We’ve been working through our ups and downs for a few years now but I think we’re headed the right direction.
As a country, we’ve spent too much and saved too little over time and that made this situation much worse than it might’ve been. Putting our intelligence to use, we as individuals and companies have learned a lesson. Don’t spend more than you have and don’t buy things you can’t afford.
However short-lived the lesson is, it’s good for us in the long-term but really bad for getting the ball rolling. Companies put money away instead of hiring new people. People with jobs are playing it safe while those who don’t watch every dollar. With everyone being safe, there’s not enough steady volume in the stock markets to keep things consistent and this leads to huge swings and volatility any time there’s any bit of financial news. That in and of itself serves as another factor to scare people from investing in any of that garbage.
Eventually, though, a group of people is going to start stepping up. Companies that are profitable and well managed to the very core will look at the landscape and decide they want a bigger piece of the pie. They’ll start hiring and their ongoing success will prove to everyone else that it’s okay to reach for an extra few inches of growth. They’ll begin hiring again which puts money in peoples’ pockets. They’ll start spending and the whole thing starts to move.
My bet is that we’ll start to see this in third quarter earnings and it will really start to cement itself through the end of the year. International hiccups may slow it down by a few months but the general move will be upwards. General economic sentiment will take another 6 months to a year from then to really recover. I’m look for the smaller and more agile companies to drive the first moves.