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Your Finances in a Crisis? Part 2: An Interview with a Financial Expert from USAA

I wanted to continue to use the expertise of our friends at USAA to talk about the current financial crisis gripping the country. After focusing on mortgages and debt issues in the first blog, I would like to write briefly today about the market and your investments. If your investments are anything like mine I saved a bit each month for many years and then in a couple of months/weeks saw a lot of it disappear. So I asked JJ Montanaro and Mike Kelly of USAA what we should be doing with these investments.

JJ gave me a steady as she goes type of response. However, he said it is a good time to "rethink" your strategy but do not make wholesale changes. Talk to your financial planner and consider where you are at in the scheme of things. He suggested one opportunity might be to stay in the market but sell some investments. These could be taken as a tax loss, then reinvested into the market in another fund/stock/bond, etc. Always consult an expert before making changes and weighing tax issues. For more ways to deal with the Wall Street crisis he recommended USAA Tools and Tips for a Volatile Market.

Invested and nearing retirement? Another great tool from USAA is a scheduled Webinar: Planning Your Retirement in Today's Economy on 29 October (next Wednesday) at 7-8 PM CST. Enjoy this webinar led by JJ from the comfort of your home. Never done a webinar? A webinar is a seminar based on the web. You get the advantages of attending a seminar without the travel or hassle factor of finding it! The experience comes to your living room or office on your laptop or PC! This is a great chance to hear from the experts and plan your future. The best part is that it is free!

I have one more blog to do from my interview with USAA and it will be on the day to day issues of credit cards, car loans, etc and how the bank crisis is going to affect those and your wallets.

PS: During my research for this interview with USAA I found some interesting information about USAA's CEO, General (retired) Joe Robles. Joe Robles began his adult life working in the steel mills of Lorain, Ohio before joining the Army. In an article in the New York Times he relates that he was drafted by the Army and basically never looked back. I can tell you as a steelworker's kid from the Gary, Indiana area that I made a similar decision after 5 summers in the mills during college. I had my grandfather, my dad. my brother and 12 uncles and 1 aunt in the mills with me and it was hot and dirty work! So Joe we appreciate your background and thank you for taking care of our funds in this crisis!

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