Podcast Episode - Light The Candle


ETFs, Saving, Stock Market


November 22, 2020

Listen to Podcast Episode:

In this podcast, Suze talks about the flame we all have burning inside of us and how we need to keep that flame lit, when things get rough.  We also get a mini-Suze School covering three topics.


Podcast Transcript:

November 22nd, 2020. Suze O. here and Welcome to the Women and Money Podcast as well as the men smart enough to listen. Can you believe it? It's just a few days before thanksgiving and I'm sure our family, like your family, has made the wise decisions not to have anybody over except for the people that you already live with. And you know, this week is normally the week that we have about 22 people come to the island where KT and I live and we celebrate and we love each other, and it's just such a fabulous time of year, and the entire family looks forward to this one period of time. However, we decided no way is anybody going to get on a plane or travel or expose themselves or anybody else to covid. It's just not worth it. So I hope all of you have made a very safe decision, and that you really find a lot of joy and love in the fact that you're really doing something that will protect yourself. You know, the other day we had just come back to the island, I had to go back to, um, Florida for a few days to get a few medical things checked and then come back here. And when you come back to the Bahamas after you've been here, first of all, you have to have a test before you come here and you have to be negative and you have to apply for a travel card, and it's very strict. Then you come back and every day for five days while you're here, you have to check in with the government and say you haven't been around anybody with covid or anything like that. And then five days after you've been here, you have to take another test. So we went and into the little clinic that's on the island, and we both took covid tests and mine came back negative. And KT's came back a little cloudy, like possibly she could be positive, but maybe, in fact, it was a false positive. And so she had to be retested again. But I'm telling you, during those 30 minutes until she was retested and we got the results back Oh, my God. KT had to go to a different part of the house and all we were thinking of his. How could she have gotten covid? What could she have done? We didn't expose ourselves. And they were such tense moments. Just those 30 little moments. And until we heard back from the doctor that said No, sorry she's absolutely negative it was just a bad test that we gave her. The relief at hearing the fact that she was negative was I can't even tell you what that felt like. And for those 30 minutes, all I could do was pray. I prayed and I prayed. And I said, Please, God, please don't let KT have covid. Please, please, please. And it turned out OK, But I am telling you those moments when you hear the words that somebody is positive, it's like everything stops. It just stops. So hopefully you and everybody have just stopped even thinking about doing anything that doesn't make sense when it comes to this virus. So that was interesting. And then KT and I were talking and I said, What should this podcast be about for Sunday? She said, Suze, whatever you do, you have to be positive. People really need to hear hope right now. Just be positive and I'm sitting there thinking, but that's so hard for me. I know that's kind of strange, right, because on some level I am one of the most optimistic people I know, but it's hard for me when I look at everything that's happening around us. I look at the fact that we're about to see unemployment benefits and the extension of them. We're about to see evictions where you can be evicted now. So the fact that you weren't able to be evicted, that's about to end. We're seeing where federal student loans the forbearance is where you didn't have to pay that that very shortly is going to come to an end, and we're seeing the federal government not stepping up to the equation on any level at this point, to really help those that are in need. You're seeing food lines, people standing in lines that go three miles long, three miles in some places and the food banks are running out of food to feed people. And yet KT says you gotta be positive, Suze. So I'm thinking about all this and I'm thinking, all right, In what way can we all remain positive? And I decided to really name this podcast Light the candle. And what do I mean by that? I mean that each and every one of us has a flame inside of us. A flame of passion. A flame of hope. A flame of wanting to give, a flame of gratitude whatever it may be. And that flame really has to stay lit inside of us when things start to get rough. Because if that flame goes out, then you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel that's coming. You then are just in total financial darkness, so to speak. And then you have lost hope, and you have got to be that candle. And you have got to be that candle that find somehow, to always light your own candle to make sure that that flame is always burning. And of course, it's going to go out. It went out, you know, briefly when I was told that KT was positive. It was like what candles out. But I had to relight it, and I had to relight it with hope and prayer and everything else. And there's no way for us to know the timing of something how long it's