It seems the financial world has become more sensitive to international events. Terrorism, the war in the Middle East, higher energy prices and politics in general all seem to affect the financial markets and our economy more than ever.
In these volatile times, here are some ideas to help you be prepared for whatever happens.
- Have some liquid reserves. A couple of month’s salary in a savings account or short-term CD can be comforting.
- Take advantage of automatic financial tools. Direct payroll deposit, automatic savings transfers, overdraft protection and online bill payment can simplify your financial life.
- Review the asset allocation of your investment portfolio. How you divide your investment portfolio among stock, fixed income and cash investments will have a large effect on its performance. Make sure your allocation is in line with your time horizon (age) and risk tolerance.
- Review your retirement plan options. Make sure you are participating to the fullest extent you can. If your 401(k) plan has an employer match, be sure you are contributing enough of your wages to get the largest match.
- Consider the effect of falling interest rates. Interest rates have generally fallen over the past few years, and many homeowners may now be in a position to save money by refinancing their mortgages. Be sure to fully investigate the various terms and types of mortgages to make sure yours fits your financial situation and objectives.
- Get expert advice if needed or wanted. Your tax advisor, estate-planning professional, investment advisor or other financial advisor can help you map a financial strategy that will enable you to better navigate these turbulent financial times. Stop by your local branch and speak to your BB&T Branch Banker for help getting started.
While the future is unknown, many financial experts are indicating that the economy is on solid ground for the long term. Panic decisions are often the wrong ones.