The Wrap: Over Supply Means Buying Opportunity For Consumers

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Bargains Await Savy Shoppers

Remember how the supply chain practically shut down during the pandemic? Remember stores with empty spaces on shelves?

Consumers reacted to shortages of goods with every emotion from panic to despair. In addition, many businesses reacted by increasing orders. However, just because you order more of something does not mean it will be delivered on time. 

By the time some orders to major retailers were fulfilled, the goods were out of season. Still, orders for other items exceeded consumer demand. As a result, some of the biggest names in retail have too much stuff on their hands.

Buying Opportunity

An oversupply of a product versus a reduced demand for that product leads to a buying opportunity for consumers as we head into Labor Day sales.

“Supply chain delays meant that some holiday merchandise from last fall never arrived in time,’ says Edgar Dworsky, Editor of Consumer World told HerMoney “so I’d expect places like Old Navy, Walmart, Best Buy, and perhaps Wayfair to offer some sharper deals than usual.” 

Seasonal Buys

Some of the best discounts can be found on seasonal items such as summer clothes, patio furniture, and grills. 

Some major retailers have already cut clothes prices by as much as 60 percent, according to Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst at DealNews.com. However, Labor Day sales can also offer great buys on cold weather clothing, says Ramhold. She reports that Columbia knocked 25 percent or more off clothing last year while Eddie Bauer dropped its prices 40 percent or more last year,

Even bigger savings can be found on outdoor furniture, according to Ramhold. Last year Kohl’s knocked 80 percent off some items.

“With summer basically done by Labor Day — even if it’s not official — summery items should see huge discounts as retailers try to clear them off the shelves,” notes Ramhold.

Appliances Sales

The normal Labor Day discount for major appliances tops out at 40 percent or less, says Ramhold. However, last year Home Depot dropped appliance prices by 53 percent.

Since discounts can vary, Trae Bodge, Smart Shopping Expert at truetrae.com, recommends keeping an eye on advertisements and watching discount merchants for deals.

“I’m hearing that some retailers are moving merchandise to discounters, some are putting items on clearance, while others are hanging on to the merchandise to sell later,” Bodhge told HerMoney. “I think it will depend on if the retailer is flush with cash and has ample available storage…or not.”

Black Friday Sales

Some deals may be even better after Labor Day, according to Ramhold.

“Hands down, the deals are going to be way better” on Black Friday electronics purchases, says Ramhold. 

However, you will not have to wait that long to update your phone. Apple is scheduled to release the new iPhone in September. Google is planning to unveil the new Pixel phone the following month.

“My suggestion for shoppers is to keep an eye on clearance sections and discount retailers,” says Bodge, “as the selection might be more interesting than usual.”

Maintaining Financial and Mental Health

There is an old adage among nutritionists and not a few grandmothers that we are what we eat.

Similar wisdom might be applied to our mental and emotional well-being. We are what we think.

You might not be in the best state of mind if you have been doing your mental munching on inflation, high prices, the bear market, and other financial news. However, there is hope. To put yourself in better financial and mental states requires two things — a positive attitude and action.

Rising Concern

Each year the American Psychological Association (APA) issues a report on Stress in America.

This year the APA surveyed 3,000 Americans. The result, 87 percent cited rising prices of everyday items as the number one stress trigger. That is the highest ranking in the survey’s 15-year history.

Supply chain problems, global uncertainty, and Russia’s antics in the world all scored about 80 percent in the APA poll.

In addition, an Upgrade Points survey found one in five people fear reading their credit card statements as reported here last month.

Constructing Your Attitude

Financial, like other anxiety, is often brought on by things we can not control. Therefore, getting a handle on that anxiety means finding what we can control and taking action.

Taking positive action requires forming a positive attitude. That means facing our fears.

Psychologist Dr. Thema Bryant, suggests a form of stress management that confronts negative emotions such as financial anxiety.

“It may include talking to non-shaming friends about your financial situation, going to therapy, meditation, exercise, gratitude journaling, and giving yourself permission to focus on things besides your finances,” Dr. Bryant told Fortune

Be Honest With Yourself

As long as we are quoting old adages here, let’s sample another one:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” — Elenore Roosevelt

“Sometimes, in our minds, we paint a picture worse than it is, which can increase anxiety,” says Dr. Devin Dunatov, medical director at Burning Tree Ranch, a mental health treatment center. “Even if you are worried about money, it is important to regularly check your bank accounts, credit card statements, bills, etc. Having this information is powerful.”

Develop Your Plan

Once you look your finances in the eye you can develop a plan of action. That starts with a budget and building an emergency fund.

Along with a plan to control your spending and increase savings, stay on top of financial developments. For example, the Federal Reserve has been regularly raising interest rates.

That means two things for most people. First, credit card rates are bound to increase. Therefore, limiting or paying down credit cards is important. However, interest on bank accounts and money markets will pay more. That presents an opportunity.

Conclusion

Fear is not productive. Knowledge is. By staying informed and keeping to your plan, you will conquer your finances and your anxiety.

One last adage to inspire you:

“Fear is the path to the Dark Side.” — Yoda

Is The Bear Market Bull

Some analysts see an end to the Bear market. They argue that stock prices hit bottom in June and are on a rise that will carry through to next year.

Indeed, the S&P 500 has risen almost 20 percent in the last couple of months. Likewise, the Nasdaq is up.

False Positive

The big banks with a presence on Wall Street, such as Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and UBS are in agreement that the current trend is a bear market rally. That occurs when stocks mount a short run-up before dropping for an extended time.

Caution by the big banks is based on the belief that the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates through the end of the year.  In recent investor communications, the banks have cautioned that they do not expect the Fed to start cutting rates any time soon.

Morgan Stanley sees July’s strong labor report as an impetus for the Fed to continue raising rates. Meanwhile, Goldman Sach expects rate hikes to continue through the end of the year. At the same time, Bank of America says hikes will keep coming until February.

Buying The Dip Or Being a Dip

Buying a quality stock in a down market may be a good long-term strategy. That is because the stock should post gains over an extended time – say, 20 years or more. However, short-term efforts to “time the market” are hardly ever successful.

Last year Charles Schwab ran a hypothetical study on five investment strategies. Each hypothetical investor was given $2,000 each month to invest in the stock market. The strategies were: perfect market timing; investing the day the $2,000 was available; splitting the money into 12 stocks; buying at the market peak, and putting the money into Treasury Bills.

The perfect timer outperformed everyone. However, not by much. The timing portfolio stood at $151,391. The second and third strategies were almost even at $135,471 and $134,856 respectively.

So, timing the market is the best strategy, right? No. This hypothetical assumes the timing was perfect. Ready for another old adage? Nobody is perfect.

Consistency Pays Off

“Our research shows that the cost of waiting for the perfect moment to invest typically exceeds the benefit of even perfect timing,” the Schwab report notes. “And because timing the market perfectly is nearly impossible, the best strategy for most of us is not to try to market-time at all. Instead, make a plan and invest as soon as possible.”

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