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Observations & Insights (5/8/2020) Thumbnail

Observations & Insights (5/8/2020)

We hope you have had a wonderful week and please make sure to wish your wife, mom, and loved ones a Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday. Our team wanted to send along some information on the markets and some timely planning information. All members of The Planning Group are healthy and our team continues to be fully functional.

The stock market continued to be resilient as encouraging signs started to come out of opening economies

  • Warren Buffett spoke at Berkshire Hathaway’s 2020 Shareholder meeting with a message of hope: “Nothing can stop America”. However, despite the belief that America and its economy will prevail, he announced that Berkshire Hathaway sold its entire stake (nearly $4 Billion) in the US Airline Industry (Delta, United, Southwest, and American). 
  • Last week 3.2 million workers filed unemployment claims. This tally was again below the prior week’s count, indicating a likely peak in data.
  • States with decelerating daily COVID-19 cases now make up 72 percent of GDP, hitting a new high and up from just 20 percent one month ago. Testing is way up and the number of new daily cases is not increasing, which has driven the US positive test results below 10 percent. It is expected that nearly every state’s stay-at-home requirement to be at least gradually lifted by the end of the month.
  • Continuing discussions around the Paycheck Protection Program: To be fully forgivable, the loan can only be used for payroll, rent/mortgage, and utilities. The requirement that 75 percent of the loan must be used for payroll was not part of the CARES Act, rather it was issued in SBA guidance. Restaurant, hotel, and retail groups are lobbying for it to be changed, arguing that businesses should be able to use a greater percentage of the loan for rent and other necessary costs, such as supplier payments, and it is difficult to bring back employees on unemployment. Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Menendez (D-NJ), along with 19 other senators, asked Secretary Mnuchin and SBA to change the non-payroll threshold for forgiveness to 50 percent.

Planning Idea for the Week

  •  Identity Theft: Retired FBI Agent Keynote Speaker Jeff Lanza leads a dynamic presentation that focuses on how criminals try to trick us, steal our identities and commit cyber fraud. It demonstrates the simple steps we can employ to keep our identities safe and stay protected from the plethora of cyber scams and frauds that pervade our society. Jeff provides easy to implement solutions to real world cyber risks. He explains what to watch for and where not to click, as well as provides tips and recommendations on how to safeguard against fraud. You can watching the video at our blog.
  • Please contact our team for an emailed or paper version of Jeff's handouts that he references during the call

Good News From Around the World

  • Invite a llama or goat to your next corporate Zoom meeting or video call for under $100. Need a fresh face to brighten up your video conference meetings? Want a fun experience for an online happy hour or your friend’s birthday party? Sweet Farm is the first non-profit sanctuary in the world to address the global impacts of factory farming across animals, the plants and the planet. By linking veganic agriculture, farm-animal rescue, education, and the technology that is revolutionizing food and agriculture production — Sweet Farm is redefining what it means to be a sanctuary. Visit their website here.
  • Scientists have discovered a microbe that completely protects mosquitoes from being infected with malaria.
  • NBC’s "Parks and Recreation" returned for a one-time special created specifically to raise funds for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which enables food banks across the U.S. to serve individuals facing hunger during this pandemic. State Farm, Subaru of America, NBC Universal and the "Parks and Recreation" writers/producers/cast are matched for the first $500,000 in donations. They have already raised over $3,000,000. You can watch the special here.
  • An anonymous donor gifted $1M to a California Hospital and insisted that all money goes to staff from cleaners to nurses. This has resulted in bonuses of $800 to all full time staff.

To all of the Mothers out there, we wanted to say THANK YOU!  We know that being a mom is a full time job and we appreciate each and every mom out there.  

We hope that you have a nice weekend and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions at 907-677-8300. Please feel free to forward this article to family members or friends as you see fit.

From our families to yours, The Planning Group of the Northwest

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