With Wednesday’s 0.25% hike, the benchmark of the Federal Reserve interest rate is near-record lows. However, with more hikes in rates promised for next year and subsequent years, it is time for both investors and consumers to take stock and get ready for market conditions closer to the historical norms.
Here’s what local experts are advising.
What has the Fed done?
It has increased the federal fund’s rate or the rate at which the banks offer reserves to one another overnight by about 0.25%.
What does this mean for an average person?
Generally speaking, it increases the borrowing costs all through the economy, affecting “everything that has an interest rate linked to it” said economist Kurt Rankin, of PNC Financial Services Group.
The Fed reported that it expects to increase the rate 3 times next year. However, it said last year, that it was planning manifold rate hikes this year.
Should I be making any changes to all my investments?
Rick Rodgers of Rodgers and Associates stated that he advises people not to make drastic changes to investments. A lot of this depends on what comes next. If the United States is moving into an era of rising rates, then some investment adjustments may be suitable, he said.
What about the outstanding loans?
If you already have a debt with floating interest rate, and don’t plan to settle it in the next 6 to 12 months, try refinancing and then locking in the fixed rate, Rodgers said. Most times, home equity loans have floating rates, so that is one area to check always and evaluate.
Interest rates on credit cards are connected to the prime lending rate, so they may rise a bit.