We are in the midst of multiple global crises, the stock market is incredibly volatile and fragile, inflation has broken free from its leash and is on a wild rampage, and there are talks of a recession.
So what we’re talking about is not just one monster. There’s a monster around every corner.
Your fear is probably telling you to stay the course, not take any new action, retract, cover your eyes, and pretend as if nothing is happening.
But the truth is, things ARE happening. Big, hairy, monumental, world-changing things are happening. Right frickin’ now. And if you don’t take this critical opportunity to stand up, get your sword and armor ready, and prepare for the battle ahead, the monsters WILL trample all over you.
But because you’re reading this, I know that you’re not the type who is ready to just lay down your sword and hide. You are up to the task, and you are ready to fight, but you may not yet know exactly how to do so just yet.
And that’s what we’re here for.
The remainder of this article will discuss the main economic factors at play right now, the potential impact they could have on the money you’ve worked so hard to save and the wealth you’ve worked so hard to create, and what you can do right now to prepare yourself for what’s to come.
Our Precarious Economic Situation
Here are the current economic factors at play:
- Rising interest rates
- Potential recession
Together, these factors are leading to low consumer confidence, fear, and uncertainty, thus leading to byproducts like extreme volatility in the stock market and huge drops in crypto values.
After all, it makes sense, right? When people are not sure what to do, they tend to hold back and do nothing.
But the question is, is doing nothing the right course of action right now? What could be the consequences of doing nothing? What are the potential opportunities in the face of all this uncertainty? And most importantly, what’s the best course of action for YOU and your situation?
Let’s take a look at each of these economic factors, their impact on real estate, and the opportunity for you as an investor in the midst of these various factors at play.
We all knew it was coming. After all, you can’t freely print money forever without eventually facing the consequences. Add to that supply chain issues caused by a myriad of global factors, and you’ve got a perfect storm for rising prices across the board.
US inflation cooled slightly in April, coming in at an annual rate of 8.3% (slightly below the March rate of 8.5%). These are the highest rates of inflation that we’ve seen in over 40 years.
So, what does all this mean for you, and the wealth you’ve worked to create?
Inflation can be scary, but not when you’re armed with the right tools. In fact, inflation can be a tremendous opportunity…IF you act.
During inflationary periods, what happens? The price of goods goes up, meaning the value of the dollar goes down (i.e., $10 can’t buy the same thing today that it could yesterday).
Following that logic, if your money were to continue to sit under your mattress or in your savings account or anywhere where it’s not earning a return that’s at least at the same level of inflation, that means you’re losing money with every passing day.
While it might FEEL safe to leave your money where it is – in your bank account where you can see the same number day in and day out – in reality, that money is MOST at risk because it’s losing value every single moment.
That’s why now is the best time to put that money to work, to get ahead of the inflation that’s already here and that’s yet to come. Make sure that your money is not sitting idle in accounts that are earning 1% interest, but that your money is working FOR you in investments that earn 8%+ in returns.
Heck, even an investment with 5% returns would be better than doing nothing.
Investing In Real Estate
Real estate can be a great way to protect and grow your capital, particularly in the face of inflation, and many millionaires leverage real estate as a hedge against inflation. Why? Because real estate is a hard asset, and it’s a basic human need (i.e., people will always need a place to live).
In addition, the rate of appreciation for real estate assets (particularly in fast-growing markets) often outpaces inflation, but inflation also drives up rent prices. With multifamily, there are likely rent renewals and new leases signed monthly, so your revenue can track quite quickly with inflation.
Compare that to single-family rentals.
Here’s the rub and what you need to know. The difference between the people who will be slammed by this inflation and those who will come out on top are the people who see this inflation as an opportunity – as a wake-up call to act and put their money to work for them.
So, if you’re on the fence and fearful of taking action, now is the time to find the right opportunities to protect and grow your capital, before it’s too late and those opportunities disappear.
Rising Interest Rates
Interest rate increases are driving stress and worry for many people. But just as with inflation, even though rising interest rates might SEEM scary and bad, there’s tremendous opportunity right now, while interest rates are still relatively low.
As you likely know, inflation and interest rates are often tied together. This latest period of high inflation has caused the Federal Reserve to embark on what may become its fastest series of interest rate increases in over 30 years, with signs of more sharp rate hikes to come.
And again, while this may seem terrifying, and your natural inclination might be to stop everything and hold onto your precious dollars, the actions you take now will play a critical role in your wealth and financial future.
The Best Real Estate Investment Opportunities Right Now
We already know that interest rates are going to continue to go up. But now, they’re still relatively low and palatable, which means it’s the ideal time to invest before interest rates get too high.
If you can find investment opportunities with fixed-rate interest (or variable rate interest but with a cap), then you are protecting yourself against future rate hikes. No matter how high those interest rates get, you’re locked in, which is an incredibly smart way to hedge against inflation.
The Impact Of Interest Rates On The Broader Real Estate Market
Further, what this means for real estate is that, as interest rates rise, affordability will fall. In other words, buyers will need to lower the offers they put in when trying to buy assets. However, sellers may not be willing to take those lower bids, so they might just hold on to their assets and decide to ride it out for the next few years.
