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What the financial crisis means for us

Local agents say investors will be OK

POSTED: October 4, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Crumbling business on Wall Street has made its way down south to Liberty County as
local investment and financial advisors explain the situation and attempt to address community concern.
Matt Cardella, a local Edward Jones financial advisor, said his clients are not really worried about what they’ve been hearing.
"I've been very surprised at the lack of response, much less," Cardella said. "Most people who had concerns (wanted to know) what it means to their portfolio, what it means to them and their money."
Len Graddy, a chartered life underwriter with Graddy & Associates Financial Group, deals with insurance and reported 25-30 of his estimated 1,000 clients asked if they should be concerned about the federal government's $85 billion bailout of AIG on Tuesday.
"As of date, nobody has moved any money, nobody has canceled any accounts," Graddy said.
While the plummet of 89 year-old AIG seemed to have little local ripple effect, Graddy, who has been in the field for about 40 years, said it is not overrated on a national level.
The government stepped in for AIG, but no one came to the rescue of Lehman Brothers bank, which declared bankruptcy Monday.
Graddy's thinks the government should take a complete hands-off approach.
"I think, basically, the government should stay out of private enterprise anyway," he said.
However, Graddy was still glad AIG did not go under.
"It'll probably help a lot of different people in a lot of different places," he said.
Cardella said these national shocks to the stock market are not new, but the businesses involved are a surprise.
It's same game, different players, according to Cardella.
"We've seen a large market decline before," he said. "But these kind of losses are new to most of us."
Along with the fall of Lehman Brothers, Monday brought a double blow to markets when Merrill Lynch announced a buyout agreement with Bank of America.
Cardella thought the economic retreat was due to some poor judgment errors.
"Don't loan money to people who don't have a history of paying it back," Cardella said. "I hate to make it sound that simple, but that's exactly what it is."
He advises people to be strategic about investing and avoid common pitfalls.
"We have the most resilient economy," Cardella said. "There's still a lot of investment opportunities out there."
He thinks part of investing involves being persistent.
"We have to be patient," Cardella said. "It's not a good idea to (allow) short-term (episodes) to dictate long-term investment strategies."
He thinks the recent downfalls explain the dangers of putting all your eggs in one basket and risking total loss.
"The pain doesn't go away, but is lessened by diversification," Cardella said.
Patience, investment diversity and quality companies were Cardella's top suggestions for investors who intend to stick it out.
"I still think we got a sound economy," Graddy said, who thinks the highly regulated nature of the insurance industry — on the federal and state levels — will help it endure.
"Because of some of safeguards set up with insurance, they have to have certain amount of dollars in reserve," Graddy said.
While markets move towards stability, Cardella acknowledged the past week's events would be in the forefront for a significant amount of time.

 

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