The economy (in the USA and worldwide) continues to struggle and the prospects for 2009 do not look good. My guess is that the economy in 2009 will be poor. If we are lucky, we will be improving in the fall of 2009, but that may not happen. But what does that mean for how to invest now?
I would guess that the stock market (in the USA) will be lower 12 months from now. But I am far from certain, of that guess. I have been buying some stocks over the last few months. I just increased my contributions to my 401(k) by about 50% (funded by a portion of my raise). I changed the distribution of my future contributions in my 401(k) (I left the existing investments as they were).
My contributions are now going to 100% stock investments (if I were close to retirement I would not do this). I had been investing 25% in real estate. I also moved into a bit more international stocks from just USA stocks. I would be perfectly fine continuing to the 25% in real estate, my reason for switching was more that I wanted to buy more stocks (not that I want to avoid the real estate). The real estate funds have declined less than 3% this year. I wouldn’t be surprised for it to fall more next year but my real reason for shifting contributions to stocks is I really like the long term prospects at the current level of the stock market (both globally and in the USA). The short term I am much less optimistic about – obviously.
I will also fully fund my Roth IRA for 2009, in January. I plan to buy a bit more Amazon (AMZN) and Templeton Emerging Market Fund (EMF). And will likely buy a bit of Danaher (DHR) or PetroChina (PTR) with the remaining cash.