Local News

Money managers urge calm in 'fiscal cliff' crisis

Posted December 5, 2012
Updated December 6, 2012

— From Wall Street to Main Street, talk of the fiscal cliff is in the air.

“I don’t think you can escape it,” said investor Bill Antczak. “It’s on every night.”

If Democrats and Republicans can't find a compromise before the end of the year, experts worry the country could plunge into a recession. Republicans say they want to sit down with the president and talk specifics, while President Barack Obama says there can't be a deal until GOP lawmakers drop their opposition to increasing rates on the top 2 percent of income earners.

All of the back-and-forth has investors worried about what to do with their money before Jan. 1. Fiscal Cliff The Fiscal Cliff: Solutions, future clashes

“You can’t discount what you’ve already lost,” Antczak said. “Here we are on the road to recovery, so this looms large.”

Investor Jo Lawson said she feels somewhat helpless.

“(I’m) frustrated, irritated, very disappointed in our government overall. But what can you do?” she said.

Gerald Townsend, president of Townsend Asset Management Corp. in Raleigh, said investors shouldn’t panic.

“We’ve been through, and I’ve seen it many years, many ups and many downs,” he said.

Yet Townsend admits he's never seen anything quite like the so-called fiscal cliff. With 30 years in the business, he manages $100 million of other people's money.

Gerald Townsend Raleigh money manager on fiscal cliff: 'Don't panic'

“It will get addressed in some way or another,” he said.

Townsend thinks the cliff will create short-term volatility, but investors who pull out completely may miss a long-term gain.

“In that deal, there may be some negative long-term repercussions, but the market will probably still respond positively just because uncertainty has been taken off the table,” he said.

Abby Joseph Cohen, a senior investment strategist at Goldman Sachs, said stocks right now have a lot of room to run. She said stocks could rise 10 to 15 percent in 2013.

The cycle of market emotions is something Townsend discusses with many clients. Bottom line, he says, there’s reason to feel anxious.

Until the economy stabilizes, Lawson said she's keeping a close eye on her retirement accounts.

“I figure they’ll take another hit,” she said. “I won’t be able to retire when I want to.”

38 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • storchheim Dec 6, 7:43 p.m.

    NCSU Eng - yes, IT was to me also. But I began 30 years ago when there weren't different flavors of 4 yr degrees for each situation, on the job training was to be had if you wanted it, and of course NAFTA and the Internet didn't exist.

    While I was earning the glow dough, I invested it and continued to live as if I were making Patel's salary (yikes - didn't know it was THAT low!). I'm just about set, unless 0 confiscates my investments and hands me an IOU payable in amounts he will deem I deserve, but sure wish I could have worked another 3-5 years. Anyway, I'm ready to go over.

  • connieleigh4 Dec 6, 4:28 p.m.

    @DANNY22....I AGREE 100%!

  • piene2 Dec 6, 3:17 p.m.

    "I hear you. Being in the engineering field is not all it's cracked up to be. I come in to work everyday wondering if the lights will be on the next day. I saw an article the other day about IBM jobs in India. The average salary for the employee in India is $17,000. What an eye-opener!

    NCSUEngineerFC"

    Engineering was awfully good to me. Of course we did a lot of work for The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and we had the war in Vietnam. Both were good earning situations.

  • Danny22 Dec 6, 3:05 p.m.

    kmt,

    it is not right to force a Christian to fund abortion, or contraception when this goes against a person's beliefs. It is not right to pass a law by buying and selling votes like obamacare. It is not right to leave 4 Americans to die for 7 hours without any help. It is not right to take our hard-earned money and waste it or give it to people who could work but won't,

  • NCSUEngineerFC Dec 6, 11:07 a.m.

    storcheim,

    I hear you. Being in the engineering field is not all it's cracked up to be. I come in to work everyday wondering if the lights will be on the next day. I saw an article the other day about IBM jobs in India. The average salary for the employee in India is $17,000. What an eye-opener!

  • kmt Dec 6, 11:03 a.m.

    You know, this reminds me of the story of the children of Israel being led out of Egypt. The people complained and complained because of the struggles and they no longer had their "comforts". The Lord told them to continue moving forward and trust Him until they read the land of milk and honey. Progress doesn't come without struggle. The country was built on faulty ground and now is being corrected for its past sins. Its inevitable. Our President is doing what's right, whether you know it or not. Just because YOUR pockets are thinning doesn't mean its not right. Think communally, and not selfishly.

  • storchheim Dec 6, 10:54 a.m.

    'If I wind up doing something manual labor intensive, there's no way I'll make it." NCSU Eng

    Psst. Don't look now but Patel will do your job for 30% of what you charge, and 0bama's just waving H1-B's in because his masters told him to. If this keeps up you won't be working past 50.

  • NCSUEngineerFC Dec 6, 10:10 a.m.

    Let's see, I am 28 years old. I estimate that I will probably have to work until I am at least 70 years old. Probably closer to 75. If I can manage keep a job as a mind-worker, maybe I can make it that long. If I wind up doing something manual labor intensive, there's no way I'll make it.

  • Rebelyell55 Dec 6, 10:09 a.m.

    Must of missed something, all I got was Money Manager worried about their big bonus not being so big.

  • Crumps Br0ther Dec 6, 8:35 a.m.

    Im calm. I got tired of Barry doing the chicken little thing all the time during his last term. Everything is an emergency with that guy, but he won't lead enough to fix it.

More...