Not only is it a new year, but a new administration is about to take over the American economy. Whether you think it is going to be a good year or not, there is rarely anyone who doesn’t believe that things are about to change. Right now is the best time to take a look at your investment portfolio and make changes to increase your wealth. And it’s also a good time to make a commitment to pay down your debt.
Financial Market Trends 2017
It is hard to know how to financially change if you don’t examine where you have been. Taking a good look at past investments and how they turned out is a good idea to understand the financial changes and trends that are likely to determine the year ahead.
These are the five expected financial trends for 2017, according to analysts, that can help guide your financial way.
1) Lower income taxes
Who wouldn’t like to take home more of what they make? If President-elect Donald Trump keeps his campaign promises, the average American will experience a break in their income taxes. Trump has promised that one of his financial goals in 2017 for the country is to decrease the federal income tax level in very specific ways. Lower income taxes may mean that you get to keep more of your hard-earned money to manage your household expenses and to start paying off debt.
2) An increase in student loan options
In 2010, the Obama Administration changed the system to make all federal student financing and loans flow through a Direct Loan program. Trump intends to allow private banks to compete for student loans. Allowing private banks to compete again for loans, will likely bring the cost down.
It also could lead to more communication flow between student consumers and lenders, and more high-tech applications to better manage your student loan balances and prepayments. If you are looking to refinance your student loans, it won’t make a difference. But for those entering college, hopefully your loan situation will be improved.
3) Cheaper travel options
Due to the weakening of the British pound and the Euro, along with the Italian prime minister’s resignation, the American dollar means a whole lot more. If you have been waiting to travel abroad due to cash flow problems, then 2017 may be the year to plan your travels to Europe.
It also means that if you have the capital to trade currency and feel confident enough, you may see higher returns on your Forex options with less risk than before.
4) More investment portfolio automation
Retail investors haven’t had many options to manage their portfolios on their own or to take control, which leaves investments in the hands of asset managers. Companies such as Betterment and Wealthfront have helped to bring automation to the average investor and simplify the investment process.
The biggest advantage may be a decrease in fees and the ability to manage your own investments, instead of relying on someone else to do it for you. This may be the year for you to take charge of your own assets and make allocations as you see fit.
5) Rising interest rates
The Federal Reserve raised the American benchmark interest rate by 0.25% last month. There are also forecasts that three more rate hikes are likely for the year 2017. That is one more than was previously anticipated. Although this is only a forecast, that will heavily weigh on the economy, the labor market, and inflation in the US.
That means that those investing will enjoy higher returns in their bank accounts, but the interest rate hikes also mean that if you were looking to take out a loan, the variable interest rate might be higher. That will affect loans such as mortgages, credit cards, car loans, and student loans.
Therefore, this year you may want to focus on paying off high credit card debt before it continues to increase. If you are considering refinancing either a mortgage or student loan, now may be the best time to do so. Don’t wait too long or the interest rates will affect your ability to get a lower fixed rate to pay off your debt.
Hopes are high that the new proposed changes made under the Trump Administration will mean more profitability for the average investor.
It also means that if you are going to refinance or pay off debt, now may be time to pull the trigger. Many borrowers have been reluctant to refinance, wondering what interest rates will do. But forecasts are that interest rates won’t go any lower and may soon be on the rise. :)