We had a shorted trading week due to the holiday. While the week finished down slightly from the all-time highs set earlier, overall the markets are trending up. Good news about the vaccine and the stimulus package helped here in the US. And Great Britain and the EU finally reached a trade agreement about a week shy of the deadline, ending uncertainty over Brexit.
Once the new stimulus bill is signed, we’ll break down the individual components. Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin has indicated that individual stimulus payments could start arriving this week.
As 2020 draws to a close, and we look back over this crazy year, I think that most of us can find something good. With that in mind, remember that money can you happy. But it’s not the money itself – it’s what it does for you or allows you to do.
The first two ways money can make you happy are when you buy experiences, or when you buy time. Doing something fun with friends and family, or by yourself, makes most of us happy. Money enables the experience. The same thing is for time. When we pay someone else to take care of tasks and then take that time to relax, indulge in a hobby, or have those fun experiences, money enables that happiness.
But it’s the third way money makes you happy that I want to focus on. We’ve spoken often about this year being a tale of two economies. Big companies that drive the stock market indices are doing well. And many of us are fortunate to have had successful years. But then our neighbors are out of work, or taking drastic pay cuts. Many restaurants, small businesses, and non-profits are struggling to survive. Giving to worthwhile cause that you support is the third way money makes you happy.
And both the CARES Act and the recent stimulus bill have given us a gift. Charitable donations of up to 100% of income are fully deductible this year. And even if you don’t itemize, you can still write off up to $300 in cash donations. We’re approaching year end, so there is still time to make yourself happy AND potentially reduce your tax bill.
If you’re thinking you don’t have much to spare, remember the story of the window’s mite. Small gifts are still impactful both to the non-profit, and for our own happiness. I always say that giving is a way of recognizing that you don’t just have enough, you have more than enough. You have enough to share.
We have a full page of local non-profits that we support on our website. Some personal favorites include Historic Annapolis, The Summit School, Feed Anne Arundel and Creating Communities. Check out our website at covingtonalsina.com, or visit our Facebook page to learn more.
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