A Pandemic of Fear

As February began, most investors were keeping a cautious eye on the coronavirus that was spreading in China. While there were isolated outbreaks around the globe, they were just that—isolated. Some firms began to back away from prior financial forecasts, but a mistaken belief the illness would be contained to China kept markets at inflated levels. That changed dramatically when headlines surfaced that the coronavirus had spread to northern Italy, South Korea and Iran.
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Financial Impact of the Coronavirus

On Friday, January 17 – after a spectacular 40% run-up that started the day after Christmas 2018 – the Standard & Poor’s 500-Stock Index closed at 3,329.62. Two weeks later to the day –Friday, January 31 – the Index closed a little over three percent lower, at 3,225.52. (Indeed, more than half that damage was done on Friday.) We have therefore been invited by financial media to suspect that the blended value of 500 of the largest, best financed, most profitable businesses in America and the world has “lost” three percent – with more “losses” to come – due to the outbreak in China of a new strain of coronavirus.
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When Can I Retire? 9 Questions To Answer First (Then You’ll Know)

Let me guess. You’re aching to retire, and you’d be counting the days…if only you knew how many you had left until you could afford to stop working. You punch numbers into your calculator. The answers make no sense but you scribble them down anyway. Maybe they’ll look better in writing. Nope. You wad up the piece of paper and throw it on the floor. “When can I retire?” you ask the empty room. You don’t know how much money you’ll need, or if you’ve already saved enough. And what about Social Security, didn’t you read something about maximizing your benefits? But how? Tension jackhammers your skull. Fear sweeps through you as you contemplate a future living out of a shopping cart. “Who can tell me, when can I retire?” you mutter. “And do I have enough money to retire?”
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