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Thursday, August 4, 2011

What to do when the world is falling apart

Things will probably stabilize at some point in the near future, but then a cascade of additional worries will take the markets down again shortly after that before a more permanent bottom is found. That's the typical pattern in these crises and I would be relatively shocked if that didn't happen now.

The fundamental question is then what should be done with one's personal investments? Well, there's little profit in rushing into this market at the moment to find a bottom. There is not a single event that could occur that would right all of the wrongs that ail the market at this point. There is no package that the EU could produce or is likely to produce that would soothe markets. There is no stimulus plan that the U.S. is remotely likely to put forward that would boost growth prospects. There is no sector of the economy that is poised to suddenly burst onto the scene with unexpected vigor and drag the rest of us with it. Political shackles have consigned us to quite difficult time at the moment.

For now, the most prudent thing to keep your current cash reserves and not deploy at this time. Also, any safer investments that hold up well will serve as reserves to take advantage of more speculative plays that get hammered. For instance, Brazil is getting destroyed right now: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/fund/ewz

Before long, there will be fantastic opportunities. There always are after panics.

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