Yesterday, it was announced that Pfizer has run into some “supply chain issues” regarding the delivery of their COVID-19 vaccine.
Due to raw materials required to produce the vaccine failing to meet quality control standards, they have had to slash their target goal for the end of 2020 by 50%. Instead of the 100 million doses they were shooting for, it will now be 50 million doses manufactured and distributed before 2021.
Pfizer’s shares dropped 1.74% during yesterday’s trading session, but this news seemed to have a bigger impact on the US markets as a whole:
- Dow Jones: +0.3%
- S&P 500: -0.1%
- NASDAQ: +0.2%
Now, I know what you are thinking… those numbers would indicate that the numbers plateaued throughout the day, right? Not quite – the news broke at around 3:30pm EST yesterday. So, what would have been some solid positive gains for all 3 major indices quickly got wiped out in the last 30 minutes of the trading session.
The sad part was that the US markets were being boosted by solid news regarding the economy: First-time claims for unemployment went down from 780,000 two weeks ago to just 712,000 last week, marking a brand new low since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
E-Trade Financial’s managing director of investment strategy Mike Loewengart had this to say about the jobless claims data:
“With some rumblings of stimulus progress and positive momentum on the vaccine front, labor market watchers could be ever hopeful for a more meaningful decrease in jobless claims in the long run.”
Additionally, we have some good news about the second stimulus package: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had stated that it is possible to reach a compromise between what Democrats are offering ($908 billion) and what he would propose ($500 billion).
So as of right now, the markets are in this weird middle ground where they are slated to either soar or tank. It will be quite a volatile month to end the chaotic year that was 2020, but hopefully we can enter 2021 with some positive gains.
What do YOU think about the news affecting yesterday’s stock market performance? Are we slated for a final surge, or a final drop-down? Reply to this newsletter and share your predictions with us!
How to Stop Student Loans from Negatively Impacting Your Credit Score
I don’t know how many of my readers have already paid off their student loans or are still in the middle of doing so… but if you know of any young adults who are faced with this dilemma, I STRONGLY recommend you forward this story to them.
Your student loans are considered “installment loans,” which will show up as part of your credit card report. Defaulting on these loans, or failing to make payments on time, will have a negative impact determining your FICO Score. In fact, experts say that on-time payments are responsible for 35% of your final score!
It’s not about the size of the loan that you have, but how you choose to treat it.
And for the Millennials who are technology-obsessed and can’t be bothered to use a calendar (sad, I know)… the easiest solution to consistently paying off the loans on time is autopay. In a nutshell, you automate your student loan payments so that a certain amount of money is automatically taken out of your bank account on the same day each month.
If you’re lucky enough, select student loan companies will offer you a lower interest rate if you set up autopay!
In fact, where possible, autopay can be one of the easiest ways to fully automate your finances. Rather than marking down numerous calendar dates and manually reminding yourself to pay your bills, just put all of them on autopilot and you’ll never have to worry about another missed payment.
The Newest Self-Made Billionaire Is Now Just 25 Years Old!
There’s this idea that billionaires reach their life-changing status no earlier than their 30s, having amassed an unbelievable amount of experience in the form of successes and failures before finally reaching their major breakthrough.
Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame shattered this notion when he became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at the ripe age of 23. But as of yesterday, we have a NEW self-made billionaire who is just 25 years old.
This individual is none other than Austin Russell, the co-founder and CEO of Luminar, which “creates lidar technology critical to many automakers’ autonomous driving efforts”. Starting up this company at just 17 years old, his billionaire was anointed when his company went public on NASDAQ as of yesterday.
To break down the math for you: Russell owns 104.7 million shares of Luminar, which were worth $2.4 billion at the end of yesterday’s trading session (making up 33% of Luminar’s equity).
As somebody who has been a Thiel Fellow since 2012 when he dropped out of Stanford University, he’s had a lot of help from notable investors such as Peter Thiel (his long-time advisor), Alec Gores, and Dean Metropoulous. Not to mention he was a Forbes 30 Under 30 personality in 2018, which tells you that he was poised for success from an extremely early age.
What can I say? Congratulations to this extraordinary young man! In the 21st century, it really seems as if age is just a number!
WarnerMedia Has Demolished the Movie Theater Industry… Is Netflix Next?
I believe that the movie theater industry is now standing on some last and very wobbly legs, all thanks to a very recent decision from AT&T-owned WarnerMedia: ALL of their blockbuster movies slated for a 2021 release will be directly hosted on HBO Max AND movie theaters for one month.
