Real Estate Investment Outlook

Although it appears to have been mainly technical factors that triggered the correction in the stock market, inflation concerns have been the major cause for plummeting stock market prices. We have outlined such a scenario of inflation and its impact on real estate investments.

Indeed, the difference between current and trend economic growth is moving close to zero, rising labor demand is putting upward pressure on wages and salaries, but it is still far from a strong acceleration in inflation rates. Meanwhile, the recommendation by the US Department of Commerce in its investigation to restrict aluminum and steel imports on national security grounds is a reminder that the risk of escalating trade tension has a significant impact on real estate investments.

We are not suggesting that the probabilities of risks have risen substantially in light of these events. However, we argue that higher volatility combined with uncertainties about the future uncertain outlook for US trade policy is not an environment where we should risk everything on one endeavor, but rather seek returns by pursuing opportunities in the real estate market.

It would be more than natural that unjustified price appreciations will be corrected over time. Some observers believe that rising inflation may have played a prominent role in the recent stock market sell-off. However, higher inflation points to an overheating economy and rising wages could lower profit margins. Neither case obviously applies at the current time. However, historical evidence shows that periods when inflation begins to rise often create volatility in real estate markets and, on average, returns are meager. Finally yet importantly, higher interest rates could hit real estate prices if they reflect rising risk. Higher interest rates should be less relevant if they result from higher growth.

For now, we expect the implications of rising interest rates on the real estate outlook to be limited. A more persistent significant decline in real estate prices could, however, be associated with somewhat slower growth, either because the economy anticipates a slowdown, or because economic decline itself dampens growth.

The impact of rising interest rates on growth also depends on the factors that pushed up interest rates. The rise in interest rates could be the consequence of stronger growth momentum, in which case the economic fallout is understandably limited. However, if higher interest rates reflect rising risks, for instance, then growth may well suffer more significantly. Financial conditions remain very loose and interest rates relatively low. This should continue to support economic growth.

Therefore, we are keeping our scenario of sustained economic growth: (1) higher world economic activity, (2) rising fixed capital formation, (3) a very gradual adjustment of monetary policy in the US. We acknowledge the risks from higher protectionism, as recent announcements are a reminder that trade frictions could escalate significantly. At this point, it remains to be seen what action the US will take and how other countries may respond.

Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008, most have averted the specter of deflation by deploying conventional and – even more importantly – unconventional measures of monetary policy. Inflation in the US averaged around 1.5%, with a dispersion of -2% in mid 2009 to approximately 3.8% in late 2011. Currently, US consumer price inflation stands at 2.1%.

In the US, the government is embarking on a path of fiscal stimulus, and more trade tariffs and trade friction may push inflation higher. However, several factors are keeping underlying inflationary pressure contained for now, including still-cautious wage bargaining behavior by households, price setting by firms and compositional changes in the labor market. In addition, the recent readings have likely overstated current price trends,( the surprising weakness in inflation in 2017). Outside the US, wage and price trends have not changed much in recent months.

Against this backdrop, we do not foresee any surprises over the course of 2018. The Fed is expected to gradually lift rates with caution depending on the tightness of the US labor market, the evidence of accelerating wage dynamics and the potential impact of higher financial market volatility on economic growth.

In addition, a tax policy that fosters the competitiveness of Corporate America and attracts direct foreign investments, helping to raise the potential growth rate of US, should also be supportive for the greenback. At the same time, there are as many factors pointing to a glorious future for real estate markets

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the current probability of recession for the US economy stands at around 4%, moving to approximately 10% at the end of 2018. In our view, the gradual tightening of monetary policy, limited inflation expectations and cautious investment demand, will keep real interest rates relatively low. Therefore, we prefer real estate investments in 2018.

5 Fun Things To Do On A Ski Vacation Besides Skiing

Skiing is one of the most popular winter activities for good reasons. It offers up a chance to take in the fresh mountain air and scenic views while screaming down snowy hills and pine trees. Unfortunately, the same weather that dumps inches of fresh snow to allow you to ski in the first place, can also cause dangerous weather conditions that may close the skiing parks and keep you off of the slopes. Don’t worry though, there are many other activities to partake in besides skiing. Here are 5 fun things to do on a ski vacation besides skiing.

1. Apr├ęs Ski

The word stands for “after skiing” and generally means relaxing with friends after a long day on the slopes. However, you don’t need to have gone skiing all day to partake in this fun activity. If you can’t make it up the mountain stay indoors and enjoy some craft beers, wine, and food with friends and family.

2. Stay inside and watch movies

One of life’s great pleasures is staying cozy by a warm fire while a blizzard rages outside. Don’t let bad weather get you down, stay inside and enjoy a relaxing evening enjoying the amenities of your lodging. Cook a nice dinner, enjoy some wine, put on a movie you’ve been wanting to see, or simply lay back on the couch with a good book.

3. Hot tubbing and spa

If your lodging has a hot tub or spa, rest your muscles and recover after a long ski weekend. Spending day after day skiing can wear out even the most seasoned enthusiast. It is advised to take a break every 2 to 3 days and rest up. This is the perfect time to take advantage of your lodgings extra amenities or take a trip into town for a day at the spa. Your body will thank you.

