Another month, another top-5. Pretty much same as the last one. Too much uncertainty out there right now with the elections, continuing pandemic and delayed government response, and now anti-trust fears about Big Tech and alleged spying by the Chinese government (TikTok). I mentioned I wouldn’t be making any moves until after Labor Day Weekend and nothing’s changed. I would expect a pullback by the markets at some point or very slow growth until the end of the year until all states (including California) fully reopen. Even then, we still need to deal with the aftermath, including possible extended periods of high unemployment, bankruptcies and negative GDP. You can day trade against the Robinhood kids but I’ve seen the markets pump fake too much the last month or so where it appears it’s headed in one direction and then levels out. So I’d still keep it easy until next month and focus on liquidity for when you are ready to make a move. If the markets tank they usually tank in Sept/Oct but it seems like the banks are stable enough right now to prevent a crash (and maybe the only thing I’d consider investing in right now (keep your eyes on JPM and C). BAC may be a play after the Buffet investment but the stock rarely moves and with the potential of increasing reserves, I’d stay away until Q3 earnings/estimates start rolling in. The Dow looks the weakest right now and if there is a short play, I’d move some cash against it. When they agree and announce the second stimulus package, I’d expect gold and precious metals to continue pushing upwards, however, realize the market is very fragile to any other unforeseen shock right now and if equities were to tank, gold may get dragged with it…Summed up, all this makes an easy, but boring top-5 again for August…

  1. Cash – $35K – $60K
  2. Real Estate
  3. Real Estate
  4. Real Estate
  5. Real Estate

That being said I can’t keep telling any potential readers the same thing each month. I provided you some information to combat creditors a few months ago and if you live in California, this year (and future years) there will be a mandate to purchase health insurance at obscene prices and combined with a potential Biden election win, the return of Obamacare on a national level. But if you are struggling financially, I’ll drop you some more words of wisdom as to how you can avoid the CA penalty this year if you were laid off and unable to afford health insurance yourself…

First, you need to login to Covered California and begin the process of applying for a General Hardship Exemption…

https://www.coveredca.com/individuals-and-families/getting-covered/penalty-and-exemptions/general-hardship/

The general hardship will be COVID-19 based on the below hardship criteria…

COVID-19 counts as a human-caused disaster (think of it as an Act of God). To qualify, FEMA has to declare CA a natural disaster which they did in March 2020…

https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4482

By applying for and using COVID as the hardship, you will be given an exemption period from 2/1/20 – No End Date as the disaster is considered ongoing. This should also apply to next year’s federal taxes, should you itemize and have sustained any property or casualty losses. So keep records of anything you incurred due to the pandemic for write-off/deduction next year.

Any questions?