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Arizona economists: Greece's financial crisis could lead to lower prices in US
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Arizona economists: Greece’s financial crisis could lead to lower prices in US

Uncertainty caused by the situation in Greece caused the stock market to fall on Monday. That has some people worried about their investments, including their 401(k).

It might be a good idea to talk with your financial adviser.

“More than likely, they’re going to say ‘Let’s just coast it out, this is a long term savings that you’re dealing with,’ ” financial expert Dean Wegner of Scottsdale said.

“But if you are concerned, watch (your money) over the next couple of days. If it keeps going down, simply move it into a money market account. You’re not going to lose any money. You’re not going to make money, but you’re not going to lose money.”

Wegner thinks now may be the right time to buy stocks.

“That’s because you’re going to be buying shares at a lower cost now than they were before,” Wegner said. “We might see a dip in the stock prices over the next 30 days. If that’s the case, you’re going to be buying stocks at a bargain versus overpriced.”

Wegner said that one thing that could be cause for concern is that other countries are watching Greece and wondering whether they should also default on their debt.

“You could start seeing more countries default on their global debt, which could lead to some rocky years ahead. Greece is a tiny little country, but it’s showing the world what happens when you default on your bond,” Wegner said.

Meanwhile, there could be some good news for Americans because of the crisis in Greece. The situation is driving the value of the dollar higher against the euro.

“As the euro is pressured by the incident in Europe, the value of the dollar should likely strengthen,” said Dennis Hoffman of ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

“That’s going to put downward pressure on inflation rates in the U.S. and make our dollars go further in purchasing international goods.”

“I think that you’ll see downward pressure on gasoline prices partially as a result of these Greece gyrations,” Hoffman said.

Take Monday for example. “Oil fell 7-plus percent (on Monday), and wholesale gas was down over a dime,” Hoffman said.

He thinks it could cost Arizonans less to fill the gas tank.

“We’re starting into a fall where we’ve got wholesale gas now back down to $1.90. That translates into about $2.40 a gallon at the pump once this ripples through the system,” Hoffman said.

He believes that unless something dramatic happens, the situation in Greece won’t cause any problems in Arizona.