It has been a rough week for Wall Street. The government bailed out insurance company AIG and brokerage Lehman Brothers went belly-up and needed an $87 billion loan to keep operating. The Dow Jones responded by plunging 500 points in one day. The stock market hasn't taken that kind of a hit since 9/11. So...why am I so enthusiastic?

One reason: sales! That's right, just about every prime stock you can think of is currently on sale...meaning their prices have dipped and it's a great time to pick up some bargains. If there was ever a time to "buy low and sell high", this is it.

I opened my own ING Sharebuilder account today, and I purchased just two stocks: the risky SiriusXM and the tried-and-true Johnson & Johnson. Each payday, money will be automatically withdrawn from my checking account and plunked into my Sharebuilder account, which will be used to purchase these two holdings.

I'm thinking long-term with these stocks, and I will add others to my portfolio as I go along, of course. These are stocks I am applying to my retirement portfolio, but of course you can purchase stocks in companies that you really like. Many stocks have gone down in value in recent weeks, but I'm betting (literally) on the turnaround that I think is coming over the next several years.

SiriusXM is of course the satellite radio company which recently resulted from the merger of Sirius and XM. It is essentially a monopoly. There are no other satellite radio companies. This stock has recently taken a beating. It's worth about 90 cents a share right now, and the company is deep in debt. It could pull a turnaround and pay off well down the road, or it could crash and burn. I'm betting the former will happen.

Johnson & Johnson, best known for their baby powder, is a great long-term holding. They pay dividends each year and their stock has good value, in my opinion. This is a stock that I could hold until the day I retire.

These stocks and others may drop even further, but that just means better sales on stocks. I didn't hold a lot of stock before this most recent plunge in the Dow, which means I haven't lost any money (yet). For those who are just now dipping their toes into stock investing, there are bargains to be had. Smart investors who have large holdings in the market right now know it is wrong to react and sell off what they have. They are in it for the long term and look 10 to 20 years down the road, not at what they see on the news today.

Savvy Frugality tip: Bad news for the stock market usually means an opportunity to buy stocks on the cheap.


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