• Nate Baim, MBA, CFP®

Radical or Incremental Change?


Enjoy this week's edition of the Planner's Beta


Beta (n) - climber's jargon that designates information about a climb This digest's purpose is to share observations, ideas, and treasures found this week which you may also find insightful. Sharing does not mean it's an endorsement. I am endorsing the pursuit of knowledge and exploration.



The Flowers Are Blooming

Becky and I made it out to LL Stub Stewart State Park this weekend for a hike. The flowers are in full bloom, and we even got the chance to see deer. Fortunately, we missed seeing the cougar which has been sighted in the park recently.


How Much Has the World Changed? (Not much) (Barry Ritholtz) - We hear it often, "COVID changes everything." Ritholtz challenges this assumption. He does not deny that trends already in place before the coronavirus are accelerating. He does challenge the notion that many institutions will face radical change. He points to how things tend to mean-revert (move back to the established trend after a recent extreme event) and change incrementally. Furthermore, he argues, industries and institutions tend not to revolutionize all at once. What do you think?


Four Takeaways From Fed Chair Powell's Testimony Investors Should Know (Forbes) - The Federal Reserve chairman testified last week before Congress. Mr. Powell reiterated interest rates would remain above zero, and he defended the Fed's corporate debt purchase program. The chairman also stated the central bank does not see any risk of inflation in the near term, and will not reduce the central bank's balance sheet anytime soon (in other words, take cash out of the economy). And last, he emphasized the economy has a long way to go before it recovers to pre-pandemic levels. Congress is currently weighing how to spend additional recovery money to stimulate the economy. Mr. Powell offered his insight on how to aid the recovery. He stated, "It would be wise to look at ways to continue to support people who are out of work and also smaller businesses that may not have vast resources for a period of time … so that we can get through this critical phase. That support would be well placed at this time."


Young trader dies by suicide after thinking he racked up big losses on Robinhood (CNBC) - This is an unfortunate story. Derivatives are complex financial instruments that Warren Buffett once coined are financial weapons of mass destruction. Alex Kearn took his own life after interpreting that he was more than $700k in debt due to options trading on the popular platform, Robinhood. Although the details of the case are not settled, Mr. Kearn may have misread the statements, which should serve as a lesson for all traders. Understand what you are investing in and how it works.


Flow Chart of the Month


Deciding whether to contribute to a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA is a common question for retirement savers. Assuming you qualify to add to these accounts, much comes down to your expected future income tax rates compared to your current tax bracket. The flow chart above illustrates how to tackle this decision.


Quote of the Week

"The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope."  - Frank Lloyd Wright


 

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