Monday, November 17, 2008

Finding Comfort in the Madness

As in other areas of life, sometimes the best way to get through a crisis is with patience. At the present time, a person would get depressed if they were to follow the stock market closely because they are depending on their stock portfolio for their retirement.

However, looking at the market reports every day will not change anything. Whatever goes down will go up again, but no one knows exactly when, and since worrying about it won't change it, perhaps just not looking at it is better for your nerves and blood pressure.

A person could be happy about the state of the stock market if they have plenty of money to invest and can afford to simply buy and hold for a long time. The same can be said of the current real estate market.

A related phenomenon right now is the growing popularity of yard sales and garage sales. The current crunch seems to have caused people to reevaluate and as a result, they are looking at all the stuff they had stashed in storage units as sources of potential income, rather than a monthly expense. So it is possible to make money off the sale and save money by eliminating a debt, obviously a good move for some people.

As a result, there will be many bargains out there. This crisis can be a good opportunity to reevaluate what we really need and what we can do without. A deep cleaning of this type can be very cathartic. It can be a challenging, life changing experience that becomes very liberating.

In other areas, such as stocks, it may be better to simply hold on and wait rather than sell at a loss. Of course, each person has to consider the details of their own situation. There are always positive results even from disasters. If a person can buy stocks or real estate at the bottom of the market and simply hold on, it eventually has to come back up.

The other thing is that it may be a good time to take up tai chi, yoga, meditation. working out or some other method of relieving stress while issues far bigger than us are getting worked out.

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