Inflation is Slowing Down in 2024: Should I Change My Financial Strategy?12/21/2023
Are you feeling a sigh of relief yet? After a turbulent period of soaring inflation rates, there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.
As we head into 2024, inflation is showing signs of cooling down. But before you start adjusting your party hats, it’s time to ask the following question. Should this change in economic weather prompt you to tweak your financial strategy?
The Big Chill: Inflation's Slowdown
Here’s the scoop: the October consumer price index (CPI) rose by just 3.2% annually. That’s a significant drop from its 9.1% peak in June 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Federal Reserve’s favorite yardstick, the personal consumption expenditures price index, also hints at a similar cooling trend.
But why does this matter?
The CPI is essentially the average price of a basket of consumer goods and services: transportation, food, and medical care. A rise means consumers pay more for a typical set of goods, which strains household budgets. The drop from 9.1% to 3.2% indicates a significant easing of these strains and breathing a sigh of relief.
3 Wise Moves for Your Wallet
Now, let’s talk strategy. How should you shuffle your financial deck with the inflation drop and the Fed’s interest rate hike cycle nearing its end?
Here are three strategies that financial experts recommend:
Let Your Cash Work for You
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are the current darlings of finance, offering higher yields than savings accounts. With interest rate cuts on the horizon, locking in high rates with CDs, especially through a CD ladder strategy, could be a smart play.
Add Growth Drivers to Your Portfolio
Don’t shy away from equities. With inflation slowing and the Fed likely to cut rates, the risk-reward profile of equities is improving. Investing in stocks, especially those that pay dividends like consumer staples, or mutual funds and ETFs, can be a great way to outpace inflation in the long run. Real estate investment funds also seem primed for a strong performance post-rate hike cycle.
Revisit Your Spending Patterns
Inflation might be slowing, but it hasn’t stopped. Prices are still inching up, just at a slower pace. It’s a good idea to reassess your spending. Look for bargains, opt for experiences over material gifts, and consider significant lifestyle changes if needed, like downsizing your home for more financial freedom.
Secure Your Finances
Inflation cooling off is undoubtedly good news. But this doesn’t mean an instant return to the old ways. It’s more like adjusting your sails to the changing winds. Keep an eye on the market, consult with financial advisors, and most importantly, stay informed.
Change can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to money matters. But hey, isn’t it a bit exhilarating too? To adapt, to grow, and to find new ways to secure your financial future?