Thoughts on Cash: Rising from the fog of COVID | F. Marc Ruiz: Your Thoughts on Cash

I ordered and paid for a new garage door in the first week of February this year. Last Monday the garage door should finally be delivered. It didn’t arrive, and now we’re hoping for next week.

My wife called an airline the other day to resolve some travel issues for an autumn trip. The automatic “On Hold” message said your waiting time would be 77 minutes. She decided to hang up and try another time; the problems remain unsolved.

Customers tell me that furniture deliveries take three or four months. Headlines say that new cars, when they can be found, are flying off the lots and used car prices are about as high as new cars.

Sometimes it feels like we are collectively “on hold” at the moment when it comes to consumer goods and services. In the post-COVID world, things that we took for granted, like inventory and customer service, just don’t seem to apply before the pandemic.

I could use a variety of recent economic statistics to support my point, but I don’t think I have to as most of us have now seen these phenomena firsthand.

In the post-COVID economy, it turned out to be a lot easier to stimulate demand than to restore supply. Our modern on-demand economy is a marvel of technology, transportation and logistics, but as we find out, it only takes one flaw in the chain to turn an impressive process into a closed mess, and with the productivity of productivity “Work at home” is falling through the floor, it seems as if nobody is picking up the phone to listen to customer problems, let alone solve them.

Marc Anthony’s technical points | Leisure

Marc Anthony’s livestream show was marked by technical problems.

The 52-year-old singer was expecting to play a special virtual one-off show titled “One Night Only” for thousands of fans around the world but was forced to cancel after the stream collapsed due to demand with over 100,000 tickets from who are believed to have been bought.

In a statement, he said: “First of all, I would like to wholeheartedly thank the unprecedented number of fans from around the world who have tried to register to see my concert tonight and have not been able to join due to the overwhelming participation Demand that resulted in a complete collapse of the streaming platform. I am very sorry for this technology flaw that was unfortunately beyond our control. You can be assured that I will do everything in my power to make sure that the people Those who have spent their hard earned money will have the opportunity to watch the show asap and will do it right for all of you. ”And Marc has now decided to get fans who tried to tune in and release the recorded version of To offer refunds The show is available for free on YouTube.

He added, “I have requested that the show organizer give full refunds to all ticket buyers and that they begin this process today. I also want to tell you that since I promised you a concert, I am giving you one thing: that The version of the entire show that you couldn’t see last night is presented on my YouTube channel completely free of charge (Free!). A lot of love went into this project and it was made for you. I hope you and your loved ones enjoy it!”

Thoughts on Cash: The renewed consideration to inflation | F. Marc Ruiz: Your Thoughts on Cash

In my professional opinion, the Federal Reserve has been able to aggressively expand the money supply in the economy not only because of the disinflationary forces of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, but also because of the globalization trend which tends to lead to a decline in the workforce and cost of production as well as some demographic trends in western Countries where the baby boom generation was spending less money when they retired and the giant millennial generation had not yet entered their highest-earning lifetime. These three trends together gave the Fed plenty of room to create and integrate new money into the economy without leading to a general rise in prices, also known as inflation.

Then came COVID, which in many ways resembled a combination of a natural disaster and a public policy crisis. On the natural disaster side, the COVID crisis was rapid, deep and temporary, much like a hurricane or earthquake. On the public order side, governments forcibly reduced economic activity to control the virus, resulting in a political disaster similar to a major war or permanent budget shutdown.

Lessons from the 2008-2009 period, the Fed, having had no inflation for the past decade, felt comfortable adding an unprecedented amount of new money to the economy and markets, and the federal government had learned from the perceived political as well Failures from 2008-2009 also got on the train, making direct payments to businesses, public services and households. Simply put, a lot of money being spent on many people in many ways.

Marc A. Hebert’s ‘Cash $ense’: When your little one asks for a mortgage, must you say sure? | Cash Sense



Marc A. Hebert's Money Sense column sig

When you are a parent, you have done so much for your children from the day they were born. If your children have already finished school, they may be alone at this point. But are they really independent? Everyone needs help sometimes, and that includes adult children. If you can provide financial assistance, should you help your adult child when they ask?

