A surprising star has emerged from the pandemic-induced recession: the housing market. After freezing up in March and April, realtors, buyers and sellers began adapting to a new reality: we are spending a lot more time in our dwellings, and some of us are not happy with where we currently live. Add to that fact, that there are not enough houses ...Read more
In a Q&A column this summer, I wrote about the nation’s ballooning debt and deficit. Many of you followed up and wanted a deeper dive about federal borrowing, so here goes.
To calculate the deficit, take the nation’s revenue (the amount of money that the government takes in), and subtract the amount of money that the government spends. For ...Read more
“How can the stock market go up, while the economy is still struggling to recover amid the pandemic?” The answer is that the stock market is not the economy and vice versa.
Let’s start with the economy. As expected, the second quarter of 2020 was the most debilitating for the US economy since the government began keeping records in 1947 �...Read more
It’s been six months since the financial fallout from COVID-19 infected the U.S. economy. During this time, I have heard from thousands of you, some who are still struggling with a financial crisis. Many others are okay, but need guidance on how to navigate various money issues. Here are my six financial lessons (so far) from the pandemic.
Although 2019 tax returns were due on July 15th, many of you have followed up with a myriad of tax questions. Here are some of the most common ones.
Should I be concerned that I haven’t received my tax refund yet? I was inundated with this question in the spring, when the answer was a little easier to understand: if you filed electronically, ...Read more
Many of you have sent me questions on a wide variety of topics, so for the next couple of weeks, I will answer the most popular queries that I have received.
Debt/Deficit: A number of you are worried about how the trillions of dollars that the government is spending to help individuals, companies, and the economy overall survive the pandemic, ...Read more
Viruses have a nasty way of lingering and COVID-19 is no different. Despite two strong months of jobs gains in May and June, the uptick in cases in the South and West prompted municipalities to tighten rules; caused consumers and businesses to slow down their efforts to return to pre-pandemic behavior; and slowed down job growth in July.
The ...Read more
For the tens of millions of Americans who have lost their jobs, there is another frightening reality to absorb: amid a global health pandemic, they no longer have health insurance. This is one of the big problems with having insurance linked to a workplace plan, but for more than 156 million Americans, or just under half of the country’s total...Read more
The first estimate of second quarter GDP was a doozy. Just how bad was the pandemic’s impact from April through June? The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that the US economy contracted at a 32.9% annualized pace. [GDP is reported as a seasonally adjusted annual rate, which means that a 33% Q2 decline is approximately a 9.5% decline from the ...Read more
Analysts and investors like to use letters to describe the condition of the US economy and markets. V-Shaped, which is a sudden drop followed by a surge; W, the ultimate fake out, where output sinks, rises and then falls again; U, where after a sudden shock, the economy meanders and then starts to rise; and then the dreaded L, a drop, followed ...Read more
As colleges and universities announce their plans for the upcoming semester, many families are worried about footing the bill for a significantly different experience. Is it worth it to shell out tens of thousands of dollars – or to go into debt – for virtual learning that may not fit the style of the student? A few colleges are extending ...Read more
COVID-19 started as a health pandemic and then became a financial pandemic — now the two are intertwined. Let’s start with the big picture on where things stand and then we can get to your action plan for the second half of the year.
US Economy: First quarter growth contracted by 5% on an annualized basis and the second quarter is likely to...Read more