4. Snow Shoeing

Snow shoeing is a great way to get exercise and participate in activities outdoors when you can’t or don’t want to go skiing. To snow shoe you put on what looks like tennis rackets on your boots. These displace the weight over a wide area of snow and allow you to walk solidly on even freshly fallen snow. It provides a less strenuous walk along with the sensation of gliding over the snow. Even if the snow is falling heavily outside you can participate in this activity and go for hikes near town.

5. Snow Tubing

Perhaps you can’t ski or are recovering from an injury. Snow tubing is a great way to enjoy nature in a fun and exciting way. Snow tubing requires you to grab ahold of an inner tube and slide down a mountain side much like sledding. There are even makeshift tubing parks with lanes, racing activities, and obstacle courses. However, even the basics will get anyone’s heart rate going.

Don’t feel pressured to only ski during your mountain excursion. Take advantage of all the other activities at your disposal and enjoy yourself.

Finding Low Cost Health Insurance – Options And Ideas

Why are there so many Americans who are uninsured? Because it costs too much. It's really that simple. Independent contractors and small business owners often forego getting their own health insurance plans, hoping nothing happens that could ruin their business and put them in the poorhouse. And, the growing number of Americans living before the poverty line could not afford health insurance if they wanted to.

There are some ways to get low-cost health insurance if you need to. We can all stand to save a couple bucks, but for some of us it's a necessity. Here are some ideas to help you get low cost health insurance.

Individual Health Insurance Plans

Everybody knows that you can save with group insurance plans, but not everyone knows that the average cost of individual plans is dropping. This is because more and more people are choosing individual plans because of the flexibility they offer, and that is forcing health insurance companies to be more competitive.

Go With An HMO

An HMO, or Health Maintenance Organization [http://www.medicalhealthinsuranceguide.org/Affordable_Health_Insurance/], is a way to get insurance on a fixed budget. Think of it as a health insurance package deal. The HMO has a network of doctors that you can choose from. If you need to see a specialist or go to the hospital, they can refer you to one that is also under the same HMO plan.

HMOs are usually affordable, and they offer you a fixed price, so you do not have to worry about premiums changing. They also handle all the claims and paperwork for you, so they make the whole process easier.

The disadvantage of HMOs is the lack of flexibility. You have to go to the same doctor, and any doctor or hospital visits outside of your HMO will not be covered.

More Alphabet Soup – PPOs

A PPO is a Preferred Provider Organization. PPOs work just like HMOs but with a little added flexibility. For an extra cost, PPOs allow you to visit healthcare professionals outside of your chosen doctor when necessary. These plans are becoming more popular than HMOs in recent years because of the choices offered to carriers.

Fill Your Insurance Gaps With COBRA

COBRA is a program designed to allow those who have recently lost their insurance to stay on it until they find something new. It is ideal for those who have left their jobs, or who were covered under their spouse's insurance but were recently divorced or widowed. With COBRA, you can maintain your current plan for up to 18 months until you get a new health insurance plan.

Let The Big Guys Lend A Hand

There's no shame in seeking government assistance when you are in a tight spot. Think of you and your family's well-being. When you're really scrabbling bottom, there are a variety of low cost health care programs such as Medicare available. While these programs do not offer the same high quality coverage as a good health insurance plan, they will help cut down your medical expenses when you need them.

Health insurance is expensive but necessary. The number of Americans with no coverage at all is shocking. Do not be
intimidated by the high price; there are always ways to find low cost health insurance.

Term Life Insurance – The Different Kinds

It has always been known that there are actually two different kinds of life insurance programs -term life and whole life.

It probably sounds, but with term life, a person is normally just insured for a specific time period – ten, fifteen, twenty, or 30 years. Not many people know this, but there are actually different types of term life insurance programs.

Level Term

This is easily the most popular term life program. With this, you typically pay the same premium throughout the term. It may not accumulate any cash value, however, this remains to be popular because it is cheap.

The prices for term life have even gone down more because of the Internet – people can readily access life insurance quotes and compare prices; sometimes, in a little as under two minutes.

Many people get surprised over the fact that they can be covered for a huge amount of money for as little as $ 20 month, even when they're already in their 40's (provided that they're in good health).

Annual Renewable Term

If you go for this type of insurance, you are only covered for one year. You will have to renew your policy at the end of the year. Expect increases in your premium as you renew your policy from year to year.

No-Exam Term Life

If you find the requisite medical exams in life insurance programs too much of a hassle, there are other, albeit more expensive, life insurance programs on the market that do not require any exam. With a no-exam term life insurance, you are only required to fill out a questionnaire. (It does not pay to lie on the questionnaire because it can have your policy revoked.)

A no-exam policy usually has a ceiling of $ 250,000, but your policy can be issued in days or even hours, unlike in other insurance programs where the issue of a policy can take weeks or months.

ROP Term Life

If you go for this time of term life insurance, you will normally have to pay more, but at the end of the term, all the premiums you paid will be returned to you. That is, if you are still alive at the end of the term.