Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Window of Opportunity?!?!


On Wednesday, the Fed announced that over the course of 2009, they will purchase an additional $750 Billion of Mortgage Backed Securities, as well as $300 Billion in long-term Treasuries, primarily to help shore up the housing market and keep home loan rates low. On the announcement, Bonds exploded higher, leaving Bond prices within whiskers of the best levels ever.

However, it's important to understand that while their actions may keep a lid on rates moving higher, they may not cause them to move lower. While we know there is little inflation at the present time, the chatter of future inflation could have a negative impact on Bonds and home loan rates, or at least stifle any improvements.

Although the media is already spinning it differently, this may not be a time to stay on the fence, hoping and waiting for lower rates and/or lower real estate prices. Home loan rates remain within inches of all-time historic lows, but may not necessarily move significantly lower based on this purchasing plan - waiting is a very risky move.
More good news last week, as Housing Starts for February came in better than expected and actually increased for the first time in eight months. In addition, Fed Chairman Bernanke stated the recession should end in 2009 and that he is confident of the long-term outlook for the US economy.

Also, an update on Mark-to-Market - the accounting rule which has had a devastating impact on the financial markets - which we have discussed many times, including in last week's issue. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) agreed that it will propose to allow companies to use more "leeway" in applying the accounting rules they use to value their assets, and planned a final vote for April 2nd. If this rule change is approved, it could result in better first-quarter financial statements for companies that have been affected by this rule. Stocks have been moving higher lately in the hopes that Mark-to-Market will be fixed, and a resolution could help Stocks further improve.

So what are you going to do with your Cash? Leverage into cheap priced Real Estate or buy Stocks?

If it is Real Estate call me.


BTW If you need a referral to a Stock person send me a note.
Gary with Wealth Pinnacle is a very good guy to know.