Friday, May 1, 2009

Scary time

Our family often eat at Souplantation at Cupertino during weekends.  It used to be a crowded place on Friday night, but it has only a couple of guests today.

People seem really really scared!

The world is rapidly de-leveraging.  Millions have lost their jobs and more layoffs are expected. People are comparing this crash with Great Depression. Both our house and savings in 401k account lost about half their values. President Obama came out and tried to assure American public, but the market kept going down. Mass media are indulged in downward feeding frenzy. It looks like we're seeing the end of capitalism and western civilization.

However, I think my employer (a major tech company) should survive this crash and my job should be safe. Major tech companies may emerge from the downturn better than others because the recession should weed out their relatively weak competitors. I hope my job is safe. A stable income covering everyday living expense is probably the biggest asset I have for now.

I think I should put all of my money into stock market and leverage as much as possible.  I couldn't sell my house because it's barely above water, and no one would buy it anyway. The only good thing is, I still have a Line Of Credit opened before the crash. I think I should take it out, move all money to stock, and leverage as much as possible. I think I'm screwed if Bank of America goes bankrupt and withdraws the LOC.

But, I have been thumb-sucking for a couple of weeks and I'm too petrified to take action. “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful” -- It's easier to be said than to be done.

I'm just 35 and I don't mind of working for another 20~30 years. But, if I'm wrong, I'll commit my family to huge loss and hardship. They will have to suffer together with me because of my decision. The fear and potential guilty is almost unbearable.

Somehow, I think I have to act. When people say "It's once-in-a-lifetime crisis", it also implies "It's once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for someone who can foresee the future and seize the moment. I don't know how much worse it has to go before it becomes better. But, as long as I believe the earth will keep spinning, the sun will keep coming out. I don't know how long it will take to recover, but I just need to believe it will.