In this article, I have written about key events that occurred on March 19th 2020. The topics revolving around the development of vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, emergency plan from Congress, and stock market performance.
According to STAT, there is currently a large scale attempt in creating a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2. There are around 16 companies dedicated to combating this virus, only a handful are past the Preclinical phase.
Namely: Gilead Sciences, Ascletis Pharma, and Moderna Therapeutics. Gilead is the spearhead of this project with their vaccine “Remdesivir”. They recently entered Phase 3, while the remaining companies are in phase 1.
What do phases mean?
According to the CDC’s website
- Phase 1
- The administration of the trial vaccine to a small number of people.
- Phase 2
- Expanding the clinical study to a larger group of people who have characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended.
- Phase 3
- Administering the vaccine to thousands of people and testing it for effectiveness and safety.
Today, Senate leader McConnell announced an emergency plan which will distribute a stimulus check to every individual of up to $1200 and an extra $500 for individuals who have claimed children according to The Associated Press. This action comes from the development of a $2 trillion plan to assist households with payments and to stimulate the economy.
How do you get the stimulus check?
- Make sure your taxes were filed for 2019.
- You have to make less than $75,000 a year.
- If you’re above $75,000 there will be a 5% tax on top of your stimulus check.
- Joint-filers will have to make less than $150,000 to avoid the 5% tax.
To reiterate the most important part of this information, ensure that you’ve filed your taxes for 2019. This is most likely how they will determine if you’re qualified for the stimulus check.
According to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who spoke on Fox Business, Congress plans on processing the plan and implementing it within three weeks.
It is suggested that you sign up for a direct deposit from the IRS in order to receive the funds at a much faster pace compared to someone who will be receiving it via mail.
Stock Market Plummeting
As news of the SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread, it creates uncertainty in the economic environment. To new investors, uncertainty is what drives the market downward. This March has certainly been one of the ugliest month’s for investors as everyone continues to panic and pull out their money from their brokerages. While the experienced investors who see this as a buying opportunity, many, who joined the investing hysteria during the high, will panic and continue to sell for a loss. Perhaps even a few experienced investors will fall under this category as media contributes to uncertainty.
The DJIA(Dow Jones Industrial Average) has dropped roughly 12.4% this week due to SARS-CoV-2’s impact. The entire month of March has reached a staggering 21.4% decrease since February with a whopping 5,510.44 point drop. That is more than 50% of a decrease this week alone! The sudden impact that this has had on the market, personal lives, and society is well beyond what anyone could have imagined a couple months ago. (Seeking Alpha DJIA Graph)
I have some recommendations for anyone who might be panicking or simply curious as to what they can do in these events.
Reduce your expenses
It might seem obvious but reducing your expenses is one of the best things you can do if you find yourself out of a job. Start by disabling subscription plans that you might not need for these upcoming months. Track all of your spending in the previous months and see what you can remove or reduce. Your main goal is to limit your spending to ensure your bills and basic means to survive are met.
Freshen up on your skills
If you find yourself under quarantine or on lockdown perhaps you can use this time to freshen up on your skills at work or for school. Despite most of our work being transferred online, you can still develop your skills during this down time. Additionally students who are in need of extra resources. Here are a few of my main websites that I tend to frequent when trying to learn a new concept or practice on.
However, this should be taken with care, as you should always prioritize your means of living first rather than investing. If you find yourself lucky enough to have a surplus of cash laying around then I recommend investing what you are comfortable losing as the market is extremely volatile right now. If you’re a dollar cost averaging type of investor continue with your strategy unless you want to wait for the volatility to slow down.
Relax and enjoy the finer things in life
Despite the horrible events taking place in the world right now, we should take this moment to enjoy what we have. As most of us are currently working at home or unemployed, it is important for us to remain calm and not be taken away by the hysteria. Instead take this time to enjoy things with your family, look into hobbies that you’ve always wanted to try, and remain informed.
Thank you for taking the time to read through my article and I hope everyone stays safe and informed.
Contact me if you have any insight that you’d like to share!