In normal times, the stock market is often a reflection of the economy. But these are not normal times. Even though April was marked by a global shutdown of businesses, rampant unemployment and low economic growth, the S&P 500 Index ended the month up 12.9%. This represented the highest one-month gain since 1987 and posted…

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Sole proprietors in the U.S. caught a huge break in April. The Paycheck Protection Program, borne out of the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, became available to solo entrepreneurs and independent contractors on April 10, 2020.1   According to a 2017 survey, 36% of U.S. workers are part of the gig economy.2 With…

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In past recessions, industries like manufacturing and construction were often the hardest hit. For example, some economists referred to the Great Recession as a “man-cession” because at the outset, more men lost jobs than women. In some households, wives were able to find employment more often than men. The recovery, however, favored men, who regained…

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A recent survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education found that almost 90% of Americans were feeling anxious about their money situation.1   39% were worried about job security 48% worried about paying bills 28% didn’t know if they could pay their utilities 41% were worried about not having enough emergency savings 23% were…

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The research firm Spectrem Group estimated that at the end of 2019 there were 11 million millionaires in the U.S. By the end of the first quarter in 2020, that number had dropped by at least half a million. Clearly, the recent stock market woes have taken a toll on everyone, not just the working…

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On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a historic $2 trillion stimulus package designed to provide economic relief to Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which by now includes every single person in the country, not to mention around the world.1   While…

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“When seeking directors, CEOs don’t look for pitbulls. It’s the cocker spaniel that gets taken home.”1   The above quote is one of the ideas Warren Buffett conveyed in his most recent Berkshire Hathaway annual letter to shareholders.1 Buffett drives home the point that people who serve on the boards of public companies are there…

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Financial advisors often tell clients to keep an emergency fund of liquid assets, with enough to cover three to six months of living expenses. It makes you wonder why America’s largest companies don’t maintain a similar practice, with three to six months of emergency savings to help keep workers on payroll during difficult times.  …

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq experienced quite a roller coaster ride in March. There are mixed opinions as to whether it was due to the global economic impact of the seemingly unstoppable new COVID-19 coronavirus or due to the federal government’s delayed response and tactical efforts to constrain…

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There are several factors contributing to the current housing shortage in the U.S. For starters, low inventory of existing homes for sale has driven up the prices of available housing, leaving many first- and second-time homebuyers unable to afford to buy or trade up. Housing permits for new construction have risen throughout the past couple…

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