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Sep 2, 2021

Every year we face new challenges to our financial plan, but it seems the past year brought us more than we’re used to. The pandemic changed a lot around our country, and it’s definitely impacted the economy.

On this episode of My Smart Retirement, we want to identify some of the key challenges that are facing investors right now so that you know what to be focusing on within your retirement plan. To help us do this, we asked Michael Sorrentino, CFA, to join the show to give us his insight on the economy. Sorrentino serves as the Chief Investment Officer for Darwin Asset Management and often appears as a guest on financial shows so he can really speak to what’s happening right now.

To understand how we’ve gotten to this point, we’ll begin by discussing the Fed’s decision to increase the supply of money due to the fear of liquidity drying up. That money was sent out to people in the form of stimulus checks but most people didn’t have the ability to spend it because of the pandemic. Now we’re seeing this significant increase in money supply in the economy, which we’ll explain why that’s so significant.

If you’ve watched or listened to anyone in the financial world over the past few months, you’ve also probably heard the topic of inflation come up. It’s a big concern for people, especially retirees who are worried about how long their money will last. We’ve already started to see prices tick up due to this rise in inflation, but how much longer can we expect it to last. That’s what we’ll try and learn from Sorrentino on the show.

Each of these things affects what you do with your money. From an investment standpoint, it makes the bond market incredibly more difficult to navigate. On the other side, it makes the equity market much more attractive. So we’ve seen this shift from investors as they try to outpace inflation.

Just look at interest rates. They’ve been at historically low levels for a long time, but many people expect them to begin going up again. Rising interest rates will likely come, but Sorrentino doesn’t believe it will happen in the near term. And once the increases begin, they will be very slow-moving.

These interest rates impact many areas of financial planning, especially cash and savings. Anyone that wants to keep their money in cash and play it safe is losing out to inflation over time. That means you have to find other places to put your money, which is what your advisor can help you with.

Just think about this nugget that Sorrentino shared on the show. The last time interest rates were almost non-existent for savings accounts was during the Great Depression, and it took 34 years for cash investments to yield 3.4%. That’s a staggering fact and one that leads many to believe that there could be a similar recovery now before we reach the interest rate levels of the early 2000s.

We’ll take you through all of these challenges on the show today and talk about how you can adjust to keep your retirement on track. The good news is that there is still plenty of opportunity out there for people that are willing to reassess their investments and make adjustments to account for what’s happening in our world today.

If you have any more questions about our conversation today or want to have us take a look at your financial plan, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to sit down and start that conversation.

Check out the full episode or use the timestamps below to hear a specific segment.

1:42 – Inflation

3:15 – Money Supply issue

5:59 – When will inflation go away?

7:40 – Interest rates and cash investments

10:06 – How this impacts your budget 

12:12 – Client story

14:12 – Banks not incentivized to increase interest

18:46 – Interest rates will go up

22:31 – Investing differently than 20 years ago


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