Newsletter 07/03/2020

Important deadline approaching

The deadline for filing taxes and contributing to your individual retirement account (IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs) is upon us. The July 15, 2020 deadline has been confirmed. No further extensions, unless you request to extend your tax filing until October 15. Important to note that while you can postpone your tax filing date, the official tax payment deadline is still July 15th. Unpaid taxes beyond July 15 are subject to interest and penalties.. 

If you have a SEP IRA then your contribution is due by the date your extension is due. Otherwise the postmarked deadline is 7/15/2020. Make sure your contribution is postmarked by the latest July 15 to count for 2019 contributions. If you have any questions please contact your SAS advisor team.

If you mail a check, make it out to TD Ameritrade with your account number and the year for the contribution (2019) in the memo line. Don’t forget to add the contribution year to the check for clean record keeping. Send your contribution directly to TD Ameritrade.

  • TD Ameritrade Institutional
  • PO BOX 650567
  • Dallas, TX 75265-0567
     

Nation

The reality is that the pandemic will be with us for a while. Until a vaccine is developed, mass produced, and distributed, it is unlikely we can make the leap into the “new normal.” In the meantime there are therapeutics being identified in the midst of a surge of new cases. The numbers are astonishing. In March and April, when this pandemic was declared and shelter in place began in most parts of the country, Americans listened and followed social distance and quarantine protocol. Guidelines for reopening were established by the CDC yet no state met those guidelines and began to reopen anyway. We are now experiencing the consequences with daily new positive cases exceeding an astounding 50,000. Deaths have lagged thankfully, due to a lower average age of individuals testing positive as well as the lag between positive tests, hospitalization, recoveries and death.

Proven guidelines still apply. Wear a mask in public, social distance, and avoid contact with those outside your household. If outside contact is unavoidable, wear a mask. It is easy to state these rules, but what do you do if you need to work for income, or you are an essential worker, or you live in a group environment, or your living situation is transitory? Well, the EU managed to not only flatten the curve but reduce new positives substantially. Looking at the data curves comparing new positives in the EU vs. the US; the difference is striking.

With the renewed news focus on this Covid-19 surge I have noticed mask wearing increase from about 60% to 90%+ on the streets in SF near my home. I hope it is the same in your neighborhood. We will beat this disease. The only question is when. I wonder how our lives and behavior will be different as a result. One important American value is freedom of choice.

Individual liberty has always been of utmost importance in the US. Meeting the challenge of this disease requires putting individual liberty in our pocket and prioritizing the collective community good. 

We are all in this together and the only way we meet the challenge is to recognize the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I call this social capital, our ability to summon community-the greater good-to work together to make America greater.

Economy

The pandemic is with us until the vaccine scenario. How do we adjust and what does the investment landscape look like are questions we are wrestling. Employment numbers were released today and new job creation set a one month record. This is good. This report carries us through the middle of June. The surge and slowdown or reverse of reopening happened in the 2nd half of June. Earnings for the 2nd quarter will start in the next couple of weeks. The stock market continues to be volatile but close to positive for the year, rivaling the lows of March. 

The economic rebound is linked to solving the public health crisis. Further gains will be hard with the risk in the 3rd quarter being palpable. No selling and nibble buying on market dips with continued investment in safe fixed income. We are more likely to be buyers of securities with good yields such as closed end funds. No changes are recommended despite the fact that we will be living with this pandemic for at least the rest of 2020. No reason to panic either. 

Some prognosticators are concerned because of the substantial lead of Joe Biden in Presidential polls. In my many years as an investment advisor politics should not be used to make investment decisions.

Trends

One of the interesting trends getting more news exposure lately is the Buynothingproject.org. The Buy Nothing project seeks to leverage community driven giving, sharing, and asking in lieu of ordering, buying, and consuming more, especially more plastic based items for the household. Buy Nothing is reportedly not a barter system, trades aren’t allowed, and more than material items can be requested and given including time, skills, and home grown excess produce.

On the eve of the initial SIP orders, many people began buying and hoarding goods, preventing others from a minimum supply of items such as toilet paper and dry pasta. Buy Nothing communities are reporting a different, more hopeful, outlook on sharing instead of hoarding for all items including PPE. Locally in the SF Peninsula, a Buy Nothing community came together to help a group member get married in a neighbor’s backyard overlooking a beautiful viewpoint along with all the A/V and networking equipment to live stream the event to loved ones virtually near and far. Many members came together (while also practicing social distancing practices) to decorate the backyard venue with flowers from their gardens, build a chuppah from scratch, make and decorate a cake, take photos, give snacks and advice, and so much more.

To learn more or to find your Buy Nothing group, you will need a facebook.com account, and search for “buy nothing” + “your city/neighborhood” to see if one has been established in your area.

Have a great 4th of July weekend and holiday with your existing quarantine crew!

The SAS Team

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