I have been worried about the economy for some time.  It seems like everyday there is more news of lay offs and everytime I look at my 401k I worry about how the rest of America is doing.  I consider myself lucky since I have a in-demand skill set and make enough money to be able to save enough every month.  Of course I worry about my friends, our tenants, and certain members of our family.  It seems like everyone you talk to is being affected by the economy.  So when is it all going to end?

The interesting thing is that more bad news, decreases consumer confidence, which decreases spending–effectively putting the whole thing in a downward spiral.  I have been doing my best with my little fashion binge recently to increase consumer spending, but now I am feeling guilty and am back into save mode (with the exception of Chistmas, but those are gifts for other people so it doesn’t count).  It is definitely an interesting time.

On a more personal note, I have been thinking about investing recently.  So I did buy some stocks and they haven’t really done all that well (no surprises here), but I also converted my 401k out of mutual funds and into cash (which minimized some of my losses), but now I have a bunch of money I am trying to figure out when to invest.  So I have been watching the stock market and thinking it over. I am thinking the end of Q1 may be the best time, so that is my current plan in effect.

As for real estate, there has been a lot of local news about depressed housing numbers–but there has also been bits and pieces about Seattle being a good prospective investment.  Of course that same article also says that you can expect the housing market to be a downer for 2009 and 2010, with some sign of recovery in 2011 (which they describe as a slow recovery).  This can be good news for some though, because it gives you a good 1-2 years to start saving now (since you will likely have to put 20% down on most properties).  Needless to say, this is a good time to start cutting back and saving more.

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