Can you believe it? We’re already fully into the second half of 2021, with only five months left. While there’s still time to enjoy the rest of summer, we also encourage you to slow down and do a check-up on your finances. Here’s a great place to start: Ask yourself – What is your vision for the rest of 2021? Take a few minutes to write down your thoughts – this is an action step that can be very empowering by cementing your ideas instead of having them swirl around in your head. Then it’s time to tackle the financial specifics.
Taking time to prepare for financial changes is a key component to a mid-year check-up. It’s also important to consider external forces, such as economic and market trends on the horizon that can affect your financial planning. We suggest your mid-year review incorporate your tax, investment, insurance and overall retirement strategies for this process.
A Look Back at the First Half of 2021
It may surprise some of you to learn that Americans’ balance sheets improved in the wake of one of the nation’s most rapid and deepest recessions, which, of course, was ignited by the economic lockdown caused by the coronavirus. Americans’ net worth rose throughout 2020 while liabilities stayed flat. In part, this was the result of a sharp recovery in stock prices and other assets and the massive fiscal stimulus that sent trillions of dollars to American individuals and businesses. 1
Outlook for Second Half of 2021
After the 2020 fall in real gross domestic product (GDP) due to the pandemic-induced economic lockdown, real GDP rebounded. The Fed is expecting GDP growth that could be as high as 7% in 2021 and above-average growth again in 2022 of about 3.3%. 2 In the long run, with the further reopening of the global economy, and more people going back to work, the Fed sees GDP stabilizing into more historic norms. 3
One note of caution, the first half of 2021 witnessed growing anxiety about inflation. The Fed remains steadfast in its belief that the acceleration in inflation will be temporary, thus requiring no immediate actions to curtail it. However, the market seems to think higher inflation may be more persistent than the Fed believes. The next six months should provide a better picture of inflation, indicating whether rising prices stay close to the Fed’s 2% target or if monthly inflation reports suggest a more sustained move higher. 4
Are you financially positioned in a way to get you through the rest of the year and be in good standing for 2022? Are you participating in industries and sectors that are projecting increased earnings once there’s a full reopening of the economy? As we know, some states and countries are having a tough time now, particularly with the Delta COVID variant, but at this point states and municipalities are continuing to work toward finding solutions for the continued reopening of the economy. According to several economists, including Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, it’s unlikely that the delta variant will lead to any major shutdowns in the economy in the manner that we saw in parts of 2020, and businesses will continue to operate, whether fully or partially, helping GDP continue to expand. 5
Review your investments and retirement plan: Have you made any changes since last year? Have you met with a financial professional? Are your investments positioned appropriately for the months/year to come? We believe this is a good time to position yourself to prepare for the possible growth that’s projected in the remaining months of 2021 and into 2022. If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to set an appointment with us to review your accounts to make sure that you’re financially on track for the remainder of the year.
Take this time to evaluate your accounts as we prepare for the coming months. This action is a great way to recharge your financial battery. Remember, CBFS is here to assist you in reaching your goals and in helping you build a beautiful financial future.
1 Source: Federal Reserve Board, May 2021 https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/z1/dataviz/z1/balance_sheet/chart/ FMG Suite Halftime Report 2021 Slide 21
3 Source: Federal Reserve Monetary Policy, March 17, 2021 https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/fomcprojtabl20210317.pdf
4 Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, May 2021 https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/T10YIE
Cheri Blair is a financial planner and the founder of Cheri Blair Financial Services, where she provides client-centric financial planning services that equip and motivate her clients to pursue financial independence. With 25+ years’ experience, Cheri uses a relationship-based approach to help individuals and small business owners build a financial plan customized to their life situation, goals, and vision for themselves and their businesses. Because of her own financial journey, Cheri knows firsthand why it’s so essential for women to not only understand their finances but also feel empowered and confident when making their financial decisions. In addition to her one-on-one work with her valued clients, Cheri also provides informational seminars and workshops to further her mission of educating, supporting, and inspiring women with financial literacy. To learn more about Cheri, connect with her on Facebook and LinkedIn.