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Archive for June, 2009

Green eggs and cash – I would not, could not stash my cash

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

green eggs and cashI would not stash it in my bed
I would not stash it in a shed
I would not stash it in my house
I would not stash it on my spouse
I would not stash it here or there
I would not stash it anywhere
I would not hide it from a waif, by stashing cash inside a safe

And by a waif, I really mean the government or failing banks, in a using-vocabulary-loosely sort of way.

I saw a news report this morning  on the Today show that sales of safes are through the roof, partly because a lot of people are buying them to put their cash into.  They interviewed several different people who said “I just want the security” or “This is the safest thing to do” or “This is the best way to keep from losing money.”  They then dedicated exactly ONE sentence to a ‘financial expert’ who said “it may not be the best idea to stash your money in a safe at home because of inflation and some other things.”

If all it takes to get on NBC as a financial expert is to go on and say one sentence about inflation, all you first year economics majors and anyone who has ever paid attention to economics at all, let your spirits rise! You have a gig in television awaiting you.  Of course, my dog also answered correctly by placing her paw on the “bad idea” side of her good idea/bad idea snack pad.

Seriously, there are a lot of reasons not to be hoarding cash:
-Loss due to inflation
-Insecurity
-Loss due to not investing
-Paper is something easily destroyed

So here is a guide for the nervous among you from the most paranoid to the merely nervous:

Paranoid) I honestly think the United states is about to crumble
Buy a safe, but do not stuff it with cash.  Buy Gold, and stuff your safe full of it.

Damn Scared)
The depression is coming and we are screwed
See #1, but diversify a little.  Put some money into FDIC insured accounts.  With the new FDIC limits a married couple can title accounts differently such that they can insure at least 1.5 million at a single bank.  Invest in some foreign currency that you trust.  Look, now you are diversified if we really are screwed, right?

Scared) I think we might be screwed
FDIC insured accounts, bonds, and foreign currency are your friends.

Nervous) The rest of us
Diversify but keep investing.  Remember, we are in this for the long haul.

I would encourage you all to restrain the feelings of panic.  Yes, there are some troubling things going on, and yes, you should be careful where you put your money but that doesn’t mean its time to go back to stashing dollar bills.