December 1, 2020

VJ Day meet VV Day

About 75 years ago, during the summer of 1945,  Americans celebrated VJ day as World War II came to a finish.  Good feelings combined with a huge pent up demand for products and cash from the GI Bill, resulted in the “golden age of capitalism”.  GDP exploded and the middle class expanded until well into the mid-seventies.  On December 10th, when the FDA meets to approve the logistics of providing at least three vaccines to a world held captive by Covid-19, we may experience our own VV day, or Victory by Vaccine for the global economy.  The market’s outperformance during the month of November may be indicating that a demand fueled recovery is becoming a reality.  Just don’t kiss a stranger in Times Square, it might be frowned upon in 2020.
December 6, 2020

A Public Commitment

Instead of birthday gifts, ask family and friends to crowdfund an emergency-savings account. And make it more credible with a “commitment device” – a penalty for failing to follow through and use the donated money only for emergencies. Savers can establish circumstances under which the funds might be used – such as promising to only dip into the funds to pay for a medical emergency or to ease an unemployment spell. The more credible the commitment, the more comfortable givers may be to contribute. Contributors can be rewarded with an update. -Benjamin Harris, Executive Director of the Kellogg School of Management’s Public-Private Interface in Evanston, Ill., and former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden.
December 14, 2020

Limit Extra Debt Payments!

If you are paying down debt, don’t pay less than the minimum payment just to contribute to your emergency fund. But if you’re minimum payments are manageable, then build your emergency fund while you are paying down debt. Until you have at least three months of emergency savings, consider putting 50% of your available funds toward extra debt payments and 50% toward your emergency fund. -Shelly-Ann Eweka, a wealth management director at TIAA Charlotte, N.C.
December 28, 2020


Take the amount you’re investing into your retirement plan that is over and above the company match (if you have one) and split it between savings and retirement investing until you reach your emergency-fund goal. – Kyle Whipple, financial adviser and partner at Custom Wealth Solutions in Plymouth, Mich.
January 3, 2021

Pay with Points!

Build up a stash of credit-card rewards points as part of an emergency fund. I always keep at least 25,000 points on my AmEx as a backup emergency fund. I can use my points to pay for groceries at Walmart or Amazon, or pay for things through PayPal. -Kimberly Foss, President and Founder of Empyrion Wealth Management, Roseville, Calif.