going to take to get to that end of the tunnel. But you have got to have faith that your light that you constantly keep lighting over and over again, so your flame constantly lets you know that you will get to the end off this tunnel. I have no doubt on that on any level, and that's why I can remain hopeful. That is why I can ask all of you to remain hopeful, and I get that it seems dark out there. I get it, especially for those of you who are not in white collar jobs, or the higher echelon jobs those of you that were in service jobs or work for small businesses, and you don't know what you're going to do or how you're going to do it. You just have to know you have gotten this far. You're almost there. You're almost there. We are a lot better off today. than we were last March. And even though I know covid is skyrocketing right now, I get that. Last march we didn't have a clue of how we are going to contain it. Now we have Pfizer and Moderna and possibly other drug companies that are applying to the FDA for emergency use permits. I have absolutely no doubt that by March or April of next year that that vaccine is going to be distributed. It's going to be in the hands of many not all. But it is a start. It is a start, everybody. And just a few months ago, we didn't even know where to start. We didn't have an idea. So you've just got to be careful. You've got to wear your masks, not that big of a deal. You've got to keep social distancing, and you have to have faith that everything happens for the best and just keep going. You know, so many times when I read emails, many of you are asking me questions and the questions really that you are asking are why, why, why? So now I'm just going to take a little bit of a turn here and I'm going to do a little bit of a Suze school for the last half of this podcast because I also want to be able to answer the three main questions that so many of you are asking. The three main questions that you are asking go like this. Why is Real Estate going up? Why, If the economy is doing so bad, unemployment is increasing, Jobs aren't coming back. Covid is rampant. Why is the stock market going up? And then the third question it seems that you're asking is why is everyone else doing great but me? Hm? Last one's an interesting one. So I just want to briefly talk about the first one. Why is real estate going up now? I will be the first to tell you that I did not think real estate was going to be going up. I thought for sure that as soon as people were evicted and they could not pay their rent, that you would find many landlords having to sell their properties and do all kinds of things. What I did not anticipate was that the government was going to come in with such extraordinary amounts of money to be able to save many of you in that they were going to make it so nobody could evict you. They were going to make it so people didn't have to pay their mortgages. But all of that now is starting to come to an end. So if you look at certain areas of the country, so you have cities like San Francisco and New York, where they literally are making offers for people to rent for two or three months for free and then 50% off of whatever the rental was a year ago. So not all real estate is doing great. The real estate, however, is doing great for the following reasons. So listen closely. First of all, interest rates are at their all time low, and everybody wants to take advantage of those low interest rates. And they're afraid that those interest rates are going to go up sooner than later. And so therefore, they're going to buy a new property right now. Also, when all of this happened, there was very little inventory, Um, the real estate markets, especially in the suburbs and places that people were moving or wanted to move to get away from the congested cities. So because there was very little on the market that allowed people to charge more for real estate and then prices started to go up and up and up. Also, who is buying that real estate? Now, listen to me closely on this. There are people that lived in very expensive cities and they had jobs that paid them good money. And so they had addressed the part. They had to go into the office. They had to pay for gas or transportation. They also had to pay for food or whatever it was. And that was expensive. However, because people now do not need to go into the office, many corporations have stopped paying these exorbitant rents in the middle of the city for people to have to go to work there and they are allowing their workers to work from home. However, they're also paying them the exact same amount of money. However, that means that the workers who are working at home have really reduced their expenses by a lot because they don't have to go in and work. They don't have to dress the part, they don't have to do a whole lot of things just to get to work. So therefore they actually have more money right now, and they want to do what, they want to leave the city and buy something that they have fresh air around them. And so, therefore, you have all of these workers who are now buying places, usually second homes, believe it or not. Or they were simply renting in the cities and they left their rentals and now have made a purchase. Who can't afford to buy real estate right now? Those of you that a run unemployment, those of you who didn't have your jobs called back. Those of you who really