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These are the top Money and investment trends to watch out for in 2020 – USA TODAY

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All in all, 2019 was a pretty strong year for the economy.

Job growth was brisk, with both inflation and interest rates low. Economic growth was decent as recessionary fears have abated. Consumers remain confident, highlighted by solid holiday sales.

But this doesn’t mean everyone is prospering. Here are some money and finance trends to watch for in the coming year:

Continuing debt overhang

Now 10 years into the economic recovery, plenty of Americans are only treading water. Pay raises have been spotty, and many people continue to live paycheck to paycheck. Too many households still lack emergency funds, let alone long-term investments.

Some 82% of people who participated in a survey released this month by Fidelity Investments said they’re in a similar or better financial position compared to last year. Yet in the same poll, respondents revealed continuing anxiety about making ends meet and keeping debts under control.

Dealing with unexpected expenses was the top concern among respondents heading into the new year. Another was keeping a lid on debts. The top three New Year’s resolutions cited by respondents are to save more, pay down debt and spend less.

Many individuals still aren’t prepared to meet unforeseen money pressures.

“A large portion of the people I talk to in a given year find that their financial troubles come in steps that cause significant hardship: medical debt, a job loss, a major car repair, a family emergency,” said Jonathan Walker, executive director of the debt-focused Elevate Center for the New Middle Class in Fort Worth, Texas.

Yet many people just keep adding debt until the hurdles eventually become too high, with unexpected challenges finally pushing them over the edge, he said.

Retirement help coming

Plenty of Americans are unprepared for retirement. Reasons include not saving enough, making premature withdrawals and not having access to 401(k) plans through work.

That could start to change now that the SECURE Act, with broad bipartisan support, was passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate this month as part of a federal spending bill.

Among other things, the legislation would expand access to retirement-savings programs for part-time workers and people employed by small businesses, by providing employer incentives and making it easier for small businesses to band together to create 401(k) plans and benefit from economies of scale.

In addition, it would make annuities available in workplace 401(k) plans, providing investors with a way to lock in guaranteed income for life.

The legislation also would tweak Individual Retirement Accounts. Seniors with traditional IRAs who don’t need to spend their money immediately could delay required minimum distributions until age 72, up from 70½ currently. Also, older workers could continue to sock away money into IRAs. Currently, contributions must stop after age 70½.

The IRA changes reflect “the reality that people are living longer today,” said Paul Schott Stevens, president and CEO of the Investment Company Institute.

Good investment results still likely

It might be hard for the stock market to repeat a year like 2019, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other barometers up more than 25% through mid-December. But solid economic growth, low interest rates and other factors create a backdrop where the market’s positive momentum could persist.

“The remarkable longevity of the (economic) expansion and a continuation of low inflation and unemployment are all significant positives,” said J.P. Morgan’s markets insight team in a December forecast.

A possible slowdown ahead in economic growth, and rising wages, could put pressure on corporate profits, which could hamper stock prices, the forecast added. So could the threat of higher taxes, more trade tensions and a bloated federal budget deficit expected to top $1 trillion in the current fiscal year.

But while J.P. Morgan sees risks rising, it still expects the stock market to “grind higher” in 2020.

Incidentally, years when presidential elections are held tend to be favorable for stocks, and 2020 falls into that category. The broad market as represented by the Standard & Poor’s 500 has advanced in 19 of the past 23 presidential-election years, dating to the 1920s.

The country might be sharply divided when it comes to politics, but elections also tend to bring a lot of excitement and even optimism.

Rhetoric but little action on taxes

It’s unlikely that we’ll see passage of a major federal tax bill in the coming year — not with a deeply divided Congress in an election year. But Americans will be hearing a lot more about tax proposals as the campaign swings into high gear.

Most proposed changes are coming from Democratic presidential contenders. These include calls to raise tax rates for the highest-earning Americans, expand the earned income tax credit, boost the amount of personal income subject to Social Security taxes (from a current cap at $132,900) and jack up tax rates on dividends and capital gains. 

Most radical are the proposals to tax the wealthiest Americans on their net worth, as advanced by Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others.

To help people keep track of these ideas, the Tax Foundation has compiled a tax-plan summary for the leading presidential contenders here or at taxfoundation.org.

Could these proposals become law after the election? it would be a stretch for the most extreme changes, but you never know.

Most respondents in a December survey by the Pew Research Center said they felt today’s economy has mainly benefited the wealthy. A majority of respondents cited poor people, those lacking college degrees, the elderly, young adults and the middle class as groups now being hurt.

