Savings down, but investors feeling bullish?
posted at 8:30 am on March 31, 2012 by Jazz Shaw
In the unlikely event that you somehow didn’t win half a billion dollars last night, you may have to get back to thinking about your retirement plan this morning. The eggheads at Business Insider continue to track the economic trends across the nation, both current and historical. (If you don’t remember where you’ve been, it’s hard to anticipate where you’re going.) So with Spring having finally arrived, how excited should investors be entering the season of April showers? Looks like it may be raining Benjamins.
From Barclays’ Jordan Kotick, it turns out that April is the best month for the Dow in turns of the mean return.
By other measures, like probability of a gain, and mean return, it’s not too shabby either.
But at the same time that Wall Street may be getting ready to push their chips in, individual savings is going in a different direction. After seeing a very encouraging surge during the hard times of 2010, personal savings are simply tanking this year.
For February, the savings rate of Americans fell to 3.7%, from over 4% in the month before.
We’re not quite at housing bubble levels, but the cushion is definitely getting thinner.
People saving less money is bad, right? Well… not so fast. On the one hand, conservatives tend to think in terms of personal responsibility and self-reliance. Saving money against a rainy day, for your kids’ college, for your retirement… these are all admirable traits in theory. But in reality, past trends tell us that personal savings is more a sign of a lack of faith in the economy and the government. It’s more panic savings than planning savings.
But when people are feeling more upbeat about the future and less worried about their own personal position, they tend to spend more and save less. Sad but true. So April may turn out to be another month of optimism in the market, on both Wall Street and Main Street. The only question now is, can the actual economy deliver in line with these expectations?
The preceding information was provided by BI’s own Joe Weisenthal. If you disagree or need more information, you are invited to Ask Joe a Question. (Since God only knows I can’t explain this stuff.) Or you can just follow him on Twitter.