Marching Through Molasses

Optimism abounded this week as everyone held their breath and waited for Friday’s jobs report num­bers to come out.  The universal hope was that we would see job growth in December of 2009, which would be the 1st growth we’ve experienced in 2 years.

Did we?  Could we?  Hope and change?

Nah.  85,000 more jobs fell off a cliff Wile E. Coyote-style.  Unemployment held steady at 10%.  The funny part was that November’s job numbers were revised, showing a gain of 4,000 jobs.  So…yay!  We finally had a month-over-month jobs increase…barely.

Alright, alright, to put things in perspective, 1st quarter 2009 we lost an average of 691,000 jobs per month.  So, there is something huge to be said about things being “not as bad”. 

It’s rough running this ship right now, guys and gals.  This isn’t a normal, natural business cycle we’re experiencing.  It is a complete restructuring of our economic base, incited by a period of wild excess and shadowy business practices.  Lots of variables and moving targets are out there.  Our country had become an easy money junkie, and withdrawal from that false system of profit-churning is going to be painful.  And it’s going to last a while.  My hat is off to our leadership for doing their best in battling their way through this mess.

Why do I care about job growth?  Home purchasing demand.  If John Doe has no job, John isn’t going to buy a house or, worse yet, will stop paying on the house he already has.  If John doesn’t buy a house or loses the one he’s in, demand is reduced and home prices will decrease as a result.  And that is no good for everyone.

There’s a ton of you out there that want to become homeowners or know people who want to become homeowners, but for some reason or another they think that they can’t.   News flash: many of them are dead-on correct.  Lending guidelines are tough and job insecurity abounds.  A lot of would-be home­owners have their feet firmly cemented in their own private iteration of our economic quagmire.  But being unqualifiable for a mortgage can be nothing more than a temporary phenomenon if you choose for it to be.

If you have a job right now: great.  But the old-fashioned punch-in, punch-out, repeat-until-a-happy-and-comfortable-retirement method doesn’t work on its own.  In addition to a lucrative career, you need to properly manage your assets and your debt.  Whether you have the goal of buying a place or simply need an extra set of eyes on your financial life to provide some pragmatic guidance, I’m here to help.  The advice is free to my friends and affiliates, and sometimes a little guidance can make a huge difference in your family’s financial trajectory.  Wherever you’re at, it only makes sense to start mov­ing one step at a time towards where you want to be.  And I want to be your hiking buddy throughout the climb.

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