|Psyched Out or Psyched Up?|
By Van W. Snider, Jr., CAE
With all of the negative news and conversation that surround us everyday, it is easy to be psyched out; i.e., fall into a negative state of mind, as a result of hearing and reading everything that makes us think the economy is continuing to slide downward. It is easy to get psyched out when the majority of people around us have a negative attitude and media outlets continue to tell us how bad it is. It spreads like the plague.
I have been observing individual attitudes and keep asking myself, “How can we make lemonade out of lemons?” Is it as bad as the media is telling us? Or, are there two sides to the street we are walking on? I think there is. We can fall into a huge hole, or we can look at the other side of economic challenges as opportunities.
I don’t make light of the level of unemployment, especially if we are on the unemployment side of the equation. We hear about the increasing unemployment rates, with Michigan having one of the highest in the nation. However, we rarely hear the media report the positive side: the percentage of the population that is still employed.
I think I’m safe forecasting an increase of interest rates on consumer loans, increases in home values, etc., when the economy starts growing again. Taking advantage of opportunities as they exist today can be an appropriate strategy. Let me give you one example. My niece, her husband and their two daughters are moving from Ohio to Phoenix as a result of a job transfer. She and her husband made several trips to look at residential communities and search for a home. They bought a home, in foreclosure, at a significantly reduced price at an attractive interest rate, creating a huge savings.
In my capacity with the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA), I talk with reporters regularly. In order to have credibility, I must be honest when describing the impact Michigan’s economy is having on the boating industry; however, I also am honest about the passion Michiganders have for boating and outdoor recreation. One of my associates at MBIA told me she was on Belle Isle in Detroit during the airplane races over the Detroit River. She stated, “You’d be proud, there were hundreds of boats on the river watching the races.” I never miss an opportunity to tell a reporter that even with a challenging economy and a high unemployment rate, Michiganders love boating and continue to find ways to get out on the water.
Instead of being psyched out, I suggest getting psyched up. The economy is going to recover. Matter of fact, some (not all) economists believe the economy is already in the recovery mode. Mr. Brian Wesbury, chief economist, and Robert Stein, senior economist, at First Trust Advisors in Wheaton, Illinois, who write columns for Forbes Magazine, wrote the following on May 5, 2009: “Consumer spending grew 2.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter, and it looks set to rise again in the second quarter. Meanwhile, both major measures of consumer confidence (from The Conference Board and University of Michigan) shot upward in April.” They gave further reasons for their optimism that the economy is recovering such as “...community prices bottomed in February, signaling that the economy has turned a corner” and “Inbound and outbound container traffic is up...a signal that credit conditions are easing, as international trade tends to be more credit-sensitive than domestic commerce.”
Get psyched up because there are great boating opportunities which I suggest should not be overlooked. Manufacturers and dealers are motivated to move new boat inventory. Marine dealers are creative and can help find financing. Credit unions throughout Michigan are eager to expand their memberships and have money to loan. Interest rates are low and payments will be also. Do what’s right for you and your family and don’t procrastinate! The time is right now.