As an investor January 2012 has proved to be an interesting start to the year.
Gold closed in December at $1563.15. Everywhere I was reading the gold bubble was over and we were in a bear market. January saw gold close at $1733. Now at the start of February gold is at $1748, definitely going up not down as many predicted. If you followed my suggestions and bought some gold you would be sat on a nice little profit. I don't believe the rally is over yet so there may still be plenty of opportunity to increase your commodities (Gold, Silver and Copper).
Interest Rates - The Feds chairman, Ben Bernanke said US interest rates were likely to stay at zero for a long time. Many analysts have interpreted this to mean rates won't rise until 2014 at the earliest. He also hinted at QE3. In the UK the Bank of England (BoE) kept interest rates at the record low of 0.50%
In the UK the Office for National Statistics confirmed what we have all known for many months. The economy is shrinking and we are on our way to a double dip recession. BoE minutes show members are already thinking of new QE measures to try and reduce the impact. Although, in my opinion QE has done stuff all so far except cause inflation and line the pockets of bankers. Isn’t it time for Governor Mervyn King and his merry men and women to try and find another way of trying to boost the economy?
Retail - we have lost several well known brands from the high street. RBS much to the amazement of Barclays bank and other supporters pulled the plug on Peacocks, a profitable business and forced them into administration with the loss of thousands of jobs. A buyer was found for the Bon Marche division but that has resulted in 160 stores being closed and hundreds of jobs lost. La Senza, Blacks Leisure and Millets are some of the other casualties of the new year. With UK businesses closing at a rate of 1100+ a week will there be anywhere left to shop in the near future?
Europe - Greece is again in the headlines as it asks for more debt to be written off and cheaper loans in the hope that by 2020 it will be able to reduce its debt to 120% of GDP. The annual meeting of the wealthiest business leaders and politicians at Davos, Switzerland brought to light one thing, there are no decisions being taken on Greece or other countries. Their attitude is to sit back and wait and see. Hoping Greece will leave the Euro. The attention on Greece has given other European countries a bit of breathing space to work on their debt problems out of the public eye.
9 European countries had their credit ratings downgraded which will mean more expensive borrowing in the future when they try to raise more funding.
France introduced a financial tax ‘as a shock move’ says Sarkozy in an attempt to force other EU countries to do the same. A move Britain is frantically fighting as it would mean around £45bn loss of income to the Chancellor who needs every penny he can get his hands on at the moment to try and balance the finances.
Balance – Austerity measures is the catch phrase of the decade. But austerity measures do nothing to increase sales, productivity, exports and confidence all necessary to have a growing economy. As we head towards a worldwide depression we are looking for a bold leader to come forward and kick some sense into our fumbling politicians.
You First -More than ever it is now imperative for people to stop relying on bankrupt governments to fund them. If you are lucky enough to still have a job start putting your financial plan in place by reducing any debt you have and start increasing your investments. If you don't have a job, create one. Turn a hobby into a business, start a network marketing business, just don't rely on the government to look after you. It can’t as it doesn’t have any money. The best person to look after you and your family is you. So it’s time to start putting you first.
In my book 'Surviving 2012' I discuss how to reduce debt, build assets and create cashflow. All the skills you will need to get through what is going to be another very turbulent year. In bad times there are many opportunities waiting to be seized and despite all the doom and gloom 2012 has many opportunities available for those willing to grab them.
In January, I started mentoring some new students. These are students who can see unlimited potential for their future. These same students have increased their cashflow and net worth within the first couple of weeks of starting the program. If you want more information on my program contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org . Don’t let another month pass you by.