How safe is your money?

Susan's take on the economy:

The silver lining in all of this is that the bailout has helped us avoid a depression.

Historical context: The Great Depression era as compared to modern day:

  • There were 1,300 bank failures. In this crisis we've had 15.
  • Forty-four percent of the people in the country could not afford to pay their mortgage. Currently we still have 90 percent of people paying their mortgages on time.
  • Unemployment was at 25 percent. Now it's at 6 percent.

What does the bailout mean?

Susan says we needed capitol back into banks in order for us to be able to borrow again and we needed to know that the money we put into those banks was safe. The bailout plan insures that.

The FDIC is insuring up to $250,000 in our institutions for checking, savings and CDs..

Timeframe for a turnaround

A floor is necessary for a turnaround to happen. Based on experts she has spoken to, Susan believes we have probably reached that floor. We're in a recession now which happens naturally every eight years or so.

Housing market

Susan says we're still looking for a botom in the housing market. She believes there will be ups and downs over the next year to year and a half before we may reach a true bottom, but no one can pinpoint that time for sure.

Time to invest?

More opportunity for gains now than there were two years ago, but it doesn't mean the markets still won't fall further.

About Susan McHan:
Susan McHan is co-founder, President and CEO of Opes Advisors, a premier financial advisory firm that specializes in Investment Management and Residential Mortgage Services. Susan has over twenty years of experience in the financial services industry.

About Opes Advisors:
Founded in 2004, Opes Advisors has successfully coupled investment management with residential mortgages to provide clients comprehensive, strategic financial planning. With this unique combination of financial expertise, Opes is able to provide clients with guidance in positioning all of their assets, including their primary residence, in a way that is most effective in turning out their financial future. This is especially relevant in the Bay Area where real estate is one of the most important assets in a person's portfolio.

Our investment management division specializes in strategic planning. We need to understand our client's complete financial situation, including real estate, 401ks, stocks and bonds, before we can make proper assessments and recommendations.

While we serve clients of all sizes, we often work with clients with assets between $500,000 and $2 million, a group that has traditionally been underserved. Our mortgage clients also benefit from Opes Advisors' investment management expertise. Unlike other mortgage firms, we have the ability to provide borrowers strategic financial advice when they're buying, selling or refinancing a home. This comes with no more cost than obtaining a mortgage from a conventional firm, yet ensures that the loan structure is in alignment with our clients' overall strategy to support their long term financial goals.

Locations include Los Gatos, Palo Alto, San Mateo and Marin.

For more information, visit

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