Posts tagged with "CNBC"

Kaelen Felix illustrates a political article for 360 MAGAZINE

Black Male Leaders x Biden

USA Today reported Monday that Black male leaders penned an open letter to presidential candidate Joe Biden to say that he will lose the election if he does not select a Black woman as his running mate.

According to USA Today, the letter came from more than 100 activists, leaders, preachers and celebrities. Some candidates on an unofficial shortlist of possible VPs include Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Karen Bass and Susan Rice, the former Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor during Barack Obama‘s presidency.

The letter also expressed concern that Black women were being unfairly criticized as potential running mates for Biden. USA Today mentions a POLITICO report that said Sen. Chris Dodd criticized Sen. Harris for comments on Biden’s voting record regarding civil rights. The article also mentions a CNBC report saying Biden allies found Harris to be too focused on becoming president herself to hold the vice presidential office.

Signees of the letter included Sean “Diddy” Combs, Charlamagne Tha God and civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who represented George Floyd’s family.

“We don’t want to choose between the lesser of two evils, and we don’t want to vote for the devil we know versus the devil we don’t because we are tired of voting for devils,” the letter said.

The New York Times reported Monday that Biden’s VP selection committee has been disbanded and that the only thing left was a decision from Biden, also calling the pick “imminent.”

The New York Times also said Biden’s campaign has a virtual event planned to introduce the vice presidential candidate, and the event is sponsored by Women for Biden.

politics, podium, flag, speech

COVID-19 Fed Policy

By Dennis Notchick, CFP

The United States is mired in its worst unemployment since The Great Depression of 90 years ago. Indeed, COVID-19 has stunted our once-robust economy in many ways.

But at the same time, there is this curious occurrence: Equity valuations in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq have hit an all-time high How does that happen with some of the worst economic conditions in our nation’s history?

One of the main reasons: Much of the money dispensed by the Federal Reserve during the pandemic isn’t trickling down to consumers and labor markets, but rather, it’s being reinvested in financial assets, inflating their value. This fresh injection of capital into the money supply can often lead to hyper-inflation for healthcare, housing, and other essential goods that are needed to sustain life. As an example, a recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found a senior couple could need as much $325,000 to have a 90% chance of covering their out-of-pocket costs including Medicare premiums and prescription drugs.

The horrific economic effects of the pandemic have pushed the Federal Reserve to spend trillions of dollars since April in many different ways. They also used the playbook from the Great Financial Crisis and Great Recession of 2008 – low/zero interest rates in the corporate credit market – hoping that these rates would stimulate corporate spending, and in turn, spark employment.

But the forbidding economic environment in which we’re living renders that approach ineffective. Why? Ask yourself: Given the precipitous drop in consumer demand during the pandemic, why would corporations spend to produce goods and services if most customers are more likely to stay home?

So regardless of the amount of money the government prints to subsidize corporate credit markets, little if any corporate spending is on new employment. Instead, many businesses are stashing cash accumulated from government-subsidized bond offerings. This in turn paints a long road back to full employment, essential for the growth of GDP.

What does all of this mean as you are planning for your retirement in the midst of this uncertain time? It means you need to know how to minimize COVID-19’s impact on your retirement savings.

Given these factors, it’s all the more important for those near retirement or in retirement to consider these steps:

