Read our latest forecasts for investment returns and our region-by-region economic outlook.
The neutral rate of interest in the United States may be higher than many people think—including Federal Reserve policymakers. That is among the findings of new Vanguard research that suggests current monetary policy may be less restrictive than generally assumed. Demographics began to push the neutral rate higher before the COVID-19 pandemic, the research finds, and fiscal deficits have accelerated the rise since.
The dividing line between tight and loose monetary policy may be higher than policymakers think
Notes: The Laubach-Williams and Holston-Laubach-Williams estimates of the U.S. neutral rate of interest are derived from Federal Reserve Bank of New York models. The Vanguard estimate is based on 2023 research by Joseph H. Davis, Ryan Zalla, Joana Rocha, and Josh Hirt.
Sources: Vanguard and Federal Reserve Bank of New York model estimates of the neutral rate through 2022.
The neutral rate is the theoretical central bank interest rate target that would neither restrict nor fuel activity in an economy at full employment. Assessments of the neutral rate, also known as R-star, are essential to policy-setting.
Vanguard’s neutral-rate estimate is about half a percentage point higher than the estimate produced by the Laubach-Williams model, the Fed’s most frequently cited neutral rate source, named for its economist authors. We ran our higher neutral-rate assessment through the Fed’s macroeconomic model under a range of monetary policy rules. The results suggested that the median effective rate target would peak at 6% in 2023. The Fed’s current rate target is 5%–5.25%.
In the longer term, the median central bank target rate would need to settle at 3.5%, or a full percentage point higher than the median long-run outlook in the Fed’s most recent Summary of Economic Projections. These “higher for longer” findings support the idea put forth by Joe Davis, Vanguard’s global chief economist, in his January Wall Street Journal commentary suggesting that long-term investors stand to benefit from a new era of “sound money.”
The views below are those of the global economics and markets team of Vanguard Investment Strategy Group as of July 19, 2023.
A change at the top is unlikely to significantly alter the policy approach of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). The government announced on July 14 that Michele Bullock would replace Philip Lowe as governor when Lowe’s seven-year term expires on September 18.
We’re watching developments related to interest-rate targeting as potentially more significant than the leadership change. A recent recommendation of an external review of the RBA would clarify the bank’s inflation target as the midpoint of the current 2%–3% range. “Assuming this recommendation is implemented in 2024, as widely expected, this adds a hawkish tilt to RBA policy so long as inflation remains above target,” said Alexis Gray, a Vanguard senior economist.
While the RBA left its cash rate target unchanged at 4.1% on July 4, we expect above-target inflation to spur the central bank to raise its cash rate target to 4.6% and leave it there at least until 2024.
Headline inflation registered its smallest increase in 13 months in May, up 5.6% compared with a year earlier. Excluding food, automotive fuel, and holiday travel, prices were 6.4% higher in May. We expect headline inflation to fall to around 4.5% by year-end, as higher interest rates dampen demand, and to reach the RBA’s 2%–3% target in late 2024 or 2025.
We continue to expect economic growth of 1%–1.5% for all of 2023, though risks skew to the downside. Our proprietary leading indicators model suggests that growth will fall below trend in the coming quarters amid weak consumer confidence and subdued consumption. We assign about a 40% probability of recession over the next 12 months.
The most recent inflation and labor reports suggest some cooling in the economy ahead of a July 26 monetary policy announcement by the Federal Reserve.
The Consumer Price Index rose 3% on a year-over-year basis in June, down from 4% in May. Core prices, which exclude food and energy, were 4.8% higher, down from 5.3% the month before. However, the path to the Fed’s 2% inflation target is likely to be long and winding. We expect year-over-year core inflation to finish 2023 around 3.3%, and that it will not fall below 2% until 2025.
