Stock market volatility has returned with a vengeance, as this chart of the Dow over the last 3 months starkly illustrates.
We’re facing a whirlwind of economic challenges we have little or no control over. Here are the top 5 currently contributing to the volatility:
Challenge #1: Inflation has hit a 40-year high
That’s hammering consumers, wiping out pay raises, and reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s decision to rip off the band-aid and raise borrowing rates multiple times this year alone, which some economists fear will trigger a recession.
Challenge #2: The pandemic and rock bottom interest rates pushed home prices up at a head-spinning rate
[Read more…] “How to Shield Yourself from Market Volatility, Inflation and Interest Rate Woes”
According to the Federal Reserve, credit card debt in the U.S. is at its highest level ever. In December 2018, credit card debt was $26 billion higher than it was just three months earlier.
Americans over age 60 hold nearly one-third of all credit card debt in the country – and they’re seeing their accounts go delinquent at an increasing pace.
We’re not surprised. Eighteen months ago, we at Bank On Yourself bemoaned the fact that household debt at the end of 2017 was at a then all-time high of more than $13 trillion. Now credit card debt is poised to overtake auto debt as one of the “big three” consumer debt millstones (after mortgages and student loans).
Carrying significant credit card debt can cause serious problems
Living with a large balance on your card(s) can be like trying to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope: You hope and pray nothing goes wrong.
What could go wrong while your cards are maxed out? [Read more…] “Record-High Credit Card Debt Promises Problems for Many”
Those of us who remember the 1960’s TV action series, Batman, recall how the caped crusaders defended Gotham City from super villains. At the very instant our heroes had their backs to the wall, the announcer would urge us to “Tune in next week. Same Bat Time – Same Bat Channel” for the continuation of the episode.
As we sit ten years out from the financial crisis, it feels like we’re at a similar juncture in the story of the U.S. economy. It has literally picked up where it left off – with the usual suspects and the same, unsuspecting victims.
If history is any guide, we’re on track to experience another economic downturn, triggered by similar conditions – with a similar outcome.
On a visit to Fortune magazine back in July of 2007, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson declared, “This is far and away the strongest global economy I’ve seen in my business lifetime.”
A Year Later, We Were in a Global Financial Crisis Many Consider to Have Been the Worst Since the Great Depression
[Read more…] “Will Household Debt Lead to the Next Financial Crisis?”