Crisis? Puh!

Read today that a recent poll suggests Canadians are more optimistic about the year ahead than not- very interesting result despite the daily dose of doom and gloom in the media.


Does this mean Canadians fundamentally understand the cyclical nature of bull and bear markets or that we have our heads so far up our butts that all we see is our own bullsh!t?


A bit of both I’d say.


I am very skeptical of poll “results”- they often elicit more questions than answers. I  wonder how the questions were structured, what kind of response options were given to the interviewee, how the interviewees were chosen etc.


Apparently 58% were optimistic, 20% were neither optimistic nor pessimistic and 21% were pessimistic. People with lower incomes (family income less than $60K) were more optimistic than people with higher incomes (greater than $100K). The argument could be made that people with higher incomes may have had more disposable income to invest and thus had more to lose with the market plunge. This was considered in the article but I take issue with the way some things were worded.


Ironically, the poll found less cheer among the wealthiest respondents – those earning a family income of more than $100,000 a year – than among those earning less than $60,000.


Income does not necessarily denote wealth. If that were the case, I’d be screwed.


But I digress…


It is probably safe to say that the majority of those who are pessimistic about the year ahead probably lost significant sums (significant being a relative term) in the market or are in danger of losing or lost their job but it frightens me more that so many people are seemingly not even aware of what is going on and how it can affect them.


Sometimes ignorance is bliss but given that the full economic consequences of the financial meltdown, the commodities bust and the implosion of key manufacturing industries has not yet rippled through (in my humble estimation), the ride we are on is about to get bumpier before it gets better.


Maybe I am just being a Nervous Nelly and people really are aware of what is happening worldwide, especially to our cousins to the south, and understand that Canada is not an island that is immune.


Hmmm, Pollyanna I am not.


My cynical side dismisses this out of hand- mocking the (much smaller) hopeful side of me for even considering this as more than just an aberration of a few.


I read an article that had an interesting psychological take on why people are still happy in the midst of the uncertainty. The upshot is that everyone is affected- we are all essentially in the same boat- so our social rank and status remains the same.


The article mentions a Harvard study where people would rather earn $50K and everyone else earn $25K than earn $100K while everyone else earned $200K.


I thought this was hysterical- I am that low wage earner that makes everyone else feel better about themselves! I have made peace with the knowledge I will probably never make much more than what I am making now (think entry level, ouch) working for someone else but this is not what defines me. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how I would have responded to the option above- how would you?


Regardless of events, there is always an upside for someone somewhere.


Skateboarders + Foreclosed Properties in California with Pools = Happiness


The question is, will (if you aren’t already) you be one of the ones to get your head back into the light of day long enough to educate yourself about what is going on and what your options are in order to take advantage of what could be the best investing opportunity of your life?


I hope so.


~ by angryegg on December 29, 2008.

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