LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Today on Wall Street, President Obama warned bankers, big investors, and deal makers about how to maintain stability when times get tough in the economy.
The president's speech comes one year after the Lehman Brother's bankruptcy.
Now local investors in the lake area reflect on what happened on September 15, 2008.
"My first thoughts were, 'what's going on,'" says Brian Levens, an investor for Edward Jones.
Now Levens recalls the impact the economic downturn has had on local businesses in the lake area.
Levens says businesses have been forced to halt production and employment in the midst of the downturn.
"This means companies have had to erase excessive expenditures, slow down production, and take a proactive approach to see what needs to happen," says Levens.
But as the economy turns around, these actions have paid off for local companies.
"The typical company is saving costs in a recession so that they can protect jobs in the long run even though some jobs were laid off," says Levens.
On a personal level, investors seek to secure 401k plans for individuals.
"Our stance is to stay invested, keep your balance, and maintain quality in your 401K plan," says Levens. "I know people are still down from where they were on their previous highs, but if they own quality it will come back."
While the president spoke about overhauling banks in his address on Wall Street, Levens feels this is ideal to maintaining a secure economy.
"I do think there might need to be some changes made, but generally I do think a free enterprise system is the best way to go," says Levens.
"If you make bad decisions, you get hurt, if you make good decisions, you do well."
Overall, investors say the best advice is to protect your 401K plan and to never take a risk if it is not necessary.