Depending on how your personal finances are, the new financial year either fills you with dread or joy. Rising living costs mean British people have been using overdrafts and credit cards more – and according to data from moneysupermarket.com, four million people have borrowed from friends and family.
Whatever your financial situation, would you consider using a clairvoyant to find out what was going to happen to your finances? Well I did. Eager for some clarity about the year ahead, I consulted clairvoyant Karen Bashford, who describes herself as a 'soulful business mentor'.
As well as giving tailor-made Tarot readings, Karen uses her 20 years’ experience of working in the financial services industry to guide clients to financial success, which could include changing their career path or restructuring their existing business.
In recent months, she has noticed that there has been a lot more interest in Tarot readings as 'it does give peace of mind in times of worry.'
'People are becoming more open to finding guidance on a spiritual level, far more than previously', she explains.
The venue for this psychic consultation? Why the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes, in London’s Baker Street. Would the Tarot readings be shrouded in mystery? Would I finally find out when the Bitcoin bubble would burst, when UK interest rates would rise? Or if there would be another financial crisis?
A novice to the Tarot reading game, I waited to hear what Karen had to say. Would I pick the Fool? The Lovers, Death, or the Wheel of Fortune?
What direction will the UK economy go in 2018?
Karen: 'The UK economy is going to experience lots of conflicts. People will continue to feel that everything is in limbo. In fact, we will come to a standstill. Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to suffer financially because it is way too volatile at the moment. There are too many uncertainties and there will be slow [economic] growth.'
Can investors profit from volatility within the UK economy in 2018?
'Yes, investors can. There is volatility, but it will be a slow burn. Learn from previous experiences. Don’t just dive in. There will be celebrations in September 2018 or into 2019. [Both of these times] will be when people may start getting returns on their investments.'
How will Brexit affect the UK economy?
'It is going to be a tough time, as fear is pervading so much of this country [the UK] at the moment. [People are asking questions like] What is going to happen? How is it going to affect me? A majority of the general public are just fed up hearing about it. For the UK, the country will end up walking away on its own without a deal. Brexit will definitely happen, there is no going back. The current [Brexit] negotiations are all ‘give, give, give’ and getting nothing back.'
Will the UK housing market collapse?
'There are a lot of conflicts with the UK housing market. There are those who are already homeowners with small mortgages, who are sitting pretty to a certain extent; then there are those who are really going to struggle to get onto the property ladder in the UK. There are also those with large mortgages, who are going to be hit very hard.'
Will UK interest rates rise in 2018?
'We are going to have at least two interest rate rises. Not large ones, but people are going to end up feeling like they are battling against everything, because any kind of interest rate rise, if you have a mortgage will have a massive impact, along with loans and credit cards.
'I think the second interest rate rise to come through will make people feel like they are imprisoned. The first one could be in May and the second one could be in July of this year.'
Will the US economy collapse?
'This is very much to do with President Donald Trump. He is being ‘loved up’ by everyone, and he is being open in his own way, however, people do not trust him. This mistrust will affect the US economy.'
Karen refers to the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Tarot card, in relation to the US economy: ‘what comes up must come down’.
'There are many threats [to the US economy], like North Korea. It is just too much and it will gradually turn the "Wheel of Fortune." This downturn and uncertainty becomes more apparent towards September.'
Will there be another global financial crisis?
'There will be a rebalancing of the [global] economies, and in doing so, it creates a more solid feeling within the population.'
Will the Bitcoin bubble burst in 2018?
'People have the opportunity to make quite a lot of money from Bitcoin. But I think there will be tears. I also think people will get very stressed about Bitcoin due to its volatile nature.
'As there is so much going on with the global economy, more and more people are trying to find another way of making money and this is through Bitcoin. The people who know how to make money from Bitcoin will be ‘riding high’ but others will regret it.'
Will Britons be worse off in 2018?
'Yes. From the Tarot cards I have chosen, we have well and truly opened a ‘Pandora’s Box’. The Tarot Card ‘The Lovers’ shows there is disharmony, imbalances and arguments, which is not good news for Britons. The UK is also definitely leaving Europe, and there is going to be a great feeling of a lack of control.'
So who are we to believe? Clairvoyant or analyst? The jury is out, as we are only at the start of 2018. It might be sensible to revisit in a year’s time. By that time, some of us may be poorer, but others might be wiser or richer and untouchable when it comes to their personal finances.