Protecting Our Economic Health Despite Corona

As I sit in our home in self-isolation, I ponder our country’s economic health over the next several months and beyond. Watching people mobilize to fight an invisible coronavirus is certainly inspirational. We all know that managing individual behavior will go a long way towards slowing down and eventually stopping the spread of this frightening pandemic.

Yet, why is it that canceling large events, not meeting in large groups, working from home and keeping six feet of separation between people enough? I fear that by shuttering businesses including restaurants, bars, malls, gyms. movie theaters, travel companies and more that we are headed to unprecedented economic difficulty.

At this moment, a couple of thousand people have died in the US, which is sad and painful especially for their families and loved ones. However, if we stay on this course of stopping business commerce, then hundreds of thousands of people will die from the dire economic consequences that may lie ahead.

When the unemployment rate rises one percent, nearly 40,000 deaths may follow according to Bluestone et all in The Causes and Consequences of Economic Dislocation, which is often summarized in economic textbooks and quoted in the popular movie, The Big Short. A further breakdown of the numbers include: 20,000 heart attacks, 920 suicides, and 650 homicides.

A three percent rise in unemployment could lead to well over 100,000 deaths, which significantly eclipses the several hundred coronavirus deaths that are directly connected to the pandemic. I believe this scenario shows we need to maintain social distancing practices, yet keep our retail businesses open. If certain individuals, such as seniors and those with pre-existing health conditions wish to self-isolate, then they can take the necessary steps.

The remaining 80% to 90% of the population need to learn accept and live with the risk of this pandemic to maintain our quality of life. We can alter our individual behavior, practice good hygiene, show compassion for those who become ill, mobilize financial and human resources to fight the pandemic and do so without grinding our business, personal, and consumer lives to a halt.

Compassion should also be extended to the small business owner, who has the working capital to operate for only a short period of time without modest sales. Their entire allocation of finances may be invested in the business including the ability to support their employees and family. In addition, they could be at an age where there is insufficient time to recover from a business or personal bankruptcy. Shouldn’t we accept a reasonable amount of risk to give this entrepreneur the opportunity to keep their business afloat?

Another over-looked aspect of this pandemic is the geographic unequal distribution of the virus. Four states, including New York, New Jersey, Washington, and California consist of 64% of the cases. Breaking it down further, most of the people with the illness in these states live in New York City, Seattle, and the CA Bay Area.

Although the virus has reached all 50 states, why should West Virginia with eight cases and South Dakota with 50 cases and one death suffer negative economic consequences when their case numbers are extremely small. West Virginia is already in a tough spot due to the loss of manufacturing and the coal industry in their state.

In today’s world, there is risk all around us with crime, car accidents, natural disasters and more. We do not stop living due to tragic circumstances that inevitably find their way into our lives. Instead, we confront the tragedy head on and know in our guts that we must always find a way to persevere. The ultimate risk is not taking one and right now we are on extremely risky ground.

Top Ten Savings Accounts: A Quick Summary of Some of the Best Online Banks & What They Offer

If you’re someone who is looking for a safe, yet potentially profitable way to put your money, then the best solution is a high-yield savings account from a reliable, strong financial institution. You don’t necessarily have to choose a traditional bank, either. There are some good online banks to choose from these days, although not all of them are equal. Here are the top ten savings accounts to look into (no specific order):

Capital One

This one is great for fast transfers. Even though Capital One is mostly known for its credit cards, it’s still a good choice for an account. There are a variety of options, including Kids’ Savings Accounts (1.00% APY) and 360 Performance Savings (1.90 APY).

SoFi Money

Even though this is a newer institution, it’s still offers a good cash management account that pays up to 2% APY, and doesn’t charge much in terms of fees – if any at all (no ATM fees, overdraft fees, monthly pays, etc… ). The APY varies from 1.80% – 2.0% and is subject to change.

