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2008 Market Crash Recap

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2008 is over at last. It has been an extremely turbulent year and everyone’s swept under its currents such that it was hard to see what actually happened, so, here’s a recap of what happened in the stock market in 2008.

Summing up, the Dow lost a total of 4488 points this year, down 33.84%. The Nasdaq composite lost a total of 1075 points, down 40.54%. The S&P500 lost a total of 565 points, down 38.49%. The more volatile Nasdaq Composite became the loss leader this year just as it is expected to be the gain leader in a rising market, so, no surprise there. Both the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P500 went lower than the low of the last crisis in 2002. Only the Dow managed to stay above the last crisis level marginally. I had expected it to also make a lower low but it did not.

How did it all begin? Indications of this 2008 market crash actually started showing up as early as July of 2007 when short term bond yields begun yielding higher than long term bond yields in a bond yield curve that is almost perfectly horizontal above the 4% yield line. Such a bond yield curve indicates excessive optimism in the capital market as the 20yr bond hit an all time low price (relative to recent years). Bond prices go down when demand for bonds goes down. Demand for bonds goes down when capital gets reallocated, usually into the equities market (for simplification sake), resulting in high bond yields. At that time, the Dow was trading well above the 13000 points level, just one step from the 14000 level resistance which marked the beginning of the 2008 market crash. At the same time, foreclosure rates had been and continued to rise nation wide, putting pressure on the value of the most complex derivative instrument ever created amongst investment bankers, CDOs or Collateralized debt obligations.

All 3 major indices hit their peak in October of 2007 and begun their long retreat. The retreat didn’t look at all menacing for a start as all 3 major indices backed down to their respective short term support levels and even rebounded slightly, making it all look like a classical pullback in a strong primary bull trend. At that time, the Fed’s still all confused with what to handle, inflation or growth, and talks of Stagflation begun showing up as real GDP went sideways in Q3 2007 and then retreated in Q4 2007. This was when 2 groups of economists; Recession Talkers and Goldilocks, begun their battle of tongues over the major wires. Of course, now we know who knew better. Sensing danger, investors begun taking positions in bonds once again, bringing bond yields down from their previous highs. The Fed also begun taking Fed Fund Rate down from its high of over 5% in August gradually (too gradually, argued by some economists). At this time, a perfect storm is brewing as the more the Feds cut rates, the lower the dollar goes and the higher commodities prices went (as well as prices at the pump of course), putting further pressure on the real economy.

The first warning sign of a recession surfaced in January 2008 as unemployment rate hit 5% for the month of December 2007. 5% is a psychological level that says that something might be wrong in the economy as full employment rate (normal unemployment with minimal cyclical unemployment) is around the 4.5% level (number arrived at from my own research). That was probably one of the catalysts that caused all 3 major indices to break their respective short term support levels downwards in the first month of 2008, threatening the integrity of the primary bull trend that was in place since 2003. At the same time, inflation continued to be a problem as oil continued it march to the $140 per barrel level while talks of CDOs becoming worthless due to significant doubt about the fixed income ability of mortgage loans built into them begun hitting the wire. In fact, it was around this time when analysts begun finding CDOs being over-rated by rating agencies (well, like one of the high profile analysts said, they belonged to the same club).

By February of 2008, it has become apparent from the charts that the intermediate term bull trend has been compromised as investors rushed for quality, depressing short term bond yields to almost half of what they were just a couple of months ago. On the charts, however, it could still be argued that the Dow merely made its first major intermediate term correction since the primary bull trend started in 2003. Such a technical correction is also an acceptable argument under the Dow theory as some technical chartists expect the major indices to make a rebound from that level, which, did not happen (even though the Dow did rebound just a little bit for a couple of months as technicians took position). At this time, however, the economy’s already not looking at rosy as it did just months ago with rising unemployment, lowering durable goods order, rising oil price and a dropping GDP. Signs of trouble also begun emerging in the investment banking sector as major investment bankers started changing CEOs and writing off worthless CDOs and subprime loans. By this time, the Fed is beginning to get it that the economy is in real danger but has yet to take major actions on the fed fund nor to take coordinated action with central banks around the world. The dark cloud also spread into stock markets worldwide, making it obvious that this is not only an USA crisis but a world crisis.

