Wall Street may be improving, but it has yet to return to the good-old-days we experienced before the financial meltdown. What can be done to bring the industry back to its glory days?
“I think there are multiple ways in which we could recover, whether it’s confidence or trustworthiness or prices,” Jeff White, the founder of TheStockBandit.com, told StreetID. “In terms of trustworthiness, I think we have miles and miles to go before Main Street is willing to embrace Wall Street. From the outright crooks like Bernie Madoff to the unsettling events like MF Global to the vagaries of the 2008 housing/credit mess, there’s a lot not to like about the Street. Throw into the mix those who have been burned in the past dozen years by steep corrections like the dot-bomb implosion, the 2008 bear market, and the Flash Crash, and some folks will stick with socking away their funds in the mattress.”
But in using a mattress instead of a bank, individuals miss out on a lot of opportunities.
“When it comes to other opportunities out there for putting your money to work, some risk must be taken and the stock market is the most liquid place to do it,” said White. “You could invest in a business or real estate, but you can’t cash out in a moment like you can in stocks, and that has appeal to people. Collecting interest is not an option right now, so for those who recognize that, it’s a matter of becoming more skilled at timing their buys and sells in such a way that they can grow their money rather than simply letting it sit.”
As far as prices are concerned, White believes that the recovery is a matter of time. “We’ve seen a tremendous recovery since the March 2009 lows, and from the October lows of last year,” he said. “However, we’re down about 10% (NASDAQ) from the March highs, so depending upon the timeframe being viewed, one’s perspective of things will differ. At this point we may simply be caught in a very wide range. It’s an election year, and many expect the market to firm up ahead of November.”
Going forward, White suspects that we’ll “continue to see pockets of momentum and periods of weakness, requiring that you stay on your toes and embrace a less-rigid commitment to stocks.”
“I personally plan to get longer at lower levels, but will defer to the charts and will want to see some stabilization in prices rather than arbitrarily picking a number and buying in the face of weakness,” said White. “There are not a lot of other appealing places for investors to be right now besides US stocks, so that could make the climate more favorable once this near-term pullback runs its course.”
With regard to employment, White said that you must “be yourself and therefore not afraid to express your uniqueness.”
“Things change quickly these days, and those with creativity bring added value to their employers,” said White.
“I think no matter what field you’re entering or what position you might be applying for, your character is what will ultimately land you the job,” White continued. “You must be skilled and a right fit for the task, but if it’s clear that you’re a hard-working, straight-forward person who is teachable and reliable, you’ll be hard to overlook.”
If You Really Want to be Hard to Overlook…
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