Thursday, August 16, 2007

Market Turmoil

I love the recent market turmoil. Yes, the value of my 401(k) has been going down, but I am not looking to access those funds for another 30 years or more, so I don't give a toss about these little intra-year selloffs. The DJIA broke through 14,000 a few weeks ago, and it closed under 13,000 yesterday for the first time in a while. People are flocking to invest their money in treasury bonds, causing yields to drop. There is also some speculation that if the market weakness keeps up, the Fed will lower interest rates at its next meeting.

I think that falling yields bring up an interesting scenario for someone with an ING Direct or an Emigrant Direct savings account. If the fed does lower rates, there's a good chance that these banks will lower the interest rates they credit on their savings accounts and the interest rates they offer on their CDs. If you think that this is going to happen, and you have some cash that you aren't going to need for a year or so, you might want to think about putting your money into a one-to-two year CD right now to lock in the higher rates.

I won't say that's definitely the move you should make right now because I don't even try to forecast the way interest rates will move in the next year given how impossible that stuff is to predict with any reliability. All I'm saying is this is something that could happen and you might want to consider doing with a portion of money that you're not going to need for the next year or two. I'm still debating doing it myself, but I don't think rates are going to fall dramatically.

Just wanted to mention one other thing. A stock that I wish I'd bought a long time ago, Moody's Corp (NYSE: MCO) has fallen on hard times lately. Moody's is basically a monopoly-type business, the kind of business that Warren Buffett loves (and he owns a good chunk of MCO stock as well). Investors have sort of been losing confidence in Moody's and other rating agencies lately due to percieved conflicts of interest and quality of ratings. (Do a search for "constant proportion debt obligations" and "moody's" to see an example of this.) It bears further investigation!

Anyway, don't worry about the market's decline. Just watch as you accumulate even more shares of your S&P Index fund.

No comments: