Well, 2018 is in the history books and now we welcome the New Year -full of things that have never been. Top of investor’s minds is whether markets will continue on their sorry way or deliver a better result over the next 12 months. With so many moving parts to the global economy, the truest answer is no-one knows for sure which way it will go. Interest rates are still low, as is unemployment -particularly here in North America with numbers under 4%, corporate profits are robust, wages are rising, and inflation is in check. All positives that are the counterbalance to concerns over slowing economic growth, rising interest rates, a simmering U.S.-China trade war that could boil over at any moment and geopolitical uncertainty dominated by America’s mercurial President. Each of these are circumstances beyond our control. Hardly re-assuring I know, but what are within our means are the following New Year’s financial resolutions, which if adopted and adhered to, will contribute to a better 2019. So, let’s read aloud and promise to follow these pledges:
I hereby resolve for 2019 to:
1. Save More Money. Markets are low right now, so it’s a great time to be putting extra money in. Buy low, sell high. Pretty straightforward stuff.
2. Pay Off Debt. Starting with the highest interest rate debt and debt on which interest that is non-tax-deductible. Interest rates are rising, slowly but surely, meaning that variable debt is getting more expensive.
3. Spend Less Money. This resolution is key to achieving #s 1 &2, as it will free up cash flow necessary to both saving and debt-elimination. One suggestion is a smartphone app called Lift, which helps to create a habit of not spending money. I suggest you try it by downloading it
4. Make/Stick to A Budget. This too is integral to #s 1 & 2 and ties nicely with #3 as well. Goal-setting is a practice of highly successful people and can be done on a simple spreadsheet. For your convenience I have created a template you can download
5. Take a big-picture view of your investments and stock markets. Understanding your portfolio is invested in a globally diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds tailored to your individual investment profile and is managed by $Billion wealth management professionals should be highly reassuring. As should the knowledge that there are some years where markets are lower, but over time, they have created wealth for investors who stay the course a weather the short-term volatility. What seems like the end of world at the time, always turns out to be nothing more than a short-term blip in the inexorable upward move in equity markets. Being patient and being circumspect are qualities that will reward investors over the long term.
I’m here to help with all of these for sure, as your financial well-being is our highest priority. And while I can’t know what the next 365 days will hold in store for you, following these 5 New Year’s financial resolutions is 5 steps in the right direction. The world in 2019 holds a great deal of potential, and I am committed to realizing this potential for you and your family.
Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to a mutually prosperous 2019!
Financial Advisor, First Capital Financial
Financial Advisor, Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc.
Life Insurance Advisor, Manulife Securities Insurance Inc.
911 Golf Links Rd. Suite 308
Ancaster, Ontario. L9K 1H9