Thursday, January 03, 2008

Holiday Party Observations

"You can observe a lot by watching." - Yogi Berra

The holiday gatherings I attended had a wide range of professions, backgrounds and ages in the group. Attendees range from 3 to 70 years of age. Professions covered include farming, military, teaching, real estate, corporate employees, non-profit employees, self-employed, government employees, retirees, graduate students and homemakers. Besides catching up socially, conversation topics include politics, economics, business, and investing. Here are some of my observations from this year's conversations:

  • Financially, people were guardedly optimistic. Most of those in their twenties and thirties had good jobs, which they found challenging and were enjoying. Some were continuing their education with graduate degrees, and had positive outlooks for their future. Real estate was difficult, but offered some opportunities for good buys, e.g. below the previous purchase price. People in retirement didn't seem to have any major financial concerns.

    However, most recognized that the future was a potentially rocky road and still fuzzy on the eventual outcome.

  • Politics was not a big topic. There was barely a mention of the Presidential campaigning. This was surprising given the range of political discussions in the past. I guess either everyone is tired of the campaigning already or no candidate has impressed enough people yet. Probably a little of both :-)

  • Children had a major presence. Every holiday party we attended included children, which seems to be the norm for us nowadays. A lot of attention was given to the children. The children were either a focus or they had their own separate activities. At one party, gift exchanges were done primarily for the children. At another, playing video games was a major activity.

  • While holiday parties attendees are not necessarily representative, I thought peoples economic and financial perspectives were relatively positive. I hope this attitude indicates that 2008 will be a better year :-)

    For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

    Photo Credit:, Adriadna

    This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
    Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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