Tuesday, July 14, 2009

National Market Strategist Sees Positive Turns in Economy

Saying that investor decisions should focus on quality and diversification, a recent report issued by financial services firm Edward Jones says that after 17 months in a recession in the U.S., some signs now suggest that the economy is stabilizing. Edward Jones' chief market strategist Alan Skrainka says the rate of decline in the economy is slowing and that the recession is showing signs of coming to an end.

"The challenges we face are serious, but they're not insurmountable," said Skrainka. "The economy hasn't disappeared. It may be bruised but not broken. Over the past 50 years, our economy has continued to grow with only brief interruptions. Investors should be making decisions based on investment principles, not predictions, and focus on quality, diversification and holding for the long term."

Although the unemployment rate has reached 9.5 percent, Skrainka prefers to focus on the positive signs of the U.S. economy, which has been growing 86 percent of the time since 1957, and 95 percent since 1982.

In fact, according to Skrainka, the value of all goods and services produced in the United States last year, which was a recession year, was $14 trillion. Americans last year earned $10 trillion in disposable income. More than 87 percent of Americans are current on their mortgage. One-third of all American homeowners don't even have a mortgage. Unemployment is up, but more than 90 percent of all Americans in the labor force are still employed.

"How people behave in bear markets can often determine whether they reach, or fall short of their financial goals," said Skrainka. "To avoid being caught flat-footed when the recession ends, it's important to stay fully invested and continue looking for opportunities."