Wal-Mart email leak suggests tough road ahead for mega-company

Last week, Bloomberg News acquired a set of emails exchanged between top-level Wal-Mart executives that revealed a sobering reality about the mega-store's future business prospects. According to the communications, sales figures are falling significantly in many retail outlets around the country, suggesting that the American consumer's appetite for even low-cost goods is beginning to fail.

"In case you haven't seen a sales report these days, February month-to-date sales are a total disaster. The worst start to a month I have seen in my ~7 years with the company," wrote Jerry Murray, Wal-Mart's vice president of finance and logistics.

Officials from the company went on to criticize the federal payroll tax holiday which expired on January 1, which they argue hit the brakes on the modest boost thanks to a 2 percent jump. However, some of the emails suggest that a few members of the Wal-Mart leadership see the February sales tumble as the beginning of a longer trend.

"Have you ever had one of those weeks where your best-prepared plans weren't good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do?" Cameron Geiger, a Wal-Mart senior vice president, asked in an email dated February 1. "Well, we just had one of those weeks here at Walmart U.S. Where are all the customers? And where's their money?"

With tax season now fully underway, it's tough to predict how consumer behavior will play out over the next few months. Investors may want to keep an eye on their exposure to product-driven stocks and assets that may be affected by a big company like Wal-Mart. It might also be smart to consider alternative forms of income and wealth preservation like cash flow real estate. To learn more, visit GreatWealthStrategies.com today and receive a "Free Game Plan Report."