The worst thing that you can do when the economy turns sour is to become scared. Warren Buffet has advised people to start buying equities now to prepare for the eventual turn of the market. He is only partially right. Yes you do need to be prepared for the eventual turn around of the market but unlike Buffet you can not afford to let your money sit in the market watching as the value slinks further and further down waiting for the day that it finally shifts. The main thing that you need to do now is plan and plan well for the eventual turn around.
Nobody can predict the bottom of a bad market so don’t even try. But what people can do is wait for the upswing and take action when that happens. Yeah you lose on the initial part of the upswing but the market is so far below fair value right now that whatever you missed out on will be made up later down the road. The main thing you want to worry about is not being the first to get in line but the last. If you wait until everyone is comfortable with the market then you will be the one that is left out in the cold while others are profiting. That is what happened in the last recession. When the nightly news started to talk about the money that was being made in the tech bubble, that was the time to get out. The same with the housing bubble that we are going through now. I knew that it was too late to cash in on the housing phenomenon when TV shows started showing up everywhere on how to flip your home. By the time a money making gets to that level, that usually means that the market is saturated and even harder to make money in.
So now that we are in a down cycle the thing that you want to do is take the time to make sure you plan for the eventual up cycle. If you are a newcomer to the stock market take the time to get educated so that you have a slight idea on what you are doing. Even if you are planning to give your money to a broker or mutual fund, learn enough so that you are able to keep tabs on them, to make sure everything is on the up and up. You do not need the training of a day trader to learn the basics of the market. There are plenty of books and web sites out there that are geared to the novice investor. If you are not prepared to take at least an hour a week to read a book about the market then you are not prepared to place your money into the market.
If you plan on not using a broker or placing your money in a mutual fund then you need to look at step two. Step two would be to learn how to read a financial statement. This is not a hard thing and is truly a lesson that can last a life time. Again there are plenty of information resources out there that will teach you how to do this and it’s important that you get the hang of it. You want to be able to tell what the company that you are investing in is doing quarter to quarter. If you feel like they are wasting your hard earned money then it is time to pull out. If you like the results of the R&D(Research and Development) budget they have set for the next fiscal quarter then stay in. You get to know these things by studying an hour a week at least on your stock buys. Again if you are not willing to give an hour a week on your stock picks then there is a good chance you should be using a broker and not doing your own investing.
Cashing in on the bad economy is not a hard thing to do but it does take time and patience. There are no true get rich quick schemes in the world. If you are looking for that then I suggest that you sign up for a game show. There are however activities that if you take a little bit of time and a little bit of reading then you will be able to profit off of them. Stock picking is one of them. You will get some wrong and you will get some right but with the market as it is now, getting in on the upside is worth a whole lot more.