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Q: What can you do to save the economy? A: Buy a home!

October 6, 2008

Haha, so I know you are thinking that this is the most self-serving real estate blog post that could come from a San Francisco Realtor but c'mon....hear me out!

Rather, hear out my buddy (not that we've ever met) James B. Stewart, a columnist for SmartMoney Magazine and SmartMoney.com who wrote recently in the Wall St Journal about what we regular citizens...you know Joe and Jane Six-Pack or for us San Franciscans Joe and Jane Latte...can do to help the markets.

"As president Franklin Roosevelt confronted far more dire circumstances than anything we've experienced in my lifetime, let alone last week, and yet he never succumbed to panic, desperation, greed or, most famously, fear....

The proximate cause of last week's crisis in the financial markets, which evidently brought us to the brink of economic catastrophe, was paralysis: the refusal of banks to lend virtually anything...As paralysis seemed to grip our major financial institutions, I felt some of this myself..."

Sound familiar to anyone reading this? No, not you Ms. Fence-Sitter and certainly not you, Mr. Time the Market Perfectly!

But I digress.

"In times of financial crisis, collective action can achieve what would be unacceptably hazardous for any one individual... Put that way, $700 billion strikes me as a not unreasonable price to pay for the stability of the financial system on which our entire economy and collective well-being rest.....

The administration's proposal hasn't been accompanied by much high-minded rhetoric aimed at the American people. That is unfortunate. The plan, no matter how expensive or sweeping, will fail if all of us continue to be gripped by fear and risk aversion.

It is time for all of us to summon the courage to invest calmly and rationally and in doing so demonstrate our confidence in the potential of the global economy and our fellow man.

What, in practice, does this mean?

It means continuing to accept and even embrace a prudent degree of risk.

It means to continue following a disciplined approach to asset allocation and investments...

It means to continue rebalancing your portfolio...

It means considering investment alternatives. I found myself looking at real estate listings...

Based on my perusal this weekend, in some parts of the country we have reached the kind of opportunity to buy real estate that only comes along once a decade, if then."

Read the entire column HERE.

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