“The marvelous richness of human experience would lose something of rewarding joy if there were no limitations to overcome. The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.”
<em>- Helen Keller</em>

There are some really nice signs in our economic landscape right now…pointing to further glimmers of hope that we could be moving out of this morass in which we’ve all found ourselves.

Existing home sales skyrocketed in July (source article here: <a href=”http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/08212009_existing_home_sales.asp”>http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/08212009_existing_home_sales.asp</a> )

This has prompted a market boom. The S&amp;P hit its highest point in ten months last week (and rising now as I write)
<a href=”http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&amp;sid=afmFm5hJ8kK4″>http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&amp;sid=afmFm5hJ8kK4</a

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Further, our national factory output is rising for the FIRST time since early 2008.
<a href=”http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-08-23-factory-manufactury-economy_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip”>http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-08-23-factory-manufactury-economy_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip</a

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<strong>So…with all this good news, how do YOU feel? </strong><strong>
</strong><em>Is there anything we can do to help you navigate these choppy waters?</em> <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Please don’t hesitate to call or shoot us an email back to let us know how we can be of assistance.</span>

So, in this week’s Personal Strategy Note, I’ve got some items for you to consider investing in, before things really do recover…

<strong>”Real World” Personal Strategy</strong><strong>
</strong><strong>Nine Things To Consider Purchasing Before This Recession Ends</strong>

After months of steep decline, we may start seeing a recovery, even as soon as later in 2009.

That could mean that it’s NOW a good time to start considering making some purchases… before all the good deals end!

<strong>1. A House</strong>
Housing prices finally seem to be bottoming out in most regions. There are also some great buys available due to short sales and foreclosures, which accounted for 40%-45% of purchases in some months this year, according to the National Association of Realtors. Still-low interest rates (under 5% for a 30-year mortgage) and government incentives ($8,000 first-time home buyer’s credit–expires November 30th) aren’t bad either.

<strong>2. A Car</strong>
With the auto industry suffering, manufacturers are offering huge incentives on their swelling inventories of new cars. Buyers with good credit can get 0% financing on most types of cars and some cash rebates can be upward of $6,000. Don’t rule out a used car either: The 2009 Consumer Price Index shows a 10%+ decrease in used car prices from a year ago.

<strong>3. A Vacation</strong>
Need a break? Now’s the time to take one. According to Expedia.com research, average hotel prices in many desirable destinations have plummeted. For example, hotel prices in Las Vegas are down 34% from a year ago. Average Caribbean cruise prices have fallen 8% compared with 2008. Several travel agents also bragged about booking week-long Alaskan summer cruises for as low as $1,000 per person, including airfare and taxes.

<strong>4. Toys</strong>
Parents can breathe a sigh of relief: More affordable toys are on their way for the holidays. According to the Toy Industry Association, Inc., toy manufacturers are responding to the economic climate by developing low-cost toys. One toymaker, Wild Planet, has priced their entire 2009 line under $25. Look for lower-priced toys starting to hit stores this fall.

<strong>5. A Laptop</strong>
Paul Ryder, vice president of consumer electronics for Amazon.com, says laptop prices have dropped–thanks to the interest in “netbooks” (much smaller versions of laptops, designed mostly for web-browsing). Although the Consumer Price Index does not break out laptop computers from others, it seems to broadly support this claim, with personal computer prices falling 13% from a year earlier.

<strong>6. Diamonds</strong>
Don’t wait for the economy to improve before popping the question. Diane Irvine, chief executive officer of leading online diamond retailer bluenile.com, says that the recession has quashed demand for diamonds, creating deals. According to Ken Gassman of the Jewelry Research Institute, prices for polished diamonds are down 14%, on average, from their highs last summer.

<strong>7. Women’s Clothing</strong>
According to the Consumer Price Index, women’s outerwear, shoes and accessories have all seen lower prices compared with a year ago. Recently, women have begun flocking to “value” retailers, according to Piper Jaffray retail clothing analyst Jeffrey Klinefelter. That means less expensive clothing stores can lower their prices through lower production costs, and more expensive clothing stores will be forced to have more sales and clearance racks.

<strong>8. A Television</strong>
Each year it seems as though TVs get cheaper and cheaper, but this year those decreases are starting to make larger flat-panel TVs far more affordable. The radio/television category in recent Consumer Price Indices was down 9% from a year ago, as more manufacturers get into the flat-panel business, driving prices down.

<strong>9. Furniture</strong>
With fewer people buying houses, fewer people are buying new furniture. Jim Sluzewski, a spokesman for Macy’s, says furniture demand across the industry has noticeably decreased over the past year. That’s driven many furniture retailers out of business, according to Alan Baugh, an analyst who covers the furniture industry at Stifel, Nicolaus &amp; Co., Inc. Retailers still in the market have to respond to those liquidation sales with price-cuts and clearance items of their own. Baugh also noted that consumers with good credit can also often obtain very attractive financing.

So…if you’re feeling financially secure, this may be the time to start spending!September Dawn movie full