Employers added 209,000 jobs in June, the fewest since December 2020, when there were net job losses. But the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, within the 3.4%–3.7% range that has prevailed since March 2022. Wage growth remained strong—average hourly earnings were up 4.4% year-over-year in June—as the demand for workers continues to outstrip labor supply. We believe that gives Fed policymakers impetus to raise their target for short-term interest rates by 25 basis points (0.25 percentage point) on July 26.
At its last monetary policy meeting, on June 14, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to pause its interest rate hiking cycle, holding its rate target to a range of 5%–5.25%. In its “dot plot,” an aggregation of Fed officials’ individual views, the Fed suggested its rate target would be 5.5%–5.75% by year-end. That’s 25 basis points above our 5.25%–5.5% forecast range.
Official data released on July 17 put an exclamation point on China’s relatively weak economic performance. Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 6.3% in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, but that was a percentage point below analysts’ consensus estimate. Although growth topped the first quarter’s 4.5% pace, it owed in large part to favorable year-earlier comparisons. More telling: Compared with the first quarter, GDP grew just 0.8%.
We recently lowered our full-year growth forecast to a range of 5.5%–6%. Uncertainties around meaningful policy stimulus pose a downside risk not only to our forecast but also to the government growth target of “around 5%.” Developments at the Politburo meeting scheduled for the end of July will say a lot about the potential for further downside.
“We anticipate further stimulus measures to remain relatively modest,” said Grant Feng, a Vanguard senior economist. “That could take the form of expanded policy bank financing for high-end manufacturing and the green sector, a modest policy rate cut of 10 to 20 basis points, and further relaxation of housing purchase restrictions.”
Consumer prices fell for a third consecutive month in June and were flat compared with a year earlier. Producer prices, meanwhile, were down by a greater-than-expected 5% year-over-year in June. We foresee full-year headline inflation in a range of 1%–1.5% and core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, of 1%.
Weak recent data, especially from Germany, the euro area’s largest economy, suggest that a recession continued between April and June, marking a third consecutive quarterly contraction.
“Weakness in the euro area has been broad-based across manufacturing and services,” said Shaan Raithatha, a Vanguard senior economist. “That’s consistent with another mild quarterly contraction in GDP, which would extend the recession.”
We expect the peak impact of monetary policy tightening to take hold in the second half of 2023, with the labor market weakening in the European Central Bank’s (ECB’s) continuing quest to bring inflation to its 2% target. We continue to anticipate full-year economic growth of 0.5%, though risks are now skewed to the downside.
The pace of both headline and core inflation, which excludes energy, food, alcohol, and tobacco prices, stood at 5.5% on a year-over-year basis in June. We believe that still-too-high inflation will lead the ECB to raise its deposit facility rate by a further 25–50 basis points to a peak of 3.75%–4%, with no rate cuts until mid-2024.
A day after government data showed an unexpected rise in core inflation, the Bank of England (BOE) on June 22 announced a 50-basis-point (0.5 percentage point) increase in the bank rate, to 5%. We recently raised our forecast for the BOE’s peak rate by 75 basis points to a range of 5.5%–5.75%, given the stronger-than-expected inflation data, a continued tight labor market, and accelerating wage growth. We maintain our view that the BOE will not lower its rate target until mid-2024 at the earliest.
“The U.K. has had the worst of both worlds when it comes to inflation,” said Shaan Raithatha, a Vanguard senior economist. “Its labor market has faced challenges like those in the United States, with lingering COVID-related supply issues, and its energy-price shock has been worse than in the euro area, given domestic price-setting mechanisms. That’s why the Bank of England still has work to do to get inflation down toward target.”
We expect year-over-year core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, to end the year at around 4.9% and to average 5.3% in the fourth quarter, still well above the BOE’s 2% target.
We foresee zero economic growth for the full year. Our base case is for recession in 2023, though the likelihood has increased that recession may be delayed into 2024. Resilience is partly attributable to changes in the U.K. mortgage market since the 2008 global financial crisis. Fewer households hold mortgages today, and among those that do, more have rates that are fixed for 2 or 5 years rather than variable. As such, higher interest rates take longer to affect households.