Broader help from employers

Workers — especially those at larger corporations — probably can look forward to more benefits and perks in the coming year beyond just paychecks, vacation/sick days, health insurance and perhaps a 401(k) savings plan.

Financial and health wellness programs continue to gain appeal, said Fidelity Investments in a recent review of workplace benefits. These include programs to help with mental and substance abuse as well as deal with student loans, budgeting and other financial pressures.

In part, these efforts address productivity and absenteeism: If companies can help their employees deal with personal problems, they could develop into more reliable and productive workers.

Fidelity also sees a trend toward greater social responsibility in the workplace including more company subsidies for charitable giving and volunteering, with more flexible work schedules and work spaces.

As for older workers, Fidelity expects to see more companies assist their employees and recent retirees in making retirement-plan withdrawals.

Until now, the focus has been in helping workers accumulate savings in 401(k)-type programs. Now, more employers apparently feel responsible for helping them pull out assets in a smart, efficient manner.

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China proposes rules to regulate private pension investment via mutual funds – Reuters.com

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A Chinese national flag flutters near the building of China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) at the Financial Street area in Beijing, China July 16, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/Files

SHANGHAI, June 25 (Reuters) – China’s securities regulator proposed rules to regulate private pension investment via mutual funds, setting the criteria for qualified products and sales agents under a scheme that will channel fresh savings into the country’s capital markets.

The draft rules, published by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) late on Friday, came after Beijing in April launched a milestone private pension scheme to tackle challenges of aging population. read more

Under the scheme, eligible Chinese citizens can buy mutual funds, savings deposits and insurance products via their own individual pension accounts, potentially boosting a pension market that has lured foreign asset managers including Fidelity International and BlackRock.

The proposed rules “have set a relatively high bar for products and institutions, and are designed to ensure safety of pension fund investment and protect investors’ interest,” the CSRC said in a statement on its website.

Initially, pension target funds with at least 50 million yuan ($7.48 million) of assets over the past four quarters are eligible under the pilot pension scheme, the CSRC said.

Other types of retail funds with clear investment strategies and good long-term track records will be gradually added to the eligibility list as the scheme expands, the CSRC said.

Currently, there are 91 pension target funds that meet the CSRC’s criteria, according to TF Securities.

In addition, fund managers and sales agents participating in private pension business must set up internal control systems, adopt long-term incentives, and ensure independent operation of the pension assets, according to the rules.

Independent consultancies estimate China’s private pension market will grow to at least $1.7 trillion by 2025, from $300 billion currently.

In 20 years, 28% of China’s population will be more than 60 years old, up from 10% today, making it one of the most rapidly-aging populations in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

($1 = 6.6878 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Samuel Shen and Brenda Goh
Editing by Nick Zieminski

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Not gold or bank FD, Jefferies finds this asset as top investment by Indians | Mint – Mint

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Amid soaring inflation and slowdown worries, investors are busy finding out save haven for their money. While some are batting in favour of gold, some investors are favouring debt instruments for short term like bank fixed deposits (FDs) and other deposits. But, if we go by the Jefferies findings, around half of the Indian household savings in March 2022 has been invested in real estate properties whereas bank deposits and gold are distant second and third most preferred asset investment options among Indian households.

As per the Jefferies findings, out of $ 10.7 trillion Indian households assets in March 2022, whopping 49.4 per cent have been invested in real estate properties whereas 15.10 per cent went to band deposits 15 per cent of the Indian households savings were invested in gold. Impact of Covid-19 pandemic was also visible in this Jefferies report as Indian households invested 6.20 per cent of their net savings in insurance funds and it was fourth most preferred investment option by Indians.

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Photo: Courtesy Jefferies

Provident funds and pension is at 5th spot after receiving 5.70 per cent of $10.70 trillion Indian households savings in March 2022. Despite heavy FIIs selling at Indian equity markets, DIIs have remained net buyers since October 2021. However, in Jefferies report, equities has received 4.80 per cent of the net Indian households savings in March 2022 and it is 6th most preferred investment option among Indians. As Indian households has a habit of keeping some part of its savings in liquid form. 

Jefferies report has a mention about it as well. As per the Jefferies findings, 3.50 per cent of the net Indian households savings in this period has gone to cash or liquid segment and it an obvious least preferred option among the Indian households.

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HomeFirst Home Healthcare secures investment from Fulcrum – PE Hub

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Harpeth Ventures also participated in the investment.




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