I have heard so many people complaining abou high gas prices, their declining retirement accounts, and the losses in stock market that I developed a financial to do and not do list. From borrowing money out of your 401(k) to starting a side hustle! These are the Top 7 Financial Moves you will want to know about for 2008.
1. You Should start investing in the stock market. Most stocks in the Dow Jones Index and the S&P 500 have decreased about 15 percent in the last twelve months. Think of it this way, you can buy into the American Economy and get a 15 percent discount right now, but for a limited time only! So start contributing to your 401(k), 403(b), or Roth IRA as soon as possible.
2. You Should refinance debt into a lower fixed rate. The Federal Reserve is more than likely not going to lower interest rates anytime soon. Now is the perfect time to save hundreds and maybe thousands on finance charges by refinancing auto, home and credit card debt into a low-fixed rate.
3. You Should start a side hustle! “Boy, times is hard, " my momma said recently. So start thinking about what you love to do and try to develop a business model or simply a way of making money from it on the weekends. And guess what? After the recession ends and good times start rolling again, you will have a second source of income creating wealth for yourself. If you can create a profitable business during a recession, then congratulations, because you can practically do anything!
4. You Should build a “Come-Up Cushion. " Like my man, Jay-Z said, “even if I fall, I'll land on a bunch of money. " During a recession it is inevitable that some people are going to lose their jobs, go into debt, ruin their credit and lose their home or business. You must be prepared so that if you do fall financially, you will have sufficient amounts of capital to come back up and get back on track. On average, it takes about five months to find a job, so stack three to six months of your living expenses for your come-up cushion.
5. You Should Not move money out of the stock market. I don't care how many horror stories you hear about the stock market. Unless you are about to retire, in which you should have already adjusted your investment strategy, do not start moving money around because you will miss out on the capital gains, once the market rebounds. Lets be real, if you are not a professional stock trader and you don't have the time and financial tools like those boys on Wall Street to analyze stocks, you cannot time the market.
Remember, you are investing for ten to thirty years or more from now. One of the greatest investors of all time and currently the wealthiest man in the world, Warren Buffet, said about investing for the average American, “if you are not a professional investor, then just invest in an index fund like the Vanguard 500 and just leave it there and don't touch it. "
6. You Should Not lose your “financial common sense. " Okay, I know the media constantly reports negative financial news relating to increasing foreclosures, ridiculously expensive gas and food prices, growing unemployment rates and more! But that does not mean you must start acting financially irrational. Do not wait 12 hours just to get $40 of free gas. Let's do the math, that means your time is valued at $3.33 per hour, would you work a job for the same rate? Also, do not go out and buy a hybrid car, or new car just to save on gas expenses. Going thousands of dollars into debt just to save an extra $50 a month does not make financial sense.
7. You Should Not borrow money from your 401(k). If you really need the money and don't have a come-up cushion, I would suggest borrowing from a no fee credit card that has zero percent interest for 12 months or more. If you decide to borrow from your 401(k) anyway, beware of the following: If you quit working or get fired, you must repay the loan in a few months, not the five-year normal payback period. If you cannot repay the loan and default, you will be hit with federal income taxes and a ten percent penalty for early withdrawal.
Finally, when you borrow from your 401(k), you defeat the whole purpose of this tax-deductible investment strategy. When you repay the loan you are using money that has already been taxed and when you make withdraws at 59 ½, you will be taxed AGAIN.
Now take a deep breath, get your financial composure, focus on your wealth plan, and then start putting the the plan into action!
Create Wealth, Enjoy Life
James “Bird" Guess
The Black Economy.com
James “Bird" Guess graduated college with dreams of climbing the corporate ladder and becoming a prominent financial executive. But after only working a year in “Corporate America", James grew bitter of the politics and bureaucracy associated and decided to venture out on his own to become a full-time entrepreneur.
With a repossession and other unpaid debts on his credit, James had a negative net worth. Starting with only $1,000 saved from college, he single-handedly built a quarter million dollar apparel business from the trunk of his car. Shortly thereafter, his business model would transition from retailer to wholesaler of apparel, which generated $750,000 dollars in revenue.
James could now take one step closer toward financial freedom. As an entrepreneur, he has bought and sold over $1.5 million of apparel. He now uses his financial acumen to help individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses and investors create wealth in their lives! James is now the President & Founder of BlacBird Investments LLC. http://www.BlacBirds.com & http://www.theblackeconomy.com
Create Wealth! & Enjoy Life!