Opportunities in the down times

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Opportunities in the down times

Postby Tituba » Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:44 am

I was thinking about the Great Depression and how in spite of the bad economic times, there were people who rose out of it and created wealth. There are lessons to be learned by the past. I believe we are headed for an economic collapse and they may call it by another name, but lots of people are going to be in a downward spiral. Starting this thread as an Idea Party about opportunities that may exist - ways to thrive and even create wealth during the upcoming challenges. Ideas?
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby DJCNOR » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:58 pm

Studs Terkel's book of interviews of people from all kind of backgrounds and how they got through the Depression entitled Hard Times is fascinating. A lot of what they talk about is the practical logistics that were necessary. Donna
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby missC » Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:45 pm

Serve the rich. The middle class may get squeezed, but the rich will always be with us (the *******), so a trade or service industry that caters to them should be relatively safe. Also those who practise frugality will be in a better position than, well, the others... I have relatives and friends who refuse to consider any kind of economising or down-sizing, even if deep in debt... apparently it's 'beneath them'... A sense of entitlement can really get you deep in the ****.
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby Scenario Thinker » Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:55 pm

First of all, if you're cash flush, NOW'S the time to buy equity shares and real estate (I'm talking flusher than risking your emergency fund or anything like that). If stocks and real estate DON'T ever go back up, we're in trouble.
missC wrote:Also those who practise frugality will be in a better position than, well, the others... ... A sense of entitlement can really get you deep in the ****.
I agree, MissC. We can work really hard to make more income in our lives, but it really is a lot easier to live beneath our means. I always feel a little sense of freedom and that I'm "sticking it to the man (or the rich, even if you're working for them)".
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby urbanpioneer » Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:07 pm

I saw a story on the evening news recently about two booming businesses that were making the owners more money than they ever had before. One had a foreclosure house clean-out business. She hired crews and everything left behind when the people had to get out had to be removed. The story didn't say if the stuff was just taken to the dump or auctioned or recycled or what, but they were paid handsomely to clean out houses completely. The other business celaned out pools and hot tubs behind these houses. They had been left and powere was shut off, so nothing was being filtered or clean. They were just mosquito-filled cesspools. Another guy was buying up all the Geo Metros he could find. They get 50 MPG and used to be laughed at, now they are hot, hot, hot.
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby Tituba » Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:19 pm

Excellent ideas. I was reading that Vespas are selling out too.
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby urbanpioneer » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:46 am

I remember reading that during the Depression, this guy who was completely down on his luck started making and selling shoeshine kits. He sold hundreds of thousands to kids who were trying to make a nickle shining shoes on the sidewalk. He retired a very rich man.
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby Tituba » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:18 pm

Yes, I just read of a retired sheriff that made alot of money last year serving foreclosure warrants. There is always opportunity. http://www.courant.com/hc-marshals0623. ... 9388.story
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby flibbertigibbet » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:21 pm

Wow! I lay awake the other night thinking about this very subject, Tituba! I was thinking about researching what kinds of businesses still did well during the 1st and 2nd World Wars or something. I reckon that everyone is going to be trying to save money, so any business that helps people do that will do well. It would have to be something people would be willing to spend money on though! Unless you got state funding or something..?? There's a guy over here in the UK called Martin Lewis, and he's a Money Saving Expert. He has a website, and does appearances on tv shows, radio shows etc pretty regularly. He has some great advice, and a huge following! I reckon he's probably minted. Energy/fuel prices are rocketing, so any kind of alternative energy (solar,renewable etc) business is going to be a hit Im sure. Maybe people cant afford to go on holiday abroad so much, so vacation alternatives would be worth a go? I might let my cottage out next summer to tourists and live in a camper van or something! Maybe camper-van hire could be a good business idea? If both parents are going to have to go out to work, maybe childminding/creche services might be on the increase. These cost money too, but if theres a lot of business, maybe charges can be kept reasonable? When you start thinking about it, there are LOADS of opportunities actually! Its quite an exciting thought, big changes may be afoot, but with great change comes great opportunity! These ideas might be crap though, i havent really thought them through at all!
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby kashtanka » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:43 pm