have no income or savings whatsoever, you're still in the exact same situation as you always were in watching everything go up around you and wondering why. And what's so sad is that this virus and this economy has really done damage to those who are in the service industries who weren't making that much money, who are just kind of getting by. And those white collar workers, so to speak, really have profited big time from this, Which is why also, the stock market is going up because all of these people who have jobs still getting big salaries now have lowered their living costs and everything have extra money to do what with to invest in the stock market. It's really just that simple, everyone just that simple. And I do think that this trend is going to continue. So the light at the end of the tunnel in this situation is that I do think the stock market is going to continue to go up. I do think more money, especially from that segment, is going to be pouring into the markets and that whether they go up or down now till the end of the year, starting in January or February of next year, I think we're going to see really a nice little plan of where the market just goes up and up. It can go down as well, maybe in April or March or whatever it is. But it should continue to go up over the years. If you ask me now in terms of going up, I've told all of you that I really think you need serious diversification because I think this is a period of time where more stocks than just those stocks that benefited from the virus, meaning the zooms in all of those the Amazon’s, more stocks than just that are going to start to go up. Which is why the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF symbol CTI. Valerie, Theresa Isabel. So notice those who are all women names. By the way, um, that will give you exposure to, like 3500 different stocks and all different areas. Now listen to me closely again. For those of you who really want to buy the Amazons and the Shopify’s in the squares and all of those types of stocks, there is another exchange traded fun Symbol is ARKK, and it's headed by a woman by the name of Kathy Woods. And to say that this woman is brilliant is putting it mildly. And she's like a woman who invests in innovation for the future. And right now it's about $105 for an ETF. Now, the reason that it's important that I always say the date of the podcast that I happen to be recording is because just because I say something on November 22nd doesn't mean that it's going to be true November 22nd in 2021 or 2022. So you constantly have to listen to these podcasts to make sure in case I change my mind on something because the economy has changed. So that's an important thing for all of you to just remember and take note of. Now, ARKK can be very, very volatile. The other day I think I mentioned this ETF before it went down all the way to 95 somebody sent me in an email that Suze do you think it will get to 92? I'm like, Are you kidding me? These markets are so volatile if it's something that you like, if you like it and it's at 95 just buy it because you're never going to be able to time these markets. So I think it may have gone down to 92 then before you knew it was at 105. So the real question that you all have to ask yourself is, do you want to light your investment candle? Do you want to really have some light shown to you in terms of what should you be doing with real estate? What should you be doing with the stock market, or least shining upon you? The answer as to why the stock market is going up, Why real estate is going up when the economy is projected to start going down and down and down. But this to you have to remember, is going to pass in terms of the economy going down, because eventually the virus will be contained. Eventually, everybody will have a vaccine that they may or may not choose to take. But it will be available to everybody and most likely by April of 2022. Yes, not 21 22. Everything really should absolutely be back to normal, the normal that we knew before all of this happened, where we aren't afraid to go into movie theaters or to restaurants or to a concert or to anything. We should pretty much be back to where we were, although some of us, I'm sure, will never be back to where we were, especially those of you who lost loved ones. You'll never be back to where you were, but especially you have to make sure that your flame and your light stays lit. No, I'll never forget that. Dr. Phil did a show years and years and years ago, and he said something in it, which was, I think it was a mother had just lost her daughter, and she was just beside herself. She was just, she couldn't be consoled. And Dr. Phil said something like this. Excuse me. I may have gotten a little wrong, but you'll understand what I'm saying. Here in a second, Dr. Phil said, you know, your daughter is trying to really make it up there to really be happy. And she says that every time her light starts to flicker brightly, my mother's tears put out my flame. I'll never be one who understands why some have lost? Why some have gained. I'll never understand anything really like that, but it's not my job to understand it. My job simply is to really keep my candle lit and to have faith that everything happens for the best, which then brings us back to the third question that everybody is writing in, Which is why is everyone else doing great but me? You can't