2020: Even in this tough year, there's still a lot to be thankful for

With 2020 coming to an end soon in a month, most folks have already started looking ahead to 2021 and visualizing their expectations for the next year. Although the main story for 2020 is the COVID-19 impact on the lives of many ranging from illness, deaths, income deferral, furloughs, and discomfort. There might be little positives in this challenging year including the breakthrough of a vaccine, a closer shift to a digital economy, a recovery in the equities markets, a surge in the real estate market for those who already own homes, and a countless fight for equality. In short, 2020 was an active year. I have been a super-optimist all my life and I plan to continue being one until the day I die, 100 years from now. Below is a recap of the events in 2020 so far so we do not lose sight of them:

January 9, 2020: The World Health Organization that a deadly coronavirus had emerged in Wuhan, China. In a matter of months, the virus has spread across the globe to more than 20 million people, resulting in at least 751,000 deaths.

January 26, 2020: Kobe Bryant, the legendary Los Angeles Lakers player was killed along with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others when their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, California.

January 2020: Donald Trump faced an impeachment trial in January on charges that he asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. He was ultimately acquitted by the Senate on February 5, 2020.

February 2020: The Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl LIV defeating the San Francisco 49ers.

March 9, 2020: The coronavirus pandemic triggered a global recession as numerous countries went into lockdown. The Dow Jones industrial average suffered its worst single-day point drop ever.

Ongoing 2020: The police-involved killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor this year sparked a wave of peaceful demonstrations and riots across the world to demand an end to police brutality and racial injustice. More protests erupted in August when 29-year-old Jacob Blake was shot by a Kenosha, Wisconsin, cop and paralyzed from the waist down.

June 2020: Joe Biden clinched the party’s nomination despite a crowded primary field. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg were also among the more than two dozen Democratic hopefuls in the race.

August 28, 2020: “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman died at age 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer. His death shocked fans since he had completed several blockbuster films while keeping his diagnosis private.

August 2020: Deadly wildfires erupted from California to Washington state, burning millions of acres and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

October 2, 2020: President Trump announced that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus. He was hospitalized for three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center before he was discharged to continue his recovery at the White House.

November 2020: Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States defeating President Trump with a critical assist from his birth state, Pennsylvania, which delivered the votes to propel him to victory and end one of the most contentious elections in recent memory.

2020 Personal Recap - Thanksgiving Edition

2019 was a memorable year in terms of investment returns but contrary to popular belief, 2020 has actually surpassed 2019 due to my weighting in Technology and the surge in demand for digital products as we shift to a digitally fueled economy. My investment portfolio is up 35% so far surpassing the 29% performance in 2019. The top performers have been the same stocks I have been holding for a while now with new large additions in March-May of 2020. I released a blog post in April of 2020 highlighting why the CoronaVirus provides a great buying opportunity and why it was a good time to buy in the market. The S&P500 alone has rebounded 40% from its March lows and is performing at a +12% return YTD. I use M1 Finance for my stock investing and it has been a great platform for long-term investing. I also recommend using Personal Capital to track your portfolio performance throughout the year. It is extremely easy to use and is an automated tracking tool that saves you a lot of time. My alternative investment portfolio have also achieved positive returns in 2020 with platforms like Fundrise and Worthy Bonds giving out good cash flow distributions during the pandemic in 2020.

From a savings rate point of view, I have decided to look at it in two different ways (with and without business expenses). My main business expense would be a new mode of transportation in March and various rental expenses throughout the year such as mortgage payments, mortgage points, transportation, insurance, repairs, and utilities. I plan on paying property taxes for all 3 properties in December and that is not reflected in the chart below. Of course, I plan on deducting all the business expenses when filing for a tax refund next year but I am able to average between a 70-90% savings rate when factoring the business expenses excluding the business car purchase in March which I purchased with all cash. Without considering business expenses, the savings rate is hovering between 90-100%. One last note is that the income used in the calculation is net income after tax withholding. Using the gross income would increase these numbers further.

In summary, 2020 was an action-filled year. We should all take the time to give thanks for the little positives this year. Even in this tough year, there's still a lot to be thankful for.

Financial Savant was born in 2018 and has received a really good reception so far. This blog serves as a resource to help spur open discussions on generating income, saving, investing, and overall wealth management.

Every article written on Financial Savant is based on first-hand experience and pertain to ongoing current events within the financial and economic-sphere.

Financial Savant recommends investing in real estate through a hands-off approach using Fundrise and managing your finances using Personal Capital.

For a detailed discussion of my favorite financial tools which I typically use weekly, you can visit the sidebar on the homepage. I have thoroughly researched all the products and use them personally. I have cut through the clutter so you do not have to. Financial Savant is glad to be a part of the #FIRE movement as we strive to achieve financial independence opening up a world of possibilities while creating generational wealth.


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