December 28th, 2009
06:51 AM GMT
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The end of a year (or the start of a new one) is a time of reflection, a time to reassess life and your financial portfolio.  Last year was tough for the global economy but a lucrative one for investors in stocks or gold.

So what about 2010?  These are some of the trends to consider when investing.

1) Interest rates are bound to stay low. With governments trying to encourage economic growth, financial experts expect central banks to keep money cheap.  What does that mean?  "People are getting no return on their cash, no return on their bank accounts," Keith Wade, economist at Schroders, told me.  "They will continue to look for yield."

2) Emerging markets will be in focus. With fund managers concerned about sluggish growth in the U.S. and Europe, many say they will hunt for higher returns in places like Asia.  Asia has been recovering faster than the West.  Stocks and property have run up in the past several months and brokerages like UBS believe the trend will only continue all year.  Some governments have taken measures to rein in speculators, but in places like Hong Kong, their hands are tied.  This city's monetary policy tracks the U.S. because its dollar is pegged to the greenback.

3) The U.S. dollar will likely stay weak but be prepared for a few surprises. Richard Duncan, author of "The Dollar Crisis," argues the U.S. economy is structurally flawed and too burdened with debt, which hurts the prospects for the dollar.  He says with the U.S. government borrowing so much to finance its massive spending programs plus two wars, the outlook for the dollar will only worsen.  However, with so many financial experts down on the dollar, some are starting to wonder if the greenback might swing in the other direction at least for a short while in 2010.  One theory is that the dollar makes a comeback as investors flee to dollars to shelter themselves from market volatility.

And given the lingering fears of another Dubai debt crisis or a double dip recession, there will be no shortage of market jitters.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Lim Boon Chuan

    I certainly hope that there wont be a double dip. Jitters wise, I guess I am resigned to having these as a constant feature of the New Economy. I can see no lack of "experts" opinions just hoping that the majority of us will have more common sense, watch before you leap.

    December 29, 2009 at 5:50 am |
  2. ejay

    It is time to make the rich bastards to pay for these wars we are now presently engage in and lift our nation out of the economic doldrums. It is time for a 50% gross profit on revenues and receipts tax; it is time to abolish the tax exemptions for the wealthiest by getting rid of the mortgage interest and property tax deduction, it is time for a 50% tax on individuals making more than $100,000 in income and a 50% tax on corporate profits. It is time to shore up our nation's economy not on our nation's poor but its wealthy and powerful. These wars against Islamic radicals will go on for years and years who are we kidding if we think not? Today Iraq and Afghanistan tomorrow Yemen and Somalia trust me on this.

    December 29, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  3. loan

    Vietname's economies are developing sharply, there are more and more foreign companies. it is a safe and profitable place to invest in. I hope there will be more investment for new developing Vietnam

    January 10, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  4. 103loan

    i agree with Lim Boon Chuan

    January 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm |

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