As Stocks Fall, Where To Crawl?

GENERIC stock market economy crash down dow nasdaq CBS/AP

Unlike so many others, Marcy Moyer has not been watching her money shrink.

Moyer sells real estate in California's Silicon Valley, and while others here were putting their faith in technology stocks, she invested in what she knew - buying two houses she now rents to tenants.

"Real estate has been a very good investment, certainly much better than the stock market the last few years," Moyer said. "I've been doing great."

CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports on options for those already caught in the stock market spiral, where is there to turn?

When asked what his response is to people who come and ask him for market advice, Hass School of Business Professor Terry O'Dean has a simple answer.

"In most cases, a good answer is nothing," O'Dean said.

Hanging in can pay off. Long-term stocks have been by far the best investment, better than bonds or T-bills, but also the most volatile.

For those now frightened by the stock market, there are places to put money not normally thought of as investments.

"The first thing to do is if you have any outstanding credit card debt, pay it off. There's no better investment," O'Dean said.

With credit card rates averaging more than 13 percent, paying down balances pays off. Same thing for car loans averaging more than eight percent. At six-and-a-half percent, home mortgages are near record lows - but still could be worth paying down.

That conservative approach, however, could be hard to sell to some.

"I got in at the highest point of the market and lost my shorts at the bottom," said actor Nick Stabile.

After his six figure loss in the market, Stabile is teaching tennis to bring in a bit more money - money that could go right back into stocks.

"There are some great buys right now. They really are," he said.

But of course, no investment is a sure thing.

Two years ago, at the height of California's overheated real estate market, Silicon Valley houses sold for $1.8 million. They're not worth that much today. Those same houses are back on the market for almost $500,000 less, showing that even real estate can suffer real losses.
  • Joel Arak

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