By July 2008, investors were convinced that the economy is indeed in a recession (at last) and the credit crisis is deeper than most has expected. All 3 major indices made their first significant downwards breakout, totally disintegrating the previous primary bull trend, and stated without a doubt that the bear has arrived. All hell broke loose after that as Lehman Brothers closed down, unemployment rate soared and real GDP went negative. Investors begun rushing for the door, taking major indices down by a greater magnitude each month. The Dow was down 9% for the month of September and over 17% in October. At the same time, as aggregate demand drops in the economy, so did demand for oil as crude oil price dropped like a rock from its high of $140 per barrel all the way to below $40, taking CPI along with it. The US dollar also took a surprising turn and surged upwards against major currencies for months, wiping out forex traders trading on the “short-the-dollar-golden-strategy”.

Right now, commodities prices are at lows that was not seen for decades, bond prices has formed a bubble waiting to be burst and unemployment rate has reached higher than the previous crisis. Talks of write downs are also disappearing. This is certainly the best time for enterprising companies to take advantage of better prices and start hiring once again. In fact, purchasing by companies are already picking up slightly as indicated by the latest PMI number. All the ingredients needed for economy recovery seems to be in place and I suspect we should see some real signs in 2009. 2008 has done a good job of quickly and mercilessly draining waste from the economy instead of making it a prolonged agony. With stocks this low and bond bubble waiting to be burst, the stock market definitely has a lot more upside potential than downside potential right now. Let’s say a nice goodbye to 2008 and welcome 2009! 🙂

** I am sorry if I did not include many of the other major events that contributed in the 2008 crash as I intend to keep this as short as possible while correlating events in the economy to the stock market.

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The Surefire Way to Work at Home and Earn Money Online

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Are you searching for ways to work at home and earn money? Visualize that you are earning thousands of dollars monthly by working at home. And you got all the time to enjoy the money that you are making. How would your life be?

With the recent global economic downturn, many people are having difficulty in keeping their jobs and provide a stable income. And if you are the sole breadwinner in the household, it becomes a huge burden to you. These days, your secured job doesn’t really seem secured anymore.

To solve these problems or potential problems, many people are searching on the internet, looking for ways to earn extra income from the comfort of their home. Eventually, looking to quit their day job.

The internet has given many people the opportunity and the ability to work from home. There are no more country barriers these days, and practically, you are able to intercommunicate with anyone from virtually any corner of the Earth, with hardly a few clicks of your mouse.

This makes the Internet as a tremendous potential market for whatever products or services that you want to sell.

As you are reading this, there are thousands of people making a full time income on the internet, just by working part time from the comfort of their home. These people decide their working hours and possess lots of spare time to spend with their family and friends.

So What is the Surefire Way to Work At Home and Earn lots of Money Online?

You need just 3 things to achieve that.

1) Product or Service

A product or service that a lot of people are looking for. The product or service should be like a life saver to a dying person. It must solve a problem that they are facing. So, it very important to do market research.

2) Website or Blog

A website is your online store. The words in the website are like the sales assistants in the store. They do the selling for you. So, basic copywriting skills are important here.

3) Online Visitors

A store without visitors will be sure to fail. The same principle applies for online business too. You must let the online visitors know that your online store is open for sale.

These are 3 basic things you need to have a presence online.

Earning a decent income from home with the aid of your computer connected to internet, is really a great opportunity. But as all real businesses, this too is not that easy and a lot of hard work have to be done.

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Tips to Acquire Car Insurance For Students and Women

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Car Insurance for Students

Students who drive often do not get their cars insured. It is a known fact that students use their car more frequently and drives them rashly at times, it is essential for them to take this type of insurance. Without the car insurance for students, it will be difficult for them to deal with damages resulting from accidents.Though the insurance schemes for students are designed keeping in mind several factors like the affordability to pay insurance amount, it is important to mention this as students poses an increased risk of insurance for the company, the cost of the insurance should be higher. However, this should not prevent the students from taking insurance. There are methods of reducing the cost.

Following few steps may help you in getting right insurance plan:

  • Factors influencing the amount of your insurance policy
  • The cost of the insurance is based on the driving record, accident history, and age, location of vehicle, driving record, daily mileage and gender. Avoiding these factors is next to impossible but you can decrease your premium amount by selecting the right plan.

Understand the basics of car insurance for students:

Given below are the basics of insurance plan for students:

  • Personal property liability
  • Personal injury protection
  • Bodily injury
  • Collision

Affects of the grade on the price of the insurance plan:

Grades affect the price of your insurance plan as many companies provide discount to the students who maintain a B or higher grade.Usually, insurance for car relies on the safety of the car. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a sport car at a lower premium than it is better to think again.A car to a student is just like a baby to her mother. Additionally riding a car to college or school is luxury. Therefore, make sure to get an insurance plan so that you would feel comfortable and secure.

