Whether you’re hosting a Passover Seder, hiding eggs this Sunday for Easter, or just looking forward to a nice spring weekend, don’t forget it’s the last weekend to file your taxes (or ask for an extension). So hop to it.
Price check. The Consumer Price Index (hint: it tracks the costs of everyday goods) is up 8.5% from last year. And the price of food — particularly flour, butter, meat, poultry, and fish — is on the rise. The Fed is raising interest rates to try and help keep things in check. But the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai continue to fuel supply chain issues. Translation: Sticker shock at the grocery store may stick around.
The ‘i’ in inflation. Rising prices hit different depending on your shopping list. And on your income level (even though canned tuna and caviar are lumped into the same category when it comes to measuring inflation). But single women are really feeling the pain at the grocery store. Want to know where inflation is hitting your wallet? First, check your personal inflation rate. Then, plan your budget accordingly.
When I dip, you dip, we dip. It’s a short week for the stock market, which is closed today for Good Friday. And US stocks closed on a low note with the three major indexes (aka Nasdaq, S&P 500, and Dow Jones) posting weekly losses. Soaring inflation, increasing interest rates (hello again, Fed), and uncertainty around earnings season all contributed to a less-than-ideal week for your portfolio.
News to Wallet
April earnings bring May learnings? A fresh earnings season kicked off with big banks reporting this week. And when household names like JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo come clean about their finances, it often sheds some light on the broader stock market and economy.The current forecast: a little cloudy.Bank execs, including JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, cited the war in Ukraine and inflation as major challenges for the US economy. Your moves:
Stay cool. Earnings announcements can contribute to stock market volatility. But for better or worse, it’s often short-lived. Whether this earnings season brings a nice bloom to your portfolio or muddies things up a bit, remember your big investing goals (hi, retirement) and your long-term strategy.
Mix it up. It’s never a bad time to check in on your asset allocation. Maybe your risk tolerance has changed or you realize your portfolio isn’t as diversified as it could be. Check on your assets to make sure your investments match your money goals.
Make Good (Money) Choices
Financial Literacy Month, aka April, is dedicated to promoting financial education. And so is Skimm Money. Because the first step to building wealth and achieving financial independence is understanding how money works. That's why, this whole month, we’re talking about money rules you may have heard from the experts (or your parents)...and explaining why some rules were made to be broken.
Money rule: Don’t rent — it’s a waste of money.
Why you can break it: Homeownership gets a lot of hype for its wealth-building benefits. And while renting may not add property value to your portfolio,the money you could save each month on a lease vs. a mortgage payment (if it's cheaper to rent than buy where you live) is yours to invest however you choose (oh hey, liquidity). And beyond the financial benefits, renting gives you the flexibility to try living in new cities or neighborhoods before you commit to owning a property (breaking a lease is waayy easier than selling a house). So yes, homeownership is a great money goal. But you’re not wasting money paying rent on your way there.
This week, a federal judge sentenced cryptocurrency expert Virgil Griffith to more than five years in prison. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to provide services to a sanctioned country after giving a presentation in North Korea on how to use blockchain to avoid sanctions. This comes as the US continues to implement sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine. And as concern has grown over the role cryptocurrency could play in the Russia-Ukraine war.But recent analysis has shown that crypto isn’t being used to skirt Russian sanctions.
Thing to Know
Not the kind where Lululemon gives you a gift card for your used leggings. A stock buyback is when a company purchases shares of its own stock.Public companies use them to increase the value of available shares or prevent other shareholders from taking a controlling stake in the firm. Sound shady? Critics say it can be when companies use the strategy to manipulate markets and boost corporate profits.
2021 was a record year for stock buybackswith S&P 500 companies, including Apple and Meta, spending a record $882 billion on repurchases.And the trend is continuing this year. JPMorgan announced a $30 billion buyback in its earnings report. PS: President Joe Biden wants to crack down on the practice and discourage companies from repurchasing stocks to benefit executives.
Psst…we Skimm’d other investing terms to know.
Hot Off the Web
Florida homebuyers might not need magic to find a budget-friendly home with Disney and Universal pledging to build affordable housing in the Sunshine State.
Major league women: Alyssa Nakken became the first woman to make an on-field MLB appearance and Ameshya Williams-Holliday brought HBCU representation back to the WNBA draft for the first time in 20 years.
And Elon Musk and Twitter. Will they or won’t they? He’s not even sure…
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