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What's Heating Up?

What's Heating Up?

March 05, 2024

Can you believe it's March already?

Spring is almost here so let's take a quick look at what's heating up...

📈 Record Highs

The weather may still be bouncing around, but stocks were hot in February, with all three major indexes hitting record highs this month.

As this latest rally picks up steam, investors continue watching the Federal Reserve (Fed) for a potential delay in its anticipated interest rate cuts.

In January, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to maintain interest rates and is expected to continue maintaining rates in its next meeting later this month. The Fed is concerned about the risk of cutting rates too quickly and is holding on until it has more confidence that inflation is still declining.

🌻 Spring Cleaning Tips

As the weather begins to warm and flowers start to bloom, it’s a great time to give your finances a thorough spring cleaning.

Decluttering and organizing financial matters may help bring a sense of clarity and control to your life. Activities such as replenishing emergency funds, reviewing your insurance policies and annual credit reports, and weeding out unnecessary expenses can help whip your budget into shape and prepare for the rest of the year.

Book Now using the link below to take your best next steps!  

Free Financial Breakthrough Session | Financial Planning | Retirement (bladefinancialservices.com)

💪 What's Also Hot?...The Labor Market

Continuing to exceed economists’ expectations - 353,000 jobs were added to the economy in January, and unemployment remains low at 3.7%1. However, layoffs continue across nearly every sector, with the tech industry being hit particularly hard in recent months. The Fed will also likely hold off on cutting interest rates until the job market starts to cool.

📉 And What's Not So Hot?...Consumer Confidence

After a three-month trend of improving moods about the state of the economy, Americans’ attitudes have soured. The Consumer Confidence Index declined in February to 106.7, down from 110.9 in January. Consumers seem less worried about inflation’s impact on food and gas prices and more concerned about impacts from continuing layoffs and the upcoming presidential election2.

🏠 Housing Costs Through The Roof

In recent years, and along with rising mortgage rates, buying a new home has become unattainable for many. According to a recently released report from Zillow3, buyers now need to earn at least 80% more than they did in early 2020 to afford to own a home comfortably.

Unfortunately, wage increases during this period have not kept up. In 2020, a household earning $59,000 could comfortably afford a monthly mortgage, well below the U.S. median income of $66,000. Today, households must earn roughly $106,500 to comfortably afford their mortgage, while the typical U.S. household earns an estimated $81,000. The housing affordability crisis has been particularly difficult for young Americans4.

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While reviewing your finances, if you need to make any changes or have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. I'm always here for you.