Is It Time to Re-Open the Economy?!

The understandable battle of whether or not to re-open the economy, and how to do so, is divisive however warranted!

Opinions are all over the place.  You are hearing them all day long so I won’t be repetitive.

I’ve read that well over 50% of the Counties in the United States have actual deaths from Covid-19 fewer than 10.  This certainly suggests very high areas of concentration.  In New Jersey, there are certain areas of North Jersey that are highly infected and very few in South Jersey.  Will South-Jerseyans be free sooner than North Jersians?  Your guess is as good as mine!

Shanghai Disney

Today, Disneyland in Shanghai China is re-opening at 30% capacity after being closed since January 25th.  I’m certainly glad they’re moving forward as they were the first to report the virus.  Just shy of 4 months to re-open! What seems uncomfortable to me is the current requirement while dining in the park, to wear masks.  Certainly shorter lines for rides and attractions may be very appealing.

It will be interesting to watch how long it takes to move from 30% to 100% capacity.

Are Markets Over Bought?

Stocks showed serious optimism last week as the Dow increased 2.67%, the S&P 500 3.57%, the Russell 2000 5.52% and the NASDAQ 6%!!

Investors appear to believe the worst is behind and now it’s just a matter of time before life is back to normal.  Of course I hope this optimism proves correct!

Over 400 S&P 500 companies have reported 1st Quarter 2020 earnings showing a 12% drop from the first quarter 2019.  Not to state the obvious however we were fully open for business

In January and February, as reported by Argus Research, profits for 2020 are now forecast to decline by 22%.

Employment Information

Last Friday we heard the April jobs number shed 20.5 million jobs, lifting the unemployment rate to 14.5%.  So far, over 33 million have filed for unemployment so the 14.5% number is bound to increase prior to decreasing.

Most people believe well over 80% of jobs lost are temporary, that will be back sooner than later.  I do believe many jobs will come back, at least initially, as some of the small businesses who were able to secure loans from the Paycheck Protection Program have no choice but to bring people back or pay back the money.  Businesses are attempting to receive forgivable loans up to approximately 2.5% of monthly expenses; however 75% of these funds must be used for payroll costs and in full from 8 weeks from date of receiving the funds.  This is certainly a positive incentive to keep workers employed however much does depend on how the US economy truly does reopen.

Remote Financial Services

In these extraordinary times, we are still here for you! We are offering virtual one-on-one consultations and client reviews via Zoom. Client reviews are continuing as scheduled, as well as new and existing client planning services.

The general comment received after a client or prospective client uses Zoom for the first time is, “boy this is really great and very easy!”

To schedule a consultation, please email Ellen  — ellen@retirementrefined.com or visit the Virtual Services page on our website. You can now schedule a consultation/appointment directly from our website!

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