Emerging markets led the global rate-hiking cycle. As tighter monetary policy conditions cause economies to slow and help inflation recede toward central bank targets, we expect emerging markets to lead the rate-cutting cycle as well. That development could play out this month in Chile, where minutes of the June meeting of Banco Central Chile indicate the possibility of multiple rate cuts this year.
“Chile’s central bank is likely to be the first in Latin America to cut rates,” said Vytas Maciulis, a Vanguard economist. “Inflation, though still high, has fallen consistently, inflation expectations have dropped to the bank’s 3% target, and the broad economy has faltered.”
The Bank of Mexico left the target for its overnight interbank rate unchanged at 11.25% in June. The rate target remains more than 7 percentage points higher than where it stood when the bank’s hiking cycle began in June 2021. We believe the bank is likely to have reached its rate peak but don’t anticipate rate cuts in 2023.
We anticipate global emerging markets growth of 3.9% in 2023, but the recent economic developments in China, the world’s second-largest economy, bear watching. We foresee emerging Asia leading the way with 2023 growth of around 5.25%. We anticipate growth of about 1.5% in Latin America and of around 1% in central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
When the Bank of Canada (BOC) raised its overnight rate target to 5.0% on July 12, it cited a familiar theme: “The accumulation of evidence that excess demand and elevated core inflation are both proving more persistent.” Since the start of its hiking cycle in March 2022, the BOC has raised its overnight rate target by 4.75 percentage points.
We believe the BOC has reached its peak rate target, though risks skew to the upside. “Of particular note is the role of immigration within the labor and housing markets,” said Asawari Sathe, a Vanguard senior economist. “The immigrant share of the population is at its highest level in decades, and that’s keeping both labor supply and housing demand strong.”
The Canadian economy created 60,000 jobs in June, three times expectations and the most since January 2023. Even as the employment rate rose, so did the unemployment rate, to 5.4%, as more people sought work. We expect unemployment to edge up to about 5.5% by year-end as monetary policy slows the economy.
We expect inflation (+2.8% at the headline level, year-over-year, in June but +3.6% excluding food and energy) to continue to moderate this year. Upside risks remain, however, in part because shelter costs remain high in a home loan market dominated by variable-rate and short-term fixed-rate loans.
We continue to foresee 2023 economic growth of less than 1%, with risks to the downside, and a recession late in the year as the effects of higher interest rates spread.
Vanguard’s outlook for financial markets
Our forecasts are derived from a May 31, 2023, running of the Vanguard Capital Markets Model®. Figures are based on a 2-point range around the 50th percentile of the distribution of return outcomes for equities and a 1-point range around the 50th percentile for fixed income.
Following are our 10-year annualised return forecasts. Forecasts are from the perspective of local investors in local currencies.
Australian stocks: 4.3% to 6.3%; ex-Australia stocks: 5.0% to 7.0%.
Australian bonds: 3.4% to 4.4%; ex-Australia bonds: 3.6% to 4.6% when hedged in Australian dollars.
About the Vanguard Capital Markets Model
IMPORTANT: The projections and other information generated by the Vanguard Capital Markets Model regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results. VCMM results will vary with each use and over time.
The VCMM projections are based on a statistical analysis of historical data. Future returns may behave differently from the historical patterns captured in the VCMM. More important, the VCMM may be underestimating extreme negative scenarios unobserved in the historical period on which the model estimation is based.
