Stash

It’s Sunday. Welcome to our first ever Sunday edition. I’m calling it my Casual Pants edition because that’s what I like to wear on Sundays. But now that I think about it… I’ve been wearing casual pants through this entire quarantine. Well at least on Sundays it’s official.

Also, I just wanted to thank you for referring a few friends. That’s how you got access to this Sunday edition. Much love to you.

Coronavirus Update: Total confirmed U.S. cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,361,302 — Total deaths: 169,483 — Total recoveries:  1,818,527

Doctors have identified a coronavirus-connected heart ailment that could lead to sudden death in athletes.

In Today’s Newsletter:

  • Chaos at the post office
  • Real estate revision
  • Silver rush

Sunday Deep Dive: Lost In The Mail

credit: nytimes

If a pandemic couldn’t get Congress to cancel its vacation then maybe a catastrophe at the post office will.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is discussing an option to cut Pinã Coladas short and bring her members back to D.C. On Saturday Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn fielded calls from House members calling on leadership to take legislative action quickly.

Representative Jim Cooper also said in a tweet that he phoned Pelosi to urge her to call back the House to deal with the postal crisis. Cooper said in a second tweet that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy should be subpoenaed.

The House could be brought back within the next two weeks.

The States

The U.S. Postal Service has warned 46 states and the District of Columbia it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Meanwhile, states are dealing with a mixed bag.

New Jersey: All of the Garden State’s 6.2 million registered voters will receive mail-in ballots under an executive order Gov. Phil Murphy signed Friday.

Maryland: Blue mailboxes are disappearing. Baltimore residents noticed boxes from multiple drop off spots are now gone.

The Other Side

President Donald Trump said he supports his postmaster general Louis DeJoy, and that money will not be designated for universal voting by mail.

During a news conference on Saturday at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, Trump said repeatedly that absentee voting was good while vote-by-mail was “very bad” and subject to fraud. The fraud allegation is unsubstantiated.

Current State of Real Estate
credit: zillow

Looks like we’ve all been wrong about the big city exodus. Myself included.

Now, in my defense, I’ve been relying on census data and reporting that shows people giving up sardine life and opting for more space. But a new study from Zillow shows how we’ve all been duped.

The real estate company found that yes people are moving to the ‘burbs but just as many people are moving to the big city. Yes even as the pandemic continues people are opting for urban life. The press has focused heavily on the big city exodus narrative.

“Both region types appear to be hot sellers’ markets right now—while many suburban areas have seen strong improvement in housing activity in recent months, so, too, have many urban areas,” Zillow says.

Exodus

Perhaps the Exodus narrative has rightly focused on New York City and San Francisco. So not all of the reporting has been one-sided. These overpriced latte hotspots are seeing a huge housing downturn and might never recover. Inventory is up 96% in San Francisco and 7,000 condos are sitting vacant in New York City.

Recently companies like Twitter (San Francisco) and Google (Chelsea Market, NYC) said their employees are free to work from home. Why would these companies pay millions for overpriced office space?

Outdoor retailer REI spent two years building a state of the art indoor/outdoor style office space set to open this Summer. Not anymore. REI just put up a for sale sign and told many of its employees to continue working from home.

Question: Why would you pay $3,800 a month to rent a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco if you could move back home to Reading, Pennsylvania, and live with mom and dad?

Answer: That’s exactly what’s happening. According to The New York Times, millennials are opting to return to their hometowns while working remotely. Not bad if you don’t mind mom’s meatloaf.

News By The Numbers

credit: sports illustrated

17. That’s how many surgeries Washington QB Alex Smith had to fix his smashed tibia and fibula following a horrific injury during that 2018 game against Houston. Because of an infection, doctors worried not only about the possibility of his leg being amputated but also feared for his life. Now after nearly two years and tons of rehab, Smith was just given the clearance to return to play.

40%. That’s the percentage of U.S. Covid-19 tests that come back too late to be clinically meaningful. Experts say results need to be returned in less than three days, optimally two, to be clinically meaningful. If test results take more than three days, people are unlikely to self-quarantine.

963,000.  That’s how many unemployment benefit claims were processed for the week ending on Aug. 8, the lowest amount of claims since the pandemic hit in mid-March. However, claim numbers are still far above the 695,000 peak of the Great Recession.

The Silver Rush Is On

giphy.gif credit: getty

There’s a new precious metal rush and this time it’s not at Last Chance Gulch in Montana. Look it up it’s a great bit of American history.

No, this time it’s a silver rush and it has investors buying up the precious metal sending it to 7-year highs. Silver has seen even bigger percentage gains over gold in recent weeks.

If you’ve been listening to my show you’ll know I’m a big fan of getting your money out of government currency and into gold and silver. Turns out I’m not alone.

In recent weeks, the silver price has rallied to hit its highest level since 2013.

What’s driving it?

There are three main reasons everyone is buying silver:

1. The Fed’s Spending Spree. Central banks around the world are pumping gallons of money into economies to ward off more damage from coronavirus. But with all this money printing smart investors are running into safer havens like silver.
2. Negative Returns. Another side effect of all this money printing is negative returns for bond investors. That means that people who holding bonds are witnessing a negative return on their investment, something that’s below the rate of inflation. Look I’m not a gambler but when your investments are losing money then it’s time to make a change. Yet another reason for the silver rush.
3. Dollar Dive. The weakness in the U.S. dollar is boosting the value of silver. Remember the dollar is not backed by gold or silver. But silver is backed by, well, silver. Would you rather have a paper asset or a real asset?

Silver is looking like a real steal at the moment. The silver spot price, it’s real-time value, reached $29 an ounce last week. Compare that to gold which is currently trading around $1,947 an ounce and is up nearly 8% since mid-July. The gold-silver ratio ­— the amount of silver it takes to purchase an ounce of gold ­— makes silver look cheaper on that basis.

Time to add more silver to your portfolio.


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