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Tear Up Your Credit Cards

Well, there you have it, another year is behind us and a brand new slate lies ahead. I thought about New Year’s resolutions, but have not made any in the past few decades, so I’m not sure I want to start now. The ones I used to make, when I was young, were never adhered to, so what’s the point. Perhaps I will turn to prognosticating, which is what people tend to do this time of year. Having thought in depth about what I could foretell, there is really very little I can see coming, so I will wait until it happens and deal with it then. The one thing I have been reading about lately is the economy, the US government and the upcoming election. I have been on the advisory board of a Toronto financial institution for several years, and the one thing which was recently talked about, was the near future of the economy. It appears 2020 is the year to pay down debt. It seems you do not want to end the year with a big financial hole created by credit cards, bank loans and mortgages. The reason for this is the financial wisdom of the orange-haired wonder, just south of our border. Trump has always been, and still is, a real estate magnate. Say what you will about him, he does have an uncanny ability to make his money grow. To anyone in the real estate business, interest rates are the single most important factor in developing real estate. The economy we find ourselves in, is pretty strong. Last year was a great year for investments. If your money earned you less than 10% you need to rethink your investing. During this type of economy, interest rates normally go up, as it fuels investment, and the economy is strong enough to support it. This time however, they did not go up, and probably won’t during 2020. The reason is simple. Trump wants to be re-elected, so by keeping the interest rates low, people will borrow more, get more stuff, be happy and vote Republican. Sounds good, except there is a major catch. As in all things good, they have to be balanced with bad things and when the election is over, at the end of the year and Trump gets a second term, he won’t care about his popularity. The result is that interest rates will soar. We as a country, are currently deeper in credit card debt than any previous times. If interest rates go up as little as 1%, many people will lose their mortgages. Make 2020 the year to pay down debt, so that the next few years will be easier to manage. Please keep in mind that I am not a financial advisor, economist, soothsayer or fortune teller. My commentary is strictly an observation, and food for thought. Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, published author, award winning photographer and keynote speaker. Watch his new show ‘ The Jonathan van Bilsen Show’ on YouTube.

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