Cheap car insurance for women

In this modern era, women are more independent than ever. They have jobs and successfully take care of themselves without depending upon the men anymore. This is similar to driving as well. As women are capable to drive, they own cars for themselves.Therefore, there is an increase in demand of cheap car insurance for women. As women are less aggressive as compared to men, they are believed to be safer drivers. It is because of this reason that women are offered cheaper insurance plans. Therefore, they can do the following to avail cheap insurance plans:

  • Firstly, they should shop and compare the rates offered by different insurance companies. You can do this by going to the companies or by searching for the rates on internet. You can also take suggestions from other women for the companies offering cheap insurance plans.
  • Secondly, try getting as many insurance policies from the same company as possible. Try insuring your house, husband’s car or medical insurance from the same company.
  • Thirdly having simple model car will help you in getting a cheap insurance plan. Highly expensive sports car would cost you expensive insurance plan because of the high market value of the car.
  • Lastly, try to protect the car in the best possible way. Ensure that your cars are fitted with security devices because not only it will protect your car from theft but will also help you in getting cheap insurance for your car.

While comparing the rates of different companies, also ensure that it provides 24 hours assistance in case you have met with an accident. Hence, do not compromise on safety while getting cheap car insurance.

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Emergency Savings Account: Save More than Just Money

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Few, if any, of us escape life’s financial challenges. Whether it’s lay offs at work, unexpected medical bills, or the loss of a spouse’s income, having insufficient reserve funds to pay even one or two months’ worth of our bills can drive many to impossibly strict budgeting, the loss of real property, and sometimes even to bankruptcy.

As important as any other item in your budget, building an Emergency Savings Account with funds sufficient to pay three to six months’ worth of your monthly bills, can provide the financial buffer required to survive while you get back on your financial feet.

So, even while you’re repaying your current debts, budget for regular deposits into your Emergency Savings Account at least until you reach the level of three-months’ worth of expenses. Many financial planners even suggest having six-months’ worth of expenses in such a savings account. To be sure, you should consider how long it might take you in your particular career and position to find and secure another job should your current income cease. Positions in some professions take longer than others to find.

Early on, consistency is much more important than quantity, so even a $10 deposit each month is a good start. Many tend to spend whatever “surplus” money they notice in their checking account, so take out the savings amount as soon as you deposit your paycheck. To simplify things, have your bank or credit union automatically transfer $10 or more from your checking account to your savings on a specific day of each month. When the money is out of your checking account, you’ll be less tempted to spend it.

Once you have reached your target Emergency Savings Account balance, take the monthly amount budgeted for this account and begin applying it toward any consumer debt you may have. Once you’re out of debt, that monthly amount should then go towards investments and retirement planning.

To summarize:

1. Create and live by a monthly personal or household budget.

2. Open a new savings account – this will be for your Emergency Savings Account.

3. As soon as you get a paycheck, deposit the Emergency Savings Account money into your bank, even if it’s just $10 per month. Increase as your budget and your income allow.

4. Determine how much you pay out each month for expenses.

5. Keep depositing money into your Emergency Savings Account until you have a balance equal to at least three months worth of expenses.

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Three Advantages Of Having Mini Dash Cams Installed In Your Vehicles

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With the ever-increasing amount of people on the road these days, more and more accidents occur. If you wind up involved in an accident, having an in-car camera installed will protect you from wrongful blame when you’re not at fault. However, that’s not the only reason for putting a dashboard camera in your car. There are several other advantages of having mini dash cams installed in our vehicles. Below I have listed a few of those advantages.

Insurance Premiums

Installing a dashboard cam can prevent your insurance premiums from rising. Drivers have started using the video from these cameras as an independent witness to prove who is at fault after accidents. You will now have rock solid evidence of any collision or other incident should you need it. Right now there are no insurance companies that offer discounts on premiums for adults that install dash cams. However, there is one company that discounts premiums for young new drivers that have them. This brings me to the next advantage on our list.

Teen Safe Driver Program

A company known as American Family Insurance has started a Teen Safe Driver Program where they give new teenage drivers a free mini dash cam for one year. Included in the program is driver coaching and education for helping them be better drivers. The camera that the company provides records inside and outside of the vehicle when it detects swerving and sudden speed decreases or increases. The recordings are then sent to the driving coaches through Wi-Fi where they can grade the teen drivers on a weekly report card. Parents can review the report each week by logging in and checking the videos and grades. By participating, teens get a ten percent discount on their premiums. Therefore, not only are these cameras allowing lower premiums for teen drivers but they also help parents keep an eye on their children’s driving. All the while, making our teens better drivers and making the roads safer to drive.

