I know when the lockdown will end.

Dear Financial Minimalists, 

One of the best ways to get through a difficult time is to set a conservative time limit for how long you may have to endure the pain. Having a conservative time limit drastically reduces your stress and anxiety. And a happy life is all about consistently surpassing expectations.  For example, have you ever needed to urgently go to the bathroom while on a bus? The bus driver says the next rest stop is in 10-15 minutes, but you can’t wait! The curry in your belly is already exploding.  Your mind starts frantically thinking about the worst-case scenario, which makes you need to go to the bathroom even more. You want to tell the driver to pull over now, but are too embarrassed! But if you calmly tell yourself to hold on for a conservative duration of time, like 25 more minutes, no matter how slow he drives or what obstacles may come your way, you will start to feel calmer and your  stomach pain will start to go away because you’ve baked in a comfortable buffer.  The same situation is going on for most of us right now and with life in general. The uncertainty of when the economy will open is slowly torturing us. But I realized last week with, 98% certainty, when the lockdowns will end. Ready to receive some Pepto-Bismol for the soul?! Expect to experience the glory of freedom again no later than the week of July 13, 2020. Here’s how I know this date is for certain: 

1) I surveyed thousands of you on March 22 about how long you are willing to put up with a lockdown. 56% of you said between 2 – 3 months. We have a base case sentiment with the information at the time. This type of information was also used by the government to try and come up with a viable solution to stop-gap the American public’s finances while combatting the virus. 

 2) Stimulus checks will be mostly dispersed by the end of April. Enhanced unemployment benefits last until July 30. And PPP money will be mostly dispersed by May 15. Small business owners then have 8 weeks from the time they receive their loans to keep payroll unchanged for their loans to be forgiven. Therefore, the government believes, through all its bickering, that mid-July is a conservative time period where the vast majority of the nation will open. After all, politicians also need to be conservative in order to beat expectations and remain in power. They don’t just come up with these conditions and timelines for nothing.  However, if you understand my message, then you also know that if we are conservatively expecting lockdowns to end by the week of July 13 to manage expectations, then the reality is nationwide lockdowns will end much sooner.   

Image Of The Week

 Below is another example of why I think anything is possible in America. Stifel, an equity research and advisory firm, put out a nonsensical forecast of the S&P 500 reaching 2,950 by this Thursday. At the same time, it is also forecasting the S&P 500 won’t get to 3,000 by the year 2025. I hope they are right, but come on. Taking five years to gain the remaining 1.7% makes no sense.  Never doubt yourself! ​You must have the courage to try new things. It doesn’t matters less if you are wrong and more if you are trying.  

Posts Of The Week * 

States With The Highest And Lowest Unemployment Benefits – In the good ole days, we used to talk about geoarbitrage to make our dollars go farther in retirement. Now, I take a look at unemployment arbitrage to help workers be more informed before moving to another state for a job. I was shocked to see so many lower cost of living states pay much higher benefits.   

Career Insurance: The Guaranteed Way To Prevent Unemployment – I started Financial-Minimalist during the depths of the previous personal financial crisis. I recommend starting you start your own Financial Samurai now if you have family or are thinking of having children. I would absolutely do it again if I was in my 20s all over again.  I recommend a website.Here is how to do it!

Life Insurance While Young, Single, Or Childless Is Still A Good Idea – If you are blessed with youth, take advantage, even though that’s all you know so far. I’m sure your life will have unexpected twists and turns. As I get older, I realize I’m naturally moving farther away from topics that concern younger folks. Instead, I should use my experience to help younger folks make better choices.  

* No Mortgage More Courage – Having no mortgage during a pandemic definitely feels nice. However, if you want to change your life for the better, you need the courage to do things outside of societal norms. 

 We’re entering into the heart of 1Q2020 earnings season. Buckle up and pay attention to earnings guidance and strategies on how companies are adapting to this new environment. 

 Regards,

David Mead

Financial-Minimalist.com

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David Mead 

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