Our Thoughts

FJY News to Know #35

The Empire Strikes Back! — China to Put Tariffs on US Goods

China will issue retaliatory tariffs on $75B worth of U.S. imports, and will also levy auto products.  These Chinese impositions are timed almost to the day with Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods coming to U.S. shores.  Trump is attacking Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, trying to paint him as a bigger enemy than China.  The Dow responded negatively to the announcement from the Central Committee, dropping roughly 150 points.  Read on to get perspective on the worldwide impact of this recent event.

Interest Rates are Affecting Investment Instruments

As interest rates drop, they’re creating a ripple effect for insurers who offer annuities. When the environment changes and rates reduced, this can hurt consumers who didn’t factor in such changes.  “Virtually all the carriers have said they’ll have to make adjustments to pricing,” said Scott Stolz, a senior vice president at Raymond James & Associates Inc.  American Equity, among the largest providers of indexed annuities, has reduced participation rates and interest-rate caps on some S&P 500 products three times since mid-April.  Read here for a further breakdown of the situation.

Lending Requirements Are Becoming More Lax — Is This a Good Thing?

It’s been roughly 10 years since home buyers triggered one of the worst financial crises in U.S. history.  Despite this, the strict lending requirements — which were a direct result of the 2008 meltdown — are starting to loosen up.  Homebuyers with low credit scores or high debt levels are finding it easier to get credit.  The so-called ‘liar loan’ is simply being rebranded under the name ‘non-qualified’ because they don’t comply with previous standards.  $45B worth of these unconventional loans were approved in 2018, the most in a decade.  Find out more about the impact of this phenomenon.

There’s No Such Thing As the Summer Real-Estate Slump in Crystal City, VA

Summer is not always the favorite season for realtors, especially in the month of August. However, a certain zip code which covers Crystal City, VA is still seeing movement — in value and turnover.  It’s no coincidence, however, as this is the future site of Amazon’s new headquarters.  Echoing the Y2K bicoastal real estate boom, asking prices for single-family homes increased 99.9% in just one year’s time.  As with so many other flourishing areas, the comps on surrounding areas are increasing as well.  Will this trend continue?  This article might have the answer and is very relevant for our Virginia office and clients!