Bring it on Mr. Bear.
When this whole bear market first started, I was letting the massive decline in stocks make me sick. Needless to say, that was not a healthy way to live. Gradually, I have been able to master my fear and I have completely changed my perspective on things. Not only am I not worried about bad days in the market, I actually cheer them on. When I see red, I think to myself, GO BABY GO.
Why? Because I am slowly, and steadily buying stocks all the way down. Eventually we will find a bottom. When it will happen, I can't say for certain. What I can say however is the longer this mess lasts, the longer I have to gobble up stock in amazing companies, paying amazing / solid dividends, at incredible prices.
I no longer care what the top number aka the balance of my portfolio says. I just keep adding money to my investment account and keep slowly nibbling, adding shares of my favorite companies. Every month a little more money goes in, and every month I keep buying stock in well run companies that pay dividends of anywhere from 4% to double digits.
In fact, I have been kicking it old school in an effort to drum up even more funds to invest. I've started brown bagging lunch, I cancelled the landscapers and now mow my own lawn / do my own leaves (the fall cleanup saves nearly a grand by itself), I cancelled the cleaning lady, and I have stopped buying as much fun stuff for myself for now, I am looking into leasing a less expensive car when my current lease is up, etc... Don't get me wrong. I'm far from cheap. My wife is still free to buy whatever she wants (within reason ;)) and I still buy lots of toys / clothes for my sons, but I am circling the wagons. Besides doing the yard work is good exercise. My son and I have fun bonding and making leaf piles.
Both my wife and I have good jobs (though she is on maternity leave for now) and we can afford these things and still save money, but I think that we all have gotten a little spoiled over the last decade. I did all of these things when I was growing up and I turned out fine. It is probably healthy to tighten the belt a little bit.
Anyhow, bring it on Mr. Bear. As long as we both have good jobs, I welcome this mess. I'm locked and loaded, waiting for more amazing deals. I just scooped up a few more this morning.
From the looks of things, we are likely to keep getting bargains for the foreseeable future. Take a look at this headline that came out today:
U.S. MBA's Mortgage Applications Index Tumbled 17% Last Week
"Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell last week to the lowest level in almost eight years as the worst financial crisis in seven decades dried up lending....
`'It's getting harder to get a loan,'' Patrick Newport, an economist at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, said before the report. 'Sales will continue dropping for the rest of the year because of what's happening in the credit markets.'"
I remain short all of the major builders in CAPS. I highly doubt that the housing market will turn around before some time in late 2009 at the earliest.