How many New Year's resolutions did you make last year? And how many did you keep?
If you're like most people, the answer to the first question is probably a couple. The answer to the second question is likely to be none—but I tried. This year I suggest you try harder especially when it comes to financial resolutions.
It looks like 2017 could be a rough one for investments, and you need to be prepared for whatever happens.
I say this for several reasons.
First, Donald Trump will become the President of the United States in January and at this point no one knows exactly what he will do. We do know, however, that if he follows through with such campaign promises as tearing up free trade deals, imposing huge tariffs on imports from countries like China and Mexico and firing the Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, Janet Yellen, it will send shock waves through the economy. Stock markets will react accordingly.
Second, after holding off for most of 2016, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board appears poised to start raising interest rates, perhaps several times during the year. Rising interest rates have historically been bad news for stock markets, and it won't be any different this time.
Third, global economic growth continues to be frustratingly sluggish. In September, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) cut its outlook for 2017 to 3.2 per cent, down a tenth of a point from the previous projection. Canada's outlook is even worse, at 2.1 per cent. The OECD cited weak global trade and record-low interest rates as contributing factors.
All this suggests you need to be especially mindful of your financial well-being, particularly in the early part of the year. With that in mind, here are three resolutions that I suggest you put on your list and follow.
Next: 3 resolutions for 2017
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