Another Industry Growing Like Gangbusters

Michael Panzner
updated | Author's Website

In “Business is Booming,” I noted that one area of the economy, the firearms industry, is growing like gangbusters. As it happens, another sector that does well when times are bad and people are worried is also seeing brisk demand for its products.

“More Americans Stashing Cash in Home Safes” (MarketWatch)

In an era marked by financial turbulence, it’s probably not surprising that safes have become a popular commodity, with some manufacturers, retailers and installers reporting sales increases of as much as 40% from a few years ago.

One thing that isn’t driving the safe boom, apparently, is crime. Indeed, U.S. burglary rates have been plunging for years. Still, experts say that many savers and investors feel a lingering sense of insecurity in their finances—a hard-to-shake fear borne out of the jolting recession and, at times, wobbly recovery—which is helping to spur the new safeguarding mentality.

Tyler D. Nunnally, founder and CEO of Upside Risk, an Atlanta firm that researches investor psychology, says sticking tangible assets in a safe can be a natural reaction to volatility in the markets. “People dislike loss twice as much as they like gains,” he says. “They want to protect what they have.”

Growing numbers of these fearful types simply don’t trust their banks to protect them: In a Gallup poll last year, a record-high 36% of Americans said they had “very little” or “no” confidence in U.S. banks. (In 2008 and 2009, when the financial crisis was peaking, that figure stood at 22% and 29%, respectively.)

But, but…I thought Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the U.S. financial system is “significantly stronger than it was before the crisis”? Shouldn’t these people be listening to clowns “experts” like Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and buy “cheap” stocks instead?

You may also like: