02-FEBRUARY 08-2021

EducationGood morning.
Buyers of GameStop created their own stimulus plan as Congress failed to act, at least until brokerage firms shut down trading.  But Friday saw popular retail names rally at the same time the stock market did, thanks to a renewed focus on stimulus.
This is why the stock market is the best game in town.  Interest rates are near zero, making it easy to borrow money to invest in stocks.  And investing in bonds at today’s rate sounds like a guaranteed way to lose money to inflation.  With the Federal Reserve still printing money like gangbusters, it’s no surprise the markets are already heading higher on the rumor that more money will be going into people’s pockets, and likely filtering into stocks.  It’s the one thing hedge funds and retail traders alike can agree on.

Now here’s the rest of the news:

Hyperinflation Is Scary, But This Is The Real Threat 
The Fed doesn’t expect a large or sustained jump in inflation (despite the evidence we’ve seen to the contrary).  But we’ve learned that inflation doesn’t need to be large or sustained in order to completely wipe out your savings. [Read Here] Platinum Scales Six-Year Peak on Global Automaker Demand –Bart Melek, Commodity Strategies Head, TD Securities
“We are expecting demand for autos to increase globally as we move into a recovery phase, as higher standards for pollution control will require more platinum.” [Read More]

Gold $1,825.50 (+0.6%)
Silver $27.46 (+1.6%)
Platinum $1,262.00 (+11.3%)
Palladium $2,418.75 (+1.5%)

February 08, 2020

5 Ways to Get Movin’ Today!

If your job is anything like mine, it requires a lot of sitting, computer work, and phone calls.  And as awe-some as the job may be, it makes it challenging to stay active.  Being at a desk for too long can lead to feeling tired, stiff, and sluggish by the end of the day.  So what are some ways you can get moving, de-crease muscle stiffness, and boost your productivity?  Here are my top 5:

Chilling at Work1.  Set a recurring timer for 45 minute increments, and take 10 – 15 minutes to stretch and walk when it goes off.  I prefer to use a web-based timer be-cause I almost always have a browser open, and it generates a pop up directly on my computer.  This works well for two reasons.  First, the pop up serves as a posture check to keep me from looking and feeling like Gollum at the end of the day.  Second, it boosts my productivity by motivating me to set tasks for each set of 45 minutes and by increasing blood flow.

Your Lunch Break2.  Take a 15 minute walk outside over your lunch break.  I only get 30 minutes for lunch, so this is about all I can squeeze in!  You can do it fast for exercise, or turn it into a mid-day walking meditation when you need more zen.  It’s a great way to get some fresh air, de-stress, spark creativity, burn some calories , and log ~2300 more steps each day.

Working the Water_73.  Keep a water bottle at your desk.  The more we see some-thing, the more we are likely to do it.  Keeping a bottle or water jug at my desk helps remind me to stay hydrated AND it keeps me moving.  Going to the bathroom regularly isn’t a bad thing; it prevents you from being in one position too long and forces you to get up!  Hydration regulates your body, decreases muscle soreness, and can even improve sleep quality.  Just try not to drink a lot of water before bed or a long meeting!  A good general goal for hydration is to consume about half your weight in ounces of fluid (ideally water) daily.  So if you weigh 150 lbs, aim for 75 ounces.

You Got Balls4.  Keep an exercise ball under your desk and intermittently swap it out for your chair.  This provides some core stabilization exercises if you sit on it during the day, and makes for a pretty dang good stretch if you lie down over it.  When you lie with your back over the curve of the ball with your arms resting on either side, this stretches both your low back and your neck.  Additionally, this opens your body back up after being in a forward or flexed position for much of the day.  Flexion, meet extension.

Take The Stairs5.  Always take the stairs.  You didn’t honestly think you’d get through a “ways to be more active” post without it mentioning stairs, did you?  It is truly one of the best ways to stay active throughout the day, especially if you are in an office building.  These steps add up quickly, and are great not just for your heart or waistline, but for building strength in your glutes and quad-riceps.  If you want to really get moving or miss your morning workout, try walking the stairs as part of your break every 45 minutes for an extra daily burn of ~200-300 calories.

Take these tips and make them your own!  If 45 minutes is too small of an increment, or 10 minutes is too long, adjust and do what works for you.  You know yourself better than anyone else!

Keep The Body Moving …  😉

February 08, 2019

Habit #5 — Eliminate Distractions

[Tomorrow — Habit #6]  Day six of our Seven Habits of Recovering Procrastinators.  🙂

February 08, 2018

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…Gives You a Good Night’s Sleep!

Economists often discuss the wealth effect or the inclination for con-sumers to spend more when they have a higher investment balance. Seeing improved balances due to terrific gains in stock and bond portfolios makes consumers feel more confident in their wealth.  This comfort level often inspires above-average spending.

But when that fattened balance is tied to unrealized gains, you’d best put that credit card back in your wallet.  As this week’s trading illus-trates, swift gains can quickly revert to losses.  The best way to keep your retirement strategy on course is to tie your spending to a fixed budget, not an ever-changing brokerage balance.

While it might feel nice to splurge on a fancy vacation when the S&P 500 is soaring, it will feel doubly bad to stay home watching Netflix every night during a bear market.

As someone who follows the market for a living, I have a constant feed of stock prices lighting up my desktop.  I am hyper-aware of my invest-ment balances, for better or worse.  And while my mood might shift based on an extra bullish day or, as we’ve experienced recently wide-spread selling, it’s best to keep your spending steady.

Basing your spending or retirement decisions on monthly swings in the stock market is a poor plan.  Most financial advisers suggest a few buckets for investments based on spending forecasts.  Money is moved from a “most invested” bucket to a “least invested bucket” based on how soon you plan on spending that money.

The most invested bucket likely holds stocks, stock ETFs and mutual funds geared towards capital growth.  The less invested buckets hold more cash, bonds, and ETFs and mutual funds focused on income and capital preservation.  The long-term holding plan for this bucket allows you to weather market storms.

If your children are toddlers and you’re saving for college, most of this money should be fully invested in growth vehicles.  It is frightening and not prudent to dump all your savings into the market in one lump.  Add-ing a fixed dollar amount monthly will automatically help you average into stock prices over time.

The same goes for retirement savings.  A young person will likely have most of his savings in stocks and growth vehicles.  However, as the person ages, a portion of those savings will be moved to less risky buckets.

The goal is that as you creep towards retirement, your investment balance will be less volatile.  You don’t want to worry that a sum you plan on spending next month suddenly disappeared due to a market sell-off.

If you’ve slowly crept into bonds and dividend ETFs or mutual funds, your portfolio should generate a decent supply of steady income.  More importantly, an even-keeled spending plan will allow you to get a good night’s sleep in all those years before retirement.

[Learn more, and to check out.]

…other articles by Linda McDonough.

REW

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Come From Aways, Do You?

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