The Vanguard Capital Markets Model® is a proprietary financial simulation tool developed and maintained by Vanguard’s Investment Strategy Group. The model forecasts distributions of future returns for a wide array of broad asset classes. Those asset classes include U.S. and international equity markets, several maturities of the U.S. Treasury and corporate fixed income markets, international fixed income markets, U.S. money markets, commodities, and certain alternative investment strategies. The theoretical and empirical foundation for the Vanguard Capital Markets Model is that the returns of various asset classes reflect the compensation investors require for bearing different types of systematic risk (beta). At the core of the model are estimates of the dynamic statistical relationship between risk factors and asset returns, obtained from statistical analysis based on available monthly financial and economic data. Using a system of estimated equations, the model then applies a Monte Carlo simulation method to project the estimated interrelationships among risk factors and asset classes as well as uncertainty and randomness over time. The model generates a large set of simulated outcomes for each asset class over several time horizons. Forecasts are obtained by computing measures of central tendency in these simulations. Results produced by the tool will vary with each use and over time.
The primary value of the VCMM is in its application to analysing potential client portfolios. VCMM asset-class forecasts—comprising distributions of expected returns, volatilities, and correlations—are key to the evaluation of potential downside risks, various risk–return trade-offs, and the diversification benefits of various asset classes. Although central tendencies are generated in any return distribution, Vanguard stresses that focusing on the full range of potential outcomes for the assets considered, such as the data presented in this paper, is the most effective way to use VCMM output.
The VCMM seeks to represent the uncertainty in the forecast by generating a wide range of potential outcomes. It is important to recognise that the VCMM does not impose “normality” on the return distributions, but rather is influenced by the so-called fat tails and skewness in the empirical distribution of modeled asset-class returns. Within the range of outcomes, individual experiences can be quite different, underscoring the varied nature of potential future paths. Indeed, this is a key reason why we approach asset-return outlooks in a distributional framework.
Indexes used in Vanguard Capital Markets Model simulations
The long-term returns of our hypothetical portfolios are based on data for the appropriate market indexes as of December 31, 2021; December 31, 2022; and May 31, 2023. We chose these benchmarks to provide the most complete history possible, and we apportioned the global allocations to align with Vanguard’s guidance in constructing diversified portfolios. Asset classes and their representative forecast indexes are as follows:
General Advice Warning: The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.
Retiring on your own terms is not always easy to achieve, however it is evident that those who plan for retirement are more likely to do so. Results also show that obtaining professional help during the pre-retirement years further improves the probability of attaining your retirement objectives.
The earlier you start implementing a plan the better the outcomes.
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Retirement planning is about the lifestyle you will have after you stop work and receiving employment income. Planning focuses on issues such as how much superannuation is enough, taking a super pension, claiming the Age Pension, making superannuation contributions while receiving a pension from a super fund, estate planning and looking after your family.
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Investing your hard earned savings can be a complex task. There are many issues such as levels of risk, market timing, asset classes, and your own goals, objectives and preferences that need to be considered. It can often seem a daunting task. At Wybenga Financial we have the expertise to assist you in taking control of your finances and making sure you are generating the wealth you need both now and in the future.
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Life insurance isn’t just a cost, though it often feels like it. You buy peace-of-mind that should a serious issue effect you then the consequences won’t unduly affect your family. Insurance provides you with the ability to manage the financial and emotional impact of some of the more drastic events, whether personally or in your small business.
Insurance can’t replace a loved one but it can help reduce the financial burden by providing the capital to ensure your family has choices.
Many Australians are underinsured and the consequences can be very serious for families should there be a death or serious injury. A yes to any of the following questions means you may have a need for insurance coverage:
Do you have a mortgage?
Do you have school fees?
Do you have any personal loans?
Do you have any credit card debt?
Do you have dependents?
Would your financial position be affected if you were to suffer from an illness or injury?
Do you want to have enough capital to look after your dependents if you were unable to care for them for an extended period of time or perhaps indefinitely?
We understand that it can be difficult determining the type and level of cover you might need, let alone choosing an insurer. We can assist by helping you determine your needs and recommend an insurer that is right for you.
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Superannuation is mandatory but taking an early and active interest in your retirement planning is critical to ensuring your benefits are maximised by the time you retire. Many will have a superannuation scheme through employment but increasing numbers are starting their own Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF).