We’re talking about movies such as Matrix 4, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Suicide Squad… MAJOR titles that will obviously be very profitable for cinema companies.
Considering that the United States is still in the middle of a brutal COVID-19 pandemic projected to continue throughout 2021… I think it’s very obvious where people will choose to watch these movies. And to nobody’s surprise, shares of movie theater companies such as Cinemark and AMC entertainment fell between 16-22% in yesterday’s trading session.
In an interview regarding this controversial decision, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar had this to say:
“Everyone should take a breather. Let’s let the next six, eight, ten months play out. And then let’s check back in. Certainly this is pandemic-related. That’s why we’re doing it. We haven’t spent one brain cell on what the world looks like in 2022… I learned long ago not to make statements over a year from now.
I have conviction that for the next several decades there will be a very large volume of consumers worldwide that will choose on any given night, especially a Friday or Saturday night, to go out to a theater to be entertained by a great Warner Brothers movie.”
Very easy for Kilar to say this on top of his pedestal when HIS company is not the one that has to suffer the financial consequences of this decision. Not to mention the very obvious ploy to make HBO Max a viable streaming competitor to industry titans such as Netflix and Hulu.
I can’t help but feel bad for the movie theater industry. Considering their business model involves extremely razor-thin profit margins and the few months of liquidity they have before bankruptcy becomes inevitable, they’re just getting closer to complete collapse with each passing day.
McConnell’s Stimulus Plan vs. the Bipartisan Stimulus Package: How Do They Stack Up?
In very recent news, there are now new negotiations for the second financial stimulus package. But it’s no longer a discussion between Democrats and Republicans: The fight is now between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a bipartisan effort to get the proposal out to the American public as soon as possible.
Bloomberg did a fantastic job of showing the two plans side-by-side, and we wanted to share some of the most important numbers with you:
- Total: $908 billion for bipartisan, $510 billion for McConnell
- State/local government aid: $160 billion for bipartisan, $0 for McConnell
- Unemployment benefits: $180 billion for bipartisan ($300/week per person), 1 month of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance until January 31st for McConnell
- Small business aid: $288 billion for bipartisan, $332 billion for McConnell
- Individual stimulus checks: None from either party
- Vaccines: $16 billion for bipartisan, $31 billion for McConnell
- Hospital aid: $35 billion for bipartisan, $0 for McConnell
- Rental assistance: $25 billion for bipartisan, $0 for McConnell
Sounds like there are some very clear differences in how both parties intend to help the American people. And no matter how you slice it, it’s a far-cry from the $1.8 trillion initially offered by Republicans and the $2.2 trillion initially offered by Democrats.
What do YOU think about these plans? Which one do you prefer over the other? Reply to this newsletter and let us know what YOU would change to make these bills more beneficial for struggling Americans nation-wide!
Why Is This Millennial Six-Figure Earner STILL Living with Her Parents!?
CNBC recently did a piece on a 24-year-old named Kristina Truong who makes $100,000/year as a project manager for a digital consulting firm. She got the job in 2018 when she graduated college with $25,000 in student loan debt, and managed to save up more than $50,000 while becoming debt-free in 2019.
Now granted, she lived with her parents in order to fast-track paying off her student loans and save some money… but apparently, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused her to remain with her parents and provide them with financial assistance.
Here’s a brief breakdown of her monthly budget, copied straight from the CNBC article:
- Savings: $2,000 (in a high-yield savings account)
- Investments: $1,366 — split between her 401(k) ($732), Roth IRA ($500) and brokerage account ($134)
- Donations: $670 (to charitable organizations)
- Housing: $400 (toward her parents’ $2,100 mortgage)
- Food: $200 (for groceries; her parents also pay for some of the family’s food)
- Business: $200 (for social media campaigns and supplies for District Cupcakes, a cupcake catering business she operates with her sister and mother)
- Phone: $160 (for the family’s four phone lines)
- Transportation: $149 (for her car payment, gas, insurance and Uber rides)
- Utilities: $135 (for cable, electric, heat, water and Wi-Fi)
- Misc.: $103 (for entertainment and shopping)
And her secret to her financial acumen? Educating herself about personal finance via YouTube tutorials, combined with a frugal attitude adapted from her parents at a very young age.
All of this is very commendable and it should be an inspiring story to any young Millennial who believes it is impossible to be smart with their money. I personally think she could have moved out of her parents’ house a LONG time ago, but I respect her dedication to helping her parents with their struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.