The Pathetic $900 Stimulus Package FINALLY Gets Passed!

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This is a BREAKING news story that just happened late last night, and it’s imperative for me to start off the newsletter by telling you what happened. 

Several news outlets were reporting live on the negotiations, but I believe CNBC did the best job of summarizing what happened and what is included in this new bill:

“The relief plan includes direct payments of $600 to most adults and $600 per child, Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement…284 billion into Paycheck Protection Program small business loans, and include funds for loans from small and minority-owned lenders…20 billion to small business grants and $15 billion to live event venues.”

“It would also add a $300 federal unemployment supplement and temporarily keep in place pandemic-era programs that expanded unemployment insurance eligibility… $82 billion into schools and colleges, according to Pelosi and Schumer. The package also expands Pell Grants.”

“The plan directs $25 billion into rental assistance and extends a federal eviction moratorium for an unspecified amount of time… $13 billion into enhanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits… $45 billion for transportation, including $15 billion for airline payroll assistance.”

Two political commentators on Twitter did a fantastic job of describing just how pathetic this bill is with respect to helping Americans who are struggling on low incomes (if at all) and eating into what little is left of their life savings. 

Political commentator and investigate journalist Mike Cernovich crunched the numbers and was SHOCKED at what he found:

“$900,000,000,000 (size of coronavirus stimulus) divided by 330,000,000 (population) equals $2,700 per person. That’s $2,700 for everyone man, woman and child. Congress said we only get $600. Where’d rest of the money go?”

And then, we have investigative reporter Jordan Schachtel telling us just how much of the bill fails to prioritize Americans:

“Say 100 million Americans are eligible for the check. That’s $60 billion in total direct payments. Bill is reportedly around $900 billion. So less than 7% of it is going directly to Americans. Congress is completely useless, & it would be better if they never showed up for work.”

Makes you almost wish that the bill was never passed in the first place, especially considering the government shutdown that politicians would face if they failed to get the stimulus bill passed. 

Maybe we should tap into the funds of the billionaires who are now collectively $1 trillion richer? Or the big businesses who have generated extraordinary profits at the expense of everyone else? I’m not sure where we go from here, but I do know that Americans needed more from their government. 

This time, I can say with full confidence our government has completely failed its country. 

What do YOU think about the measly $600 given to American? How much more should it be to help us survive for the next few months? Reply to this newsletter and share your thoughts with us!

Last Week, The Stock Market Didn’t End on a Good Note

Even though we now know about the $900 billion stimulus bill passing, Friday was a day of major uncertainty for the stock market. And judging by the results, they didn’t take the delays too well. 

Here are the most important numbers you need to know about Friday’s stock market performance:

• Dow Jones: -0.4% (+0.4% for the week)
• S&P 500: -0.4% (+1.3% for the week)
• NASDAQ: -0.1% (+3.1% for the week)

However, CNBC notes that there was some major last-minute activity due to Tesla’s addition into the S&P 500 as of today. The electric car company has had their shares go up by 700% this year alone and they are now responsible for a market capitalization of over $600 billion. So despite Friday’s minor loss, the stock market made positive gains for the week. 

And with that out of the way, I do want to let you know about this week’s reduced trading hours:

• December 24th: NASDAQ and NYSE close at 1 pm
• December 25th: NASDAQ and NYSE are fully closed.

Pending any major news about the stock market, this week would be a good time to ignore the markets and spend time with your loved ones. 

Unfortunately, Pfizer Was NOT a Good Investment This Year…

Since Pfizer is the first company to get approval from the FDA for its COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed and used by Americans (technically an Emergency Use Authorization), you would imagine its shares soaring to the sky. 

But according to calculations done by The Motley Fool, this is not the case at all: 

“In a year in which the company merged its off-patent drugs into another company and helped develop a vaccine to fight a global pandemic, the stock sits a mere 2.4% above where it began the year”.

If you had invested $5,000 to begin 2020, that investment would now be worth about $5,122. Add in dividends (4%) and you’d have about $5,325. That 6.5% return is good below the average market return in a year: 10%. 

At the lows in March, as the coronavirus was forcing shutdowns and traders were bailing on stocks, you would have only seen about $3,600 in your account. It’s a good lesson on buying and holding, especially when an underlying business isn’t changing.”

It’s entirely possible that Pfizer’s stock will blow up – in a good way – come 2021, where hundreds of millions of doses are expected to be produced for both Americans and the entire world population. But until then, you shouldn’t expect anything magical to happen…

Co-Working Spaces: The WORST Business to Run in 2020

Imagine spending the last four years building up a profitable business around shared co-working spaces, only to have the coronavirus take away all of your profits and drive you to the point of bankruptcy. 

Such is the case for startup company Breather that specializes offering flexible office spaces, and Forbes did a great profile piece exposing this tragic trend across similar companies:

“The decision I’ve made is that Breather in its current form as an operator doesn’t make sense and, to be frank, I’m not sure it ever made sense” [Breather CEO] Murphy told Canada’s Globe and Mail when he announced that he was laying off three quarters of his 120 employees and closing over 400 locations across the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.”
“The once-hot business is the latest co-working casualty. Started in 2012, Breather raised more than $100 million in venture capital, which it used to expand rapidly. Now Murphy says he will try transitioning to an online technology platform, akin to an Airbnb for office space.”

“The typical [flexible workspace] company has probably taken a revenue hit of somewhere between 25% and 50%… There’s basic math—you can either withstand a revenue hit in that range or not.” 

As any smug white-collar journalist would tell people who got laid off from their jobs, perhaps it’s time to learn how to code!

The Average Person Spends Most of their Day SLEEPING!

Our World in Data, a site that compiles large volumes of data and presents them in a visually appealing format, has created a neat diagram showing how the average person in each country spends their time across four main categories: Eating and drinking, personal care, paid work, and sleeping (with minor categories such as education and total leisure).

ZeroHedge summarizes the main takeaways from the data, noting how every single country showed at least 8 hours of sleeping within a 24-hour day:

“When it comes to paid work, Japan emerges as the highest on this list with approximately 6.5 hours per day. However, this country also has some of the highest overtime in a workweek. In contrast, European countries such as France and Spain report nearly half the same hours (less than 3 hours) of paid work per day on average.”

“Those in Mexico find themselves spending significant portions of the day (3 hours or more) on housework, as do those in Portugal.”

“In the realm of leisure activities, those in the U.S. spend approximately 2.5 hours consuming media in a day, a number that has risen even higher during the pandemic.”

… people in France spend the most time eating, approximately 2 hours per day. These durations are similar to those in other Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy, and Spain—perhaps because meals are viewed as a social activity in these cultures.”

Which leaves me with the question I have for you…

How do YOU spend your 24 hours within a day? How much time is allocated for essential activities such as work, eating and drinking, commuting, leisure, and sleeping? Reply to this newsletter with what you honestly do – we want to see what your lives are like!

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