Which way will the housing market go? That's the million-dollar question for so many Americans who are underwater on their mortgages and for the one in three who rents and represents the homeowners of tomorrow. We've all heard about how real estate prices have crashed. But in every time of hazard, there's also great opportunity to build long-term wealth. You just need the guts to zig when others zag.
Shopping at a mall that's hidden behind metal detectors and surrounded by airplanes is already exciting. Add the possibility of saving money and fliers know: It's hard to resist the lure of duty free at the airport.
We all hear the horror stories about runaway spending in government. In fact, the feds recently reported that we had 13 consecutive months of budget deficit. Clearly, we can't control federal spending. Nor can we control state spending all that effectively.
Want to boost your spending power? Try giving your wallet a break by shopping at a dollar store. Americans have embraced the four leading chains -- Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree and the 99¢ Only store -- in droves during the recession.
Worried about the H1N1 flu, aka swine flu? You're not alone. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released September 2 found that the number of Americans concerned about being infected by this particular strain has more than doubled since May, from 17 percent to 39 percent.
Have you seen those ads being run by the debt-settlement outfits on bad late-night TV? Their promise is always the same -- to reduce your credit card debt to just pennies on the dollar without making you file for bankruptcy!
The news on the housing market continues to be bleak as bleak can be. In just one example, the January numbers from the Case-Shiller index -- a popular collection of data about repeat sales of single-family homes -- show that home values in Phoenix are down almost 50 percent from their peak in July 2006.
Over the last several years, we as Americans became "negative net savers" -- a fancy term used by pointy-headed economists to say that we spent more money than we made. In fact, our savings rate was at negative 2.7 percent as recently as four years ago.
Many years ago, I had the opportunity to start an Atlanta-based civic program called Career Action. The program's goal was to provide free resources to help the jobless and underemployed find steady work.