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Making Lemonade

By Dian Vujovich

From where I sit, it’s people like you and me who are going to get our economy moving in a sustained positive direction again. Not the government and/or its various bailout programs, per se. It will be us—we the people— who will make things snap again. We always have.

Even if or when aide from assorted government programs come along, most everyone I know prefer working to being on the dole, would rather have their heads above water than drowning in debt, enjoy lending a hand to others in need and like solving their own problems. Making money grow via investing also makes us happy.

But with investor sentiment running near empty, many are missing the bargain shopping and investing opportunities currently floating right under their noses. Like buying that new car, selling an existing one and picking up a solid used vehicle or shopping for another home.

If banks won’t cooperate with you on a home loan, check out a credit union or come up with enough of a down payment to make the bank want to approve you. You can also purchase an owner-financed home. Or rent with an option to buy where a portion of your rent will be applied to the cost of the home. Home prices are hugely attractive right now as are mortgage rates. Interest rates on vehicles are deliciously attractive, as well. Why not take advantage of either if you’re able and so inclined.

As far as the market goes: “There always is a silver lining for people who choose to look past the doom and gloom and find one,” says Robyn Feldberg, president of the National Résumé Writers’ Association, in a story at USNews.com titled “10 Winners in the Recession” (http://www.usnews.com/listings/recession-winners/0-recession-winners). His firm represents an industry that’s bucking the overall trend. “In adversity, there is always potential for innovation.”

A few of the places that story suggests to look for investing opportunities include: Home gardening, where sales of seeds and fertilizers are expected to jump 25 percent this year; romance, as in fantasy and steamy novel publishers; condom makers (that must have something to do with those steamy novels); chocolate makers like Hershey and Cadbury (guess we’re still on that steamy subject); and fast food joints.

Do some independent research and you’ll find many more. Make some lemonade. It is, after all, springtime.

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