Crash for Cash

This is similar to the reasoning behind the insurance premiums. A dash cam protects you against scammers that intentionally have car accidents to extort money from their victims. It has become such an epidemic that it now has its own nickname. This dangerous stunt has become known as, the “crash for cash” scam.

You can find thousands of dashboard cam clips on YouTube. The reason is incidents are commonly caught on tape. They’re usually caused by a person doing something that is less than ethical. For example, one of the most popular dash cam videos shows a guy that runs in to the road and starts acting like he was hit by a car. The funny thing about it though, is that the car had already come to a complete stop before the guy ever came in to the road. Who knows what would’ve happened if there hadn’t been video evidence to prove that the guy was faking? Considering the cost at risk of not having one versus the cost of the cam itself, the advantages of having mini dash cams installed are obvious.

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Instant Auto Insurance – Assistance With Obtaining the Most Affordable Rates on the Market

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When people think of auto insurance, the first thing that hits their mind is the cheapest insurance, something that is reachable and feasible for them. While cost is an important consideration, there are other factors which determine the selection of auto insurance.

The best place to start searching is online; internet provides abundant information on insurance. You can input your location details, the state, and area code and look for closest insurance outlets. The quotes might be lucrative in some of them while plain and simple in the rest. Once you are convinced with the insurance quote, you need to do an advanced search on the services offered by the agency.

• Did you know the make and model of your car, the mileage of your car, the safety features, and the anti lock brake made a difference to the actual insurance cost? Well it does and the upkeep of your car largely determines the price you need to pay for the insurance.

• Your driving history is yet another important factor that decides the cost, fewer the tickets you have got, cheaper is the insurance you pay, more the tickets on your driving history, more is the insurance you pay. So you see how insurance cost is directly proportional to your driving history.

• Credit history is no less important when it comes to determining the auto insurance.

If you think you have a safe history, go ahead with the insurance features. Speak to the insurance provider and get the details of the terms and conditions. Read in between the lines of the policies and every detail of the insurance coverage, it varies from state to state, so do not assume anything on your own. Make sure the insurance agency has a legal permit to practice trade in your state.

You might be interested in cheap insurance but not at the cost of compromising with coverage features. How well does the insurance cover the accidents, theft, liabilities, roadside assistance are important factors to be considered. Bonus and drivers discount might be an area of interest as well. Keep you eyes and ears open and get the best deal available in the market and drive peacefully without any worry.

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Compare Allstate Insurance Quotes – Using Reviews to Compare Insurance Quotes

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The number of options when it comes to choosing insurance companies can be overwhelming. There are more than a handful of insurance policy providers ranging from the small institutions to the top corporations. If you are looking for a reputable and affordable insurance policy, then you may have your work cut out for you. One way to start narrowing down your options would be to get quotes from your potential choices and compare them. One popular choice for insurance is Allstate Corporation. Start narrowing down your options – compare Allstate insurance quotes with rates from other companies.

Established in the 1930s, the Allstate Corporation is a Fortune 100 company. It is one of the nation’s largest personal insurers. It has around 130 billion US dollars in assets and markets 13 lines of insurance which include life, commercial, property, and auto insurance. Other products offered by Allstate include investment products, banking services, accident forgiveness, deductible rewards, new car replacements, and retirement plans.

With Allstate, you can easily get a quote specifically tailored to your situation from their website. Simply visit their website, refer to the designated area for online estimates and complete the form giving all the necessary information. You will initially be asked for the zip code of your locality asked to provide other details such as your name, age, gender, date of birth, and marital status. Once you have completed the form, you can then get a tailor-fit estimate generated based on the data you have provided.

Another way to get an estimate from Allstate is through their toll free number. You can talk to an agent and obtain an approximation on the rates you will have to pay through the number provided on their website. Once you have the estimated rates, you can start to compare Allstate insurance quotes with rates from other companies.

If you are still apprehensive about purchasing insurance from Allstate, you can also refer to the reviews the company has received from its clients. There are several testimonials that you may refer to online. It is generally recommended, in locating reliable testimonials, to go to websites other than the company’s own website. This way, you have a semblance of certainty that the testimonial is not biased. You may then use these reviews to compare Allstate insurance quotes. A good insurance provider will have good and proven track record amongst its clients. All you simply need to do is verify if Allstate has been able to satisfy their clients by providing quality and affordable services.

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