Cautious optimism. It’s a phrase I haven’t heard in
awhile, but in recent months, I’ve noticed it’s becoming
more popular again. As I hear that phrase spoken more
frequently, I’ve asked myself whether the economy is
on the rise or whether we’re just experiencing hype.
Certainly, the stock market has rebounded from its
dismal lows. Unemployment, on the other hand, may
not yet have seen bottom, and the prospect of a jobless
recovery seems less likely. Housing often the driving
force for a turnaround in the economy seems to be
starting an upward move, and interest rates are still at
an all-time low. Granted, the rebound is not coming as
quickly nor as strongly as we all would like, but there
are some encouraging signs.
While I can’t see into the future, I’m certain of one
thing, and that is the resilience of our great nation.
I’m confident that we will come out of this economic
downturn even stronger than we went in. So what does
that have to do with us in the investment recovery
world? Plenty!
Echoing a theme I posed in our Association publication
nine months or so ago, NOW is the time for us to make
hay and double our efforts to be ready for the return of
the economy. Our country is currently in the longest
and greatest savings spree that we’ve ever experienced.
(Obviously, I’m talking about personal savings, NOT
government savings!) But unlike their behavior over
the last ten years of spend, spend, spend people have
been saving unprecedented amounts of money.
To me, that signals pent-up demand that will, at some
point, burst. And when it does, the question is whether
you will be ready to take advantage of that opportunity.
While scrap prices may currently be low, when
they start to rise, and the manufacturing engines start
turning again, will you be ready to seize the moment?
When the manufacturing sector starts re-investing in its
infrastructure, will you have the contacts to capture and
resell those surplus machines?
I believe now is the time to get ready for the demand.
Reach out to contacts you’ve not spoken with in a
while. Make the additional calls to companies that you
feel will need your services when demand rises. Some
of your competitors may no longer be in business, so
position yourself NOW to be poised for the recovery.
Some of your old contacts may no longer be with your
customers, and you’ll need to get in front of those new
decision-makers. NOW is the time to get ready!
My final thought about cautious optimism leads me to
another opportunity for bolstering your career and your
company our 2010 Spring Seminar & Trade Show!
During the last half-year, your Association board and
committee members have been working diligently to
make the Association stronger and provide you with
a more robust educational experience and networking
They have created a venue for putting the right people
together, and I feel that the New Orleans event will be
the best we’ve ever produced. How fitting is it that we
will be gathering in a city that is doing a remarkable job
of recovering from Hurricane Katrina and the economic
crisis that event created during a time when I believe
we all will be recovering from the current downturn. I
hope to see you all in New Orleans next February.

With cautious optimism, best regards.
Reprinted from ASSET 2.0, the Investment Recovery Business Journal, Vol. 5, 2009

© The Investment Recovery Association