Economist Frances Donald discusses state of US economy

Frances Donald, Senior Economist at Manulife Asset Management and Chief Economist at John Hancock Financial Services, joined Jason Hartman on the Creating Wealth podcast to talk about the US economy.

John Hancock runs an investment sentiment survey, a poll of affluent investors, and Donald said what they found is that investors are more optimistic this year relative to a year ago, resulting in a ten-point rise over last year.

“That’s the highest level in two years and when we ask investors what is making them so optimistic about the future, they come back by saying it’s the stability and strong performance of the stock market,” Donald told Hartman. “I have to say, however, when scanning the results of the survey, it is clear that there’s a lot more optimism about the US economy in general.”

Hartman asked Donald about the outlook for the real estate market, particularly the housing sector. “House prices have been growing about five percent every year, that’s stable, that’s sustainable—that’s kind of healthy house price appreciation. The challenge for housing is that interest rates are moving up and that does tend to correlate with fewer mortgage applications and a downturn,” she said.

Donald also discussed the potential economic impact of a Trump presidency. She said that he is a president unlike those we’ve had in the past and since his election we have seen an unprecedented rise in consumer, small business and CEO sentiment. Donald did point out, however, that the outlook for millennials is bleak due to enormous student loan debt and the inability to enter into home ownership as early as generations past.

Hartman and Donald also discussed how rental and mortgage payments are almost equal now, leaving less income for savings among those who rent. That, too, stalls the home buying process as renters no longer have the $200-300 extra each month to save toward home ownership.

Although the future is unpredictable, Donald concluded that optimism remains high for a recovering economy in the United States.

The Creating Wealth podcast with Jason Hartman has a global audience in more than 164 countries and is ranked highly in the Investing section of iTunes. New episodes release every week.

The podcast is a part of The Hartman Media Network, which is becoming a required stop for politicians, the media, and economic, finance, health and travel experts. The Hartman Media Network has been host to a wide variety of prominent names from all sides of the spectrum, including 2016 Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson, former Senator Todd Akin, and Rich Dad author Robert Kiyosaki. Other guests have included Presidential nominee Pat Buchanan, Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers, and FOX host John Stossel.

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About Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman is the founder of The American Monetary Association, The Hartman Media Company, Platinum Properties Investor Network and The Jason Hartman Foundation, a resource for young adults to develop financial literacy.

In a successful investing career spanning over two decades, Hartman has been a successful entrepreneur, speaker, author and media personality. His Complete Solution for Real Estate Investors has helped thousands of people achieve their dream of financial freedom with income property investments.

Jason is also:

• An innovator in teaching personal financial literacy and empowerment

• Creator of the 10 Commandments of Successful Investing, a set of no-nonsense guidelines for achieving financial success

• Founder of, a comprehensive resource for creating sustainable wealth through income property investments

• Self-made multi-millionaire with income properties in several states

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