How Will The Tariffs Affect Your Every Day Wallet?

The stock markets continue to see increased volatility as the tariff and trade war between the United States and China continues to heat up. We’ve quickly realized that one tweet, media story, or heightened news coverage can send the markets soaring or spiraling in a day.  Here’s a recent example of a tweet:

The reality is that these negotiations are extremely difficult, and nobody really likes to see them be prolongated.  Think about the most difficult negotiations you have probably done in your lifetime which is the buying or selling of a home and how your emotions ran high over $10,000 or $20,000 of negotiations when someone asked you to repair a cracked window or a lock that didn’t work.

We are in an unprecented $420 billion-dollar trade gap right now which really means we buy a lot more stuff from China than they buy from us.  The tariffs (which really are a tax) act as a way for us to raise the prices on imported Chinese goods in an effort to close this massive imbalance.   But the real question is how will this affect your day to day wallet?

At the grocery store

Immediately, you’ll see a spike in pork, tuna, trout, salmon, and a number of other meat and fish products.  You’ll also see a spike in certain vegetables such as broccoli, onions, cabbage, and garlic.  Our farmers have been hard hit not only by the floods, but the tariffs are starting to substantially dent their business.

At your home

On the home front, you’ll see a spike in various soaps and products and polishes for furniture.  Electronics haven’t completely been hit yet, but certain household items such as vacuum cleaners will go up in price as well.  You’ll see a spike in everything from rain jackets to baseball gloves to just about anything that uses latex.

What if tariffs go up again?

If you are anticipating that the United States and China will trade barbs for another round of tariffs, you might want to think about buying some items before the summers ends. Lots of people want to upgrade their i phones and they are going to cost more with another round of tariff hikes.  An i phone that costs $1,000 on average will go up to $1,142 with a new round of tariffs.  All types of electronics including flat screen TV’s will go up in price as well.   And, even though you just finished school, back to school products, backpacks, and all kinds of paper goods from diapers to paper towels will go up as well.  You could consider buying these items now before the new tariffs go into effect.

In the short term, the tariffs are just a bargaining chip in these negotiations, but we all know it isn’t a good idea if the two world’s largest economies get an extended case of the flu.  You should keep a closer eye on your money as the stock markets simply do not like uncertainty and if the tariff wars continue you will see more days with larger peaks and valleys depending on Trumps tweets or the news story of the day.

About the author  ⁄ Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves

Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves


My friends and family all think I’m a workaholic, but I say I’m just a guy that loves to help people do better in life.

My mother is still the only one that calls me by my real name Theodore Michael, my wife calls me Teddy, but for the rest of you it is just plain old Ted.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always loved money and being an entrepreneur. In fact, I still have cassette tapes of me talking to my grandmother at the age of five and my mother tells me all the time how much I played with money as a kid...

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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.

Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS. oXYGen Financial is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. Kestra IS and Kestra AS do not provide tax or legal advice.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra Investment Services, LLC or Kestra Advisory Services, LLC. This is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor regarding your individual situation. 

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