How Might the Economic Downturn Affect Dividends?

If a large allocation of your retirement portfolio is invested in dividend-paying stocks, you might see your household income reduced this year. During the Great Recession, dividend payouts dropped by 25% and didn’t fully recover for at least four years. Today’s financial crisis brought on by the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has once again created a…

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Social Security Woes

In 2000, actors Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey starred in “Pay It Forward.” The premise of the film is that a person repays a favor by offering small acts of kindness to more people. This concept of paying it forward leads to an exponential movement of goodwill. Social Security works a bit like that. In…

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How the Pandemic Is Affecting the Real Estate Market

Research has found that over a 150-year period (1870 to 2015), owning a home has proved to be one of the most stable and secure holdings compared to other types of investments. While offering the added benefits of providing shelter and leaving it as a legacy, residential property is generally viewed as a financial asset…

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What Might Be Next — Inflation or Deflation?

Consumer prices fell by 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, the biggest drop in more than a dozen years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Conversely, prices for grocery items jumped 2.6%, the highest one-month increase in 46 years, with eggs rising by 16%.1 What’s going on here? Well, the devil is in…

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The Pandemic’s Financial Toll on Women

In April alone, the U.S. lost more than 20 million jobs — increasing the unemployment rate to 14.7%. Researchers say one of the demographics hit hardest during the pandemic is women workers. Women tend to hold a disproportionate number of jobs in industries such as hospitality, health care and education. Consequently, the unemployment rate for…

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Are the Stock Market and the Economy Out of Sync?

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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The Perks and Pitfalls of Self-Employment

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 so…

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Gender Dynamics: Pre- and Post-Pandemic

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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How to Deal With Financial Stress

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 worried…

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Why Sequence of Returns is Important

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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