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Retired at 33 While Making Less Than Six Figures

I thought I would feature yet another shining example of a couple who retired in their 30s using nothing more than simple investment principles and an early start to life. 

Justin McCurry started investing at the age of 24 alongside his wife, who is a financial analyst. Combined, they were making $90,000 and gradually worked up towards a total of $140,000 at their earning prime. 

He wanted to retire young, and figured that he would need a total of $2.5 million in savings to pay off his mortgage, live comfortably for the rest of his life, and support his three children throughout adolescence and their college years. 

What he realized early on is that he didn’t need that much money – $1.3 million would suffice, to be exact, and he could realistically get there in about 10 years. He would follow the 4% rule and only take out 4% from his retirement nest egg every year. 

This was music to his ears, as he realized he didn’t need $100,000 per year in order to live life on his terms. His spending, after mortgage payments, was in the ballpark of $30,000-$40,000 per year. And whatever he spent would be more than made up than the principle of compound interest acting on his savings. 

His portfolio was dead simple too: 90% in stocks via various index funds, and 10% in total market bonds. No picking stocks or investing in individual securities. 

All he had to do was save 50-80% of his gross total income, and invest it in a brokerage account that would act as his retirement savings. This was fairly easy for him to do as he lives a conservative and frugal lifestyle that doesn’t involve a lot of material goods. 

He was able to retire at the age of 33 in 2013 and has been doing well for him since. Granted the COVID-19 crisis caused his retirement portfolio to go from $2 million to $1.5 million in the span of a month, but he was willing to play the long-term game. That money is going to be his for the next 40-50 years, so why bail out and take the cash?

Anyhow… just something worth thinking about. Earning more money is good, but even better is wisely using whatever you already have. 

Does this sound believable to you? Reply to this newsletter and let us know if you think Justin’s approach is realistic for the average American!

Talks of Federal Stimulus for COVID-19 Have Resumed Again

It looks like the federal government is taking another shot at re-negotiating a deal for a second COVID-19 relief bill. Nancy Pelosi is obviously leading the charge for the Democrats, but on the other side is Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 

Already, the Democrats are willing to make further concessions by lowering their proposed HEROES act to $2.4 trillion from the original $3 trillion. As always, the bill focuses on unemployment insurance and providing every American with some form of direct payment. 

But there are going to be a lot of words said on both sides. An incredible amount of disagreement about who deserves money and who doesn’t, and what the total cost of the bill should be. The only thing that drives Republicans and Democrats is the mutual agreement on the nation needing more economic relief to offset the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And don’t expect any clarity from the Federal Reserve either. Chairman Jerome Powell was very hesitant in his recent testimony on what a relief bill would look like and exactly how much relief should be given to citizens of the United States. 

They’d better do something quick, because even the first trillion-dollar relief fund wasn’t enough to offset record unemployment and job losses…

No Curbside Pickup from Costco? But Why?

Costco is one of the major winners of the COVID-19 crisis, becoming an essential entity for people who need to buy bulk supplies at discount prices. Yet they’re arguably leaving a lot of money on the table by not offering online-ordered curbside pickup to their customers.

Every other essential store is offering it, so what stops this multi-purpose giant from jumping on the bandwagon? 

Sure, there are a lot of advantages to curbside pickup. No delivery fees, faster processing of customer orders, fewer people inside a store at any given time, and the list goes on. According to consulting firm Brick Meets Click, nearly 25.5 million Americans are ordering their groceries via curbside pickup. 

Yet Costco has some method to their madness: They don’t have the physical space to pull it off, and they’d need a lot more interior room to host all the items being ordered for pickup. And since they’re already operating on thin ice with their profit margins, it’s just a net negative in terms of business expenses. 

But there’s another reason you wouldn’t think of: It is to their advantage to have customers INSIDE the store. The longer they spend inside, the more likely they are to make “unexpected purchases” and add more items to their cart. So it’s to their advantage to avoid curbside pickup and encourage people to buy more stuff they don’t necessarily need…

Billionaire Mark Cuban: “$1,000 For Every American, Every Two Weeks”

With any financial crisis, you always have the billionaires stepping in to offer their two cents on what they think should be done. 

The outspoken billionaire Mark Cuban is no exception to this rule. He went as far as to propose the following relief aid alternative:

A $500-billion plan where 128 million households will receive a $1,000 check every two weeks for 60 days straight. However, any money received MUST be spent within 10 days of receiving it. 

His rationale is that it will eliminate the gap between people who can afford to keep themselves financially alive and those who cannot. And by giving people extra funds without any direction or guidance on what they should spend it on, it will get consumers buying again (and hopefully able to make their rent payments). 

As he said in a Tweet he published in mid-May: “The only thing that will save businesses is consumer demand. No amount of loans to businesses will save them or jobs if their customers aren’t buying.”

What do YOU think about Cuban’s proposal? A stroke of genius or delusion? Let us know your thoughts by replying to the newsletter!

The #1 Concern for 65% of Americans Right Now: Access to Affordable Health Care

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, only one thing has been on the mind of 65% of Americans: The availability of affordable health care. This comes from a Yahoo Finance poll surveying 1,028 respondents. 

You would think that financial aid would be the #1 concern, but the logic seems to check out. Healthcare is insanely expensive in the USA and it would bankrupt anybody, even during an economic boom. And nobody in the world is completely immune to getting infected with the coronavirus. 

However, with the loss of jobs comes the loss of private insurance offered by employers. Some experts predict that over 20 million Americans are set to lose whatever coverage they had prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Expect this to be one of the major talking points leading up to the November presidential election. The plans of either Trump or Biden to address health insurance coverage and other public health issues could be the catalyst that prompts someone to double down on their vote or switch candidates entirely. 

Tesla Shares at $500: Is It Possible?

The price for a single Tesla share is $395. For it to go to $500/share, you would need a massive 27% boost. But it is entirely possible, according to Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner. 

His rationale comes from a few recent developments regarding Tesla’s future plans, combined with some national news:

  • California governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order to ban sales of gasoline and diesel powered vehicles by 2035 – all passenger vehicles must be zero-emission
  • Tesla announced plans to reduce battery costs by 50% over the next 3 years
  • Rosner predicts over 2 million vehicles to be produced by 2025

I wouldn’t 100% agree with Rosner’s evaluation, but it isn’t exactly misguided either. It’s just a bullish bet on the future of “green” vehicles and the gradual transition away from relying on fossil fuels for everyday transportation. 

The only real question is WHEN the transition will be complete, and Rosner anticipates it happening far sooner than we think….

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