look at things like that. You can't look at the world and go. These people have this. Those people have that and I have nothing. I've lost my relatives. I've lost this. I've lost my job. I can't feed my kids. I can't do anything. Okay, Okay. You can't answer that question. Why you can't? Because who cares why? Unless you physically are doing something or mentally doing something for that to happen. But right now, that's probably not what's going on Now. We're just in a situation where this world is seen, things that we've never seen before. Many of us, anyway, if we didn't live through the Depression of the thirties and you're seeing things and you just can't question why you just have to have faith that you are strong enough to do what you have to do to just get through today so that you can be here for tomorrow because I can promise you tomorrow will come hopefully and tomorrow we'll just shed a little bit more light on a solution that is meant to come your way. You know, I've always also said that every no leads you that much closer to a yes, that when one door closes, another one will open and you have to remember that God permits you, turns. You just have to remember that because really, really. And that brings me almost to the close of this podcast. A year ago, I think I told all of you that a friend had come to stay with us, and everything in their life was just going so wrong. It's not even funny. Their marriage was on the rocks, their kids were not talking to them and on and on. And this person was so lost, they didn't want to live anymore. And they used to talk to me and they would say, Suze, I have the darkest thoughts I don't wanna live anymore. I have nothing to live for. Look at me. And they had been fired from their job and everything was going wrong and they could barely function. They couldn't function, believe it or not. And here we are, a year later, and there was one love that this person had and the love that this person had was sailing. And even though this person was in their fifties, mid fifties and everything they loved sailing and KT and I encourage them to go back to school and to literally take courses and become a captain and get your license and maybe, even if that age, who knows what could happen to you? And so they did that, and it was very difficult to do the exams that they did. And then just about a month or so ago, they got a call from a friend who said, I have a boat I needed sailed from Rhode Island to Puerto Rico. Are you up to doing it? And it was like, Yeah, let's do it. And even though there really wasn't any money involved in it, it wasn't about the money. Who cares about the money? At this point, money is not what this person needed. This person needed to find just some joy in their life, and they did a seven day trip taking the 72 ft boat from Rhode Island. Of course, there were other people to from Rhode Island to Puerto Rico, and I haven't ever heard really, since I've known this person the joy that's in their voice. So this person dug deep and let the candle for them to have a flame again, at least lit within them. Now who knows where this will lead? Or if you know there will be a job or whatever, Who knows who even cares about that? Like I said. But happiness was experienced one year after they really didn't even wanna live any longer, so things can turn around. There is light at the end of every single one of our tunnels, whether it's a financial tunnel or a marriage tunnel or a personal tunnel or your family tunnel, we really just need to keep walking. And every time that flame goes out, please just remember, you have to be the one that lights your candle.


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Suze's Financial Strength Test

Answer Yes or No to the follow statements.

I pay all my credit card bills in full each month.

I have an eight-month emergency savings fund separate from my checking or other bank accounts.

The car I am driving was paid for with cash, or a loan that was no more than three years, and I sure didn’t lease!

I am contributing at least 10% of my gross salary to a retirement plan at work, or I am saving at least that much in an IRA and/or regular taxable account.

I have a long-term asset allocation plan for my retirement investments, and once a year I check to see if I need to do any rebalancing to stay on target with my allocation goals.

I have term life insurance to provide protection to those who are dependent on my income.

I have a will, a trust, an advance directive (living will), and have appointed someone to be my health care proxy.

I have checked all the beneficiaries of every investment account and insurance policy within the past year.

So how did you do?

If you answered yes to every item, congratulations. If you are working on improving on a few items, I say congratulations as well.

As long as you are comitted to truly creating financial security, I applaud you. If that means you are paying down your credit card balances, or are building up your emergency fun with automated payments, that’s more than fine. You are on your way!

But if you found yourself saying No to any of those questions, and you’re not working on moving to Yes, then I want you to stand in your truth. No matter how good you feel, you have some work to do before you can honestly know what you are on solid financial ground.

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