Our Blog

Interest Rates how to profit from their impact on different asset classes

Interest rates play a crucial role in shaping the economic landscape. They influence the flow of money, the performance of various asset classes, and ultimately, how investors can profit. This article aims to break down the mechanics of interest rates, their impact on different asset classes, and how investors can leverage these movements for gains.

What Are Interest Rates and Their Purpose?

Interest rates are used to regulate the money flow within an economy. When interest rates are low, borrowing money becomes cheaper, encouraging spending and investment. Conversely, high interest rates make borrowing more expensive, which slows down spending and encourages saving. Central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the US or the Reserve Bank of Australia, set these rates to manage economic output and control inflation.

The Impact on Different Asset Classes


Interest rates can have varied effects on stocks. Generally, higher interest rates indicate a stronger economy, which is typically good for the stock market. However, companies with high levels of debt may struggle due to increased borrowing costs. Banks, on the other hand, often benefit from higher interest rates as they can expand their lending margins.

Cash at the Bank

Higher interest rates mean higher returns on savings. However, this can be a double-edged sword during times of inflation. If inflation is high, the real return on savings (interest rate minus inflation) might still be low. Therefore, while higher interest rates might seem beneficial, it’s essential to consider the inflation rate’s impact on actual returns.


Bonds are fixed-income investments that pay interest over time. When interest rates rise, the yield on new bonds must also rise to stay competitive, which reduces the value of existing bonds. This inverse relationship means that bond prices drop when interest rates increase and vice versa.

Real Estate

Higher interest rates can increase the cost of mortgages, affecting both homeowners and investors. For primary residences, this can tighten household budgets. For investment properties, higher costs might be passed on to tenants. However, property values may increase if the economy is strong, balancing out the higher holding costs.

Strategies for Predicting and Responding to Interest Rate Movements

Predicting interest rate movements can be challenging. However, central banks usually follow trends rather than making abrupt changes. Investors can look for signs of economic strength or weakness to anticipate rate changes.

For Rising Interest Rates:

  • Short US 20-Year Treasury (TBT): This exchange-traded fund (ETF) benefits from rising bond yields, which occur when interest rates increase.
  • Triple Gearing (TMF): For more aggressive investors, triple-geared ETFs like TMF amplify the gains (and risks) from these trends.

For Falling Interest Rates:

  • Long US 20-Year Treasury (TLT): This ETF benefits from falling bond yields, which occur when interest rates decrease.

Final Thoughts

Understanding interest rates and their cyclical nature can help investors make informed decisions. By recognizing the patterns in how interest rates affect different asset classes, investors can position themselves to profit from these movements. Whether opting for conservative strategies or more aggressive plays, knowledge of interest rate trends is a valuable tool for any investor.

Related articles