworker in that position who is having to think about retiring in 2010 instead of this December. I am not entirely without compassion but … fer chrissakes how thick can ya get?

Being a little older than most of you, I had quite a bit invested this time around.

But all through this I have been hearing about the crash of '87 which happened when I was 30 and the thing is, I don’t remember it at all. It wasn’t even a matter of not being affected by it…I don’t recall having any awareness of it at all.

We’re not affected at this point. :: knocks on wood :: Both my husband’s and my jobs and pretty secure, and we’re young so, as others have said, it’s a great time to be buying stocks and putting lots towards retirement.

With interest rates low, we’re paying off our home equity line of credit as fast as we can. If we can pay that off with rates lower than we have on the primary mortgage, we’re doing great!

This is the first time in my adult life that I’ve been happy to have no assets.

This actually could turn out very well for the dude and I. We could be in a house within a year or so of him graduating. We’ve been very careful about building our credit; and I think a good deal of our credit wouldn’t have happened without the lending frenzy that preceded this whole mess. Now I just have to hope that all the rumors of a hiring freeze at his place of internship is a load of scuttlebutt. (Not likely, but I can hope.)

My secondary 401K, the one I consider the “fun $$”, invested in the very highest risk stuff, has taken a hit. No biggie. Otherwise, nothing.

As friedo posted, you’re not supposed to be close to retirement AND have a significant % of your retirement in the Market. If you do, then it’s your fault, not the Market’s.

For example, if you are 90% of your way to retirement, only 10% should be in stocks.

Not much. I lost about $1K in my mutual funds, but I’m not touching that money and eventually it will bounce back. I’m actually trying to figure out if I can add some more. My SO is looking for work and it’s tough, but honestly it’s been tough for ages so I don’t think right this minute is any worse than six or 12 or 18 months ago. Pretty much same old, same old at the moment.

Just looked at my statement. My 401k lost a couple grand. I expected to take a much larger hit.

Aside from that, my company (workers comp insurance) is stable.

So far I haven’t contributed to our deferred compensation plan, figuring I’d be better off paying off my credit card debt as quickly as possible. I was planning on starting to contribute this January, but if things bottom out I guess it would be a good time to start! :slight_smile:

As for job security, as a bus driver I am worried since they did have lay offs before during the dot com bust when a lot of businesses left and didn’t come back to Silicon Valley. However, the best I can do in my field is apply for as many positions as possible, to make myself as useful as possible if they do have to lay people off in the nar future.

I work in a mostly recession-proof industry (care for the developmentally-disabled), as does Mrs. Homie (pre-school). My 401k took a hit, to the tune of about 10%, but there wasn’t much in there to begin with and I’m decades away from retirement.

What might hurt me in the next few months is the fact that I plan to apply for a mortgage. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I’m 29. No stocks, no 401k, no IRA. The company I own is having its best year ever. My credit card - which I am still on track to pay off in the time I’d hoped - keeps getting a rate drop.

I have a paltry sum in an high-interest account, so the difference between the possible high interest rate and the still-better-than-everyone-else interest rate that I currently have is like $1 or $2/mo max.

I work at home so the high gas prices aren’t really affecting me.

According to the last re-assessment I got on my house (county does it every few years) my home value has gone UP since the last go-round.

I am really sitting pretty.

The only way this crunch might hit me is if my parents both dropped dead tomorrow and I was left with less “inheritance” than I’d get had his stocks not dropped. But then again, I’d have more money than I do today so…

(please don’t ask me for money! I am still living paycheck-to-paycheck :slight_smile: )


What does your company do/offer, if you don’t mind my asking?

I’m doing just fine, thanks. The numbers on my computer screen next to “account balance” and “portfolio value” etc. have gone down some, but other than that I’m fine.

My husband and I are 25 so we have plenty of time to wait for the markets to bounce back. We’re worth less on paper than we were last year because real estate prices are down.

The crappy AUD has made our upcoming overseas travel to Thailand and the US 20-30% more expensive. On the plus side we’re probably saving more than that because of reduced interest rates on the mortgage.

I’m definitely buying less online - I can’t bear to pay 60c on the dollar when I was getting 95c a few months ago. I should have stocked up on cheap US goodies back then.

Neither of us have ever carried any debt besides the mortgages, he earns a high salary at an insanely secure job, and although we live well, we also live below our means.

I don’t really know anyone who has been directly affected. One person who works at a call centre said there have been layoffs, and another who is a graduate architect said it’s been pretty brutal at her firm. Most of my friends are in the same boat as me - happy at lower interest rates, sad at lower AUD. The ones who are in the market to buy are happy at lower property prices, the property owners are meh about it since nobody was planning to sell anytime soon.

This is all happening at the perfect time for me. I have no assets and a shit-load of student loans. I graduate with my M.D. at the end of this school year. Whatever else is happening with the employment markets I can’t see it affecting my ability to get a residency position. I expecting house prices to take another year or 2 to really stabilize and in the meantime they’ll keep dropping. Hopefully by the time the mortgage market starts to recover I’ll be in a position that I can think about buying a house.