Archive for June 2020

The Future of Retail Raises More Questions Than Answers

Will we learn to live with less? Some lessons were learned when the U.S. initially closed up shop and told everyone to stay home. For example, we can live without extra-soft, double-ply toilet paper and go a whole weekend without shopping at a store or eating at a restaurant — but we’d rather not. Yet…

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How the Pandemic Is Affecting the Real Estate Market

Research has found that over a 150-year period (1870 to 2015), owning a home has proved to be one of the most stable and secure holdings compared to other types of investments. While offering the added benefits of providing shelter and leaving it as a legacy, residential property is generally viewed as a financial asset…

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Drug Prices Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

A study published in May in the Journal of Virus Eradication reported on nine potential medications that could be used to treat the coronavirus. Based on how much these drugs currently cost, researchers projected prices for a generic version. For example, in the case of sofosbuvir (a drug used to treat hepatitis C), the price…

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What Might Be Next — Inflation or Deflation?

Consumer prices fell by 0.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, the biggest drop in more than a dozen years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Conversely, prices for grocery items jumped 2.6%, the highest one-month increase in 46 years, with eggs rising by 16%.1 What’s going on here? Well, the devil is in…

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The Pandemic’s Financial Toll on Women

In April alone, the U.S. lost more than 20 million jobs — increasing the unemployment rate to 14.7%. Researchers say one of the demographics hit hardest during the pandemic is women workers. Women tend to hold a disproportionate number of jobs in industries such as hospitality, health care and education. Consequently, the unemployment rate for…

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Health Care: What Lies Ahead

In 1960, the average American spent about $147 a year on health care expenses. In 2017, that number was $10,739. In the ’60s, the health care industry represented 5% of GDP. In 2017, it was nearly 18%.1 Unfortunately, annual incomes have not increased on par with this particular cost of living. As a result, more…

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Are the Stock Market and the Economy Out of Sync?

In normal times, the stock market is often a reflection of the economy. But these are not normal times. Even though April was marked by a global shutdown of businesses, rampant unemployment and low economic growth, the S&P 500 Index ended the month up 12.9%. This represented the highest one-month gain since 1987 and posted…

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Post-Pandemic Job Market

It will be interesting to see how the job market fares over the next few months. While millions of workers have been laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of those employers will be reopening and may or may not rehire those let go. Much depends on the direction of the outbreak: If it…

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The Perks and Pitfalls of Self-Employment

Sole proprietors in the U.S. caught a huge break in April. The Paycheck Protection Program, borne out of the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, became available to solo entrepreneurs and independent contractors on April 10, 2020.1 According to a 2017 survey, 36% of U.S. workers are part of the gig economy.2 With so…

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The Perks and Pitfalls of Self-Employment

Sole proprietors in the U.S. caught a huge break in April. The Paycheck Protection Program, borne out of the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, became available to solo entrepreneurs and independent contractors on April 10, 2020.1 According to a 2017 survey, 36% of U.S. workers are part of the gig economy.2 With so…

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