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April Doldrums

© April 2009 Anthony Lawrence

April has always been a slow month for me. I have no idea why, it just always has been. Unfortunately it's also the month to pony up any taxes due and send in the first quarter estimated tax payment so when all is said and done I'm happy if there's any money left in the bank. If there's actually enough to live for a month or two, I'm ecstatic.

This year I'm a little North of Happy and a bit South of Ecstatic. But honestly, I'm less confident than I'd normally be about the months to come. Ordinarily I'd expect things to start picking up again in May and build to a peak in September and October. Then a little fallback until January, a mini peak in February and March and the cycle repeats. But with this economy, who knows?

Nobody knows. I got a real kick out of one of my neighbors telling me that his stock advisor thinks the economy will be completely recovered by 2011. Really? Isn't his advisor one of the same folks who insisted something like this couldn't happen? That there were too many controls, too many safeguards? Yeah, of course he was. The reality is that none of these people have a clue - it's too complicated. Too many inputs, too many feedback loops, too much that is unmeasurable and sometimes even not defined. They do NOT know.

Nor do I or you. So, we just keep doing what we know how to do and hope that things will turn around, pick up, get back to normal. It's a good time to be investigating alternative income streams and to be thinking about what you can do to improve those you already have. For me, it's a good time to do the things I never have time for ordinarily. Today I washed the house's vinyl siding. Tomorrow will be a floor scrubbing day. I never have the time or energy for those things when I'm busy, so it's good to have some slack time.

It's also been great weather, over 80 degrees for the past few days. I hung up the hummingbird feeder today; my wife said it is far too early but a few hours later a scrawny and very hungry hummingbird found it. April's probably not a great time for Massachusetts hummingbirds - especially if most people think like my wife.

Big community yard sale down here this coming weekend. Eight or nine hundred homes all pile up their junk - oops, extremely valuable slightly used items - on Saturday May 2nd. All proceeds go to charity; if you live around here do stop in - you'll find me manning one of the booths most of the day.

Happy Spring!

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