Looking Ahead to 2016 for Investors

Julia M. Carlson |

Planning for 2016 could be confusing and investors still need to be watchful. Rising interest rates, a volatile stock market, an active political landscape and fluctuating oil prices are issues that need monitoring. For 2016, caution is a central theme among many experts.

The Federal Reserve hiked interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade in December, signaling faith that the U.S. economy had largely overcome the wounds of the 2007-2009 financial crisis.  The U.S. central bank's policy-setting committee raised the range of its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to between 0.25 percent and 0.50 percent, ending a lengthy debate about whether the economy was strong enough to withstand higher borrowing costs.

Stock prognosticators by nature are an optimistic bunch, but their forecasts for 2016 are warning clients to expect more volatility.  As a Financial Advisor, I attempt to carefully monitor market conditions and our client’s timeframes. For now, investors need to expect and prepare for what could be an erratic year in both equity and debt markets.
 (Source: Wall street Journal 12/2015)

Election Day is less than a year away.  This year features a Presidential election and a field of competitive Senate and House races. While the political environment could change over the next few months, the landscape is largely set as a handful of races in each region will likely decide the majorities in the next Congress.  Obviously, this is one of the key areas that investors need to keep an eye on.

A barrel of Brent Crude traded consistently above $100 between 2011 and 2015, but much has changed since it tumbled from $115 in July 2014 to under $37 a barrel in 2015 amid a global supply. Falling oil prices are helpful to consumers at the pump, but sadly they negatively impact the energy sector and the economy.  For 2016, research company Moody's Investors Service lowered its prior price assumption for Brent Crude oil, the international benchmark, to $43 from $53 per barrel.  Oil prices are another strategic area that we need to watch in 2016.
(Source: CNBC.com 12/15/2015)

As we begin 2016, no one can predict with certainty what new changes or challenges may occur.  This is a good time to review your personal financial goals and make decisions about your financial future.  
Julia Carlson is a registered Principal with, and securities are offered through, LPL Financial.  Member FINRA/SIPC. 

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. 

The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.