Reading List for October 23-25

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Oct 23, 2020
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Financial Literacy, Economics, Credit Scores, Cryptocurrencies

Financial Health

  • PRNewswire reports on an extensive three-part survey by Lending Tree and Stash to look at the financial health of people during the Covid-19 crisis. Here are the key findings:
    • Due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, 1 in 4 people expect to retire later than anticipated. That's especially true for those who make less than $35,000 (34%) and Gen Xers (29%), as well as Latino (30%) and Black consumers (28%).
    • People of color are facing heavy financial challenges amid the pandemic. In fact, 64% of Black consumers and 62% of Latinos cited facing at least one struggle due to the pandemic, compared with 49% of their white peers.
    • The top three things that consumers have increased spending on during the pandemic are face masks (76%), groceries and necessities (60%) and digital entertainment subscriptions (40%). The top three things that consumers have decreased spending on are dining out and/or nightlife (67%), travel (58%) and car rentals or purchases (25%).
    • More than 1 in 5 consumers (22%) began investing for the first time during the coronavirus pandemic. That includes those who aren't traditionally big investors — women (25%) and young adults (28% of Generation Zers).
    • Men were more likely to invest more money — and take more risks — during the pandemic than women. Women tended to maintain pre-pandemic levels.
  • This article provides an interesting look at the stresses people are facing, and how financial institutions can help address their customers’ concerns.   This is full of interesting data on what features customers like and use. (Financial Brand)

 

Economics

  • Existing home sales continue to spike as interest rates are low and people are looking for space and fresh air. Inventories are down. Will it last, or is it just speeding up moves families would have made at a later date? (Business Insider) (WSJ)
  • There is still over $250 billion in CARES act money that has not been distributed. (WAPO)
  • A working paper out of Columbia University suggests that eight million people slipped into poverty in the US due to Covid-19 after initial aid dried up, most of them minorities and children. (CNBC)
  • Women are being hit disproportionately hard in terms of jobs and careers as the pandemic continues. Why their exit from the workforce is bad for everyone. (TIME)
  • Initial jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since March (785,000), but are still far from normal. (USNews)

Investing

 

Managing Credit

  • It may surprise you to learn that credit scores have gone up in the US this year. (Yahoo Finance) (BusinessWire)
    • The company that gave us commonly-used FICO credit scoring system says the average U.S. score stands at an all-time-high 711 out of a possible 850, up five points from a year ago.
  • CNBC breaks down average debt by age.
  • Regardless of its aim to be an objective measure, credit scores still reflect racial bias. (WAPO)

 

Cryptocurrency

  • Paypal to launch a new service allowing customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency. (PayPal)
  • But the Fed/Treasury will take its time to come up with a digital currency. (CNN)

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