Sure okay, you’re thinking. So sellers may not be willing to sell, and there may not be as many properties for sale. But what does that have to do with me? Great question.
Remember back a few paragraphs when we were talking about inflation? And remember how I said that you need to make sure your money is working FOR you and not losing value? Well to do that, you need solid investments to put that money into.
And if the deal flow will be tightening in the coming months and years, there may not be as much opportunity to invest your money, even if you wanted to do so.
So, what that means is that NOW is the time to act. Now, while most people are still scared and frozen, there are still great investment opportunities available before interest rates climb too high.
The Importance of Investing in Deals with Fixed Rates Or Variable Rates With A Cap
When evaluating potential real estate investment opportunities during this current climate of rapidly rising interest rates, you should get clear on exactly how the loan is set up.
If the debt comes with a fixed interest rate, you’re golden. That means that, no matter how high-interest rates get, those loan payments will not change, meaning your investment will not be at risk due to sudden increases in monthly mortgage payments.
If the debt comes with a variable interest rate, that’s good too, if there’s a cap in place. For example, if the loan comes with a 4.5% variable rate but with a 5% cap, that gives you the assurance that, even though the interest rates may go up, there’s a limit to how high they could get in this investment.
Any good sponsor will have run multiple underwriting scenarios to account for any variability with the interest rates, so be sure to ask for full details there.
In either case – with a fixed rate or with a variable rate with a cap – you are taking advantage of the still-low rates to put your money to work for you before interest rates spike and inflation causes your money to lose value.
What Would Happen If You Took Zero Action?
If you were to sit on the sidelines because you’re not sure what will happen, and in the meantime interest rates and inflation continue to climb, you could find yourself in a real pickle very soon.
If interest rates were to rise significantly between now and the end of the year, that could mean that…
A. The investment opportunities that come across your desk would likely have MUCH lower returns (and thus not be as great of a hedge against inflation), or…
B. The returns might still be relatively high, but the deals would likely come with substantially more risk
That’s why, if you have capital sitting idle right now, this is the BEST time to act, even in the face of fear and uncertainty. In a few months’ time when interest rates are significantly higher than they are now, you’ll be grateful you took action to protect your money.
A Potential Recession on The Horizon
Okay, now that we’ve walked through inflation and rising interest rates, let’s talk about recession – what it is, what it means for real estate, and what it could mean for you and your money.
By definition, a recession happens when the economy shrinks for at least two consecutive quarters (i.e., six months of negative economic growth). This is measured by GDP (gross domestic product), which represents the total value of goods and services produced within a country – every home built, every car purchased, etc.
A recession, then, is a period of at least six months when GDP goes down rather than up. When GDP climbs back to pre-recession levels, the recession is over.
Right now, as I write this in May 2022, we are not technically in a recession (yet), though many experts predict that, with the combination of high inflation and rising interest rates, we could be heading into a recession in the near future.
Thus far, the job market and consumer spending remain strong, but with the Federal Reserve signaling further rate increases needed to cool the economy in the coming months, consumer worry and doubt are starting to set in.
What Happens If You Lose Your Job
One of the biggest fears during a recession is losing your job. Massive layoffs are typically the first stage of a recession, meaning that many people may lose their primary source of income.
For investors who have created multiple streams of passive income, however, that additional income can be key in helping them to ride out a recession, allowing them to maintain financial security even if they are laid off.
When facing a potential recession (and thus the potential for losing your job), your natural tendency might be to hold tight to the status quo. In other words, hang on to as much of your savings as possible, so it’s there for you in case you need it.
And I totally get it. The money seems “safe” when it’s sitting there and available for you.
The problem is that, with sky-high inflation, that money continues to lose value every day that it’s sitting there, which means you could be missing out on tremendous opportunities to protect your capital, hedge against inflation, and build wealth for your family.
Ensure You Have an Emergency Fund, Then Invest The Rest
I’m not saying you should go out right now and invest every penny you have. That would not be very smart. You do in fact need some savings – an emergency fund if you will.
Start by figuring out how much you need in that emergency fund to give you enough runway to ride out a few months if you needed to.
Then, with whatever money you have above and beyond that, put that money to work for you before it’s too late. Take confidence in knowing that your emergency fund is there as your safety net, but the rest of your funds can be put to work for you.
What You Should Be Doing Right Now
The last 2+ years have been a whirlwind. Between the pandemic, global conflicts, supply chain issues, inflation, and so much more – I get it, you’re tired. Every ounce of you wants to crawl under the covers and make it all go away.
Trust me, we’re right there with you.
But the fact of the matter is, as much as we may want to, we can’t just wish away these big hairy global problems. And they ARE going to impact you, your family, and your future – whether you’re ready or not.
The question is whether you will seize this opportunity to take control of the outcome and make sure you’re in the best possible position to face what’s to come, or whether you’ll let fear hold you back and thus suffer the consequences as the world and economy continue to shift.
I know it’s hard. I know you’ve got a ton of things going on. I know you want to run away. But listen. I wouldn’t be here writing this if I didn’t think it was supremely important for you to hear this.
Things are hitting the fan right now and will continue to hit the fan in the coming months and years. I want to make sure you’re empowered to do everything that’s needed to set you and your family up for success and come out on top at the other end of this.