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Ramsey encourages people to avoid fear-mongering

Staff writer

Appearing live Thursday on a big screen at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, financial guru Dave Ramsey began the 90-minute town hall meeting with three points and ended it with three points, all intended to give people hope for the future in a bad economy.

He said people have to be allowed to fail, they need to learn to say, “No!”, and they have to go back to taking personal responsibility.

In response to questions, he encouraged people to continue to invest in the stock market because of its long-term track record. He said housing probably will lead the way out of the recession because of all the pent-up demand.

He also encouraged people to stay with local and community banks where customers and officers can do business face-to-face. Inflation is likely some time in the future because of the way government is spending money and people should invest in things that will go up as inflation grows.

“Goods and services are what have value in a failed economy, not gold,” Ramsey said.

Someone asked if the present is a good time to start a business. Ramsey said it could be a good time because weak competitors have been removed from the market. He gave examples of people who started businesses in bad economic times and became successful.

A 55-year-old couple wanted to know how they can catch up with preparation for retirement. They were advised to get out of debt, create an emergency fund, and invest in Roth IRAs.

Another person raised concerns about rising unemployment. Ramsey noted that unemployment is up only three percent from its normal rate.

“Get after it!” he said. “Don’t wait on the economy. Rethink your career. Take a class. Be positive.”

Ramsey’s final three points for building hope were to get up and take action, do not participate in loser talk, and learn to give again, not just in money, but also in time.

The audience seemed to be receptive to his message, but people who are at or near retirement age and have seen their savings drop in value expressed some concerns afterward.

Each person or family has to face the situation in their own way and do what is necessary to survive.

As Ramsey put it, “We, the people, are the healing agent of this economy.”

Last modified April 29, 2009

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