The Conference Board is predicting, with 96% certainty, the U.S. economy will fall into recession in 2023.
That scenario has Americans anxious about their own financial prospects next year. A recent survey shows more than two-thirds (69%) of U.S. adults are worried about an imminent recession, with 41% saying they’re “unprepared” for tough economic times.
The good news? Financial experts say you can take steps to mitigate the impact of a nasty recession. But you’re going to have to work for it.
“Let’s face it, many of us get stuck in a routine and live from day to day and paycheck to paycheck with no plan whatsoever,” said professional stock market trader Thomas Kralow. “After all, Steve Jobs never said, ‘Well, let’s just get cracking and see where this takes us’ when Apple invented the iPhone.”
“To achieve something big, you need to have a plan and stick to it,” Kralow added.
Six Financial Moves to Make Now, in Advance of a Recession
To go big and take the recession down in ’23, financial experts advise taking these actions – and the sooner, the better.
Create a recession-fighting plan. Build a defensive financial plan – but not just any plan, Kralow said. “Simply listing your desires won’t be worthwhile,” he noted. “Any plan must include the following”:
· Your current position
· Your long-term goals
· Realistic short-term milestones
· An assessment of your current skills and assets, and what you must add to achieve your aims
“Once you have your plan, make sure to complete regular checkups to ensure that you’re moving in the right direction,” Kralow added.
Quit buying things you can’t afford. More than 3 of every 5 (61%) Americans have a credit card and the average balance in 2022 stands at $6,194. Add in payments delayed using Buy Now-Pay Later schemes, which bury consumers further in debt, and that debt becomes a problem.
“Stop trying to impress, stop comparing yourself to others and stop buying things you cannot afford,” Kralow advised. “Besides the bank executives that are profiting from your debt, nobody really cares about your frivolous purchases.”
Minimize food costs Inflation sent food prices skyrocketing, up 7.7% as of October 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“In an effort to save, buy as you need to avoid perishable waste, but also buy on sale,” said DailyPay’s vice president of customer success, Kate Cheesman.
“Sign up for your supermarket’s reward program and flip through their weekly catalog for coupons and deals.”
Buy in bulk when you can. “That’s a great way to cut down costs on necessary goods,” Cheesman noted.”
Diversify your income streams. Many companies are cutting employees and this trend is likely to continue during the recession. To protect yourself from an unpleasant situation, explore ways to supplement your income.
“You don’t need two full-time jobs,” Kralow said. “Instead, consider starting a pet project, take on some freelance work, invest, consult or share your knowledge online. This is where adding new skills and knowledge to your toolbox really comes into the spotlight.”
Focus your portfolio on dependable consumer stocks. The good news for investors is that a few subsequent and moderate rate hikes are largely expected and priced into markets.
“The larger concern for stocks in 2023 is definitely the Fed-engineered slowdown in growth, which will likely cause downward earnings revisions and/or earnings misses,” said Global Predictions’ head of economics, Reid Hartman.
The safest equities to hold coming into the new year are in sectors like consumer staples, utilities, and health care, Hartman said.
“There will likely be opportunities to rotate into recovery-oriented stocks later in the year at reasonable prices (e.g., categories like consumer discretionary, industrials, and real estate) after earnings expectations have come down and prices have moderated fully,” he said. “Investors should also feel more comfortable holding bonds as the interest rates peak.”
Go the fractional route. Households looking for recession-resistant investments should consider fractional ownership of historically high-earning ‘real’ assets/alternative investments like real estate, high art, farmland, and franchises.
“Fractional shares have long been popular with the 1% but have only recently become available to retail investors,” said Franshares CEO Kenny Rose. “There’s a reason you see so many celebrities like Patrick Mahomes and Shaq investing in these asset classes.”
Fractional shares offer the opportunity to deliver passive income streams that can match or outpace high inflation.
“That makes them attractive additions to any well-balanced portfolio, especially in recessionary environments when stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may deliver lower-than-average returns,” Rose said.