Finance experts have to look at a wide variety of metrics to do their jobs and properly understand trends in the economy. They have to be aware of both macroeconomic and microeconomic factors at the company level in order to make these analyses. Here are three of the most critical market indicators that any financial expert should know in order to do their jobs.
Volatility is perhaps the most important factor that any financial expert should know. This concept is the clearest way to understand how an individual can predict the movements of financial markets. Volatility is measured by the VIX index and other factors. In many ways, volatility is more damaging than a simple downturn in the market. Financial experts know how to transfer their assets and pick counter-cyclical industries if they see that a downturn is coming.
They are not able to make those same bets if there is a considerable amount of volatility in one or more sectors. Knowing volatility is helpful for understanding what factors influence the decisions that financial experts make. One decision that many experts have to make is whether or not they want to take short-term or long-term positions in securities.
Having a short-term outlook may push financial experts to recommend more short sales and limits on trades. Financial experts also may focus more on the bond or real estate markets than stock markets at times of high volatility. High volatility often means a greater chance of losing money for anyone invested in the stock market. Times of steady growth are the best possible times for investment and often do not go along with high ratings on the VIX index.
Value projections are the most common market indicators that most individuals use to understand markets. They are the essential facts behind the performance of companies. Most companies release a wide variety of statistics about their performance over the previous year or quarter. But they also issue predictions about how those same companies will perform over the next year. These predictions are more informative to a financial expert than the previous year’s numbers because they help show expectations and assumptions by professionals from a wide variety of companies.
Expectations and assumptions about trends in the market drive the market more than almost any other fundamental. Financial experts can buy, sell, and hold based directly on these predictions. Their job is to show the predictions that matter and the predictions that are based on poor forecasts or guidance. By picking the most influential ideas about the performance of the stock market, a financial expert can use value projections to greatly aid their analyses.
Financial experts need to make sure that they are considering other asset classes outside of bond and stock markets. One of the most common other asset classes to consider is real estate. A wide variety of new, used, individual, and commercial real estate metrics is released every month. This information can point to the success of consumer spending and the economy in general. Real estate is vastly more influential than information about nearly every other industry. Buying a home is often the most consequential purchase that any family will make. It involves a transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of years or even decades. As a result, moves in this market show the financial ideas and security of millions of Americans.
Every financial expert needs to become as familiar with this market as with any other. They need to better understand how the real estate market influences the amount of money that individuals spend on technology products and staples. In addition, financial experts need to learn the amount of time it takes for moves in the real estate market to translate to moves in equities markets. Such an understanding is critical for financial experts to make recommendations about the prices of stocks or the performance of the bond market.
No finance expert can perfectly predict every movement of the market. But following critical financial indicators can help ensure that an individual is as informed about markets and market developments as possible. Knowing about volatility and other asset classes helps experts stay informed and make financial plans that are likely to generate considerable returns over a period of time.