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      Blog :: 03-2020

      Compass Contemplations for Tuesday

      Good morning,

      DID YOU KNOW?  Not unlike prior crises, expect the government to step in with numerous stimulus measures today and over the next few days to offset potential economic damage from the Coronavirus. As of today, I would expect the number of cases to rise rather dramatically as much wider testing gets implemented. Till this weekend, the capacity to test was very limited. This does NOT necessarily mean the virus is spreading more as much as it means that with testing, we will have a much better data of who has the virus and who does not.

      "We are like Home Depot during a hurricane.” - Matt Weaver, Cross Country Mortgage, as the demand for refinancing and new mortgages soars.

      DID YOU KNOW? I thought this economic update from Rothschild Bank was worth repeating: "The economic damage is being done by the response to the virus, not the virus itself. Meanwhile, contagion in China (if we believe the WHO's data from that source) has followed the typical epidemic's "S"-shaped logistic curve and has now slowed markedly. There is no reason why contagion in the West should not eventually follow suit and do so in a matter of weeks rather than months."

      DID YOU KNOW? You can give as much as $15,000 to as many individuals as you wish (and your spouse can, too) without triggering any gift taxes. What’s more, the lifetime exemption from gift and estate taxes increases to $11.58 million in 2020 from $11.4 million in 2019. Often this is a source of first-time buyer down-payments! (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW? Affluent Americans who marry are more likely to pool six-figure incomes, buy homes and watch their assets grow. Among people aged 25 - 34, the median wealth of married couples is four times that of couples who live together but aren’t married. (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW?  if you really wish to take paranoia to an entirely new level, check out this site on daily and annual stats:  worldometers.info. Scary stuff, but maybe a good place to help you put everything into perspective.

      DID YOU KNOW?  Want to ZOLVE an appliance issue? Nearly 70% of homeowners try to fix or troubleshoot home products themselves when they break, according to a Centriq survey of 1,000 homeowners. More than half said they wanted information directly from manufacturers when they need to solve a problem, so they don't have to seek online themselves.  Zolve's database includes information from retailers and manufacturers on how to operate, fix and maintain products. The app will also alert you if the product you scan has an outstanding safety recall with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, or if one comes up in the future for any of the products you've added. Thanks to Payton Stiewe in San Francisco for sharing this! Maybe a good closing item?


      ANOTHER REMINDER:  Here is a checklist of things-to-do during this virus spread (most should be practiced all year round, anytime!):
      1. If you feel sick, stay home. Check for fever. Alert your physician. Get tested. 
      2. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
      3. Don't touch your face. (I know, I know, it's not easy!)
      4. If you are above the age of 60 or have a compromised immune system, take extra precautions to protect yourself.
      5.  Eat well, sleep well, remain hydrated, exercise. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

      Compass Contemplations for Friday

      DID YOU KNOW? There is a stress hormone called CORTISOL that is concentrated in your tears. You literally cry out your stress... (Thanks to Linda Feinstein from COMPASS in Hinsdale for sharing!)


      DID YOU KNOW? Regardless of advances in the world's ability to collect data, the World Uncertainty Index, which has been measuring economic uncertainty in 143 countries since 1996, had a reading of 371.24, the highest in the history of this index. It was 130.41 in the last quarter of 2015. (World Uncertainty Index)


      DID YOU KNOW? Two-thirds of investors believed that geopolitics, rather than fundamentals, were driving equity markets. (UBS)

      "There is often a disconnect between what people are worrying about and what the data is actually showing." - David Bailin, Chief Investment Officer, Citi Private Bank

      DID YOU KNOW? The concept of ownership, once at the center point of luxury consumption, has evolved from owning luxury to experiencing luxury ownership. Consignment stores, rental or subscription models are not completely new but their sharp rise supported by technology is highlighting some key questions around this phenomenon once seen by luxury houses as weakening their brand value and fuelling the counterfeit market.  (Altiant)

      DID YOU KNOW?  How do those worth $30-million-plus allocate their assets? According to a recent Knight Frank survey of 620 private bankers and wealth advisors who between them manage US$3.3 trillion of private client wealth, 27% goes to investment property, 23% to equities, 17% to bonds and fixed income, 11% cash/currencies, 8% private equity, 5% collectibles and 3,5% to precious metals.

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