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The Economy in 2012 And Your Money

How to survive the “it’s okay unless it collapses” economy. We’ll look at your prospects and your money in 2012.

In this Dec. 20, 2011 photo, traders Michael Zicchinolfi, left, and Michael Lawrence work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock markets around the world were closing out 2011 on a subdued note Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, with many of the world's major indexes posting big declines for the year in the wake of Europe's debt crisis, a faltering U.S. economy and signs that China's economy is no longer sizzling. (AP)

In this Dec. 20, 2011 photo, traders Michael Zicchinolfi, left, and Michael Lawrence work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock markets around the world were closing out 2011 on a subdued note Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, with many of the world's major indexes posting big declines for the year in the wake of Europe's debt crisis, a faltering U.S. economy and signs that China's economy is no longer sizzling. (AP)

It’s 2012 and it’s been a while now since economic good times in this country. Lost houses. Lost jobs. A recovery that limps. Maybe this year will be the year that traction comes back, forecasters say. Maybe, maybe – unless it all collapses under Euro-crisis or China bust or missiles flying over the Straits of Hormuz.

What’s a smalltime investor with a little, maybe shrunken, maybe battered nest egg supposed to do? Where do you turn in this economy so you don’t get whacked? So you might bounce back?

This hour On Point: 2012 and your money.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Robert Pozen, chair emeritus of MFS Investment Management and author of The Fund Industry: How Your Money is Managed.

Diane Swonk, senior managing director and chief economist at Mesirow Financial.

From Tom’s Reading List


The New York Times
“Yet if we go beyond the Beltway and the Battery, to where most of American life is lived, the numbers don’t always add up. Yes, the Great Recession officially ended in 2009. But many millions of Americans are out of work or cannot find full-time jobs. Home prices are wobbly. The foreclosure crisis drags on. And the Occupy movement’s campaign against “the 1 percent” has underscored the ravages of income inequality.”

Slate “Economic forecasting is a mug’s game. There are simply too many unknowable factors that affect “the economy” for anyone to make accurate predictions. The Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster, for instance, had a noticeably negative macroeconomic impact around the world, and nobody knows what lurks inside the hearts of central bankers. Plus, if I did possess the secrets to the future, I’d be making a fortune as a speculator, not telling you about it.”

Washington Post “The new year has arrived, and so investors are inundated with all manner of lists: Best and worst stocks for 2012, forecasts of where the economy is going, favorite investments for the year and more.”

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