For many, simply relying on employer contributions may not be enough to provide the lifestyle you desire at retirement. We can assist in building strategies to ensure your retirement goals are met and your required lifestyle is maintained throughout retirement.
It is always best to start saving and planning for your retirement as early as you can.
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Self Managed Super Funds
Self-Managed Superannuation Funds (SMSFs) offer a good strategy option for many individuals, families and small business owners to build tax effective wealth and to protect assets over time. SMSFs are becoming popular for those who are ready to take control of their own super investments as they give you ultimate control and flexibility to manage your retirement benefits.
It must be noted though, that you will have increased responsibilities as a trustee of the fund. As a SMSF Trustee you need to keep up to date with all required regulations and keep up with the fast paced financial markets.
Wybenga Financial can work with you to understand your personal financial situation and decide whether a SMSF structure is appropriate for you. We will also make sure your assets are invested in the most effective way to maximise your retirement benefits.
Should you wish to consider establishing a SMSF then we can help with all aspects of the process from establishment to managing your compliance obligations.
Wybenga Financial would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help maximise your opportunities to grow your wealth through a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF). Contact us today to discuss how we can work together: (02) 9300 3000 or .
Your estate is made up of everything you own. This includes your home, property, furniture, car, personal possessions, business, investments, superannuation and bank accounts.
Having an estate plan is extremely important. Having a will is just the first step in your estate plan. It is critical to consider what outcomes you would like for your estate and to ensure a plan is in place to achieve those outcomes, both including and beyond the terms of your will.
Wybenga Financial would welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help ensure your estate is organised to ensure your plans are implemented as you wish. Contact us today to discuss how we can work together: (02) 9300 3000 or .
Loans and loan management are central to overall financial management. Obtaining the best loans for your needs is crucial and Wybenga Financial can help you with solutions that meet your short and long term needs.
At Wybenga Financial we work with experienced mortgage brokers that can assist you in obtaining the best loan for your needs and objectives. Whilst this is an external service, we work closely with the brokers to ensure the process is as easy and smooth as possible.
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We have partnerships with many respected property agents and research firms. This enables us to source suitable properties for individuals, couples and families looking to make an investment into property.
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Strategic planning is determining how an investor is going to meet their goals and objectives. It is about helping clients define their goals, gathering information and analysing data to make a plan, then implementing the plan and monitoring the results. It is also monitoring and updating goals and objectives as clients move through different phases of life.
Secure File Transfer is a facility that allows the safe and secure exchange of confidential files or documents between you and us.
Email is very convenient in our business world, there is no doubting that. However email messages and attachments can be intercepted by third parties, putting your privacy and identity at risk if used to send confidential files or documents. Secure File Transfer eliminates this risk.
Login to Secure File Transfer, or contact us if you require a username and password.
Please enjoy the links to these free tools supplied by MoneySmart – a great resource for general financial information. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss any questions that you may have as a result of using these calculators.
Tess has over 22-years experience in Chartered Accounting Firms and in this time has had a broad range of experience in superannuation, taxation, business services, and financial strategy.
Over the last seven-years, Tess has turned her attention to Financial Planning, earning a Diploma of Financial Planning in 2015 and leading the newly established financial division of the Wybenga Group as a director of Wybenga Financial.
Tess’s mission is to bring the ethics and integrity of her Chartered Accounting background to the area of wealth management.
As a woman in a male dominated field, Tess is active in promoting gender equality in the industry through various programs and mentoring opportunities.
Using her depth of knowledge and experience in tax and accounting Tess is able to demonstrate a level of competence that is unique in the Financial Planning sector.
