I was in the pocket today with the Times’ noontime Q&A, and the economy is very much on the minds of readers. You can read all the questions and answers here.
Relatively few dealt with personal finance — and a good thing. I’m not a certified financial planner and don’t even play one on TV. With portfolios down 40-50 percent nobody really knows what to do. My advice: be invested appropriately for your level of risk and goals, and don’t make decisions on emotion (easy to say). Money markets, Treasuries and CDs sure look good. Beware get-rich come-ons.
Several questioners asked about whether the large amount of government spending is wise or even likely to be effective. History shows we don’t have much choice — just ask President Hoover. Government has to step in to help, especially when the private sector is so pulled back. Will the deficits be suicidal? Watch the dollar and willingness of foreigners to buy Treasuries. Most countries are doing worse then we are, so the U.S. remains a safe haven.