- a strengthening in growth from 2.1% on average in 2010 to 2.4% in 2011, with real GDP rising at an above-potential 3½% pace in late 2011
- A peaking in unemployment in mid-2011 at about 10.75%
- a continuation of the Fed’s (near) zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) throughout 2011.
According to local (Fresno County, California) economists, the single best hedge against inflation is real estate investment at 5% or less interest set for 30 years.
I believe in whole life insurance as a college fund for your children. Modern Woodman and Northwestern are two very solid companies with great investment histories.
Pay attention to news forecasts regarding 401k accounts. In early 2009, there was talk of the government "rolling" these retirement funds into Social Security. Now that the GOP is back on The Hill, this will not happen unless Obama can figure out a way of circumventing Congress, again. If this looks possible, take your money out, pay the taxes and do something else with your funds.
Most forecasters do not believe there will be a sharp increase in jobs. Some increase? Yes. 8 million new jobs? No. There is much talk of a "jobless recovery." We do not believe in such. Because our definition of "recovery" includes a healthy jobs market and a resolution to the housing crisis, we believe we remain in a recession, but things are definitely improving.