Husband and I are retired. Our investments are mostly volatile stocks. Anyone have opinion about how y2k will affect the market?
snoonie: Y2k impact on market - nil. You won't even notice it if anything does happen. If your are concerned check out your companies web pages. Most have an explaination of what they have done to prepare for y2k.Expect some minor glitches in unexpected areas for a week or so. But the markets as well as the companies sold on the markets are all ready for this. Everyone I know who works in the computer field will be working new years eve and day or at least on call. The big impact will come from the small business sectors. If you shop in small stores, you might find them recording sales by hand. If you are mostly in volitile stocks, you might read up on the Foolish Four or the Rule Maker stratigies and switch some of your investments.Chuck O'Neil
My spouse in responsible for y2k stuff at a bank so I do hear a good deal about it. Based on all the information I have my feeling is there will be some issues which if they are in your backyard so to speak will be "serious". I am not at all concerned about banks, stock markets or major stock brokers. When you get to the local stores that use electronic cash registers, that could be another issue. I suspect there will be some utility some place that will have a problem, but it will not take the engineers long to manually flip the switch. There probably will be gas stations and ATMs that will have not fuel or cash over the weekend. The banks will have cash and it will just take a few hours for the truck to bring out more. Fuel delivers may have to wait until the Monday or Tuesday after 1/1/2000.With regard to stock prices, I think there will be factors which could have an effect. For example lots of people will get a few extra pills for their perscriptions. Many people are going to fill their gas tanks. Well when y2k becomes a nonevent in Januray these same people will buy less medicine and one less tank of gas. Although this does not sound like much, it is a lot. If say 10% of the population does it that is a very large portion of an average montly demand. There will be demand in the 4th quarter above average which will lead to business inefficiencies. Then there will be less demand in the first quarter which will lead to either less manufacturing or more inventory. None of this is a surprise to business. Their only problem is trying to guess how big the issue will be. If you could tell the air line exactly how many people would not fly on 1/1/2000 and how many "extra" people were going to fly each day later in the month, it would be no problem.I am hopeful these distruptions will be small and that all the "experts" won't panic and sell everything because of a penny or two in earnings. But trying to guess what the Wall Street experts will decide is not easy. When you say your investments "are mostly volatile stocks", I don't know if you mean just stocks which are more volatile then say short term bonds or if you mean specific stocks whose volatility is much greater then the Dow-Jones or S&P 500. In either case I would not be surprised to see price movements in the range of what has happened over the period from April 1999 through early October. Now that movement may well happen in a period of a few weeks rather then a few months.
snoonie: The reasonable consensus seems to be that Y2k is going to be a very short-lived event. Stock movements may happen, especially in "volatile" stocks, since the market tends to over-react. If you depend on your "volatile stocks" for retirement income, you might consider the use of a safer strategy like the Foolish Four. Good luck to you Rudi
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