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Will we see negative interest rates in the US?

Interest rates in Europe on a variety of debt instruments actually reached negative levels this year, a bizarre economic environment with a lasting impact on the Eurozone’s economy. Essentially this means that investors in debt instruments are receiving less than their original investment over time.

The reason is simple: to encourage spending and ward off deflationary concerns. It’s a case of basic supply and demand – investors seeking a safe haven for their money invest in bonds. As demand grows, interest rates drop. Ideally, the rate would bottom out at zero, but with a heavy demand for safety, debt rates turned negative instead. Adding to the demand is the potential for currency appreciation. Even if the debt instrument returns a negative yield, the inherent currency could appreciate relative to the euro creating a gain overall for the investor.

The state of the US economy and bond yields

One of the biggest concerns for US investors is whether the atmosphere of negative yields will spill over into the domestic economy. The results for the first quarter in 2015 were disappointing, but inclement winter weather was partially blamed for the lackluster data. Economists believe the rest of the year should show a robust and growth oriented economy.

Yields on US debt instruments are still near all time lows, but the Federal Reserve has made several statements this year that indicate a rate hike is very likely to happen. While the European Central Bank (ECB) is prepared to begin a quantitative easing program intended to stimulate growth, the Fed officially ended its program late in 2014. It’s very unlikely that the US will actually see negative interest rates. Evidence suggests that US interest rates may currently be as low as they’re going to be before heading back up again later this year.

One major impact that negative rates would have in the US that makes it even more unlikely is the fact that consumers would essentially be paying banks just to hold their money. It’s a situation that the Fed wouldn’t let happen as consumers would simply hoard cash at home rather than make deposits. If that were to occur, it could create a liquidity crisis and halt lending activity.

As the US economy continues to gain strength, interest rates will rise as the demand for investment increases. For the US, negative yields won’t be a concern.

Car title loan basic facts

The massive changes in the economy in the last five years has had a number of effects on average consumers. One of the biggest is the drop in home ownership because of tight consumer credit or because of home foreclosures. Another effect is that homes in many parts of the country dropped in value so much that for many consumers, they owe more than the house is worth, and have no equity in their home.

For many in the US, their home was the most valuable financial asset they had, and in many cases, the only significant one. In fact, the 2012 Statistical abstract of the United States stated that in 2007, just before the start of the most recent US recession, the average net worth of families that owned their home was about $230,000, but for renters, it was about $5,000. Since then, the situation has become worse for everyone, especially for those who don’t own their home.

Because of lower rates of home ownership and the decline in home values, home equity loans are no longer an option for many consumers. For those who don’t own their home, often the only asset they have is their automobile. The consumer financial services industry understands this, and has increasingly provided an additional option for consumer, a loan on the value of their automobile. Also called a car title loan, this is a loan where in exchange for the title to your car (and the right to repossess that car), you can get a short-term loan.

The biggest drawback of these loans is the huge interest rates you may have to pay. While a home equity line of credit may have less than a 10% interest rate, and a credit card upwards of 25%, many car title loans may have effective interest rates of 300% or more.

If you are in a position where you need money and have no other options, then go get a auto title loan chicago or from some other local vendor. But if you do, be aware that it could cost you more than you expect.

Variable rate financing in real estate investing

When it comes to real estate investing, the investor usually has one of two primary goals, obtaining ongoing cash flow or getting either a short-term or long term capital gain. First, some basic definitions:

Capital Gains – If you invest for capital gains, your goal is to sell something for more than you bought it after that asset has appreciated. In order to receive the gain, you typically no longer own or control the asset.

Cash Flow – If you are a cash flow investor, your goal is to receive a series of cash payments from your investment, typically monthly or quarterly rental payments, while you own or control the asset.

There are of couse other considerations for real estate investing, primarily depreciation and tax advantages, that go into a decision to buy, sell, or hold an asset such as a residential or commercial real estate property. No matter what your goals, unless you are financing the purchase with existing assets, you will have to consider the role that your loan or mortgage will play.

If you’ve ever taken out a loan, owned a credit card, or have a mortgage for your house, you are probably quite familiar with the various interest rate options you may have. Investors are typically more sophisticated than buyers who are only looking for a place to live in rather than an investment property, and this could give the investor certain advantages. For example, if you have an investment that was financed at a fixed rate, and you are in a position to sell to a buyer who is unable to find a reasonable rate loan, if your fixed rate were low enough, you could offer a variable rate that would ensure a larger cash flow to you in the future.

To get an idea of what the situation may be like for someone who is considering purchasing a single family residential property that you own, you may want to visit a bank site to see what a Standard Variable Rate may be for your buyer.

If you know what kind of options your buyer has, and what your options are for offering alternative financing options, you could put yourself in a better position to profit over the long term.