If you have followed the news at all during the last week, you know that the stock market has seen significant turmoilCryptocurrency and Commodity markets have seen the same ups and downs. Both social and the traditional media have been abuzz with stories of great financial losses and gains. With all of this going on, I was invited to appear on the Matt & Aunie show Tuesday morning to share my perspective on what the turmoil on Wall Street means to the average consumer on main street. You can listen to a podcast of my appearance here. The Matt & Aunie show is hosted by Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg. It airs every weekday from 6-10 am on Talk 99.5 in Birmingham, Alabama.

My Advice

The advice I gave was in large part similar to that of other commentators. The average investor should not panic. Although the stock market experiences large swings from time to time, history has shown it to be a consistently reliable place to realize steady gains over a long period of time. As noted in a recent article in USA Today: “Since 1900, the U.S. has seen 125 corrections of 10% or more, which is about one a year. Yet the market always goes on – and eventually up. Since 1980, the stock market has had positive annual returns in 28 of the last 37 years.” When investing in stocks, you should, of course, first determine how much risk you are willing to take. Although, as noted above, the market average has consistently gone up, individual stocks have experienced significant ups and downs. The more risk you are willing to take, the better chance you have of realizing significant gains – or losses. I strongly advise anyone who plans to invest in stocks to seek the advice of a trusted professional.

Did You Know You Can Get a Guaranteed Return?

After offering this basic commentary, I went on to tell Matt and Aunie that I knew of a way that an average consumer can experience a GUARANTEED 10 – 20 % return on their investment. Clearly a bit perplexed, Matt asked me how this could be done. My advice was simple. They should get rid of their CREDIT CARD DEBT! As shown in this recent blog post from NerdWallet, outstanding card debt in America rose to over $900 billion dollars in 2017. The average household carries over $15,000 in credit card debt. The average annual percentage rate on these cards is 16.5%. And as a bankruptcy attorney, I can tell you that the interest rate often becomes significantly higher when the card goes into default – often close to 29.99%! So for consumers with outstanding credit card, or other high interest debt, the first place to start is with getting rid of this debt. By doing so, families can stop paying hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest and start investing that money in their future.

As I shared with Matt and Aunie, there are thousands of individuals and families trying to make it through each day while dealing with the stress and anxiety caused by overwhelming debt. People find themselves on a treadmill, simply making ever growing minimum payments with no idea how they can make the balances they owe go down. If you are one of these people, please don’t go through this alone. And more importantly, don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of by a slick talker on a commercial or website offering a quick fix to your situation. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you are struggling with debt, start by finding a local and experienced professional to consult with. You owe it to yourself to explore all your options. At Bond & Botes, we offer a free, confidential and face to face consultation with a licensed and experienced attorney. We will help you analyze your situation and help you to come up with the best option for getting out of debt. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Call our most convenient location today to schedule your free consultation.

Bradford Botes
Written by Bradford Botes

Brad Botes is a principal of each of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Alabama, and a Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He and his team of bankruptcy lawyers have spent over 30 years guiding people through financial challenges. Read his full bio here.

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