The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Professor eases fears on economy

In today’s economy, many questions are circling among people: should we save? Should we spend? Should we invest? Are we approaching a modern Great Depression? Audience members of the town hall meeting on Tuesday evening heard many questions answered.

Financial Planning Association of Dallas/Fort Worth held a town hall meeting, “Financial Crisis in America,” in the James M. Collins Executive Center to shed light on the recent downfall of our market.

Brian Bruce, director of the ENCAP Investments and LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center at SMU Cox, explained the true reason for the economic crisis at hand, and how it lacks a true resemblance to the Great Depression.

According to Bruce, one main factor of people thinking their country is in a more severe crisis, is due to the fact that people can and will be constantly informed of their market.

While this could sound like a good thing to a concerned investor, “this more availability of information helps fuel the panic,” he said.

While people fear their falling market, they get out of investments, said Bruce. Generally, if the market is at its low, it should raise 36.6 percent in a year-53.2 percent in two years, he explained.

As Bruce attempted to persuade the listeners, he mentioned the different opportunities in this seemingly weak market. Bargains are everywhere for investors. While many people are wondering what is going to happen to their money, they are neglecting the fact that they “will never see bargains like this again in [their] lifetime,” he said.

“Take opportunity to try to find good investments in this market,” he said.

While some audience members in the back rows shook their heads in discontent, others seemed relieved by the optimism Bruce provided.

Eight panelists then took front and center as Bruce concluded his slide show of statistics and tips.

A common question among many was the first for Richard Lee to answer. Lee, founder and president of the Lee Financial Corporation, replied honestly with how long he thought this economic crisis would last.

“I have absolutely no idea,” he said with a smile.

As members of the audience laughed for the first time in the meeting, Lee continued with a more specific answer: particularly when looking at our history, we can assume that this will take time.

“Significant things have happened and it takes a long time to fix them,” said Lee.

The question of whether people should pay off their debt or keep their investments drew interest in the panel and the audience.

Pamela Yip, personal finance reporter for the Dallas Morning News, agrees with Bruce in that now is “a good time to take advantage of those bargains,” she said, “but at the same time-you’ve got to pay off your debt.”

Along with this, Yip recommends staying out of your 401(k) at all costs.

“It’s like a sacred cow,” as Yip described the importance of it. If a person takes $10,000 out to pay back a debt, that money never has a chance to compound. According to Yip, it would be better to wait it out.

While many people may still feel uneasy about their financial futures, this meeting helped ease them through it.

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