Where to Put Your Money NOW, by Peter Passell, is packed with facts and research. Passell is a senior fellow at the Milken Institute and has been a New York Times columnist. Where to Put Your Money NOW is the latest in his guides to personal finance.
There are plenty of pundits and authors who tell us what’s gone wrong with the economy, so Passell is particularly refreshing as he tells us what we can to do about it. This short book feels like a long lunch with a trusted friend, who cares enough to give good actionable recommendations. Another reason to trust this economics professor's sincerity: his book, published by Simon & Schuster, costs only $12 in paperback.
What we’ve recently experienced, especially in America is a housing bubble gone bust, something Passell says can occur every 15-20 years. But this one was different because it hurt more people and more sectors of the economy. Suddenly, Wall Street found its strategies unraveling when mortgage backed securities were skating on thin ice.
Not long ago, all investments seemed safe and our only work was to balance a portfolio for protection from market fluctuation. Now we’ve learned a few sharp lessons:
- We learned that some Americans have been too willing to take professional investment advice at face value. Their trusted advisors may not have protected assets as much as investors needed. So work with people who understand your goals and with brokers who share your financial interests.
- The SEC and Federal Reserve did their jobs to keep the problem from escalating.
- Think independently and avoid the herd mentality that happens when people panic.
- Fear breeds overreaction.
Passel recommends we resist the urge to jump ship the minute the storm hits. I’ll admit I phoned my broker one evening last year when the media painted a bleak picture of the days to come. Wisely, my broker said “Where would you move the money if you pulled it out now?” And of course he was right.