Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What Constitutes a Recession and How to Survive It

After the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research officially declared the recession began in December of 2007, it's worth noting that there's no 'official' definition of a recession. A short definition, generally accepted, would be the U.S gross domestic product, a measure of the total output of the U.S. economy, declining for two consecutive calendar quarters - or six months.

The NBER sees it a little bit differently, but mostly factors in the gross domestic income as well. The good news here, if any, is that we've survived the recession for almost a year now. With estimates that things are only going to get worse before they get better, it's important to figure out ways to, not only survive, but take advantage of the recession.

In this US News & World Report article:

Live below your means. Some people are shopping for this year's holiday gifts while still paying off their 2007 purchases, says Gail Cunningham of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Now's the time to re-evaluate those habits, she says, before piling on even more debt. You can make sure you pay as little as possible for gifts by using online comparison websites. Another option is taking advantage of layaway programs at retailers that let you pay off purchases before you bring them home. That way, you avoid paying high interest rates to credit card companies.

Bolster that emergency cushion. Even in flush times, financial advisers say consumers should have about six months' worth of expenses in their bank account to guard against job loss or other emergencies. Now, with the unemployment rate headed toward 7 percent, it's more important than ever.

Toughen up your portfolio. It doesn't matter how smart your investing strategy is if you won't stick with it. And the roller-coaster stock market is sure making that tough to do. Jittery investors might want to think about stashing somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of their portfolio in less risky investments, such as bond funds, treasury bills, or money market funds. But don't overdo it. Investors who are decades away from retirement should keep the bulk of their portfolios in stocks. If you want to dial down your risk, look to stock funds that have been bucking the bear, such as Apex Mid Cap Growth and Reynolds Blue Chip Growth. Also, exchange-traded funds, which look like mutual funds but trade like stocks, give you more diversified exposure to a particular sector or industry than betting on individual issues.
You can click here to read the rest of the article. They also had a great article on the Top 15 Small Businesses to Start. Some of them include:
  • Higher Education Services
  • Outsourcing Manager
  • Financial Advisor

Here at MerchantCircle, we've seen every form of entrepreneur possible through our 650,000 members. While many of you are constantly looking for new entrepreneurial opportunities, others are just growing out your core business and succeeding with lower costs of online advertisements with MerchantCircle. The first thing you must do is drop the high-risk, high-cost proposition of Yellow Pages advertising, and even if you don't pay for any online ads through MerchantCircle, you still should claim your free listing on our network and edit your profile. Read what many of our free members are saying here.

Community Relations

1 comment:

  1. a recession is when you are paying out more than you bring in plain and simple. i know for me and my small business we cut back on advertising,overtime & supplies etc.. to make sure we could cover our "main" business cost to weather this storm we are in... things will get better and when they do business will be able to grow once again