Tuesday, October 14, 2008

From Housing to Healthcare

Don't you

Financial Advice

During the past few weeks of economic confusion, we have received two letters from our financial advisor. Yesterday evening, he called. Now, keep in mind, we are no top dollar clients, just a single income family with a rolled over IRA. Not only is it very gratifying to receive this level of attention, but the advice we've been getting has been very helpful and reassuring. I asked him if it would be alright if I shared part of his latest letter here and he said that would be fine. This was written Thursday evening just after the big drop in the stock market.

"Here is what I would expect over the coming days. The all out panic hits the market and, if today was not the bottom, expect havoc on Friday and/or Monday. I think once that happens and the system has cleansed itself of the panic, the market will rebound strongly. Unfortunately, it will not necessarily be over yet. The market has a tendency to test its bottoms. It did so in 2002, the DOW dipping into the 7,000s in July, rebounding strongly and retesting by dipping into the 7,000s once again in October 2002 which happened to be the bottom.

"The panic is here and the market should bottom very soon. Expect it to rebound quickly and decisively, but don't get too comfortable. Within a few weeks or months, it could very likely retest its lows and then we should see a sustainable rebound going forward.

"The economic news will get much worse. The market is pricing in the depth of the recession that "experts" are finally waking up to. The market will be on its way up long before the economy turns around. So don't worry too much about the economic news, the market is already ahead of your worries.

"On a side note, you may want to call your politicians and tell them to leave well enough alone. I don't see where their actions or their words are doing ANYTHING to help the situation. That being said, the market appears to now be ignoring the government and making its own adjustments. This is a VERY positive sign and it's the first time in a year that I feel I'm getting a good read on what the market is doing and I think it's trying hard to bottom out."

--David F. Boothe, President
BIG Investment Services

He also told us not to watch Glenn Beck, which made me wonder if he might know us a little too well. On a serious note, he predicts the world economy only has about another 30 good years before a major global collapse. This should give me more than enough time to build my concrete bunker and barricade myself inside it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Healing Powers of Bird Watching

When Austin was very young--about 4 or 5--he told me, "I was born to love birds." At the time I just thought it was cute, but now that he's almost 14, I have to believe him. Bird watching remains one of his favorite things to do in the world. His bird knowledge is impressive--from identification to migration patterns to imitating bird calls.

Recently, the Delmarva Ornithological Society started a youth birding club, called the Delaware Dunlins. This past Saturday was our 3rd outing with them. During a slideshow presentation on raptors, Austin actually raised his hand twice--not to answer a question, but just to ask one. This is remarkable behavior for my sweet, standoffish ASD child. Not only did he engage in this way, but the leaders are very appreciative of him. They recognize his interest and knowledge that he goes to such pains to hide from everyone and they look for ways to draw it out of him. And the other children are so kind and attentive to him, not showing the inclination to be put off by his antisocial behavior that I have come to expect. By the time we left Saturday, I wanted to hug everyone there (but wisely refrained). It means a great deal to me that there is a place where I can take my son and know that he will be accepted as a contributing member of the group.