How about selling dehydrated food kits (buy them now while they are obtainable) and selling them when food is scarse?
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby Tituba » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:21 am

These ideas might be crap though, i havent really thought them through at all!
Your ideas are not "crap" and don't say that again about any inspirations you have. Negative self-talk is what stops us from seizing opportunities. I thought your input was great. I cannot wait to hear your other ideas.
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby jcjm » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:56 am

"Think and Grow Rich" was written in part during the depression, so it might be worth checking out. The approach is good, but you might need to think a little to update it in your mind. Also there is a lot more govt regulation, zoning, licencing,etc. today, than when it was written, which may make it hard to make a profit or even do. I agree that equities and real estate will be good over the long haul, but since the govt has not officially declaired a recession let alone a depression, the final shoe probably has not dropped. So, you might wait until a recession is declaired or at least dollar cost average in. Personnally, I think this is more like the pre-election recession of the 90s (its about the economy stupid)than the great depression of the 30s(we have nothing to fear but fear itself). So, checking financial stories from that period might be helpful. As I remember it, the news kept saying we are not in a recession then one day said, we entered a recession 6 months ago. As soon as a recession was declaired, things made a turn around.
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby flibbertigibbet » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:49 pm

Thanks, Tituba, my negative inner gremlin needs a good thwack like that sometimes!! I would love to start my own business, but the thought of the economy going down the toilet has made me cautious. however.. just having a quick brainstorm has made me realise that it will just open up different types of opportunities, and the shrewd could take advantage of this.. Another thing that is on the increase, and there is government funding for, is anything to do with sustainability, recycling etc. I watched a tv programme about a guy who had a composting (on a grand scale) business - he collected various types of waste in large quantities (which he charged for in some cases for taking it away), and then churned it all up into compost and then sold to farmers, which turned out to be cheaper and obviously more environmentally friendly, but also made him a handsome profit. Clever guy. probably got a lot of financial backing from local authority too. Anyway, I digress, but thats a good example of 'speculate to accumulate', eh?! I thought about finding a use for all the used plastic bags (over here, not sure how it is in other countries).. I have HUNDREDS in my cupboard, i keep meaning to take them to the recycling depot.. BUT maybe you could put them to good use.. They're waterproof..quite strong.. people want to get rid of them.. the government wants to encourage people to stop using them so much but I dont reckon we'll have a ban on them for a loooong time. People are going to see cars as a luxury rather than a necessity soon enough, so maybe bike sales will go up, and any related business would do well. Car-sharing business could be good. ..anything 'eco-friendly' would work i.e. ecologically- or economically-friendly!!
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby jcjm » Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:27 pm

I also saw a piece on recycling. A woman had made a business out of charging to haul away old roofing material, grinding them up and making asphalt out of it (aparently roofs and road surfaces both have similar materials). She was making it on both ends, charging to haul away trash and charging to sell asphalt. Reminds me of the cats and rats scenario in "Think and grow rich".
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Re: Opportunities in the down times

Postby urbanpioneer » Thu Jun 26, 2008 7:50 am

My favorite Depression-era story about finding opportunity in hard times is about my grandmother. One harvest during the '30's my grandfather had a lovely crop of corn that was ready to be picked when a hailstorm came through and flattened it. My grandfather fussed and worried and walked around thinking he was ruined. Then he thought if he could borrow one of those new fancy combines he might be able to pick up and rescue the crop. He sent my grandmother off to see who had one he could borrow. She was gone all day and finally came back driving a brand new combine. My grandfather asked her where she had gotten it and she said she had bought it, since she couldn't find anyone who had one. My grandfather said, Oh my God! How are we going to pay for this, we're going to be ruined! My grandmother said, I'll tell you how we're going to pay for it. Everyone else around here is in the same boat. First we're going to harvest our crop, then we're going to harvest everyone else's. That combine was fully paid for by the end of harvest.
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