San Antonio – One of the talking points for so many families across the country is that the economy – inflation, stock market distress and interest rates – a lot has happened – and a lot of problems.
Nikhil Sultan, president of Victory Capital’s direct investor practice, joins the leading SA to break down the current economy and future plans.
“Well, I think we’re definitely in a period of very high economic uncertainty, and the stock and bond markets are definitely reflecting what’s going on in the broader economy,” Sudan said.
Several factors are affecting businesses and households.
“First, the inflation rate is still very high, exceeding 8%. It started out in everything we bought in stores, but is now increasingly in services that we all pay for, like insurance, rent, healthcare and many other things like that. The Fed has raised interest rates five times this year.They have made it clear that they will keep raising rates until inflation is contained, even if that means slowing the wider economy,” Sudan said.
The real estate market is also feeling the impact.
“If you look back over the past year, home sales have fallen for nearly eight straight months, and that’s because mortgage rates have more than doubled in the past year, which of course has made housing more unaffordable.The good news is that home prices are still relatively stable, which means that for most homeowners, their home is worth more than what they paid a year or two ago,” Sudan said.
Fortunately, we didn’t feel the impact in the Alamo.
“In San Antonio, we are very fortunate because we are in one of the fastest growing major markets in the United States, which bodes well for housing and service demand as well as for our region,” Sudan said.
While many things are at play, there are some silver linings.
“its Not all doom and gloom. If you look at the labor market, it’s still going strong. Employers are still hiring. Employment is relatively low unemployment and wages continue to increase.Some prices are actually even trending down right now,” Sudan said.
Also, inflation increases social security.
“If you enroll in a Social Security program, your benefits will increase by 8.7% next year, which is good news for 70 million people in the U.S.,” Sudan said.
Clearly, this mix increases the risk of recession.
“I think when you look at the signals the market is sending, it’s definitely a very high recession risk. This is often a feature when the Fed raises rates sharply, with the overall goal of slowing economic growth. Now, the Fed is always balancing growth with controlling inflation.But the stakes are certainly high right now,” Sudan said.
For families across the country, here are some simple strategies for planning for the future.
“One, invest early, and two, invest often. Investing or anything means using time. It’s really never too late to start investing, especially when considering long-term goals. Retire and buy a house for the kids. College is just starting, and you can start in any way that suits you. Investing usually means being proactive and investing regularly. For example, automatic investment plans for mutual funds. This is a strategy where you plan to invest a certain amount on a monthly or weekly basis.Now, investing doesn’t guarantee you won’t lose, but investing regularly can help you take advantage of the market’s ups and downs,” Sudan said.
If you want to learn more about Victory Capital, you can find resources and tools here.
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