  • Update return expectations for bonds. The Federal Reserve has made it clear they will support credit markets with zero interest rate policies to 2022 and beyond.  Most investors in retirement have don’t have all of their assets in stocks, but say 50% stocks and 50% bonds.  If half of the portfolio has a lower return expectation, the total return of the portfolio may not be enough to keep up with inflation and the cost of living. Since many retirees are living well into their 80s and 90s, it’s important to revisit the stock-to-bond ratio to ensure you are giving yourself the best chance to keep up with the ever-rising costs of life over your retirement.
  • Diversify your stock portfolio. Adding new stocks to your portfolio for companies that haven’t been hurt by COVID-19 could help you adjust to market changes. The work-from-home movement was already underway, COVID 19 just accelerated it and there are many companies that are positioned well to take advantage.
  • Plan for higher taxes. With the trillions of dollars of national debt issued this year and moving forward to help stabilize the economy, most tax planners are preparing for higher tax rates in the future. It is critical to take advantage of the low tax rates now to reduce your taxes in the future.  While we can’t control the return of our investments, we can control the taxes.  Perhaps a small tax bill now will keep you from a large tax bill later.
  • Stay invested. Many portfolios got hammered in the first couple of months of the pandemic. But despite the uncertainty and volatility of these times, it’s advisable for pre-retirees to stay invested inequities. Staying invested is usually wise because history shows equity investments will recover in time, however it is more important now than ever to know what you own.
  • Review and re-evaluate. Current circumstances necessitate reviewing your entire retirement plan. Work with your financial advisor to adjust where needed. A job loss or other reasons for less income means you’ll fall behind on the savings rate you expected, and that could mean possibly delaying retirement. Spending less or working longer can help you recover some of the pandemic-related losses. As circumstances change, revisit your plan.

The pandemic may affect or push back the retirement plans you made several years ago, but take comfort in the money you’ve saved and know that you can regain some control of your plan with patience, careful thought, and wise action.

About Dennis Notchick, CFP®

Dennis Notchick, a certified financial planner for Stratos Wealth Advisors (www.dn.stratoswealthadvisors.com), has been serving high net-worth families and business owners since 2008. A certified financial planner since 2010, Notchick has worked with many well-respected firms on Wall Street and provides consulting on investment management, retirement planning, and holistic financial planning. He’s been published or mentioned in numerous online financial publications, including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and TheStreet.

Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Financial services offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors LLC (“Stratos”), a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. The presentation of these topics is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The information also does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed here.

Coronavirus Vaccine – Dr. Jeremy M. Levin

A story in USA Today this morning asks whether a coronavirus vaccine could repair the pharma industry’s reputation despite drug price increases. Dr. Jeremy M. Levin, an iconic biotech thought-leader who first introduced immuno oncology to the world 10 years ago, is quoted:

“The pandemic ‘has driven the public eye onto what the biotech industry does, which is change the dynamic of a disease,’ said Jeremy Levin, chairman of BIO and author of the recently published book Biotechnology in the Time of COVID-19: Commentaries from the Front Line. “In the noise that came from the bad actors, we basically lost sight of the essence of what the biotech is all about, which is patients and innovation.”

Here are some additional thoughts from Dr. Levin’s on developing a vaccine and the road forward:

What can you (and the biotech industry) tell the American people that they haven’t already heard? Unless we are able to get a handle on COVID-19, we as a society as a whole are at great risk. There has never been a greater risk from a transmissible disease to our nation, and the world at large.

There is incredible pressure to expedite a COVID-19 vaccine, even if it hasn’t been tested in the way it needs to be tested.

What are the risks/rewards? The risks of rushing a vaccine are  considerable, and the FDA will be acutely aware of this when making an approval. I expect there will be extraordinary diligence from the FDA, as well as from each company producing a vaccine. Despite this, the risk of not developing a vaccine are nearly unimaginable.

How long is the typical timeline for vaccine development? A typical timeline for vaccine development is at least a decade, but many variables go into this. This article in the NY Times is a useful explainer.

Dr. Levin is available for interviews on COVID-19 and other biotech topics. He is currently CEO and Chairman of OVID Therapeutics, Inc., and Chair of the global Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). In 2018 Dr. Levin was named “one of the most influential figures in biopharmaceutical industry” by FierceBiotech, and one of the top three biotechnology CEOs in 2020 by The Healthcare Technology Report. See him interviewed HERE on CNBC.

New Possible Pandemic

By Eamonn Burke

As the coronavirus continues to ravage the United States and the entire world, new concerns have sprung up over another virus with roots in China.

