Doomsday in 9 months?

Arturo Bris is a Professor of Finance who teaches Advanced Strategic Management and Strategic Finance at IMD, a top ranked Swiss business school. Previously, he taught at Yale.
So you could say that he might know what he’s talking about when he predicts that the next global financial crisis will hit in April 2015 – only a mere 9 months away – and that the crisis will last for a whole year! 
Professor Bris believes there are 8 possible scenarios as to why there will be another meltdown:

A stock market bubble: “In the past year, stock markets have performed unrealistically well and at some point the situation will explode.”
Banking in China: “A severe crisis could be driven by growing Chinese shadow banking.”
Energy crisis: “If the US (the world’s largest producer of gas) begins exporting to the rest of the world, Russia might feel threatened, causing a geopolitical storm.”
Another real estate bubble: “There is a risk of a property bubble forming in countries like Brazil, China, Canada or Germany.”
Ratings and bankruptcy crisis: “Companies currently have too much debt and the new norm is to have a BBB rating.”
War and conflict: “There is increasing geopolitical tension. Events like the current crisis in Crimea could trigger a market crash, even if there is no war.”
Increasing poverty: “Overall world poverty has increased and whenever the poor become poorer, we can expect a social conflict.”
Cash and hyperinflation: “The surplus of cash that central banks and corporations are holding could end up damaging the economy.”

(More info here)

So what’s an Investor to do?

As someone who wasn’t an investor back in 2008, I have no idea how I will react to prices tumbling and all hell breaking loose. I would hope that I stay calm, develop nerves of steel and be able to sit tight…though I’ll probably sweat a little lot!

So, my strategy (if you can call it that) is to continue doing what I’m doing now, ie monthly investing into a mixture of equity funds, bond funds and putting aside some cash.  

Hopefully I shall see any crash as ‘opportunity’, though this will probably be easier said than done!

So…9 months to go…. I’m betting there’ll be no baby shower for this ‘Apocalypse Baby‘!
I’ll start a countdown til the waters break like a tsunami…

Getting Rid of Stuff

Some of the blogs I’ve come across not only have great advice about things of a financial nature but also extol the virtues of decluttering both your life and your home. Even making some money from selling off unwanted items.

I have to admit, I’m a terrible hoarder.  I used to be worse, when I used to buy a lot more ‘stuff’ but there’s still huge room for improvement.

So, I’ve started getting rid of some stuff:  unsellable items are in the charity bag (managed to just fill one up this weekend) and will sell smaller items such as books, CDs, DVDs etc.

Whilst I could probably get a decent price from selling them all individually on Ebay (though not the books as post & packaging works out as too expensive), listing and packing so many small items is very time-consuming. Plus I have the added inconvenience of not living near or working near a post office so everything would have to be posted on a Saturday.

I came across via the Money Saving Expert forum, which had decent reviews so I thought I’d give them a go.

The prices they offered for my stuff I would say is pretty much car boot sale prices, ie extremely low. I got between £0.30 and £1.99 for DVDs and between £0.17 and £1.03 for paperbacks.  As none of the items had any sort of sentimental value, I accepted the price offered. Some books and DVDs they didn’t accept (you key in the book ISBN number or DVD barcode) – those, I will take to the charity shop.

Going to this site, I got a voucher code which added an extra 10% to the offer price.

So my first batch of items, I got just £8.82 – could have probably at least doubled that on Ebay I guess but this took no time at all. Whilst I don’t have a post office near me, I do have a newsagent which acts as a Collection Point so my books were posted off free with a preprinted label. Payment for my stuff was made to my PayPal account within 5-6 days of receipt of my items.

This site probably isn’t for people who actually want to make decent or fair money by selling books that they paid a lot of money for – it’s just a cheap, quick and easy service, with no hassles.

I have got some more expensive/electronic items that I will have to sell on Ebay so I will sort those out at some point.

Anyway, hoping to fill another charity bag this weekend!