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@theMarket: Pandemic Fears Decimate Markets
By Bill Schmick,
06:44PM / Friday, February 28, 2020
The COVID Crash of 2020 crushed the world's stock markets this week. The average decline in the United States topped 14 percent. How much further will they fall and, more importantly, what should you do about it?   My first bit of advice is to refrain from checking how much you lost in your retirement account. Why? Because it will only increase your angst and might trigger the emotional impulse to sell everything before you lose even more.   Next, lets look at the markets. There are two unknowns driving the markets lower. The first is the fear that the Coronavirus (COVID19) will get worse. Investors fear that self-imposed quarantines will be announced here

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The Independent Investor: Can America Afford Sanders' promises?
By Bill Schmick,
04:30PM / Thursday, February 27, 2020
On the eve of yet another Democratic primary, the policies and promises of the front runner, Bernie Sanders, haves suddenly come into focus for many voters. The price tag of his platform could be enormous -- as much as $60 trillion. Are these promises just waiting to be broken?   Last week, I focused on the promises Donald Trump has made and his track record on fulfilling them. He gets at least a "B," although things like his infrastructure projects and restoring manufacturing were big failures.   In Bernie's case, as a big picture guy, he is arguing for a new vision of America's future. His platform lists seven major spending programs (and a

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@theMarket: Corvid-19 Impact Coming Home to Roost
By Bill Schmick,
04:11PM / Friday, February 21, 2020
It began Sunday night with a warning from one of America's largest icons. Through the week, other companies followed suit, issuing warnings that the China-spawned virus is beginning to impact revenues and profits. Investors are bracing for further announcements in the days ahead.   Now that the Corvid-19 virus has been spreading out through the world for more than three weeks, some companies are beginning to get a handle on at least some of the damage that will incur to their businesses as the virus persists. Apple was the first major company to warn investors that their iPhone sales in China will take a hit in the first quarter. Since then, a number of companies have

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The Independent Investor: Can Politicians' Promises Be Believed?
By Bill Schmick,
10:08PM / Thursday, February 20, 2020
As the 2020 presidential election campaign heats up, so do the promises. Lower taxes for some, higher taxes for others, better health care, higher Social Security payments; whatever it takes to get elected seems to be on the table for now.   But most politician's promises are made to be broken. Once the candidate becomes the president, reality sets in and the blame game starts. "The House is against me." "The Senate won't cooperate." "The deficit is too large." "Spending is out of control."    The list of excuses goes on and on.   Truth be told, Donald Trump has come the closest to fulfilling at

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The Independent Investor: Economic Inequality Becomes Campaign Issue
By Bill Schmick,
06:32PM / Thursday, February 13, 2020
As Bernie Sanders takes the lead in the Democratic primary campaign, investors are beginning to take his socialist leanings to heart. But dire warnings from the opposition and Wall Street seem to have little impact. A look at the present income inequality in America goes a long way in explaining why.   Over the years, I have written a number of articles on the growing threat of income inequality and its damage to "the Great Center" — the American middle class. According to a new study by the respected Pew Research organization, over the past 50 years, the highest earning 20 percent of U.S. households have garnered a steadily increasing share of America's

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