We're back, baby
Welcome to “Not Pretty, Not Rich,” a newsletter meant to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the markets and economy, and what you can do to take advantage — if anything.
Some quick notes:
Next week, I’ll be returning to a weekly format. The next newsletter you get from me will be on June 5. And I’ll keep tinkering with the structure. Again, I want this to be useful, not more inbox-clogging fluff — let me know if you have suggestions.
A disclaimer: I’m neither a financial expert or professional. I’m just a guy who writes about money, and this newsletter is a place for me to share my opinion, views, and resources. It’s unaffiliated with my employer, and all views contained within are my own.
It’s Friday, May 29.
We’re back, baby
This week, it started to feel like things were returning to pre-virus form. To an extent, anyway. States are loosening restrictions and allowing businesses to resume normal functioning (in some places), and I got the sense that people were, by and large, feeling pretty good.
That optimism has been reflected in the markets, too. The markets were up earlier in the week, though they finished down only a little bit on Thursday, despite the fact that the weekly unemployment figures showed another 2.1 million people signed up for unemployment benefits.
Notwithstanding, the Dow cracked 25,000 — for what it’s worth. Maybe it’s not quite as scary to look at your 401(k) balance now?
Another positive indicator: Mortgage demand is up way more than expected. They’re up 54% since April, showing that the housing market is recovering.
As I’ve harped on before, good economic news is hard to balance given what else is happening in the world. But it’s also a chance to keep something else in mind: The markets are forward-looking. That is, the stock market doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s happening right now, but rather, how investors feel about the future.
And remember: The stock market isn’t the economy.
Andrew Ross Sorkin cracks
On Wednesday, during the taping of Squawk Box on CNBC, one of the show’s hosts, Andrew Ross Sorkin, let loose:
It was kind of amazing to see, and Sorkin’s frustration mirrors my own, in a lot of ways. While I, personally, am glad that the economy is recovering, and hope that it continues, it really doesn’t feel like the gravity of pandemic has set in.
In just a few months, we’ve lost more than 100,000 friends, family members, and friends. And yet, there seems to be relatively little grieving, at least on a national scale. (Other people have noticed, too, apparently). Of course, we’re all processing it in our own way, but just imagine if someone pulled you aside last Christmas and told you that, by Memorial Day, 100,000 people would die in the U.S. due to a viral outbreak.
You wouldn’t have believed it.
It’s a strange time, and we’re not even close to seeing the end of this. And while we all root for a return to normal, try to keep in mind what we all just lived through — well, most of us, anyway.
Action item: More investing tools
I wanted to end today by sharing a blog post from an acquaintance, Riley Adams, who’s a CPA out in San Francisco. I reach out to Riley from time to time for stories — he knows what he’s talking about.
The post I’d like to share is called “24 Best Stock Research Apps & Software for Capturing Alpha,” and it’s on his site The Young and the Invested.” There are a lot of tools on here, many that are free, and many that I had never even heard of, especially further down the list. And who doesn’t love more tools?
If you want to learn more about investing, or just get started, this is a good place to start.
As always, thanks for reading. See you soon.