10 points for reviewing your finances at the end of the year

Is the interest party over yet? Why is the price of gold soaring right now? Bitcoin back to 40,000 francs? What you should know about your finances just before the end of the year and the ultimate checklist for your last spurt.

Are you in the Advent mood yet? With the snow just in time for the beginning of December, the Christmas spirit really comes. And for those of you who are rather grumpy about Christmas, the prospect of good times in the mountains can also be a ray of hope. There’s still a lot to do on the financial front shortly before the end of the year, and there’s a lot of movement at the moment with the latest interest rate developments. Here I’ve rounded up some current points and a December year-end checklist that can help you stay on top of things and make the start of 2024 a lot easier. Have a great Advent season and lots of fun.

Interest party almost over?

In November FED, US Federal Reserve Bank, Interest rates are not adjusted further, they remain at the 5.25-5.5% level. The European Central Bank (ECB) also recently stopped raising interest rates. Whether interest rates will remain high, or even fall, will be seen in mid-December, when further interest rate decisions will be made by the Fed and the ECB. Decisive for this is the development of inflation, which, for example, developed positively in the USA and around 3.2% is still well above the desired goal of 2%, but still well below the level of January 2023 (6.4%), for example. (Statistics data). Experts expect interest rates to decline starting in 2024. If this development occurs, bonds will benefit from appreciation gains and expectations of long-term returns for stocks will increase.

Gold prices are going through the roof right now

Gold is considered a safe haven in uncertain times. The price of gold, led by uncertainties in the conflict in the Middle East, continues to rise. Demand for gold continues to rise due to further anticipated future interest rate cuts fueling speculation about related further economic developments and usually accompanied by a weaker USD. Gold prices are rising, reaching an all-time high of $2,100 per ounce on Monday, December 4th.

Bitcoin reaches more than $42,000

Bitcoin has also been steadily rising, rising to more than $42,000 per bitcoin on Monday (Data Coinmarket Cap). The positive sentiment is mainly fueled by the anticipation of the approval of Bitcoin-based EFT in the US, which is scheduled for the beginning of the year.

Is the big party now okay with the prospect of stabilizing inflation, the associated decline in interest rates, potential upside and upside for bonds and stocks? Since no one has a magic crystal ball, the current more positive investment sentiment is based on expectations.

The ups and downs in the markets are also related to this, because inflation really matters. No risk, no return. Waiting until it’s very certain is usually not an advantage, as the party is often already over by then. “Chasing” the market and, for example, falling into a gold rush is never a good idea because you might end up buying too much.

In such a dynamic time, it pays more than ever to invest in a boring, disciplined, wobbly way and to really perceive speculation as such for those who like it and invest only amounts that do not hurt too much if things turn out differently.

In the end, the most important thing for success is how much time you have available for your system and how well you can cope with the potential roller coaster.

So it remains exciting until the end of the year. This also offers a great opportunity to put you on pole position for 2024. A short checklist can be found here.

Your 10-point year-end financial checklist

  1. Evergreen: Pay into pillar 3a by 31 December or top up to the maximum if possible
  2. Review and Adjust Your Budget: Higher amounts for health insurance premiums, rent, and other expenses must find their way into your budget. To have a place for everything during the year, adjust standing orders for everything now and also save money for the nice things like vacations and shopping – this money will come in handy by the summer at the latest.
  3. Prepare for your tax return now: Collecting the documents is the tedious part, so start collecting the receipts.
  4. Review your financial plan and goals: When it comes to tax preparation, it’s easy. How was the year for you? Are there any changes in your life that you should consider in your financial plan for the coming year? What are your goals for 2024? Where would you like to develop further, perhaps travel or learn?
  5. Emergency Fund Check: Do you have an emergency fund and is it still the right size? Maybe you’ve had a baby and need to increase it or create more security, or maybe your circumstances have changed and your emergency fund is even too generous?
  6. Insurance check: Changing your health insurance for 2024 is no longer possible, but your other policies – is the scope of coverage still adequate, are you somewhere under or over insured?
  7. Investment check: Are you still satisfied with your investments and what is important to you? Are there any cheaper providers or ones that offer better terms that you could use?
  8. Preventative check: Would you like to make any additional purchases in the coming year? Should partners have priority?
  9. Document Check: Do you have all the necessary documents, eg advance directive, will, testament? Does everyone who should have the necessary access and rights? Collect documents, store them and, if necessary, digitize them.
  10. Check liabilities and debts: Are there any major changes coming up, for example, will you need to extend your mortgage soon? Do you have obligations that are costing you a lot of money at higher interest rates, such as leases, short-term loans, debts? How can you reduce them?

Whatever the situation, cold days are perfect for a quick financial cleanup. What else are you planning for your finances in December 2024 and how do you see the situation? Will 2024 be an exciting financial year and where do you see opportunities?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *