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Freelancing: The Financial Escape from an Economic Recession?

Look, here’s the deal: Freelancing is here to stay, at least in the US. With nearly 60 million of freelancers in the workforce already, making up 39% of the total American labor market, more people are ditching the 9-to-5 climb-the-corporate-ladder path in exchange for something that gives them more control of their time. 

But outside of the flexibility, many freelancers are earning more money with self-employment than they ever did with their full-time jobs. Freelance website UpWork even reports that 75% of those who quit their jobs within the past 12 months have earned the same or more than when under the wing of a traditional employer. 

And there are some seriously high-paying jobs in the space where you can earn $50/hour or more. Here is a sample of some of these paths you can take:

  • Copywriter
  • Graphic designer
  • Financial modeling expert
  • Senior marketing strategist
  • Statistics analyst
  • Full stack web developer (especially for mobile apps)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) professional

As you can see, the options for you are virtually endless. And even within one of these paths, you can niche down even further and choose to only work with very specific companies. Freelancers get to pick and choose the clients they work with as long as they can deliver exceptional service. 

It’s a much faster route than attempting to be an influencer on Instagram or YouTube, which takes a significant amount of time to monetize due to starting off as an unknown brand. It will take a very long time before you join the two million creators around the world who are making a six-figure paycheck (via ad revenue, sponsored posts, etc.). 

But I want to know YOUR opinion on freelancing – is this a route you’ve already pursued, or want to start exploring? If you don’t want to consider it, why not? Reply to this newsletter with your thoughts and feelings!

“Wash Sale Rules”: Don’t Pay Extra Taxes from Your Stock Gains!

People love to talk a big racket about all of the money they have made from their long-term investments or their short-term trades. What they won’t speak so enthusiastically about are the taxes they have to pay on their gains and losses. 

Which is why I need to tell you about the wash sale rules: If you sell your shares and end up in negative territory, and then attempt to buy it back within 30 days of your initial selling decision, any capital losses you incurred cannot be written off. Likewise, you cannot buy shares of that same stock within 30 days PRIOR to selling the originally bought shares that are losing.

This rule also applies if you attempt to sell a stock in your primary brokerage account and buy it back via an alternative account (such as your IRA). In other words… there are situations the tax lawmakers have thought about and accounted for to prevent abuse of the system. 

I know that some of you are looking forward to selling your shares, as you can only claim capital losses once you do so. But please realize that there are ALWAYS tax consequences to each and every decision you make. 

Electricity Is the New Future of Energy… but Not Just Yet

Everyone would love to see a utopian world where we no longer have to rely on fossil fuels. Where we can tap into the power of “green” energy for ridiculously cheap prices and make the environment a much better place without having to lift our fingers. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the case at all. With California’s newest executive order to ban the sale of all diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035, they’re setting the stage for electric vehicles to dominate the roads. 

Yet there’s just one problem with this grand vision: You need an EXTREMELY reliable and abundant source of power in order to keep all of the vehicles running. What would happen if your city’s demand exceeds all of the available supply? Blackout, and an ugly one at that if cars can’t function while on the road. 

Put another way, you need to make sure the electric grid powering all of the transportation can be relied upon without breaking a sweat… even during peak traffic hours and the relentless summer season. Unless this core issue is addressed, the domination of electric vehicles is going to be an unmitigated disaster…

A “Poor” Retirement Looks Like a Very Certain Future for Senior Americans

According to Teresa Ghilarducci, one of the economics professors at The New School located in New York City, over 50% of Americans ages 55 and older will arrive at retirement in poverty status (which in this context refers to someone making and living on less than $20k/year). 

Thanks to the impact of COVID-19, their next ten years will be one where they face an inevitability of strife. Loss of jobs, along with the loss of 401(k) contributions and health insurance benefits that come with it, is starting to seep in to this vulnerable population. On top of the pandemic itself, younger adults are just straight-up replacing these older people. 

And believe it or not, employers are partially to blame too. Over 50% of jobs currently do not contribute to the 401(k), which was a far cry from the 20% who didn’t participate back in 2009. 

Americans reaching retirement age will have to make a very sad choice: Do they prioritize money over health, or the other way around? Which one is more important? And is it entirely possible to have both at a high level? 

Reply to this newsletter with your thoughts on the future of retirement for the United States. I want to hear how you’re approaching this subject!

Projected Loss of 159,000 Restaurant Jobs from NYC

Obviously, I don’t have to tell you what is the reason behind the projected elimination of nearly 159,000 jobs within the restaurant sector of New York City alone. This number comes straight from the state comptroller’s audit. 

As of right now, 33% of the city’s restaurants and 50% of the bars are closed for good. If COVID-19 keeps on spreading out across NYC, then expect half of the restaurants closing permanently by early 2021. You can also blame the city’s unreasonable rules for outdoor dining and drinking that were recently uplifted to provide citizens with more freedom. 

To put the 159,000 job loss in perspective, it would place employment at 55% lower compared to what we had in February. And the people who are most affected would be the immigrants. The people who are either working in these establishments or opened one up as proud American business owners. 

And no, simply indoor dining will not be a solution. Putting aside the possibility of a second COVID-19 transmission event, it’s just too expensive. Social distancing automatically requires less manpower, which obviously is not good for the restaurant’s bottom line. Even with a packed house, you’re taking home a disappointing amount of cash. 

What a sad sight. You really do hate to see it…

Online Shopping Is Exploding for EVERYTHING

When it comes to items such as clothes, most people would prefer to buy them in-person. Visiting your local store gives you the option to try numerous things on and see how they fit BEFORE you buy them. 

Yet online shopping seems to have changed all of that, and aims to replace the in-person experience entirely. 

Tim Boyle, CEO or Columbia Sportswear, re-assured people in a recent CNBC interview that physical retail will not face a final death sentence. They may lose a significant amount of eyeballs and cash to digital shopping, but it will always be here to stay. 

And this is coming from a man whose company saw online sales go up by 72% compared to last year while overall net revenue is down 40% in Q2 2020!

My thoughts are the following: Until augmented reality allows you to “try” clothes and see how they fit on your body from the convenience of your home, physical brick-and-mortar stores will always be here to stay. The “try before you buy” decision-making process is very effective for clothes, furniture, and anything which involves your body multiple times in a given day. 

Just take a look at sleep mattress sellers – even though they’re expanding their online presence, they will ALWAYS have physical stores. Because the only way to confirm a mattress works for you is if you actually lie down in it. Not something you can do with those new “mattress in a box” companies until it’s already too late…

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