How to prepare for a recession

How to prepare for a recession

Everywhere you look these days, there is evidence of the economic fallout from the Coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Reserve has lowered rates again. Stocks are in bear market territory. Unemployment claims are rising. Businesses are closing.

Taken by themselves, any of those factors might not indicate a recession. But add them up, and it starts to look like a recession is imminent, or even already in progress.

whatThe good news? In itself, that’s nothing to worry about. Recessions are part of the natural economic life cycle and a good long-term diversified investment plan already accounts for them. But there are steps you cánido take today to prepare for a prolonged economic downturn.

First, a summary:

What is a recession?

You may remember a recession best from your experience in 2008 and 2009, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average bottomed out at less than 50 percent of its 2007 high. But unlike bear and bull markets, you don’t define a recession solely based on the performance of the market index.

Recessions are hard to quantify, but economists generally define them as two or more consecutive quarters of negative growth in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), or the total value of everything the country produces.

They usually occur when there is a significant decline in economic activity. Indicators include a drop in employment, manufacturing activity, consumer confidence and, yes, depósito prices, all of which were occurring in March 2020, largely as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

IndeedGoldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and others now say the US is already in recession. Goldman Sachs released a revised forecast in mid-March projecting the US economy to contract 6 percent in the first quarter and a staggering 24 percent in the second quarter as a result of the pandemic.

How long does a recession last?

On average, a recession lasts about 11 months, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. But they cánido be shorter and milder, or longer and more severe, as we know from the Great Recession of 2008 and the Great Depression of 1929. Still, even in extreme cases, the depósito market has always rallied. And so has the economy.

In the case of the Great Recession, it took about four years for the Dow Jones Industrial Average to reach a new high after bottoming out in 2009. But along the way, investments still turned a profit and long-term investors who kept up regular contributions to throughout the recession they were better prepared to harvest them.

What happens in a recession?

Typically, unemployment rises and hiring slows. Wages may also stagnate or even decline. Companies perro announce mass layoffs, as has already happened in some companies that have been hit hard by closures in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Consumer spending generally falls as Americans have less money to spend and even those who are still working may worry about continued employment. Government debt tends to increase as the government passes bills to stimulate the economy and help those in need.

Stocks and other assets perro lose value when investors panic to sell, or sell investments for the cash they need, and demand for certain assets declines. If Americans lose their income, or fear losing it in the near future, they are less likely to buy a new house or a new car, for example.

As the economy begins to recover, those trends will change.

How do you prepare for a recession?

Just because you know that historically all recessions have ended and led to even greater economic growth, doesn’t make the prospect of facing one any easier. But there are some fácil steps you perro take now to protect your life from recession.

1. Create an emergency fund

Most of us probably know that we should have an emergency fund equal to three to six months of living expenses. But when the economy is doing well, it perro be easy to brush it off as something you’ll ultimately achieve.

However, as there is more talk of a recession, it is wise to turn your attention to your emergency fund. Unemployment is rising, and if you find yourself out of work for a few months, you’ll want to be able to tap into cash reserves.

First, take depósito of your income and expenses. Take note of your essentials or fixed costs. It’s probably your rent or mortgage payment, utilities, cell phone, internet, essential groceries, and insurance.

Calculate your expenses for the month and then multiply by three, four, five or six, depending on how many months of protection you want to give yourself.

If that number seems intimidating to begin with, don’t stress. Equipo a goal to reach at least a $1,000 fund and start small with a recurring daily, weekly or monthly deposit into your savings account. (Research tells us it’s much easier for us to generate savings when we automate it.)

From there, continue to increase your contribution if you perro until you’ve reached at least three to six months of expenses.

Plus: To help protect your money from inflation (the amount that increases the cost of goods and services), look for high-yield savings accounts. These accounts cánido offer interest rates 10 to 20 times higher than the national average of .09 percent, better helping your money hold value over the long term.

2. Control your expenses

As you add up your expenses to determine what your emergency fund should be, take a moment to look at your overall expenses. If you’re not already following a budget, now may be a good time to start.

