What the experts say

Dow 1,000?; Condos on the mend; What’s mine is mine

Dow 1,000?

Recent market volatility has made “plenty of investors” nervous, even bearish, said Jeff Sommer in The New York Times. But market forecaster Robert Prechter is “in another league entirely.” Using a combination of technical analysis and social theory, he predicts that we’re entering a market decline of “staggering proportions” in which the Dow could fall from its current, near-10,000 mark to “well below 1,000 over perhaps five or six years.” His advice for investors: Find shelter in cash and cash equivalents and, if you can stomach the risk, short the market. In 2008, Prechter correctly predicted that the market would rally; then in late 2009 he warned a decline would resume. Though he’s “hardly the only market hand to advocate prudence,” other naysayers foresee only months—rather than years—of declines ahead.

Condos on the mend

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Finally, there’s a “glimmer of hope” for the condo market, said Beth Braverman in Money. Year-over-year sales volume was recently up 40 percent, and nationally prices have stabilized for the first time in years. “So is now the time to pounce?” That depends. If there are a lot of new condo projects in the works near you, better to wait awhile. “Even if sales have picked up, a glut of partially completed projects that might come to market soon could keep inventory high.” If you are ready to buy, stick to established developments with well-funded homeowners associations, and start your bidding at least 10 percent below the asking price. “After all, in this market, you have plenty of options to choose from.”

What’s mine is mine

Prenuptial agreements have become de rigueur among baby boomers who remarry later in life, said Mary Pilon in The Wall Street Journal. Roughly 27 percent of boomers age 50 and older are now on their second or third marriage, and they’re wary of commingling assets—especially if they are “on the cusp of retirement” and already worried about their dwindling portfolios. “People are more cognizant that money can be there today, gone tomorrow in a flash,” says Daniel E. Clement, a New York divorce lawyer. Things get even more complicated if the lovebirds have children from a previous marriage and want to make sure that heirs get a fair share.

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