Your first thought might be to pull out the checkbook. But it might be better to examine the cost first, both financially and emotionally. Here are some of the questions you might want to ask.

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Marc A. Hebert, MS, CFP, is an executive member and president of asset management and financial planning firm The Harbor Group of Bedford. Email questions to Marc at mhebert@harborgroup.com. Your question and its answer may appear in a future column.

Thoughts on Cash: What the bond market is telling us | F. Marc Ruiz: Your Thoughts on Cash

What does all this possibly mean? Well, yield, or interest rates in their purest form, are an indicator of economic growth and potential inflation. Traditionally, returns will tend to be higher when investors believe the economy is likely to grow, and prices of goods and services are likely to rise as a result. A move from 0.51% to 1.38% could logically be interpreted to help investors become more familiar with the post-COVID economic recovery.

On the same side of the coin, credit spreads are also an indicator of investor confidence in the economy. When investors feel that the economy is slowing, they become more concerned about companies defaulting on their bonds and demand more returns on buying those bonds. The opposite can be said when investors think the economy is likely to grow. In this case, the risk of default decreases and credit spreads narrow, also known as narrower.

What we have right now are rising bond yields and tighter credit spreads, two signs that investors expect a decent post-COVID economic recovery if vaccines are used. All of this makes sense, but that’s where the “academic” lesson in bond returns ends.

In the real world, financial markets are heavily manipulated by the Federal Reserve and the economy is about to receive another major economic boost from the federal government. Since the dark days of March 2020, the US Federal Reserve has been making billions in “asset purchases” every month, and this week, those asset purchases are not ending anytime soon, according to Jerome Powell, chairman of the Fed.

Amazon leisure exec Marc Whitten departs, joins Unity as senior vice chairman

Marc Whitten. (GeekWire Photo / Nat Levy)

Amazon exec Marc Whitten left the company to take up a position at Unity Technologies in Bellevue, Wash.

Whitten joined Amazon in 2016 and oversaw projects such as Fire TV, Kindle, and the upcoming cloud gaming service Luna.

He is perhaps best known for his 17 years with MicrosoftAs Xbox’s Chief Product Officer, Whitten was one of the main architects of the Xbox Live online service, working on three generations of console hardware. He also spent two years at Sonos.

Whitten’s departure from Amazon was announced by Unity CEO John Riccitiello during an earnings call earlier this month, however diversity and others reported on the move this week.

“Marc is an incredible leader in the world of technology and entertainment,” said Riccitiello, adding that Whitten “brings a lot to Unity and his leadership will help us grow and grow faster for the months and years to come.”

Variety reported that Daniel Rausch, Vice President of Smart Home, will now lead the Fire TV and Luna businesses.

Whitten made a note of his this week Twitter account that he “only delves” at Unity, where his official position is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Unity Create Solutions.

Unity’s main product is the cross-platform game engine of the same name, which was introduced in 2005. Since its debut, Unity has run hundreds of games across the market, from garage projects to mainstream hits like Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout and Pokemon Go. A limited version of Unity can be downloaded for free. For larger studios, however, an annual service fee is charged for access to the software.

The company offers both Unity Create, a selection of developer tools for game design and 3D modeling, and Unity Operate, which offers business functions such as backend management. In one February 24 blog On the Unity website, the company claims that 94 of the world’s top 100 development studios are using Unity Create, Unity Operate, or both.

unit raised more than $ 1.3 billion after going public in September.

Thoughts on Cash: Take a practical have a look at the way forward for power | F. Marc Ruiz: Your Thoughts on Cash

There may be occasional spikes in oil and natural gas prices, and stocks of carbon fuel companies can rebound on a regular basis, but as far as I can see, the future in this area is not promising. This doesn’t mean that companies that produce, transport, use, and refine carbon fuels will stop generating profits and dividends for decades, but the growth story is over in my opinion. I see these companies as a so-called “value trap”.