The flu virus is a newer strain of H1N1, a highly contagious and deadly disease that swept the world in 2009 and became a seasonal illness. This new strain, called G4 EA H1N1, first cropped up in 2016 among pig farms in China. It can and has spread to humans through the respiratory system without causing harm, but scientists are warning of the viruses pandemic potential.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the virus is not an “immediate threat” but rather “something we need to keep our eye on just the way we did with in 2009 with the emergence of the swine flu.” He has compared the characteristics of the virus as similar to the swine flu as well as the Spanish flu that killed between 30-50 million people.

Although the virus right now does not seem to have deadly or highly transmissible traits, what it does show is “reassortment capabilities” that suggest that it could become a major problem quickly, and one that needs to be controlled urgently. While President Trump falsely asserts that the coronavirus is fading, scientists worry about how the nation would cope with another pandemic on our hands.

New Possible Pandemic

By Eamonn Burke

As the coronavirus continues to ravage the United States and the entire world, new concerns have sprung up over another virus with roots in China.

The flu virus is a newer strain of H1N1, a highly contagious and deadly disease that swept the world in 2009 and became a seasonal illness. This new strain, called G4 EA H1N1, first cropped up in 2016 among pig farms in China. It can and has spread to humans through the respiratory system without causing harm, but scientists are warning of the viruses pandemic potential.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the virus is not an “immediate threat” but rather “something we need to keep our eye on just the way we did with in 2009 with the emergence of the swine flu.” He has compared the characteristics of the virus as similar to the swine flu as well as the Spanish flu that killed between 30-50 million people.

Although the virus right now does not seem to have deadly or highly transmissible traits, what it does show is “reassortment capabilities” that suggest that it could become a major problem quickly, and one that needs to be controlled urgently. While President Trump falsely asserts that the coronavirus is fading, scientists worry about how the nation would cope with another pandemic on our hands.

360 Magazine, Allison Christensen

WHO x Rare Asymptomatic COVID-19 Spread

By Jason Tayer x Emmet McGeown

The Coronavirus remains very present and contagious around the country and world. However, as expert organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), find new ground-breaking data, knowledge about the nature of the virus and how it spreads advances.

According to CNBC, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove admits that the previously widely believed notion of the virus spreading between and from asymptomatic carriers has lost traction. Instead, Maria claims that it’s “very rare” for virus transmission to take place among asymptomatic patients based on contact tracing and secondary transmission analysis data. Maria’s news briefing at the UN agency’s Geneva headquarters can be found HERE. The New York Post also adds that narrowing in and focusing on all isolating and quarantining all of the symptomatic cases could result in much fewer transmission rates.

However, as of Tuesday, following widespread skepticism from global healthcare officials, the head of WHO’s diseases and zoonosis unit, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, has walked back statements that she made during a Monday press conference. After an influx of criticism, she clarified that it’s “misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare,” instead claiming that she was referring to a “small subset of studies.” Van Kerkhove acknowledges that much is unknown and that there exist models, which estimate that around 40% of transmissions are due to asymptomatic individuals.

With this recent news and many cities beginning to enter new phases of reopening, it may seem feasible to allow asymptomatic people to reopen and participate in various public businesses and services. AMNY expands on the example of NYC, where they are now in phase 1 of reopening. Even with this phase of reopening underway, the Department of Health has found that there have not been significant spikes in COVID-19-like cases in emergency rooms.

Regardless of the scrambling by the WHO to refine its oratory or the Department of Health observing no significant spikes in cases, there is no doubt that isolation and social distancing are slowing the spread of the virus. Indeed, it is possible that “asymptomatic” individuals can, in fact, be pre-symptomatic or simply be experiencing a very “mild disease.” This muddies the waters to such an extent that taking precautions seems to be the only logical corollary of the medical community’s ongoing attempt at total comprehension of the virus. Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime adviser to the CDC says, “I thought they [WHO] were getting very prissy and trying to slice the salami very fine.” He, like many other medical experts, believes that whether asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic, or mildly symptomatic, people should be wearing masks, washing their hands, staying away from large crowds and social distancing when possible.

