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Reading the news these past two days makes me feel as if Armageddon is just around the corner, if it’s not here already.  I don’t want to belittle what’s going on because times are pretty bad right now.  I know because my own family member is affected by this down turn in economy as well.  There’s absolutely nothing pleasant about losing your job or losing your house, which is happening to countless number of people.  But, rather than concentrating on the negative, I like to look at this trying time as opportunities.

Opportunities to do what, exactly?  For me personally, there are two things.  First, I’ve been waiting very patiently to buy a few stocks on the stock market.  Yes, the very stocks listed in the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ that have come crushing down lately.  They say buy low, sell high.  The stocks are pretty darn low right now, so I am buying them.  But I am not just buying any stocks from any company.  The ones I purchased are from companies that have passed my vigorous scrutiny, and I believe they will weather through this storm with minimal damage.

Second, I’ve been looking to purchase a place of my own.  The process actually started almost three years ago when the thought first crossed my mind.  Since then, I’ve been doing my research on what I like and dislike, what I can and cannot afford, where I want to live, etc.  More importantly, I’ve been saving my money for the down payment.  I’ve resisted the temptation to buy when everybody was buying by sticking to a plan that will allow me to sleep soundly at night.  Now I’ve got a plan and the money to execute at a time when most people are not thinking about buying, which means less competition for me.

Why am I so confident in these money decisions I am making now?  The reason is I’ve been preparing for this moment.  First, I did my homework — on the companies in my stock purchase, and on the housing market in my home purchase.  Second, I saved my money for just such occasions.  In other words, I am in a very good position to take advantage of this opportunity because I am prepared.

I write this post not to boast about myself.  Rather, I write it to remind myself and others that opportunities do come to those who are prepared to take advantage of them when they come knocking.  It may be too late for you this time around, but rest assured history will repeat itself.  And I hope next time, you will be fully prepared to take full advantage of the opportunities that present themselves to you.

September 2008
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