HSBC

While its APY is lower than the other banks on this list of top ten savings accounts, HSBC has the advantage of longevity. Its roots go back to 1865. It’s also one of the largest and most robust banks that offers various online accounts.

American Express

Like Capital One, American Express is most-often thought of as a lender of credit cards, but the financial giant now also offers savings accounts online, with an average of 1.90% APY. The account has no monthly fees or minimum balance to worry about.

Barclays Bank

This organization definitely deserves to be among the top ten savings accounts due to its excellent support and services for online customers, as well as its no minimum balance requirement to start an account. Not only does Barclays boast some fairly high APY for its accounts, it also offers CD options that have some of the highest rates right now.

Citi

Some of the benefits of signing up for an account with Citi is that is requires no minimum opening deposi, offers the convenience of mobile check deposit, and the ability to easily transfer money between your Citi accounts and non-Citi accounts.

Popular Direct

If you have at least $5,000 to start with, then you can expect an APY of 2.40% if you create an account with Popular Direct. This offer is for those who create a new “Ultimate Savings” account and went into effect Sept. 9 2019. Like the others mentioned on this top ten savings accounts list, you get a peace of mind when Popular Direct thanks to FDIC-insured deposits.

WebBank

There are no monthly fees to worry about with WebBank and it requires a minimum balance of just $1,000. The interest compounds daily, and you can easily manage your account online. The APY averages around 2.20% for savings accounts.

A Few Healthy Reasons to Start Collecting the Rent Online

A landlord’s life is quite stressful, whether he manages one rental property or a hundred. It is hard to find tenants who are responsible and trustworthy, as well as maintain a property and collect rent. The process is, without a doubt, demanding.

As a matter of fact, a recent study reveals that 66% of landlords say that managing a property is a lot more stressful than handing a full-time job. So, it is important that they take advantage of all opportunities to minimize stress and that of their tenants.

The Internet technology has enabled people to increasingly manage their financial obligations online, since methods of past generations are now considered obsolete. For instance, bank depositors seldom balance their check book – if ever they do so.

Online rent collection is an effective method to make sure that landlords are doing everything within their power to make the process easier on them and their tenants. It is now easier for them to collect rent, and for tenants to pay rent. The best reasons to go online and start making life easier now are as follows:

Convenience

Nowadays, most tenants are doing their financial and business transactions online. Debit cards, as well as online banking portals, have made it possible for them to seldom pull out their check book. For this reason, 79% of tenants would rather pay their financial obligations electronically.

Certainly, online rent collection is not only convenient for tenants. This is beneficial to for landlords as well, since they no longer need to wait for the monthly check/s in their mailbox before heading to the bank. Online rent payments are accomplished by means of Automated Clearing House (ACH) or credit cards, letting tenants transfer money straight into their landlord’s account in as fast as 2 business days. This is convenience at its best.

Safety

About 9 million individuals will fall prey to the crime of identity theft each year, which translates to around 19 people per minute. When a fraud takes place, it would take the victim $500 and 30 minutes to have each instance of identity theft solved. Since it is not likely for a tenant to handle a check literary in person each month, a rent check makes it easy to become a victim of such type of crime.

This is because the check – which is dropped in the mailbox – contains the banking information of the tenant written on it. Also, when a tenant’s bank account is drained due to fraud, this will become a problem. Due to its safety measures, collecting rent online makes sure that no one is at risk.

Improvement of Tenant-Landlord Relations

When it comes to sales, the agent who closes the deal and wins the customer over is seldom the same person who collects the payment. This prevents a good customer-client relationship from turning sour when issues arise during the payment collection process.

Online rent collection gives the same advantages – the tenants will associate their landlord with the brand new sink he choose to install, and not the monthly withdrawal from their bank account.

Landlords should bear in mind that tenants are not the only ones to enjoy the positive outcome of online rent payment. This minimizes the stress of facing tenants who do not pay rent on time, which is an unpleasant situation for both parties.