Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is it just me, or are you also getting drawn in to the panic in the masses? Part of my day now is dedicated to actively tuning out the negativity and keeping my eye on the ball. Most days, this requires minimal effort, and I just keep on running this race I'm in. Once in a while, I find that effort is so great it has me feeling tired and drained before I even step out my front door. Yesterday was one of those days.

Friday, while spending time on learning new techniques to broaden my horizons, I slipped and clicked on the DJIA report I caught out of the corner of my eye while reading another article. As with mortgage and real estate "news", to date I've had a very careful sifting process in place. Out of necessity I've developed a pretty good suit of armor to wear these past 18 months. But yesterday, drawn in to this "impossibility" of a further 10% drop in the stocks in a single day, heart dropping to my toes, before completing reading the associated article, I found myself dialing our financial advisor's phone number for the first time in a long time.

-Have we sunk our heads too far in the sand?
-Should we be joining the stampede racing to cash positions?
-Will we have time to replenish these disappearing funds before we retire and still send our child to college?
-Should we fire our financial advisor because they didn't call us in advance to recommend other strategies/positions for us?

With visions of sugar plums no longer dancing in my head, setting aside my embarrassment that I may have slipped in to an irrational moment of panic, I spent 40 minutes on the phone with our financial advisor. Mind you, Warren Buffett we are not and we don't have tremendous amounts in these accounts, but they are our retirement funds! With my husband on the backside of his 5th decade, and me watching this impending decade race up on me, we're paying much closer attention to this stuff than we have in previous recessionary periods.

The analogy our financial advisor used - over and over again - to settle me down was making our decisions whether or not to liquidate in to cash positions while "flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet". Pull ourselves up and look down on what's happening below. Do we still believe in a capitalistic system? Do we believe the companies we own shares of still have the fundamentals we seek and will at the end of the day continue to be profitable?

Like my crystal ball, our financial advisor's is just as foggy. But, they still have some skin in the game, too.

I say thank God for antibacterial ointment and Band-Aids, because I still want to play, both in the mortgage/real estate industry and in the stock market. I've always loved a good roller coaster ride!

See you at the closing table!

Karen Cooper-OR/CA Mortgage

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