However, the world will not stop using energy. I know the promise of renewables is compelling, but in a power hungry world, both sun and wind pose serious challenges. After what happened to the frozen wind power grid in Texas this week, I think it will be difficult to find future capital or even government interest in big winds. Of the two technologies, you will not find me as an investor when I look at windmills. I like solar a lot better.

What I like about solar energy is that costs are falling and service capabilities are evolving. I can think of some kind of microgrid system where within a decade most new homes and even commercial buildings have an integrated solar power system that reduces reliance on the carbon powered grid. This vision leaves a lot of room for entrepreneurship and that is why I am open to looking for new investment opportunities in solar. Solar panels, lithium batteries, and solar service providers are all on my radar.

Clyde hoops coach Marc Case maintains fiery type amid uncommon 12 months

CLYDE – In a season that was far from routine, at least one aspect remained consistent for the Clyde boys’ basketball team: Marc Case.

The experienced coach, who has been an integral part of Big Country for over 30 years, was still himself – fiery, emotional and demanding.

And the folks around the Bulldogs program wouldn’t have it any different.

“He just treats you like his own son,” said senior security guard Jacob Roberts. “He treats you like one of his own, and you have to love him for that.”

“Intensive trainer, better guy”

Called “old school” itself, Case’s coaching style is often expressed in yelling – whether it be against officials during a game or against players who make a mistake.

Although Case was toned down compared to decades ago, he said it was difficult to keep his passion bottled up. It has been so since Cooper hired 23-year-old McMurry University and Amarillo Tascosa in 1974. He spent 20 years with Cooper.

More:Marc Case returns to Clyde as a headboy basketball coach

“Sport has always been very emotional for me,” said Case. “I’m just not one of those coaches – I see a lot of these guys sitting with their legs crossed and not getting up much. It just was never my style.

“If this ball goes up in the middle of the jump, a fire will start in the oven and it will keep burning.”

That makes it understandable that Case could be referring to Texas Tech trainer Chris Beard, a friend and former McMurry trainer who went viral this week after his rant after an expulsion.

“I don’t know how you can train and spend the time we spend making the sacrifices we make and not being fully involved in what you do,” Case said. “They ask your players to do that. Sometimes things just overflow. That’s why they have technical fouls.”

Case, 69, has never shied away from sharing his thoughts with officials, but he said his number of technical fouls was low. He values ​​referees, what he calls a “thankless job,” and has always tried to remain professional, even with disagreements.

It is also noticed by officials.

Jeff Groban, a 33-year-old referee, likes to name Case’s games. He got to know the coach off the field, where he behaved very differently.

“It’s actually pretty cool,” said Groban. “I know he’s passionate about the game. He yells and yells a lot, but that’s just part of his personality on the basketball court. All in all, he’s just a really, really nice guy off the court. He gets very intense at the basketball court, but I’m used to it. I’ve seen it for 30 years …

“He’s very popular with pretty much everyone. Everyone knows he’s a very intense coach, but he’s a better guy.”

Players get it too

This intensity is sometimes aimed at players too. It’s a persistent approach that has turned some off but tries to get the best out of its group.

“We have our moments,” said Roberts with a laugh. “You do something bad and then you get yelled at. I like being yelled at. It makes me play harder … The ones who probably haven’t left us earlier this season. But everyone who’s on the team loves it now. “

Scott Campbell, Clyde Sporting Director, lured Case out of retirement in 2018. Campbell said it is important that his staff can be themselves and he knows that Case’s players are better because of their sophisticated style.

“It definitely takes a tougher kid on your mind,” said Campbell. “We’ve added kids to the basketball program for the past few years who realized that for some reason this wasn’t for me. But those who stuck to it, those who followed his course really did.” benefits from it. “

Jacob Roberts, Senior Guard for Clyde, tries when Merkel's Reid defends Hoyle in a District 6-3A game at Merkel High School on Jan. 12.

For Case, it’s about setting standards and complying with them.

