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It is at the tip of everyone’s tongue. It is the lead story every night on the news. Of course, I’m talking about a recession. Beyond the sensationalist headlines and the actual financial pain felt by millions of Americans lies the question: “What can I do about it?” A pragmatic approach shifts the focus from worrying to doing. These periods are never fun for anyone involved, but they are expected throughout history. With that, let’s examine what defines a recession and what it means for you.
Sometimes, during times I like these, I wonder what I can write that I haven’t already written or said a hundred times; or that you haven’t already heard others say over and over. It’s during times like these, however, that repetitive reassurance is most needed. With so much doom and gloom everywhere we look, frequent economic affirmations may actually be helpful!
In times like these, it is hard to see any way out of the endless stream of bad news and the stock market’s downward spiral. Is this part of the normal ebb and flow of economies and markets, or has there been a fundamental change that will usher in a new era? It is impossible to know the answer to that question in real-time, but today’s exercise will focus on getting back to some semblance of normalcy in the financial world. What does that look like, and how do we get there?
During times of economic uncertainly and market volatility, we are often reminded that fear is generally a greater motivating factor than greed. It is during these times that prognosticators of doom gain traction, and individual investors make unwise choices out of fear of losing it all. While nobody can be certain of what the future holds, we can look to the past for clues and, in doing so, temper our reaction.
Those with a well-functioning crystal ball sold all their stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies at the beginning of this year. For everyone else, there haven’t been many places to hide. After last year’s tranquility, we are being reminded daily that investments can, in fact, decline in value. These periods can paralyze investors with fear, so it is a valuable exercise to step back and assess the situation objectively. Your perspective on the actions to take depends on a few things, but mostly the stage in your investment timeframe.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Commissioner of Finance, Minita Sanghvi, released the city’s Quarterly Financial Report for the quarter ending March 31, 2022.
The economy continues to be the topic on the minds of everyone, as market volatility continues to try the patience and fortitude of investors across the spectrum. During these times, more than ever, it’s important to remember to take the long-term view.
Death and taxes, as we all know, are the inevitabilities in life. We spend a lot of time and energy avoiding the former and almost as much mental capital trying to prevent the latter. But should we? As unpleasant as they are, taxes are born out of a successful endeavor where we earned or won money in some form. That being said, you should still be “tax-aware” with your finances to minimize the drag that taxes have on your bottom line. After all, we don’t want to line Uncle Sam’s pockets unnecessarily.
In the first two months of 2022, Saratoga County and Saratoga Springs collected a combined $25 million in sales tax revenues, up 22 percent versus the same time in 2021. While its likely that rising prices due to inflation is a key driver, the reality is that since our economy was reopened in June of 2021 that we’ve seen a willingness of residents, businesses, and visitors to spend money in our local economy.
With so much uncertainty in the current geopolitical and economic landscapes, it’s very difficult to write a timely piece without running the somewhat embarrassing risk of there being any major changes between these keystrokes, and the time you read this. That said, perhaps its uncertainty, itself, that we should be discussing.