NYSE - Financial Markets Remain Strong

U.S. financial markets are in the process of making history!

Despite the fact that the election is still undecided and facing legal challenges by the Trump administration in several states, the stock market continues its post election surge.According to industry analysts over at MarketWatch, today's performance marks the strongest post-election day for the market in 100 years with the NASDAQ and S&P 500, both much newer indexes, also both breaking their own previous records.


DJIA

With futures up 650 points overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (28,215), opened strong, has been rocking all day and is currently up 650 points (2.35%) with no signs of slowing before the closing bell.

The Dow is now 124 years old and the oldest index in the financial world.

The last time there was such a large single day gain for the DJIA in the day after an election was when President (Rep) William McKinley defeated (Dem)William Jennings Bryan in the 1900 election. The DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average grew by more than 3% on that day.

S&P 500

S&P 500 futures saw gains of more than 100 points overnight and the index is now hovering at 3,469, just shy of all-time high territory. In fact, today's 107 point gain represents its biggest post election day rally in history.

First introduced in the 1950's, the S&P 500 debuted on March 4, 1957. It tracks more than 500 large companies (505 as of today) and is now considered one of the most popular and tracked indexes in the world.

NASDAQ

Not to be left behind, the NASDAQ composite is up 4% for the day, marking a solid 445 point gain and the single largest post election day gain for the index. Tracking almost every company listed on the Nasdaq, this index is also very popular among global investors.

What's Next For The Markets?

The question on most people's minds is whether or not this rally will continue or flounder once the results of the election are announced.

Waking up to almost as much uncertainty as when you went to bed, there are certain things which are much clearer. Wall Street is much happier with the prospect of Republicans maintaining control of the Senate.

Why would Wall Street be responding so favorably to the news that the Senate will most likely stay in control of the Republican party, even though they made it clear they were in favor of Joe Biden becoming the next president?

It's pretty simple. It is extremely unlikely that, if elected, Biden would be able to follow through on his promise to raise corporate tax levels, as well as institute tax hikes on the super wealthy in the U.S.

What Should You Do As An Investor?

The most important thing to remember is DO NOT PANIC.

If you are someone who puts their faith in evidence based decision making then the answer couldn't be any clearer....have faith in your decisions, maintain a long term view and hold, hold hold.

Too many times you will hear stories of people who respond to world events by getting spooked and as a result decided to liquidate their positions. 99% of the time this is the wrong decision and could end up costing you your life savings.

As long as you have a diversified portfolio and do not rely too much one sector of the market you are in good shape. It is important to keep in mind that for most individual investors you are looking for a long term solution for where to keep your money, and historically the stock market has provided the best returns and most safety, if done right.

Now is not the time to make hasty decisions, the truth is most industry experts expect the turmoil to continue until the transition to the Biden White House is complete, but it will calm down and eventually it will get back to normal.

Say it with me. Do Not Panic.

History Of The Stock Market

With all the constant drama surrounding the stock market; recessions, boons, bubbles, bull markets, bear markets, it can be super daunting and hard to keep up with, but it is important to have the full picture so you can understand how the financial world fits into our history.

Have you ever wondered where the stock market came from?

Stock markets were started when countries in the New World began trading with each other. While many pioneer merchants wanted to start huge businesses, this required substantial amounts of capital that no single merchant could raise alone.

As a result, groups of investors pooled their savings and became business partners and co-owners with individual shares in their businesses to form joint-stock companies. Originated by the Dutch, joint-stock companies became a viable business model for many struggling businesses.

In 1602, the Dutch East India Co. issued the first paper shares. This exchangeable medium allowed shareholders to conveniently buy, sell and trade their stock with other shareholders and investors.

As the volume of shares increased, the need for an organized marketplace to exchange these shares became necessary. As a result, stock traders decided to meet at a London coffeehouse, which they used as a marketplace.

Eventually, they took over the coffeehouse and, in 1773, changed its name to the "stock exchange." Thus, the first exchange, the London Stock Exchange, was founded. The idea made its way to the American colonies with an exchange started in Philadelphia in 1790.

To most people, the name Wall Street is synonymous with stock exchange. The market on Wall Street opened May 17, 1792 on the corner of Wall Street and Broadway.

Twenty-four supply brokers signed the Buttonwood Agreement outside 68 Wall St. in New York, underneath a buttonwood tree. On March 8, 1817 the group renamed itself the New York Stock and Exchange Board and moved off the street into 40 Wall St.

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Home garden and porch

As anyone who has ever sold a house will tell you, you must prioritize curb appeal. Before a potential buyer even considers looking inside your house, they notice the outside first. Does it attract the right kind of attention? Does it take away from the feel you're going for? If you plan to sell sometime soon, you must think about these things. Here are some landscaping options to increase your home's curb appeal, so you can get the best price on your home.

Extensive Plants and Greenery

A barren front yard won't get you the price you want on your home. So, invest in at least a little bit of greenery to keep the surrounding area from looking too dead. Shrubs and bushes tie the house to the lawn that precedes it, and flower beds bring a pop of color to an otherwise drab structure. You can also strategically plant some trees to improve the overall feel of your home's exterior.

