Mind Your Money: Navigating the current global economic uncertainty

A trusted financial adviser to achieve your financial goals

By Sandeep S. Jadwani

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Published: Mon 10 Jun 2024, 3:25 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jun 2024, 3:26 PM

In the unpredictable landscape of 2024’s global economy, managing finances can feel like steering a ship through a storm without a compass. Central banks’ mixed signals on interest rates, political instability, and disjointed fiscal policies add to the uncertainty. In such times, it’s crucial to understand the current financial environment, the importance of a trusted financial adviser, and the benefits of goal-based investing to stay on course.

Global economic outlook


The current global economy is akin to a never-ending rollercoaster ride. Inflation spikes in some countries, while others grapple with severe supply chain disruptions. Geopolitical tensions and ongoing conflicts further contribute to the chaos. In the UAE, amidst fluctuating oil prices, diversification efforts have cushioned some blows. However, the post-pandemic recovery remains uneven, leaving sectors struggling. This mixed scenario makes it challenging for individuals to navigate.

Central banks and interest rate policies


Unlike the coordinated response seen early in the pandemic, central banks now seem to be playing different tunes. The US Federal Reserve hints at rate hikes, while the European Central Bank treads cautiously. Some emerging markets have preemptively raised rates to combat inflation. This lack of coordination contrasts with the united front seen in 2020, affecting economies like the UAE, where decisions in the US can ripple through the economy due to the dirham’s peg to the US dollar.

Political instability and economic policies

Political uncertainties and policy flip-flops globally make economic forecasting challenging. The rare coordination between fiscal and monetary policies seen in 2020 has given way to disjointed approaches. In the Middle East, regional conflicts and changing alliances add complexity. Lebanon’s situation and Opec dynamics affect regional stability. This instability makes it harder for individuals to plan for the future.

Challenges for individuals in financial markets

Financial markets are increasingly complex, and marketing pressures often lead to impulsive spending. Social media influencers flaunt lifestyles, urging followers to keep up, fostering a culture of consumerism. Unauthorised investment advice on social media poses risks, as ‘experts’ lacking accreditation promote risky ventures. Filtering out this noise is crucial.

The role of a financial adviser

This is where a financial adviser can make all the difference. Think of them as your personal financial navigator, guiding you through the stormy seas of today’s economy. A good adviser helps you cut through the noise, providing clear, tailored advice that aligns with your financial goals. In the UAE, where financial products and investment opportunities are plentiful, having a trusted adviser is invaluable.

1. For those just starting off, a financial adviser can provide the foundational knowledge and strategies needed to build wealth. They help you set realistic financial goals, create a budget, and develop a savings plan. This early guidance is crucial in forming good financial habits that can last a lifetime.

2. For Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs), the role of a financial adviser is even more critical. Managing substantial wealth involves complex strategies that go beyond simple saving and investing. UHNWIs require sophisticated advice on asset allocation, tax planning, estate planning, and risk management.

A skilled, qualified and an experienced financial adviser can coordinate these aspects to ensure that their client’s wealth is preserved and grown efficiently. Financial advisers also play a critical role in filtering out the noise from unauthorised sources. By leveraging their expertise and access to reliable information, advisers help you avoid the pitfalls of unsolicited advice from non-accredited sources that flood social media.

Sandeep S. Jadwani, Head of Investment Advisory, Habib Investment Limited
Sandeep S. Jadwani, Head of Investment Advisory, Habib Investment Limited

For instance, in the UAE, many expatriates seek investment opportunities in real estate or the stock market. A qualified financial adviser can provide insights into these markets, helping you make informed decisions. They can also guide you on tax-efficient investment strategies, ensuring that you maximise your returns while minimising liabilities.

A trusted financial adviser is invaluable in these times. They act as a personal financial navigator, offering tailored advice aligned with your goals. For beginners, advisers provide foundational knowledge, helping set realistic goals and develop good financial habits. For Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs), advisers offer sophisticated advice on asset allocation, tax planning, and risk management, ensuring wealth preservation and growth.

Goal-based investing: A strategic approach

In the pursuit of financial success, goal-based investing offers a strategic approach. Instead of random allocation, this method aligns investments with specific goals, ensuring a purposeful financial journey. It empowers individuals to take control, making informed decisions while avoiding impulsive choices driven by market volatility.

A journey of purposeful investing

Every financial journey is unique, with goals ranging from vacations to retirement. Goal-based investing transforms these aspirations into tangible targets, providing a roadmap for your financial odyssey. It ensures investments match your risk appetite and asset allocation while keeping your goals in sight.

A seven-step expedition to financial freedom

1. Chart your financial universe: List all financial goals, both short-term and long-term.

2. Consult a financial adviser: Collaborate with an experienced adviser to understand your starting point and goals.

3. Prioritise your financial expeditions: Classify goals based on urgency and importance.

4. Quantify your financial voyages: Assign monetary values to each goal, factoring in inflation.

5. Assess your financial risk tolerance: Gauge your comfort level with potential market fluctuations.

6. Craft your financial investment strategy: Select appropriate investment avenues based on your risk profile.

7. Monitor your financial progress: Regularly review and adjust investments to stay on track.

Common pitfalls to avoid

1. Chasing market timing: Focus on long-term goals, avoiding impulsive decisions.

2. Ignoring risk tolerance: Invest according to your risk appetite.

3. Underestimating inflation: Factor inflation when calculating future costs.

4. Lack of diversification: Diversify across asset classes to mitigate risk.

5. Inaction: Take action towards your goals, even if small steps.

Goal-based investing is transformative, empowering you to control your financial future. By aligning investments with goals, you cultivate financial stability, reduce stress, and pave the way to achieving your dreams.

Conclusion

Navigating the current global economic outlook requires a strategic approach, and goal-based investing offers just that. By aligning investments with specific goals, individuals can steer clear of impulsive decisions driven by market volatility and focus on their long-term financial objectives. A trusted financial adviser plays a crucial role in this journey, acting as a guide through the complexities of today’s financial landscape.

In these uncertain times, it’s essential to stay informed and seek professional advice. By understanding the economic environment, setting clear financial goals, and following a structured investment approach, individuals can navigate the financial maze with confidence. Remember, your financial future is in your hands, and goal-based investing is the compass that can lead you to success.

Sandeep S. Jadwani - ACSI, CIB (Head of Investment Advisory, Habib Investment Limited – Regulated by DFSA) is qualified, experienced and an award-winning financial adviser to High Net-worth Individuals. Been in the UAE for over 15 years and guiding individuals to efficiently and effectively manage their wealth to achieve their financial goals. Connect with him on Instagram @sandeep_investmentadvisor and Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/in/sandeepjadwanibestadvisoruae/



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