Such perspectives echo the findings of a study, published in the scientific journal Nature, which suggest that the emergency lockdown procedures of six countries, ranging from Iran to the US, have prevented more than 500 million coronavirus infections across all six nations.

This leaves one wondering whether or not the accelerated re-openings of hotspots like Las Vegas casinos where, last year, guests outnumbered residents 20 to 1 are wise. Yet, with the risk of a mental health crisis and a hemorrhaging global economy, many are supportive of dismantling protective measures. However, we must dispel the false dichotomy that we must choose between complete lockdown and a restless revival or normal life. One only ought to look at Turkey where the government ordered only the young and elderly to remain at home while everyone else, except consumer-facing businesses, never ceased working. According to The Economist, “the vulnerable escaped the worst of the pandemic while those infected, mostly working-age adults, generally recovered.”

Irrespective of which approach the states decide to embark upon, the fact still remains that over 7 million people have been affected and the virus continues to spread.

BRAVO x SERHANT

BRAVO MEDIA CLOSES THE DEAL IN NEW SERIES “SELL IT LIKE SERHANT” PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 AT 10PM ET/PT

‘MILLION DOLLAR LISTING’ STAR RYAN SERHANT PUTS HIS SALES SKILLS TO THE ULTIMATE TEST

Bravo Media is stepping up its sales game with top New York City realtor Ryan Serhant in the new docu-series “Sell It Like Serhant,” premiering Wednesday, April 11 at 10pm ET/PT. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling – if you know your client and your product, a good salesperson can sell anything to anyone, and no one exemplifies this better than Ryan Serhant, the leader of one of the top real estate teams in the United States. In this new series, Ryan answers the call of struggling salespeople across multiple industries who are on the brink of losing their jobs and are desperate for his expertise. With some tough love and humor, Ryan will give underperforming employees a head-to-toe business overhaul and turn them into sales machines.

In each episode, Ryan takes a deep dive into each protégé’s world, using every trick in the book to become their bootcamp instructor, friend, teacher and even customer, to help them reach their full potential. Ryan goes all in, often hilariously so, as he learns the ropes of different industries that are somewhat foreign to a “Million Dollar” broker – from learning to sell services in a waxing salon, to learning the world of high stakes hot tub sales, he will push his students, and himself, to the limit. As he tries their products and tests their sales skills, he gets to the root of what’s troubling each salesperson, breaking them down and building them back up with expert knowledge and newfound confidence. Ultimately, employees will be put to the test each week when he or she will showcase their new skills in full view of their bosses and hopefully prove they can “Sell it Like Serhant.”

Meet Ryan Serhant

Ryan Serhant’s first day in the real estate business was on September 15, 2008, the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in the wake of the subprime mortgage collapse. While the real estate sector has slowly recovered, Serhant has become one of the most successful brokers in the world, with agents under his leadership in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and the Hamptons. Ryan is known to audiences all over the world as one of the stars of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing: New York. Serhant is recognized as a real estate powerhouse. His team at Nest Seekers International sold just under $1B in real estate in 2017 and consistently ranks in the top five real estate teams nationwide in the Wall Street Journal Real Trends annual review, with Serhant consistently the youngest team leader in the top ten. As a real estate expert he is a frequent contributor to CNN, CNBC, The Today Show and Bloomberg TV, and is often quoted in The New York Times, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal. He is the real estate correspondent for Daily Mail TV, a nationally syndicated television show and he recently launched his own vlog. Serhant is an active supporter of nonprofit organizations including DKMS, Operation Smile, Save the Children, Make a Wish, the Human Rights Campaign, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Pink Agenda and UNICEF, among others. After graduating Hamilton College in 2006 with twin degrees in English literature and theatre, Serhant headed to New York City to pursue an acting career before becoming a successful real estate broker. He currently lives in New York City with his wife Emilia.

“Sell It Like Serhant” is produced by World of Wonder with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell and Danielle King serving as Executive Producers along with Ryan Serhant and Rob Bola as Co-Executive Producers.