“I don’t know if I’ve changed that much,” said Case. “… I think kids still want to know what the parameters are, what your expectations are, what your goals are, and how you are going to try to achieve them. That really hasn’t changed.”

Feisty bunch of bulldogs

Case admits those goals were missed this season, which Clyde finished 14-12 after losing to Jim Ned on Friday.

But the road was not easy for the Bulldogs, whom Case described as “the hardest-working, liveliest bunch I’ve ever trained.”

Three of District 6-3A’s playoff teams won at least 20 games, and Jim Ned, the multi-year performance, finished third, 10-4. Clyde lost three competitions against the top teams in the league by four points or less.

This competitiveness comes as no surprise to Groban, who said Case teams are always made up of fighters.

“One thing about him is that his kids always play hard for him,” said Groban. “Since I’m officiating for him, whether it was Clyde or Cooper … anyone who plays for him you know they’ll come out and play hard no matter what.”

Marc Case, the Clyde boys' basketball coach, expresses his displeasure with a Friday without a call.

That’s what Roberts and the other three seniors on the team did. This group, which includes Monroe Burleson, Jorge Cantu and Dusty Porter, holds a special place in Case’s heart. Because of the unique challenges the pandemic and the entire team bring, it has been a year the coach will not forget.

“They don’t seem to be bothered by anything,” said Case, “whether it’s about the COVID issues or whatever. We lost some really close games that kept us out of the playoffs, but they just kept grinding and continued working. ” Your attitude was great. “

Be continued

This is not the end of the line for Case.

The coach believes the program, which had a 19-2 JV roster, is a step in the right direction. And there is no hesitation in his desire to move on. After all, Case said he struggled to fill his free time during his previous retirement.

“Coach Case and I have already talked about how things will look in the future,” said Campbell. “I know he still feels like he still has a few things left in the tank and I think the kids at Clyde will definitely benefit from that.”

As long as his second stint with Clyde continues, Case will no doubt keep doing things the way he can.

“My plans are if they want me to come back I’ll definitely come back,” said Case. “But I know somewhere on the street I can’t do this forever. When that time comes, all I can do is thank Clyde, the ward, and the school administration for the support they have given me.

“It was just a fantastic situation.”

Clyde basketball coach Marc Case claps Merkel during a District 6-3A basketball game on Jan. 12.

Stephen Garcia is a sports reporter who primarily covers schools in the Big Country. Follow him on Twitter at @ARN_Stephen. If you value local news, you can get local journalists with one digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.

Thoughts on Cash: Time to take one other have a look at the Roth IRA | F. Marc Ruiz: Your Thoughts on Cash

The motivating factor for this second look is the likelihood that under the new Democratic regime in Washington, the attractive tax rates introduced under the previous administration will likely drift higher, but not until next year due to COVID.

With a little math and some reasonable assumptions, I think it might be possible to conduct some kind of tax arbitrage where a Roth switch in 2021 would make investors, especially those granted deferment from the RMD, pay taxes in the EU In the current low interest rate environment, higher tax rates can be expected for themselves or their beneficiaries in the future.

It’s hard to overstate how attractive current tax laws are to families in the $ 80,000 to $ 125,000 income range, which is a very common range for many retirees. By using a Roth IRA conversion to fill those attractively low tax brackets and essentially moving money to a Roth IRA tax haven, potentially less attractive tax rates for retirees and their final beneficiaries can be avoided in the future.

This information is not a substitute for specific individual tax advice. We encourage you to discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor. Traditional IRA account holders need to give some thought before a Roth IRA conversion. Above all, this includes income tax consequences for the converted amount in the year of conversion, redemption restrictions from a Roth IRA and income restrictions for future contributions to a Roth IRA. If you need to make a Minimum Required Distribution (RMD) in the year you convert, you must do so prior to converting to a Roth IRA. Marc Ruiz is an asset advisor and partner of Oak Partners and a registered agent of LPL Financial. Contact Marc at marc.ruiz@oakpartners.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA / SIPC.