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Looking Back at My 2011 Predictions

{ Posted on Dec 31 2011 by Marcus Alston }
Categories : Personal Finance

I made few New Year’s predictions at the end of 2010 for 2011.  So how did I do?

I predicted the following for 2011:

1.  The stock market will continue to grow, but at levels lower than the double digit levels in 2010.

While it was a slight mixed bag, I was pretty on the money here, although this was a pretty safe bet.  For 2011, the Dow–the largest index- grew by 5.53%, the Nasdaq went down 1.8% and the S&P 500 was essentially unchanged at 0%.

2.  Unemployment will go down significantly.

I was wrong here and too optimistic.  When I made my prediction, the data I had was from November 1, 2010, the US unemployment rate 9.8%.  The unemployment rate at end of 2011 (taken as of January 1, 2012) was 9.3%.  That’s not the big change I was predicting which I thought would be at least a point.

3.  Health care reform will show tangible financial benefits at the end of the year

I don’ think there is enough data here, but certainly those with pre-existing conditions and young adults who can stay on their parents health plan longer if they don’t already have a job that provides health insurance have benefited well.

4.  Credit card companies will shape up more and back off their legal ways to gauge consumers.

The May 2009 Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act) is slowly starting to have an impact.

It is comprehensive credit card reform legislation that aims “…to establish fair and transparent practices relating to the extension of credit under an open end consumer credit plan, and for other purposes.  It looks to curb how credit cards companies can charge consumers,  including repricing and overlimit fees.

One provision of the Card Act has changed the way people under the age of 21 can obtain a credit card.  For instance, if someone under the age of 21 wants a credit card, he or she must either have a cosigner who is over the age of 21 or demonstrate an ability to repay the debt.

Some states have also passed tougher regulations against credit card companies such as the State of New Jersey.  It passed the Credit Card Solicitation Act in May 2010.  Under the New Jersey Act, credit card companies are allowed to visit a college campus only after registering with the educational institution. Another provision of the act prohibits the credit card companies from offering incentives such as gifts and to explain the difference between introductory and normal rates.

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