“Many families have been able to open their eyes with this crisis by worrying about their receipts.”


His motto is “Write and speak so that my mother understands me.” And without a doubt, José María Camariro (Talavan, Cáceres, 1981), As an economics journalist at the Colbessa Agency (Fucento), he succeeds in making comprehensible to citizens such complex issues as the electricity bill or mortgages. Now he embodies all of this economic advice in his first book, Crisisphobia: Keys to Surving the Economic Apocalypse (HarperCollins),On sale January 11th.

Is economic disaster coming?

– ‘Crisis phobia’ is a call for rationality, serenity and the knowledge that, as consumers, we have part of the power in our hands to act and prevent complex situations, such as the one we are going through, from ending with their weight. Our budget relatives.

We connect crisis after crisis. Is it part of the cycle or are we doing it wrong?

– In the previous slump, we were injected with the mantra that we were living beyond our means. I’m not saying it wasn’t like that, but it’s not in every home. Since then, we have been living with the yoke of having to accept what is presented to us daily in our lives: the bank commission, the electric bill, the tax payment. We never considered whether this deal with financial institutions, energy companies, or even the treasury should really be like this. And I think one of the best results of this series of crises is that it opened our eyes. Now, many people look at the electricity bill, and wonder why this concept or because of such unexpected charges. This is a great achievement for the local economy.

Is the book intended for experts or for the average citizen?

As I always like to think when I write, Crisisphobia is a book that our parents must understand. They are a generation that, in general, has not had access to the financial literacy that experts have. And to that mother or father of the family, to the young couple who have just had their first child, to those bachelors who are looking for a job, this book is for him. If we, as economic journalists, could make the vast majority of the population who reads to us understand what economics is, we would have taken a step forward that would have been unimaginable years ago.

What is the purpose of these pages?

One of the challenges we economic journalists have achieved in the last decade, without pretense, is figuring out how to bring our information down to the street level. To understand what the risk premium was before or it is now understood why we are talking about MWh. This is also the aim of this book: to give highly practical advice and, above all, to solve the everyday economic uncertainties that haunt us from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep.

Can we prepare for a crisis? How do?

What is clear is that we are now much better prepared, he insisted, as ordinary citizens to face economic uncertainty. More crises will come, of course, we can’t avoid it. And there will be economic phases where we’ll have a worse time, we just can’t fool ourselves. But neither of them fall into disaster.

– One of the main classes is energy. What should the consumer look for when the electricity bill arrives?

– Of course, we should not go directly to the final amount that we will pay to the electricity company. Because this is the mistake we all made for many years. You have to look at the power we contracted for, because depending on those kilowatts we could save money if we brought it down to about 4.5 kilowatts. And also in the type of tariff we have contracted and analyze the price we pay for electricity in EUR/kWh.

Another subject that raises a lot of doubts is the banking business. Best fixed or variable rate mortgage?

The important thing is that the loan fees do not exceed one-third of the total income of each family. The trend across Europe is to contract fixed prices to ensure a stable share. And from a financial point of view, this is not a bad option as long as the monthly payment does not overwhelm us. Because then we will have a big problem.

– In the event that there are some savings in the account. What do you recommend: depositing them, investing in the stock exchange, in a fund…?

These options depend on each saver’s profile. Or, as I like to call it, the investor/saves. A person close to retirement should not risk their assets too much in the stock market, or at least not in risky investment products, but mainly conservative ones. The deposit is the choice for those who will need liquidity in the medium term, for example, to buy a house. But having too much money in deposits not only generates returns, but inflation eats them up as well. In any case, it is always advisable to invest in the stock market under the supervision of an advisor. It costs money, yes. To enter the stock market, you always have to ask yourself how much are you willing to lose, and how much are you willing to risk it. This is the key.

Another major concern is retirement. Will there be money to pay youth pensions? Can we somehow ensure a smooth retirement?

– The system will guarantee pensions, although it is clear that they will not be as generous, as we say, like many of the current ones. But we shouldn’t get upset either. On the other hand, there’s a key truth when it comes to saving for retirement: Arrive at retirement time with enough assets to live for another 30 years. This means that those who choose to retire and have already paid for a home are guaranteed a peaceful future. This is done at the expense of life savings. Then there’s the opposite case: who always lives for rent. You won’t be as invested as the purchase, but know that by the time you retire, you should have enough savings to cover that rent even if you’re no longer working. way to do it? Deposits, funds or pension plans. But what is clear is that at the age of 65 or 67 our monthly income decreases and we must have prepared a backup, by housing or by means of savings.

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