YOUR FINANCIAL JOURNEY - ISSUE 21-2
Your Attention Please! Now Entering the Post-COVID World……
I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and looking forward to a great Spring! It is good to hear that COVID cases in many states are subsiding (see the chart below from the CDC) and, as I’m writing this, according to NPR more than 147 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, with about 16% of the US population fully vaccinated as of March 30th.
Over the next several months as the economies in many states continue to open and re-establish their pre-pandemic growth rates, investors as always are focused on interest rates, economic growth and where the equity markets are headed. While you all know I hate to predict the short-term direction of the equity markets, many market commentaries are optimistic about the remainder of this year as global economic growth is expected to resume to its pre-pandemic levels and perhaps even beyond.
In addition to the equity markets, we are keeping a close eye on interest rates. The Fed has made great efforts to keep interest rates near historic lows to help stimulate the economy both during and post-pandemic, but there is concern that expected economic growth along with unprecedented government spending and deficits may cause inflation to return with more heat than an August afternoon in Texas. Already we have seen housing prices continue to set new highs in numerous areas around the U. S., and other costs may soon follow. We are keeping a close eye on rates as we continue in 2021 and beyond for signs of future inflation.
A big Happy Birthday to our clients and friends for March and April! Enjoy our monthly newsletter and as always call us at the office if you have financial questions or issues you need our help in resolving. Pay close attention to the following article regarding the pushback of the 2020 federal tax filing deadline due both to the pandemic and winter storms in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
If you are a Texas resident or business, you now have two extra months to complete your federal returns, pay any taxes owed, and make 2020 IRA contributions.
The June 15, 2021 extension was announced by the IRS last month after the unprecedented winter storm.
Read the IRS’ official statement: Click HERE
While this extension isn't unexpected, it may be welcome to many still coping with what is becoming one of the most complicated tax seasons in decades.
Please consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals before modifying your tax-filing strategy.
Among the many changes arising from the pandemic, one of the most noticeable was a change in American spending habits.
A survey released in March 2021 by Pew Research shows that Americans have increasingly chosen to put away what extra money they have rather than invest. It spreads across all income levels, with a 32% increase of wealthier Americans saving more, 17% more for those at lower incomes, and an overall increase of 23%. Studies show that the total may amount to $1.8 trillion, and is expected to increase to $2.5 trillion by the summer.1
What’s the bottom line here? Wealthier Americans already tend to put away cash, and it’s not unusual for that to increase during difficult times (the same thing happened in 2009, leading into the so-called “Great Recession”). The problem is that money sitting on the sidelines isn’t moving through the economy. This has many potential results for the American economy, including diminishing growth and further economic inequality.
In a country where Americans are getting stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits, the message between the lines seems to be “please spend money.” While it’s a perfectly normal instinct to sock away extra money when you have it, there are cumulative effects for the economy if not enough money gets invested.
Call us if you are ready to have a conversation about what to do with the money you’ve put away. Disclaimer
A recent article in The Houston Chronicle reported that 55 Houston area companies were named on the Inc. 5000 Regional list of fastest-growing private companies, propelling the Bayou City to the top metro area in Texas by revenue, according to business publication, Inc.