Got Recession?

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Nervous about a bull on Wall Street?

Nervous about a bull on Wall Street? Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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I'm not sure whether to stash my cash (or what's left of it) in a mattress today, or start buying up pummeled stocks.... The markets in Asia all but crashed overnight, and the doom and gloom hit Wall Street first thing this morning. Then, the Dow went right back up. Rinse. Repeat. Just don't use that other R-word. To try to avoid/shorten/pick-your-own-verb a recession the Fed dropped interest rates by 3/4 of a point this morning, and congress is all atwitter with talk of tax rebates. Buy? Sell? Refinance? Show of hands now: Who's totally confused? Stephanie AuWerter, with SmartMoney, helped us out last week with some tips on recession-proofing your finances. Given the drama in the Dow today, we've called her back to help answer some more questions about the market swings, and what it all means for you. Send us your questions, and we'll try to get you some answers.



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Hi, I stay at home with 3 young children and my husband, an engineer, works in the volatile semi-conductor industry. With the threat of recession and responsibility for young children we have had a plan in place for several years. First we have savings. Second, we live within our means. Third we set aside extra groceries each month- if money is tight one month, we won't worry about high grocery bills. Finally, my husband takes the difficult and undesirable jobs at work and turns them around-making him a valuable asset to the company. He also takes additional training assignments to R&D locations, which protects his job for a year or two after our return, enough time to recover from the worst of the layoffs. This has worked for us through 3 or 4 rounds of layoffs in the six and a half years he's been with his current employer.

Sent by Desiree | 2:28 PM | 1-22-2008

Hi, I am 37 years old and have been contributing to my 401(k) at the maximum levels. I have recently become interested in investing money in the stock market as a source of additional income, primarily with an eye towards increasing my retirement funds. I am currently taking courses offered at my local community college to assist me. However, I am not sure if this is the right time to start investing on my own. Should I wait until the market settles down some?

Sent by Pam | 2:56 PM | 1-22-2008

I do the food shopping for our household. Over the last 6 months I have seen food staples like bread, milk and cheese increase almost 40%. This may translate to less than a dollar increase on each but based on the volume of purchases of these items...I'd say we've been in a recession for some time now! $800 isn't going to bring the prices down and it won't persuade my boss to raise my pay 30% either.

Sent by Jonathan Winnie | 3:56 PM | 1-22-2008

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