The COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle around the world, and the United States is no exception. It is worth looking at individual factors to gauge just where we stand now. The foremost concern is how the U.S. is weathering the pandemic. Initially, the crisis was concentrated in larger urban areas, which makes sense. A…

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We take a lot for granted, including the condition of the car that sits in our driveway. During the coronavirus pandemic, those cars have been sitting idle much more than usual. That’s not necessary a bad thing. It means we spend less money on gas and maintenance. Also, our risks of having an auto accident…

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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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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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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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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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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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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 so…

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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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