Spending wisely…

“I’m lucky in many ways, but right now, I know I am lucky because my wife does not like to shop. Shopping and spending seem to be highly correlated, and although the economy has a bias toward spenders, we know it is the savers who are able to have the most sustainable and long term positive impact on it, and more obviously, their immediate families.  Getting back to shopping.  We have a friend who has a child who is getting married.  My route had me passing the mall.  I visit a shopping mall less frequently than the doctor.  I was actually surprised by all the cars in the parking lot when I pulled in to try to compete for a spot close to the door for an efficient errand (good intention, anyway). Could it be that there are people who are back to being fully employed?  What industries and businesses are thriving?  And in what particular areas in Chicagoland?  Of course, there are sub-markets within all markets.  In the building business, it is often difficult to extract proper data that is actionable.  For example, if as a custom home builder, you wanted to see if you should build that house on speculation, especially if your Realtor friends keep telling you that you really need to do it because there is “such little inventory of decent homes…” you might be tempted to look at the financial reports of Toll Brothers.  However, even if you are a trend follower, the fact that the Toll Brothers stock is trending up, down or sideways, the information is irrelevant to your individual situation, location, product, etc. and you should not make your decision based on that set of data.  As for all the cars in the parking lot?  I did not see as many transactions as I thought I might.  There seemed to be a high amount of people wasting time and not spending money.  However, I did see some people literally exercising-walking around with all sorts of electronic step or distance measuring equipment.  Perhaps one day I’ll research that.  I was frankly glad to see it, because people were staying active.  I have an idea on where the real estate markets are tighter than others in our metropolitan area, but I’ll keep that to my clients looking for my direct advice on where to invest their resources.” – Mike