Friday, April 24, 2009

Ramsey Reflections, Part 1

Last night I attended Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope. I figured that since some people are looking to me as some kind of money expert, I should be up on an event of this magnitude.

What's the occasion? Why would Ramsey go to all the trouble to do a free telecast and do enough advertising to attract over 1,000,000 people to personally attend at the 6,000 locations? He wasn't announcing a new product. He wasn't running for office. He seemed to just have a passion to do all in his power to snap America out of despondency over the economy. Over the next several blogs, I'll try to summarize my main reflections and takeaways.

Takeaway #1: Don't Allow Bad News to Immobilize You!

Bad news travels through a lightning fast T2 line; good news through snail mail. I've noticed that, even during good times, the news is quick to print how many jobs were lost in any given month, but fail to report that the new jobs created during that month more than made up for the losses. Bad news sells. As a result, everyone is soaking up reports of dismal job markets, retirement funds disappearing, businesses going under. Ramsey example: the stock market went up 20% in recent weeks. How many saw that in the headlines?

Ramsey's fear is that many are immobilized by bad news. So you lose your job or your hours are cut back. Rather than learning new skills to start a new job or beating the bushes to see who's hiring, you sit at home, watch Oprah, and complain to your friends about the dismal market.

The Ramsey remedy? Choose Tigger over Eeyore. Be an optimist instead of a pessimist. Be proactive rather than reactive. If you've just been thrown off a cliff, you've got a choice: either allow your body to bounce along the cliff, or spread your wings and fly. Perhaps you've been thrown out of the nest for a reason. Don't despair! Move on to the next thing.

(More Next Blog)

This post by J. Steve Miller, author of Enjoy Your Money: How to Make It, Save It, Invest It and Give It.

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