Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How Is Your Economy?

How Is Your Economy? I’d like to be a fly on the wall to hear how half the people answer that question. How is the overall economy in this country? Well, it sucks. So I thought I’d share a few thoughts. First of all, I think I’m going to follow this post up with a few thoughts later on about the economy and about investing.

However, let me get this little tidbit out of the way first. I am not an investment advisor any longer. Most of my background is in investment advising. I started out in the 90’s with an Edward Jones office before moving on to work for Fidelity for a number of years. After that I went into the business with a colleague and was an investment advisor for a Virginia company. Yes, the economy sucks and I no longer do that for now. I decided to chase some other opportunities such as trying to promote my novels and currently my web store.

I’m watching T.V. last week and this commercial comes on to advertise for an investment company. It first addresses the fact that the economy is still bad, but it goes on to ask how the economy is in your home. It’s a pretty clever ad and makes the overall economic question a very personal one. So I thought I’d take a few moments to ask you…How is your economy?

When you think about it, that question can be answered from very different points of view. Someone who watches that commercial will think of it in terms of how their 401K is performing or their other retirement and non-retirement investments, or that variable annuity they have that will help supplement their income in a few years. Someone else may hear that question and consider the answer in terms of job security or if they have enough benefits offered at their job to help the family with insurance or medical costs. Still yet, another person who is reading this and between jobs may consider the local job market and their particular skill set when they ask themselves this question. Maybe their economy isn’t so good and they need additional income to pay the bills and hopefully have a few bucks left over.

I thought about some of the different ways that people would answer this question. A growing number of analysts are suggesting that our country is edging closer to slipping back into another recession. If you ask me, I didn’t know we ever really got out of the last one. Now for you folks out there who follow the markets and the economy closely, I’m well aware of what the definition of a recession is and yes, the economy has been growing. But it hasn’t been growing at the rate needed to replace the jobs lost during the recession and for many people out there, slow economic growth feels about the same on the wallet as no economic growth.

So with the economy still disappointing many people who are unemployed or under-employed, I was a bit taken by surprise when I recently read an article stating that the growth rate in new entrepreneurs was slowing down. In America we are surrounded by opportunity. We only need our imaginations and a little bit of hard work to actually become a business owner. America has always been robust with people taking advantage of their own abilities and becoming their own boss.

One would expect that with so many people out of work for so long we would see an explosion of small at home businesses. After all, not a day goes by that I don’t hear the same ad on the radio telling me to go to go to a web page for Income At Home to be my own boss. I checked it out and had a couple of phone calls to discuss selling Herbalife vitamins and products. It wasn’t for me.

The point is, if your economy is lacking there are opportunities out there to become your own boss and even work from home. Do you love reading books? Did you know that there are companies out there that will pay you for a book review? Are you a new student in college needing a few extra bucks and are good at math? Why not tutor high school students two or three times a week. Maybe your time is worth $15 an hour. A small group of 5 students for a two hour session just made “Nichole’s Tutoring Service” an extra $150 for one session. I personally set up an online Amway store called J.C.’s Place as something to do on the side to supplement my own economy. My sister did the same.

There are any number of things we can do to help out our own economies at home and improve our lives and lifestyle. If you are interested in improving your economy and want to be your own boss then do some web research and come up with some ideas. One place to start looking is Entrepreneur.com. There are numerous websites that will offer you a free website for a year for trying them out. So don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. If you do something very well the chances are that there are some people out there who would be willing to pay you for your knowledge and time. I’d be interested to know how you answer the question in six months from now. How is your economy and what are you going to do about it?

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