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Frugal gifting often gets a bad reputation. However, this shopping method does not make you cheap — it makes you practical. Frugal gifts often avoid waste and overspending and can be just as meaningful (if not more so) as any other present.

With the National Retail Federation predicting each consumer this holiday season to spend upwards of $1,000 on holiday gifts amidst an economic recession —this year might be the perfect time to reconsider your spending budget. We've formulated the ultimate list of frugal gift-giving ideas to get you started.

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After its precipitous fall in February of 2020, the government took major steps to stabilize it.

By Monday, November 16th, the Dow had surpassed all previous records, closing at 29,950. Meanwhile, the national death rate as a result of COVID-19 was rising toward its horrifying January peak. Meanwhile, working Americans continued to struggle and suffer, wasting their gas money waiting in endless lines for limited supplies of free food.

If you, like nearly half of U.S. adults, don't own any stock at all, the numbers above are essentially meaningless. Even for most of the people who are invested in the stock market, their investment isn't substantial enough to make up for issues like widespread underemployment.

And yet, the Federal Reserve has poured $4 trillion into maintaining the stability of investment markets and ensuring that the Dow, the S&P 500 and various other numbers on charts that seem increasingly disconnected from reality move in the right direction. Why is that?

The answer to that question is complicated, but it is closely linked to the reason why President Joe Biden has been on the receiving end of a lot of scrutiny and pushback on the topic of student loan forgiveness — and why he hasn't already taken steps to cancel some or all of student debt already.

Recently the amount of student loan debt in the United States surpassed $1.7 trillion. That amount has more than tripled in the last 15 years, with around 45 million Americans currently holding some amount of student loan debt, and an average burden in excess of $30,000.

Most of that debt is nearly impossible to discharge through the standard bankruptcy process. And the fact that most of that burden falls on young people — whose careers are less established and who face generational declines in wages and wealth — exacerbates the impact of that debt. It's a major factor in the worrying declines in rates of home ownership, marriage, and birth rate among millennials.

It is widely acknowledged that the cost of higher education has ballooned out of control while it has increasingly been pushed as a necessary step on the path to prosperity. Underlying this problem is the fact that — unlike many developed nations — our federal government doesn't offer affordable public universities or fund education in fields like medicine and engineering where we always need more skilled professionals.

Why Is College So Expensive in America? | Making Cents | NowThis www.youtube.com

Instead we offer government-backed loans and guarantees that incentivize institutions to invest in administrative bloat and in expensive development projects to enhance their prestige and entice prospective students with unnecessary luxuries. Teenagers instilled with little sense of the financial commitments — but an unwavering belief in the necessity of college — have become cash cows.

The system as it stands is clearly broken, and whatever other reforms are called for, the resulting debt crisis is interfering with the spending power and attainment of an entire generation. In the context of a pandemic that has affected the livelihoods of so many, it would seem like an uncontroversial act for the government to alleviate some of that burden of student debt.

And for the most part, it is. Opinion polling shows that the notion of providing some amount of student loan forgiveness is broadly popular across partisan lines.

The exception is among the pundit class — and the wealthy donors they represent. Because, while various political figures — including Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren — have urged Joe Biden to make student loan forgiveness an early focus of his presidency, others in politics and the news media have done their best to push back.

At the moment, a forbearance measure laid out in the CARES act has been extended through the remainder of 2020 — allowing those with federal student loans to defer payments for the time being. But further action being proposed would include forgiveness for debt owed to private companies.

Among the wide range of suggestions are legislation to provide $10,000 of debt forgiveness for individuals meeting certain restrictive criteria and $50,000 of automatic forgiveness for all student debt holders — which Joe Biden could theoretically have delivered through an executive order as soon as he took office.

In either case, some would still be left with large burdens of debt, and some would likely be hit with unmanageable tax bills — as debt forgiveness is considered a form of income. But the debate has not largely involved addressing those shortcomings. Rather, many have questioned whether we should be considering these proposals at all.

The objections tend to fall into three categories: It wouldn't help the right people, it wouldn't stimulate the economy as much as other measures, and "I paid off my student loans, so why shouldn't they?"

The last is patently asinine, and should be ignored or mocked as it applies equally to any form of progress — "My face healed after smashing against the dashboard, so why should we add airbags now?" If the people espousing this perspective want to be acknowledged for their fiscal responsibility, here's the entirety of the praise they deserve: Good for you.

The fact remains that many people are not able to pay off their student loan debts, which can have a ruinous effect on their credit rating, affecting everything from interest rates on other loans to — in a cruel twist — their employment prospects. There is a disturbing potential for an accelerating debt cycle that becomes impossible to escape.

Even for those who are able to pay off their debts may feel pressured by the monthly payments to accept employment that they otherwise wouldn't — contributing to an imbalance in the employee-employer relationship that could further suppress wages. In short, it's bad.

So while it's valid to point out that there are others in the economy more in need than college graduates, we can't ignore the reality of the student debt crisis. Along with other important measures — further extension and expansion of unemployment benefits, rent subsidies, and direct payments to make it easier for people to stay home — student loan forgiveness should be considered an essential part of COVID relief.

Which leaves only one complaint left: It wouldn't do enough to stimulate the economy.

The basic issue is that the benefit of debt forgiveness is spread out over years or decades of remaining loan payments. And because it would also contribute to recipient's tax burdens, there is a concern that much of the cost of debt relief would not result in short term increases in consumer spending — the kind that spurs quick economic growth.

While that's worth being aware of, doesn't this objection have its priorities reversed? Isn't the entire purpose of a strong economy to improve people's lives? So why are we unwilling to improve people's lives unless it primarily contributes to short term economic growth?

Clearly our entire system has embraced this inverted way of thinking. That's why it can pass almost without notice when the Federal Reserve spends $4 trillion to prop up investment markets.

We happily spend that amount on measures that only directly benefit the wealthy, and yet — when it's suggested that we should spend a fraction of that on a popular policy that could improve the lives of 45 million Americans — it becomes a point of great contention.

We all seem to have forgotten the essential truth that the economy is meant to serve us — not the other way around.

With the election of Joe Biden to the Presidency, you're probably here seeking to understand how much your taxes are going to go up.

The answer: most people will see no tax increases.

The tax plan that Joe Biden has rolled out is targeted at individuals making more than $400,000 a year, less than 1% of the population of the US. If you (like me) are not one of these lucky individuals, then it's very-likely that nothing in this article is going to apply to you.

But, for argument's sake, let's hop in the Model S, drive over to the penthouse, and analyze what Biden's tax code plans mean for you.

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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.