2001 – Commenced employment with Wybenga & Partners and part-time accountancy studies
2004 – Graduated Masters of Commerce from the University of New South Wales
2005 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
2007 – Promoted to Manager at Wybenga & Partners
2012 – Appointed as Associate Director
2015 – Awarded a Diploma of Financial Planning
2016 – Appointed as Partner of Wybenga Group and Director of Wybenga Financial
B.Bus, B.Sc, CA, DipFP
Adam has over 18-years experience in Chartered Accounting Firms and in this time has had a broad range of experience in superannuation, taxation, business services, and financial strategy.
Over the last seven-years, Adam has turned his attention to Financial Planning, earning a Diploma of Financial Planning in 2015 and leading the newly established financial division of the Wybenga Group as a director of Wybenga Financial.
Adam’s mission is to bring the ethics and integrity of his Chartered Accounting background to the area of wealth management.
Combining traditional accounting and financial services has been a welcome move for Adam, allowing him to operate and advise in the financial sector that has been a long time personal passion.
Using his depth of knowledge and experience in tax and accounting Adam is able to demonstrate a level of competence that is unique in the Financial Planning sector.
2005 – Graduated Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Sydney
2005 – Commenced employment with Wybenga & Partners and part-time accountancy studies
2007 – Graduated Bachelor of Business from the University of Western Sydney
2010 – Admitted as an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
2010 – Promoted to Manager at Wybenga & Partners
2012 – Appointed as Associate Director
2015 – Awarded a Diploma of Financial Planning
2016 – Appointed as Partner of Wybenga Group and Director of Wybenga Financial
What is an Advisory Cadetship? An Advisory Cadetship enables you to commence your career whilst attaining the necessary university qualifications by studying part-time.
How does it work? Generally, our cadets complete a relevant business or accounting degree at the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, or the University of Western Sydney.
The Firm provides 3-hours paid study leave per week to attend university. This can either be taken at the one time or broken between days depending on the individual’s requirements. In addition, the Firm provides paid study leave for both mid-semester and end-of-year exams.
We take the work life balance very seriously at Wybenga Financial and our cadets are encouraged to have a fulfilling life outside the office. A typical day will have you arriving at the office at around 8.30am with most days concluding at 5.30pm.
What are the benefits of an Advisory Cadetship with Wybenga Financial? Our cadets benefit from the following:
Career path – on completion of their degree our cadets have significant practical experience which will assist them in advancing their careers
Work helps your studies – by working full-time our cadets are able to apply their practical knowledge in the university subjects
Camaraderie with other cadets – the Firm has a number of cadets at various stages of their career
Mentoring – cadets are paired with a senior staff member who oversees their progress and training both at work and with their studies
Communication and feedback – the Firm has an open door policy which enables all cadets to interact with all members of staff including Directors
Culture – the Firm promotes a friendly social culture with a number of functions throughout the year
Modern environment – including ‘socialising’ areas such as pool table and break out area
Training – ongoing support and technical training. We also provide internal and external training on a monthly basis
Remuneration – working full-time provides a market salary and independence with salaries being reviewed every 6-months
What happens when I complete my degree? The completion of your degree is the first step of what we hope to be a long and successful career with us. The next step is the commencement of a Diploma of Financial Planning followed by completing the requirements to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
There are always progression opportunities for the right cadets and we are dedicated to the long term development of our staff.
Who should apply? Current Year 12 students or first/second year University Students who:
want to commence their career in financial advisory;
are due to commence or are currently completing a part-time business or commerce degree at university with an advisory major;
want to gain valuable hands-on experience while completing their qualifications;
are looking for a friendly working environment;
are team players who display initiative;
have a commitment to self-development;
possess excellent personal presentation and communication skills; and
are motivated and mature minded.
How do I apply for an Advisory Cadetship? To apply for a Cadetship position at Wybenga Financial send us your details. Please also include in your covering letter why you wish to do a cadetship, include relevant qualities you possess, main interests / achievements, and any previous employment.
Interested candidates should initially forward a resume/covering letter of no more than 3-pages. Please provide full details of contact information (telephone or e-mail).
What if I have more questions? For further information about our Cadetship program, please send your enquiry to .