WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - Ask any financial advisor. If there's one word to describe the biggest determinant to the financial markets, it's the word, "uncertainty."
Monday's market waffled amidst the uncertainty of a deal on the fiscal cliff. After President Obama made a speech at 1:30 Monday afternoon, saying in part, "Today it appears that an agreement to prevent this New Year's tax hike is within sight," the markets rebounded. Uncertainty was shelved. The Dow ended up 166 points.
Thomas Seneca of T.M. Wealth Management knows money. "You're going to have the exact opposite happen if come tomorrow morning we don't have a resolution, or a clear direction for a resolution, the markets are going to react the opposite way," he said. Seneca says just about everybody's taxes could go up. No one will be unscathed.
How will this affect you? If you earn $50,000 a year, you'll see about $1,000 less of it during the course of the year. If you earn the cap, $113,700, you'll see almost $2,300 less. That comes out to a $200-a-month bite out of your wallet. And you can be certain, if it affects your wallet, it affects the entire economy.
Before you feel helpless, Seneca says having a plan can help you weather this and any storm. "If they are looking to put new money to work, we'll say let's wait until some of that uncertainty clears. If they need money within the next 6 to 12 months, we tell them take the money now," he said.
And, Seneca says if you're in it for the long haul, it may be tough on your nerves, but you shouldn't make any swift moves. "We tell clients, [that] emotions can be hazardous to your wealth, and a knee jerk reaction can take a bad situation and make it even worse,"he said.