Lawn Care

As we mentioned, your lawn is one of the most prominent features of your home's exterior. A patchy, dried-up lawn will quickly drive your home's price way down. Some of the best landscaping options for your home's curb appeal involve improving your lawn for the next inhabitant. Overall fertilization, ground aeration, underbrush removal, proper mowing—all of these lawn care tasks contribute to a greener and more lively area that invites people to see your house, rather than stay away from it.

Paved Pathways

There's nothing like a broken and disheveled pathway to make someone think twice about buying a property. Just as you want the entryway in your house to be welcoming, so too should the pathway leading up to the house be inviting. The pathway from the street to your front door provides plenty of real estate to get creative with. You don't have to settle for a boring concrete pathway. Consider something more eye catching, like a cobblestone path or intermittent brick patterns, as a way to better welcome potential buyers.

Usable Outdoor Furniture

Landscaping doesn't just involve the ground you walk on; also included are the items you use as extras to the overall look. Outdoor furniture is one such extra that you don't necessarily need but can look quite attractive if done correctly. Staging is important with outdoor furniture. Old, broken-down pieces will only look like more work to the potential buyer. A few comfortable chairs, a bench, or a table with an umbrella really go a long way to improving your outdoor aesthetics.

A good tip for deciding on curb appeal items is to decide what you personally would want to see as a part of a welcoming home's exterior. You don't need to go overboard, but a little bit of forethought could net you quite a lot of extra cash in the sale.

Unfortunately, giving back can sometimes go haywire. If you're ready to make a donation, first consider common mistakes made when giving back.

Many people strive to support their community by donating their time or their money. When you find a meaningful cause, you might be quick to cut a donation check. Though it's admirable to be quick to act charitably, you should be wary of several common mistakes made when giving to charity. Being mindful of these mistakes and learning tips for making informed charitable choices can help you make the most out of your generous check.

Acting Quickly Out of Emotion

Mission statements are meant to be compelling. If you're an emotionally driven individual, it's natural to pull out your wallet at the sight of a sad puppy on TV or when informed about food insecurity over the phone. Unfortunately, not all charities are as effective or official as they may seem.

Take your passion for helping others one step further by making sure your chosen charity is legit. Speaking with a representative, reviewing their website and social media accounts, and looking at testaments online can give you a better idea of whether the organization is worth your donation.

Forgetting to Keep Record of the Donation

Don't forget that you can reap some financial perks from giving back! With the proper documentation of your donation, you can acquire a better tax deductible.

If you donate more than $12,400 as a single filer or $24,800 as one of two joint filers, you're eligible to deduct that amount from your taxes. So, when a charity asks if you'd like a receipt of donation, always answer yes.

Donating Unusable Materials

Most charities can utilize a monetary donation—it's the physical donations that usually cause some issues. Providing a local nonprofit with irrelevant materials or gifting them with unusable products are surprisingly common mistakes made when giving to charity.

Always check your intended charity's website for a list of things they do and do not accept. The majority of places will provide a guideline to donating or offer contact information to clarify any questions.

Strictly Giving at Year's End

As more and more people get into the holiday spirit at the end of the year, nonprofit organizations see an influx of donations. While it's great to spread holiday cheer via a monetary donation, it's important to keep that spirit going year-round.

With regular donations, charities can more effectively allocate their annual budget. Setting up an automatic monthly donation with the charity of your choosing can maximize your impact. You can account for a monthly donation by foregoing a costly coffee every once in a while.

Knowing how much you should spend on home maintenance each year is hard to figure out and may be preventing you from buying your first home. The types of costs you'll incur depend on the house you buy and its location. The one certainty is that you should start saving now. Read on to figure out how much to start setting aside based on the home you own.

The Age of Your House

Consider several factors when budgeting for home repairs. If you've purchased a new home, your house likely won't require as much maintenance for a few years. Homes built 20 or more years ago are likely to require more maintenance, including replacing and keeping your windows clean. Further, depending on your home's location, weather can cause additional strain over time, so you may need to budget for more repairs.

The One-Percent Rule

An easy way to budget for home repairs is to follow the one-percent rule. Set aside one percent of your home's purchase price each year to cover maintenance costs. For instance, if you paid $200,000 for your home, you would set aside $2,000 each year. This plan is not foolproof. If you bought your home for a good deal during a buyer's market, your home could require more repairs than you've budgeted for.

The Square-Foot Rule

Easy to calculate, you can also budget for home maintenance by saving one dollar for every square foot of your home. This pricing method is more consistent than pricing it by how much you paid because the rate relies on the objective size of your home. Unfortunately, it does not consider inflation for the area where you live, so make sure you also budget for increased taxes and labor costs if you live in or near a city.

The Mix and Match Method

Since there is no infallible rule for how much you should spend on home maintenance, you can combine both methods to get an idea for a budget. Average your results from the square-foot rule and the one-percent rule to arrive at a budget that works for you. You should also increase your savings by 10 percent for each risk factor that affects your home, such as weather and age.

Holding on to savings is easier in theory than practice. Once you know how much you should spend on home maintenance, you'll know what to aim for and be more prepared for an emergency. If you are having trouble securing funds for home repairs, consider taking out a home equity loan, borrowing money from friends or family, or applying for funds through a home repair program through your local government for low-income individuals.