Kiplinger’s is more optimistic than we are, so they had the cheerful idea to put together a list of 10 things that are going right for consumers — despite the financial apocalypse. Hooray!
Here’s a quick summary of the list:
- Oil! Oil prices have dropped 50% in 3 months. Maybe this means that you won’t have to burn your furniture to stay warm.
- Car makers are waking up. They’ve realized that you want more fuel efficient cars. Finally. Also, don’t forget about 0% financing. Assuming you have good credit, of course…
- Low interest rates. Kiplinger’s says “The interest rate on a traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is averaging 6.5%, the highest it’s been since the summer of ’07, but still not too far from the historic low of 5.8% reached in 2003-05 and 1963-65.”
- Real estate is less expensive. If you have the money for a down payment, perhaps a deal can be yours.
- Your bank savings are safe. FDIC insurance is now $250,000. FDIC insures small business non-interest bearing accounts, and a temporary program is in place to guarantee Money Market Mutual Funds, says Kiplinger’s.
- Stocks are cheap. Bonds are looking good. “Triple-A-rated tax-free bonds, an extraordinarily safe investment, are paying 5%-plus for ten years and 6% for 20. That’s more than the Treasury offers for bonds of the same maturity.”
- Technology is awesome and cheap. You can buy a big TV and use it to keep you from crying all the time, apparently.
- We grew a lot of stuff. “The fall harvest is shaping up as one of the best ever, despite the destructive weather and floods in the Mississippi River corridor since last spring. Exports of U.S. farm products will increase more than 40% by value this year.”
- New government. Whoever wins, it will be someone new.
- Holiday bargains. If you still have some money, you can expect some crazy deals. “Both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are gearing up to offer huge discounts to boost sales.” Just try not to get trampled, especially if you have substandard health insurance.
So keep smiling, everyone!