INVESTORS’ CONCERNS Chicken Little is running in the streets. Is the sky falling? Will we be living in caves, reading by candlelight and drinking creek water? I don’t think so, at least not real soon. There are many concerns of investors that are real; however, I don’t believe the stock market is going to collapse this year. What are some of the concerns of the investor? First of all, crude oil and gold are hitting all-time highs. Crude has already hit an all-time high and is looking at the $100 level and gold is very close to its all-time high of $850 set back in the early 1980s. Gold is currently in the $830 range. Energy and utility prices are going up; commodity prices are continuing to go higher, with bean and corn prices hitting highs for the last five or six years. The sub-prime situation is still unresolved, with foreclosures increasing every week. The shrinking dollar is hurting Americans when they travel overseas. Unless you want to spend a whole lot of money on food and gifts, you better make your purchases at home this holiday season. However, the falling dollar is helping exports, which is good for companies and corporations. It helps them hire more people, pay them an income and give them benefits, which allows the employees to cover their bills and, hopefully, spend money to make a good holiday season for everyone. These are not even all of the concerns that exist, only the major ones. Americans are concerned about all of these situations. They are almost like a deer caught in the headlights; they don’t know what to do. They are stunned. Many have said that they are just going to get out of the market and sit on the sidelines. Many are losing their homes because they can’t get a new loan. Oil prices are making it so our transportation costs are skyrocketing. Interest rates are going lower, which is both a positive and a negative at the same time. Lower interest rates are helpful for those individuals who are going to refinance or borrow money, either individually or for their company. The problem is that lower interest rates are very bad for individuals on a fixed income, usually retirees. They need higher rates to allow them to continue to live in the manner to which they have grown accustomed. With inflation, things cost more. When receiving lower returns on their investment dollars, retirees have trouble maintaining their current standard of living. You might be wondering what the investor should do. One thing they can do is to continue to think long- term and keep their money invested for the long haul. Another investment idea is to invest some of their money into the areas that are currently on the rise, such as energy, gas, oil, utilities, transportation of energy sources, refineries, and natural resources such as gold, silver, platinum. These are all areas that have done well not only in the last couple of weeks, but in the last several years. They could continue to do well in the near future. Past performance does not guarantee future returns, but it certainly looks like we are going to have higher energy and metals prices, so investing in these areas could prove beneficial. In the meantime, investors should try not to panic and keep from making emotional decisions. Remember, the stock market is not there only to make us money; it can take it also. But, the stock market has had better returns over the last 20 years than most other investments. Think long-term, stay non-emotional, add to your portfolio and, hopefully, we’ll get through these tough times. Bob Hardcastle, President and CEO of Delta Investment Services, Inc., 16100 Chesterfield Parkway West, Suite 150, Chesterfield, MO 63017 Securities and advisory services offered through VSR Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Delta Investments Services is not an affiliate of VSR.