I’ve known David Steinberg for some 20 years now. He was introduced to me by one of the major CPA firms in New York City as knowledgeable and honest mortgage broker. I’ve used him many times and have found him quite effective. So, when we hit this financial morass, I thought it might be interesting to see what he had to say while we are in this epic meltdown. “There is no telling where things are going,” says David. But I’d like to share some observations that I believe will withstand scrutiny regardless of where markets are by the time you read this.” The following is from David’s mouth: Cash is King. You’d be amazed how much easier you can sleep if you have that emergency fund to (at least) six months of living expenses. Cash is King II: That emergency fund must be liquid. Having a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) doesn’t count because many banks are getting cold feet and cutting the lines back or eliminating them. So, even if you have perfect credit, there is no guarantee that your HELOC will be there when you need it. Cash is King III: Gains (or losses) are not real until you realize them, when you sell. For years Americans have been feeling rich because their houses and portfolios were appreciating. That wasn’t real. The losses we have experienced in recent weeks as our portfolios have fallen are no more real (unless you sold). If your initial choices were solid, your portfolio should come back when the market comes back. Buy Low and Sell High: I said, “If your initial choices were solid.” All too often people buy speculatively. How do you buy well? Watch Warren Buffett. He won’t buy unless he perceives value. Learn to sit on cash waiting for opportunities. Gotta Know When to Hold’em and Know When to Fold’em: These have been tough times for investors—tough figuring out whether to hold or sell. Stick to stock in good companies that have good management (Warren Buffett) and sell the rest. ‘When’ is the challenge! Sell on your terms—don’t get stampeded into selling at the wrong time. Volatility is a Fact of Life: Hold on! Volatility, which has been at record levels throughout 2008, is not going away any time soon. Get used to it. Strategize for it. Can’t Take the Heat: Get out of the market for the next six months or so if you can’t tolerate the swings. Be prepared to miss some of the glory if the market roars back. Gotta Know When to Buy: Me? I’m buying. Why? Because Warren Buffett is buying. Due to some luck 40 percent of my retirement funds were in cash as of October 10. I told my stock broker to start buying cautiously. (And, remember, it’s not polite to laugh at people.) There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills: Fortunes will be made by those with vision and courage to take advantage of the opportunities that will surely be present in the coming months. For more information, contact him at Dave@SummitFunding.com.
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