- Negative headlines have some Americans fearing the worst for the US economy.
- While these forces are beyond your control, there are still ways you can improve your personal financial security, says one counselor.
Even as inflation shows signs of slowing, some investors may fear the worst about a possible looming economic slowdown.
a A recent poll from Nationwide It found that more than two-thirds of respondents – 68% – expect a recession within the next six months. Meanwhile, 62% of respondents believe the recession will be as severe or worse than the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009.
The findings show that many Americans continue to feel financially strapped because they eat less, delay major purchases like homes and rely more on credit cards, according to a survey of 2,000 individuals conducted between March 30 and April 13.
Camilla Elliott is a Certified Financial Planner and Co-Founder and CEO collective wealth partnersInc., a boutique consulting firm in Atlanta, said it has clients asking it about the prospect of a severe recession.
Elliott, who sits on CNBC’s board of advisors, said she constantly reminds them of very positive economic news alongside more negative headlines about banks or tech layoffs.
“One of the things I share with others is controlling what you can control,” Elliott said.
While what happens with the economy or your employer may be outside of your control, there are steps you can take to help boost your personal financial security.
To put yourself in a better financial position, Elliott recommends starting by looking at your recent transactions and determining where you can eliminate unnecessary spending.
With that extra money, she said, try to reduce any debt balances you have, which will put you in a more positive position if there is a recession.
Elliott advised that by increasing your savings for emergencies, you can also increase your liquidity.
This is useful if you are laid off or face another financial emergency. Experts generally recommend setting aside at least three to six months of expenses to pull off such an event.
On a positive note, Elliott said a strong job market means clients who have been laid off have been out of work for less than three months.
“Some of them came out really well,” she said.
If you’re five years away or even closer to retirement, Elliott said, it’s time to sit down with a trustworthy financial planner to make sure you’re on the right track.
For those who are far from retirement — with that goal being 10 to 30 years from now — this may be a good time to take on more risks because you have time to weather market volatility, Elliott said.
The average market return tends to bounce back, which can lead to appreciable progress over time.
For many, we use it as a buying opportunity to buy certain securities at a relatively low price right now.
CEO of Collective Wealth Partners
Elliott said this reminds her of a famous quote from legendary investor Warren Buffett: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”
“We take this philosophy by looking at our investments whenever there is fear, there is risk, and there is also often opportunity,” Elliott said.
“For many, we use it as a buying opportunity to buy certain securities at relatively low prices right now,” she added.
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