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A Small Ray of Sunshine for the Airlines

So Boeing CEO, David Calhoun, last week really threw the airlines under the bankruptcy speculation bus with his comments. And yet recently we have had some rays of hope. There's been a lot of bleak news for United recently. Delta, back in April, tried to issue $5 billion and got it for 7%. The United bond yield fizzled, despite raising the interest rate up to as much as 11%, and securing it with 360 - albeit older - aircraft. The market - I don't know if it was a reflection on United or reflection on the markets feeling that those, the older aircraft, probably have little or no resale value after factoring in the value of the engines. Warren Buffet at his recent presentation announced that he is heading to the hills with respect to the airlines. He has sold all of his airline investments, and is pretty much running...
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Chinese Curse: “May You Live In Interesting Times”

There's a well-known Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." These are interesting times. Last weekend I listened in on Warren Buffet's shareholder meeting. For the first time ever there was no one there. It was a virtual meeting. And he made two very interesting points that I'd like to bring up. First, he talks about how there are no good deals out there. I think that's important because there's a bit of a mania in the markets right now. It's almost as if people aren't looking down the street. In fact, just today, someone close to me lost a high paying job. There's a lot of damage in the economy. There will be good deals. We just need to be very circumspect how we proceed in the next six months. We also are looking at debt not seen since the end of World War II - and yet...
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How Does the UAL Displacement Bid Affect You?

Over the weekend United Airlines announced a displacement bid. Probably everybody's seen this. How will that bid affect you and what, if anything, can you do about it? Over the weekend we've heard that they're planning on displacing about 4,500 pilots; as much as 41% of the workforce. Now, we all know that the airline's going through a brutal period, but it doesn't mean that the airline's going out of business. In fact, this is kind of encouraging news because usually the "M.O." of an airline is to make its worst-case position, its worst-case scenario, available in a displacement or a furlough bid. Back in 9/11, after 9/11, I was told I'd be furloughed. That fuse actually stopped six numbers below me. Quite a few people in the end weren't. That's normal, because of the 60 day wait that they have to give both certain States and the federal government...
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How Do Oil Prices Go Negative? And What Does That Mean?

How does oil go negative? And what on earth does that mean for the rest of us? Well, earlier this week oil prices collapsed. Momentarily, futures hit -$40. But was that a true reflection of the market? I mean, if we look at Brent, which is another commonly traded sweet crude, their prices hit closer to 20. This does suggest that there's more going on here than just simple supply and demand. What on earth happened? Well, first there are two things. One, in Texas, just like everywhere else, it's very difficult to completely shut down an oil field. When you turn off the spigot, that pressure doesn't just dissipate It can cause damage to the field. Two, because of the collapse in demand in the United States and the fact that the rest of it must be exported, we have a scenario where no one can take the oil....
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4 Phases of the Impact of Covid-19

There are four phases to the cycle of the economic corporate and medical harm that's being done by the Coronavirus. This is a discussion of the four cycles; how we envision this playing out over the rest of the year. So the first phase was economic and corporate damage. Well, we've seen since this began, actually initiating in China, it was both supply and demand shock simultaneously, but often to different parts of the markets. For example, Apple has seen significant supply shocks from China, Taiwan - while other firms like the airlines, the travel industry, restaurants - I've seen enormous demand shock. So many parts of the economy have been damaged by this shock, and that damage is not going to end overnight. That's going to continue. Second, is we have what we call "financial contagion feedback loops." In the short term markets are emotional machines, in the long...
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UAL Voluntary Enhanced Leave Bid

At the beginning of the week, United Airlines offered the pilots voluntary extended leave. What does this mean to you? Especially if you're retiring soon. If you're not retiring, all this is saying is "Don't come to work and we'll pay you 50 hours in May, or if you want to leave for a longer period of time, 40 hours a month." Frankly, if you've got a commute, you don't like being around sick people - you just don't want to come to work -that's not a bad deal. Well, what if you're retiring? Really, the retirement decision is one about the pension; the lump sum. Let me be clear. It is our opinion at Avion Wealth that the annuity is completely safe. Not only is the pension plan relatively well-funded, but the PBGC coverage for the annuities that were frozen about a decade ago, or more now, is more...
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COVID-19 & Market Update

Today, I want to talk about the virus update, the economic stimulus package, how it's affecting markets and what to expect next. Let's talk about what we know first on the virus - you can all read, so I'll be brief. So what do we know? The COVID-19 is apparently showing all signs of being seasonal as it warms up, transmission rates slow. It doesn't mean it's going to go away. Just means we're going to hopefully get more time for the hospitals to build up their beds, their inventory of equipment, their respirators. New York City of course is getting hammered, and it's right in that critical weather temperature band of locations that are most susceptible to this. We're seeing that the fatality average rate is still less than 1% where there's good health care, and it's also age and health dependent. For growth rate the United States is...
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Market Drop & Avion’s Coronavirus Business Continuity Plan

Play Video Good morning. What a Monday! The market is down 7%. Oil prices have collapsed to $34, and Goldman's actually afraid it'll hit $20. We have Coronavirus. We're going to talk today about all these. Most important - what's our strategy to protect our clients from these fires? We have two kinds of clients who are reacting to what is essentially a real capitulation within the market. We've got the scared clients, and to them I would say we plan for this. This is why we've been so conservative. No one knew when a market correction would come, but we knew for over 18 months that the markets were rich. So we've planned for this. We're going to get through it. The hungry clients are actually the more interesting group, and for those the issue is when do we get in. When do we buy cheap. And there's no...
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Let’s Play “Catch a Falling Knife”

Play Video The market's down maybe 10% this week. Let's play "Catch a Falling Knife." So it looks like we're entering official bear market territory, especially when we refer to the peak in early February. We've been here before. We've seen this before and always, it appears obvious with hindsight. But let's do a quick recap of what we know. We know there's a Coronavirus and we know it's pretty likely going to hit all corners of the Earth. We know there are a lot of underreported cases and the most likely fatality rate, especially in Western nations, is probably at or below half a percent. That's significant, but the regular flu is one 10th of a percent. Disproportionately it's affecting males over 65. Interestingly, it's not affecting children that much. I mean, from a very callous point of view - and trust me, this is not where my heart...
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What the SECURE Act Means for Your Retirement

On December 20th, 2019, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act became law. As the name implies, this law intends to make it easier for Americans to save for retirement. Though this may sound simple enough, as with most laws, the reality is far more complex. The SECURE Act includes changes that affect everyone from beneficiaries of retirement accounts to those with student loans, but the SECURE Act is most likely to affect those either approaching retirement or recently retired. Your unique financial situation will dictate exactly how the SECURE Act will impact you and your retirement plan, but there are a few key changes that everyone should take note of when planning for retirement. To learn more, download the PDF of the article below:       What the SECURE Act Means for Your Retirement

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