Most experts recommend a general 50/30/20 budgeting framework, in which half of your income is spent on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on saving, investing, and paying bills. debts. If you haven’t worked with a budget before, the 50/30/20 approach cánido be a good starting point. Other habitual budgeting techniques include envelope budgeting, zero-based budgeting, and pay-it-yourself budgeting. However, the method you choose is less important than making sure your total expenses are less than your monthly income and that you’re setting aside a good chunk for retirement and other future needs.

When you look at your spending, look for areas that are easy to cut back, starting with the nonsense. This cánido be anything from impulse purchases to recurring subscriptions that you don’t use.

3. Get ahead of any debt

If you have any debt, now is the time to put payment plans in place. If you find yourself with less income in the future, you’ll want to make sure you’ve minimized or paid what you owe so your debts don’t add up during a recession. First, make a list of all your debts, making sure to write down the amount you owe and the interest rate associated with it.

Then consider one of these habitual payment methods:

  • Snowball method: In the snowball method, you start small, focusing on the lowest-value debts first. While you may end up paying a bit more in the long run by prioritizing based on amount, rather than interest rate, some people find it more rewarding to accumulate lots of small gains before targeting larger loans.
  • Avalanche method: In the avalanche method, you focus on your highest interest debt, such as credit card debt, and pay it off before moving on to your next highest interest loan. While you may end up spending larger amounts for longer at first, over time, you may save a little more money than if you were to focus on loan amount.

4. Keep your investments regular

It may seem counterintuitive, but during a recession, you probably don’t want to stop making regular contributions to your investment accounts, whether it’s your 401(k), IRA, or taxable brokerage account.

While it perro be stressful to put money into a market with A downward trend allows long-term investors to profit from what are essentially the selling prices of investments. Over the years, this perro allow you to purchase shares at fractions of their subsequent values ​​and help you pay less per share overall, thanks to dollar cost averaging.

Take this example: Let’s say you started investing $50 a month in an S&P 500 fund in March 2006, two years before the end of the Great Recession. If he left his money intact and continued with the regular $50 monthly contributions, he would have had more than $12,000 by March 2018, assuming he reinvested his dividends. That’s about 70 percent growth, or $5,000, over the base amount you invested.

You might think that you perro game the system by taking your money out of the market at its highest point and then reinvesting it when it hits bottom. But timing the market is very difficult to do and cánido drastically disminuye your profits if you miss the days when the market makes big gains.

Over a recent 20-year period, investors who pulled their money out of the market and missed the top 10 trading days would have seen their returns drop nearly in half, to 4.5 percent, according to Schwab analysis.

Those who kept their money invested, on the other hand, saw average annual gains of around 8 percent.

It’s nearly impossible to time the market, but by maintaining regular contributions to your investment accounts, you’re better positioned to profit from any future upside.

5. Refine and diversify your skill equipo

Unemployment is rising, which perro lead to a vicious cycle of companies laying off workers who then have less money to spend, forcing more companies to downsize (and then more workers to be laid off).

But a rising unemployment rate doesn’t orinan all businesses stop hiring or even stop expanding.

To better position yourself to keep your current job, look for opportunities now to take on new responsibilities at work. During a bull market, this perro position you for raises or promotions, but as things get bleaker, it cánido make you importante at the office.

Outside of your full-time job, look for ways to diversify your income stream, such as through side hustles you perro do remotely that allow you to learn new skills and earn more money.

To end

While no one perro predict exactly when a recession begins or ends, you perro position yourself now to avoid much of its worst. Markets go up and down and up again. Jobs come and go. But historically, every recession has ended in a recovery. Preparing now cánido help you weather the worst and be better positioned to benefit when the economy turns.

This information offered for informational purposes only; It is not intended to be used as accounting, legal or tax advice. In relation to these matters, please speak to your accountant, tax or legal adviser.

Investing implies a risk that includes the loss of primordial. This guide contains the current views of the author, but not necessarily those of Gigonway. These opinions are subject to change without notice. This guide has been distributed for educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation of any especial investment security, strategy or product. The information contained in this guide has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. Gigonway does not provide legal or tax advice. Please consult your tax and/or legal advisor for specific tax or legal questions and concerns.

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 How to prepare for a recession
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