With crisis comes opportunity. And the current economic downturn is no exception. If you happened to have a pile of money right now (which I most certainly don't) where would the best opportunity to profit be?
Yes stocks are probably a value, but this could be a long bear market. Housing isn't a bad bet either as we seem to approaching the bottom, but you're probably going to have to settle for moderate gains.
What about oil futures? There are obviously huge risks to investing in futures in such a volatile commodity. But with those huge risks can come huge rewards.
For instance, say that you thought that the global economy would continue to struggle through 2009. And you thought that it wouldn't really start to turn around until mid 2010. And you also thought that with all the cutbacks that oil companies are making because of today's oil low prices, their ability to respond to the increased demand that said global economic turnaround will be will be extremely limited.
Then, you might look at the futures prices for a December 2010 barrel...
Light Sweet Crude Oil Futures,Dec-2010,60.72
...factor in the historical price swings and decide that now would be a good time to invest. Anybody got an extra $60,720 that I can borrow?