What the? We’re gonna channel us some Antonio Lucio Vivaldi! The Spring Concerto is perf! Ahhhh! I can just see the recent uptick in retail sales! At least a little dip in unemployment! Manufacturing saw a bit of an increase! Slowly . . . slowly . . . but surely our economy is gettin’ better. Now let’s see what those politicians do for small business! I’ll keep you posted!
And, speakin’ of the effectiveness of newspapers, I just popped over to J&K Fleas An’Tiques at 184 S. Main Street to see owner Keith Rex! He said after he placed his ad in the Citizen last week his website hits went from 17 per day to 300! Ding dang! I just love it! He says that’s not happened with any other ad vehicle he’s used! But one thing is for sure: Keith’s stores have got it goin’ on which makes them interesting and just flat fun to visit! I wish I could hang out at J&K Fleas An’Tiques all day! It’s such a stress reliever to look through this great shop and dream about every ding dang thing I’m gonna buy! Oh. My. Gosh! They’ve even got this fabulous Herter Bros. 1860s sofa that once sat in the Governor’s Mansion in Milledgeville! J&K Antiques and Interiors located at 125 West Jefferson St. in Madison has expanded its costume jewelry selection and Keith says his Jefferson Street Consignments at 121 West Jefferson Street has all kinds of fab prom gowns as well as vintage clothing! Y’all check it all out! And, have fun Antiquin’ at J&K Enterprises fab three shops in Madison! There is something for every wallet!
As an investor, you might wonder what the new year has in store for you. While economic and market forces are, as always, somewhat unpredictable, the overall outlook is generally favorable — and by making the right moves, you can further improve your chances of making 2010 a good year for your portfolio.
And one of the best moves you can make is to stay invested. If you had jumped out of the market during the long downturn from late 2007 through March 2009, you would have missed quite a rally. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average staged a considerable comeback from its March lows, climbing 61.1 percent in 2009. The S & P 500 rose 66.7 percent off of its low.
Still, it’s unlikely that we’ll experience returns in this neighborhood for 2010. Although we may see reasonably strong growth in corporate earnings — a key driver of stock prices — stocks are no longer as undervalued as they were when the rally began.
However, although we still face some significant issues, such as high unemployment and tight credit, most experts predict that the economic recovery will continue in 2010, though not at a sizzling pace. And a growing economy is usually good news for investors.
Of course, despite the potentially favorable investment environment, there’s always the possibility of bumps in the road. To protect yourself, consider taking these steps:
* Stick with “buy and hold.” Despite some claims that “buy-and-hold” is no longer a viable investment strategy given today’s volatile markets, it worked pretty well for those investors who were patient enough to ride out the bear market. Continue looking for quality investments and holding them until they no longer meet your needs or until the fundamentals of the investments themselves change.
By: Joey Lancaster: Financial Planner
Successful investing is never haphazard. An orderly, disciplined approach is necessary for successful management of your investment assets. It’s a step-by-step process, starting with the assessment of your goals and needs.
Information gathering and analysis
The important first step is to take a thorough personal financial inventory of your investment assets: Then you need to look beyond your investment portfolio to your retirement plan interests, real estate, life insurance and annuities. By looking at what you currently hold, you will be able to determine better the direction that your investing should take.
The next step is to define your goals and needs. This process involves asking yourself a series of questions. To begin, what are the short- and long-term financial objectives that your investment portfolio needs to meet? Capital to improve or expand your practice? For college education for the children? Building a solid financial foundation for your retirement years?
What is the time horizon associated with your objectives? If, for example, you have a need for cash in the near term, your portfolio should include sufficient liquid and low-risk (and low-return) investments. If, like many investors, you are investing for the long term, you may want to lean more heavily on a variety of equities—investments that may be somewhat volatile but over the long term may offer a better return.
There are other questions to ask. What circumstances make you very different from other investors? Do these circumstance affect how much current income you need from your portfolio? What portion of that income, if any, should come from tax-exempt investments?
Eat. Pay. or . . . Shove! That’s right boys . . . The season is ding dang near approachin’ and you’re in the hot seat to buy us lovely ladies a right nice Valentine’s Day gift or it’s Shove-Hate City and trust me when I tell you: You don’t want to go there. So I’m gonna give you some little hints in this here column! Yikes! My bank account is runnin’ on empty so I’ll have to have my handsome husband do me a favor . . . “Oh honeeeeyy! Give me some money so I can buy you somethin’ nice!” Thanks! Perf!
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but pearls, gold anything or fab Lorenzo jewelry will do just nicely! So boys! Whidby Jewelers located at177 West Jefferson St., in Madison is the place to shop! Oh and they’ve got some great lines like Hot Diamonds that are silver jewelry with diamonds nestled in them! So head over!
Hey! And don’t forget the beautiful jewelry at these fab Madison retail outlets: Silver Fox, Artisan Alley and the Bejewled line at Inside Design!
Goodbye Arctic Chill . . . Hello Valley Girl! Sweet! Like this warm weather is like so smokin’ hot awesome I can’t even talk like a Southern redneck! So like for this entire paragraph? I’m totally gonna talk like a Valley Girl just to drive y’all like crazy! I’m. So. Sure! Ok so like I totally need my handsome husband to go out like . . . hummm . . . like right smack this minute and you know . . . like buy me a killer 2010 Red GT Mustang Convertible! I totally need one like yesterday! Ok so . . . .red Mustang convert with leather interior! Bonus! I like will look so major cool toolin’ ‘round Morgan County shoppin’ like I’m rich! Rich! Rich! That’s like totally my destiny! Ok so like before I drive my new Mustang I need a quick blond touch up at Petal’s Salon to like cover my grody gray! Way! Now where are my Brighten Sunglasses that I purchased at Amelia’s? Catchin’ some UVs today fer sher? Whoa! Ok . . . so like let’s do lunch! Totally!
And, I do mean lunch!
The Small Business Administration’s September 2009 statistics showed that “small firms with fewer than 20 employees pay 45 percent MORE PER EMPLOYEE than larger firms to comply with Federal Regulations. They spend 4.5 times more to comply with environmental regulations and 67 percent more per employee on tax compliance than their larger counterparts.” That’s bonkers! That’s bullfeathers! Where’s the level playin’ field?
Hey! President Obama! Over here! Yo! Sen. Isakson and Sen. Chambliss! Can you hear us? U.S. Representative Broun! Don’t you recognize us? It’s not like we’re wearin’ invisibility cloaks! Maybe if we jumped a little higher you’d see us – the little guys – the businesses NOT TOO BIG TO FAIL! The businesses that generate the most jobs and innovation in America! You know, MAIN STREET . . . Aunt-Bee-and-apple-pie-small-town businesses! I know . . . I know . . . we don’t pump billions into your campaign coffers; we don’t wear pinstriped suits, strut like pompous roosters on WALL STREET and take big fat bonuses funded by TAX PAYERS. Oh and we just can’t offer you those exotic overseas trips. No, we’re just small-time. We don’t fund big fat lobbying efforts that result in corporate welfare, better big business deals on payroll taxes, employee benefits and other loop-de-loop tax incentives! Yep. We’re just small-town folk. But we’re gettin’ right upset . . . downright mad. We don’t give a hog’s harness ‘bout your political affiliation or whether you call it Stimulus II, job creation incentives or The Plan. It’s the jobs, stupid! We need that level playin’ field so get out of your Armani suits and get into your overalls and work boots. If you need to know where to purchase them workin’ clothes just give me a call. Small businesses deserve better.