There are no definitive answers when it comes to the future of the market. To attain success in financial futures, one must access contemplative and researched designs. If there was a crystal ball to ensure absolute market knowledge, many would attempt seek it out before the Fountain of Youth. When approaching finance, one must remain malleable, yet educated - schematic, yet microscopic - patient, yet decisive. Money Crashers offers eleven relevant and simple principles to hone in one's approach to the market, easing the sometimes frightening quagmire of personal and professional finance.
ConsumersAdvocate.org connects with Andrew Schrage, co-founder of Money Crashers, where he offers his insightful opinions on the futures of gold and inflation, online currencies, and personal finance.
CA - In business, sometimes taking on debt is a good thing. Can we extrapolate the same with individuals?
AS - Taking on debt with individuals is a lot more risky compared to doing the same in a business. You'll usually have business assets to fall back on in case something goes wrong, and that might not be the situation for individuals.
CA - Which Credit Card gives people the best bang for the buck regarding rates, promotions, cash back, etcetera?
AS - Your best bet is to do the research and homework involved in trying to find the best credit card for your needs, in terms of rewards. They do differ. Folks who plan on carrying a balance should focus on the APR, and people who are interested only in rewards should analyze their spending habits and choose a rewards card in line with those.
CA - The Federal Reserve has said they will reduce their balance sheet. Can the market handle this action? What will happen with interest rates?
AS - The Federal Reserve is a funny thing. They do things based on their own metrics and may in fact be able to reduce their balance sheet. The market may or may not be able to handle that - and the future of interest rates is uncertain, which is the case with any major movement in terms of general economics.
CA - Real Estate values are higher than in 2007 before the financial collapse. Do you think its getting frothy?
AS - It could be. It really depends upon the particular market you're speaking to. Some markets are probably overvalued, while others I doubt have reached that point yet.
CA - We keep trading at all time highs within the equity market. Do you think this is a result of all the quantitative easing and easy money policies around the world, or are the fundamentals there to support such evaluations?
AS - The equity market could be in for a correction at some point in time, but it would be hard to say when. Quantitative easing and easy money policies have certainly played a role in the strong market.
CA - What do you think of Robo-Advisers like Wealthfront and Betterment?
AS - These products can be beneficial for consumers who want to get into the world of investing but are unsure of where and how to start.
CA - What are your thoughts about cryptocurrencies - specifically Bitcoin. Is Bitcoin's price just a total bubble at this point? Are the fundamentals there to support this price action?
AS - Bitcoin is a tough nut to crack, and it's certainly a volatile entity. Whether it's a bubble or not is truly anyone's guess, as it is too new a currency to have any track record to base a future assumption upon.
CA - Gold is having a very good year. Is that indicative of inflation and highers interest rates to come?
AS - If gold prices continue to rise, that means more folks are buying it. This is usually an indication that inflation is one the rise. So a bump in inflation and possibly interest rates could be in the future.