Your financial plan needs to keep pace with larger socioeconomic trends. Here are five trends that will be important in the coming years and smart ways to manage them:
Cash and savings accounts won't earn much.
The combination of too much global debt, aging demographics and low energy prices force many countries in the developed world to lower the interest rates they pay on short-term notes. To earn higher returns, you have to modestly increase your allocation to global stocks and real estate.
Too much information is the norm.
Technology allows smart marketers to better target financial product promotions to you via social media and e-mails. The growing abundance of information, however, does not provide actual insight into your personal situation. Turn off the "cookies" feature in your browser to avoid being bombarded with ads.
Investing costs will continue to come down.
In the world of investing where so many factors are out of your control, lowering your expenses is a smart way to try to boost returns. But cost is not the most important part of an investment strategy. Instead of pursuing low fees, create an appropriate investment strategy that aligns with your goals.
Life insurance is going to get more expensive.
Low interest rates and investment returns mean insurers are likely to earn less on their portfolios, which in turn leads to premium increases. Consider buying term insurance for the longest timespan that makes sense to you. If you want permanent life insurance, consider a variable policy from a lower cost yet stable provider.
Personal information is more likely to be stolen.
No electronic transaction is completely safe. Be careful with your online practices. Do not open unexpected attachments. Turn off your computer when you are not using it. Update passwords often. Use only one credit card and a separate e-mail address for online purchases.