“This is the worst day ever!”
I’ve heard that many times when my five kids were growing up.
If I didn’t buy them a souvenir when we were leaving the aquarium…
They would carry on and tell me it was the worst day ever.
Forget the fact that I spent a fortune on ice cream, whale shows or feeding sharks.
If they didn’t get what they wanted, it was the worst day ever.
And that’s what jumped out at me when I saw this headline:
It ran last week in The Wall Street Journal.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
I know many Americans are hurting.
Heck, I lost my appetite after I filled up my wife’s Volvo.
It was the first time I saw the price dial on the gas pump go over $100.
Yes, gas and food prices are rising.
The Federal Reserve is hell-bent on raising interest rates to put the brakes on inflation.
And when you look at your brokerage account … oy vey.
You can quickly see why consumers say 2022 is the worst economy — ever.
But is it really?
Let’s take a timeout for a reality check…
The Wall Street Journal headline was talking about consumer sentiment.
The results are based on a consumer survey from the University of Michigan.
The monthly number reported is a good key indicator of the economy’s overall health.
The Fed even keeps an eye on it to understand the consumer’s view of the economy.
Because when consumers are confident about their income, they spend more.
But right now, consumers have been kicked in the teeth.
Inflation is rising, and consumers are feeling a whole lot poorer.
You can also see it in President Biden’s approval rating.
Only 36% of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of his job.
It’s the lowest level of his presidency.
So, I totally can understand why consumers feel this is the worst economy ever.
However, it’s just not so…
There Was Worse
Back in the 1970s — when I was in high school — things were much worse.
Inflation was raging from the years of spending on the Vietnam War.
President Ford wore a pin on his lapel: “WIN” … which stood for “Whip Inflation Now.”
President Ford’s Whip Inflation Now pin.
In 1976, Jimmy Carter was in the White House … and inspired no one.
And in 1979, 52 Americans were taken hostage in Iran.
Militant Islamic Revolution supporters held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
Operation Eagle Claw — President Carter’s attempt to rescue them — ended in disaster.
One of the helicopters crashed into a transport aircraft, killing eight servicemen.
By 1980, inflation hit 14%. And the prime rate climbed to 21% in June 1981.
Now, those were terrible times for the economy and our country.
While many Americans feel that this is the worst economy ever, we’ve had worse.
Consider the cup being “half empty” as temporary.
This time is no different…
How to Act
We live in the greatest country that ever existed on God’s green earth.
We have more things going for us living in the United States than working against us.
So, the Real Talk is … we’ll get through this and soar even higher!
Nobody ever made money selling America short.
And they sure ain’t going to start now.
That’s why how you act as an investor in times like these is going to make all the difference.
Now’s the time to be a buyer of quality businesses that are trading at bargain prices.
In fact, we’re seeing plenty of them in the Alpha Investor portfolio.
Many of our stocks are trading at even better prices than when we first added them.
If you aren’t part of the family yet, you can click here to find out how to join now.
You won’t regret it.
Founder, Alpha Investor