Should you Buy Stocks Now?

There are two schools of thought on the notion of whether it's wise to even consider investing in the stock market at this time of economic upheaval and uncertainty. Some economists indeed suggest that now is the perfect time to invest in stocks. Others contend that you should sell all of your stocks, take whatever money you've got and head for the hills. But, if you pause to give careful consideration to each of those notions and the reasons behind them, you'll probably come to the conclusion that they both have at least some merit.

As the situation stands today, the majority of market analysts are still waiting for the dreaded 'bottom to drop out' of the market. They thought that it would happen in October of 2008, but it didn't – at least, not quite. Nevertheless, most experts are still of the opinion that we're in a global recession; and if foreclosure rates continue to balloon upward, we may hit that expected bottom more 'sooner' than 'later.' What, then, should you do?

First and foremost, be absolutely certain that you don't make any decision based largely on fear or panic. Think carefully about the long-term effects of any actions you may be contemplating. If the old maxim of "buy low and sell high" is still ingrained in your thinking, then you may wish to wait until the stock market falls even further. However, there are a number of analysts of the opinion that there are bargains out there to be had, and that now is the time to take advantage of them. But be cautious, because we don't yet know the full extent of the current recession nor how it will ultimately play out, either nationally or on a global scale. Again, you may want to wait awhile to ascertain if it's worth venturing out into 'unknown and uncharted territory.'

Quite frankly, if the truth be told, if you were to ask ten analysts and economists what they thought about investing today, that's precisely the number of different answers you'd get. The decision, therefore, rests squarely with you. So, if you've never invested in stocks before, you'll need to spend quite a bit of time researching companies, profits and other variables. Which leads us back (again) to the cautionary words, "Perhaps it's best to continue to take a 'wait and see' attitude right now, especially if you're a newbie in the stock market." On the other hand, if you're a seasoned investor, you may already have a pretty good idea of 'when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em,' which requires prudent and thoughtful awareness and consideration of events that are happening not only locally but around the world.

Indeed, it's difficult to feel confidence in the stock market with foreclosures and unemployment steadily rising, banks closing their doors, companies handing their employees 'pink slips,' the cost of living spiraling ever higher, and the looming prospect of OPEC decreasing oil production in an effort to bolster sagging prices. Perhaps this is a time that would be best used to begin to budget wisely, bolster our income with a second job or open a home-based business. In these types of 'self-investment' endeavors, you're in control, the risk is minimal and the return can often be substantial.

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