Foolish Economic Advice

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The euro is literally and figuratively on top of the dollar. (The dollar plunged to a new record low

The euro is literally and figuratively on top of the dollar. (The dollar plunged to a new record low against the euro today.) Source: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Source: JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images

You've likely picked up on a theme for the first hour today... Money. The past week's been so full of bad, or lukewarm news about the economy it's hard not to think, at least a little, about your cash flow. And when it comes to reconsidering your assets, the first place you probably look is at your investments. Should you tap into that 401K at work to pay off a credit card? Is now a good time to sell... Or buy? Is there any way to cash in on the falling dollar? I have questions, and you likely have questions too, so we've called on David Gardner over at the Motley Fool to help us out. And of course, it's been just over a year now since Neal launched his fantasy portfolio, and we'll get a year-end review. Got money questions for the Fool? Let us know.



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Frankly I'm disgusted with the media, and now you of all people (whom I like so much) has joined in the general madness of terrorizing the population! Shame on you. We have had recessions every 7-10 years, and in general though there's a slowdown it passes without the kind of Fear-Mongering promoted this time by the Media. Why? That's the question I ask. WHY are you so determined to sow fear and panic? Remember the depression of 1976? 1982? 1988? 1992-3? 2002? Or is there no historical memory anymore. I've turned off the radio. I don't want to hear you today, one of my favorite shows. What happened to optimism? Or more to the point, what happened to "reporting" the news?

Sent by sophy Burnham | 2:21 PM | 2-28-2008

Is now a bad time to open a 529 college investment account for my 5 year daughter? We have some money just sitting in a regular savings account. I'm a little nervous about it being invested in the stock market.

Sent by Margareta DeMonte | 2:25 PM | 2-28-2008

I don't know if I am afraid or not but I am frustrated at the politicians' monotonic inclinations towards giving tax break to rich or middle class in order to boost the economy. Their argument is if we (as a corporate or individual) have more money in our wallet, we'd spend it on products or services that would increase sale of the products and services and in the process all the agencies involved in making those products and services would benefit and economy will grow. Essentially this increased consumption has a very little short term effect and probably no long term effect. The politicians should focus on increased production and goods and services in order to increase the consumption of other countries which would benefit our as well as their economy.

Sent by Sandip | 2:36 PM | 2-28-2008

Re: IBM's share buyback. Buybacks reveal a lack of business creativity and imagination. The best return on capital they can imagine is in their own stock? If they had no competition and were completely meeting all of the needs of all potential and actual customers, then maybe their excess cash has no place to go. (In which case, why not distribute it to their shareholder owners?) Anyone who now invests in IBM essentially is saying they are smarter than IBM's management, because the investor, unlike the management, thinks the company can put the money to productive use.

Sent by John L | 3:50 PM | 2-28-2008

Do you think we are purposely devaluing out dollar?

There are benefits to this of course, but is this someone's intention.

As an expatriate South African, I know South Africa devalued the Rand when I was a child, however years later people would say it was one of our biggest mistakes.

Sent by Garth Jack in Utah | 2:00 PM | 3-18-2008

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