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Posted: January 29, 2017 5:00 a.m.

Lassiter: Looking at 2017

The New Year promises to be a very exciting one as we will probably see some big changes in our country.  President-Elect Trump has already been labeled the “Executive Eraser” and some of that needs to happen quickly.

For openers, it will be a good idea to visit with your investment advisor in the near future.  Investment in defense related stocks and funds could do very well in a Trump administration given his statement of rebuilding our military.  Given the fact that Republicans will control Congress for the next two years, this will probably happen.

As regards medical care, there will be some winners and losers.  I predicted in 2009 that Obamacare was mathematically impossible and that has proven to be the case.  Investments in hospital stocks and related industries may suffer as patients who were having their bills paid by the government may find that ending.

Trump has been very pointed about ending the NAFTA Trade Agreement.  If you have investments in stocks or funds that profit from cheap labor outside the country, you might want to review them.

Be prepared for a lot of market volatility during the next several years.  You will definitely see this in stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, silver, and other commodities.  This is probably not a very good time to be in the bond market, particularly long term bonds.

For many years, I have been critical of the government accumulating debt that realistically cannot be repaid.  This fiscal irresponsibility has been going on for over 50 years now.  A good starting point was LBJ’s Great Society legislation which was basically unfunded.  When Obama was inaugurated in 2009, our country was 10.6 trillion dollars in debt. When he leaves office in January our debt will exceed 20 trillion.  He AND Congress are guilty.

In November, Prophecy News Watch published an article that is definitely worth quoting:

Depressing Economic Realities that Donald Trump will Inherit from Obama 

1. Nearly seven out of every 10 Americans have less than $1,000 in savings.  Not Good.

2. Reuters estimates that US mall investors will lose billions of dollars as shopping malls continue to lose favor.

3. Credit card delinquencies are at the highest level since 2012 and some 35 percent of all Americans have debt that is at least 180 days past due.

4. The homeownership rate has fallen for eight years in a row and is now near a 50 year low.  (This closely tracks the Great Society which was signed into law in 1964.)

5. The number of government employees now outnumber manufacturing employees by nearly 10 million.  (Too many bureaucrats)

6. About 20 percent of all young adults are still living with their parents.

7. Total household debt now exceeds $12 trillion while corporate debt has nearly doubled since 2008.

Despite doubling our national debt, Barack Obama will be the only President in our history to never have a single year where our GDP grew by at least 3 percent.

For many years, we have not had leadership in the White House who understood how to run a business.  We will in January, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Republican Congress will go along.  They have a history of not doing so.  It will take many years to clean up this mess created by many Presidents and many “congressional leaders”.

As we move into the era of Donald Trump’s presidency, I would avoid any debt that is not necessary.  Review your investments with a competent fee-only advisor, to ensure they are in sync with your risk profile and the current economic climate.  If your insurance portfolio needs updating consider doing so.  Life insurance rates are very attractive with new mortality tables and product design.  Most importantly, pay yourself first as the government won’t.

This will be my last article for The Covington News.  It’s hard to believe that I have penned 50 articles since I started in 2014.  I didn’t know I knew that many words and some of the words I use during Georgia football games cannot be printed in a family newspaper!

Hopefully, one or more of these articles have helped you with your personal planning.  I have received many compliments and they were appreciated.  Best wishes for a happy New Year and a prosperous 2017

Mike Lassiter is a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant.  He is a Licensed Insurance Counselor and a Registered Investment Advisor.   He can be reached locally at 770-786-2781.

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