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Meet Guy Cohen… Your Financial Secret Weapon

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The Guy you Need for Sound Financial Advice

There are many of reasons why a lot people need financial advisers. People need someone who knows all the ropes when it comes to investments, budget and future planning. Let’s meet Guy Cohen, the guy to seek for sound and  effective financial advice.

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Being in charge of someone else’s money is a huge responsibility. There are only a handful of professionals that do a tremendous job and Guy Cohen is one of them.

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Get In On The Hottest Investment Trend Today: SPACs

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Get In On The Hottest Investment Trend Today: SPACs

The hottest new investment trend right now are SPACs, or special purpose acquisition company. It’s how Nikola Motor Company, which plans on making both electric and hydrogen-powered trucks, went public virtually overnight.

With the IPO market cooling, it has become an appealing alternative for private companies looking for a quicker and easier path to being publicly traded.

Now billionaires are tripping over themselves to create SPACs as quickly as possible. They need to do so if they want to get in on the gold rush.

What are SPACs?

SPACs are commonly referred to as a “blank check” company and with good reason: they are created to go around gathering a bunch of money from investors with the only goal to buy an existing business within a specific time frame, usually 18 to 24 months.

The management team essentially has a blank check to go out and buy any business it sees fit. Some are created with a specific acquisition in mind. Others are created simply to have the money in place and ready to go when the opportunity arises.

The structure is very similar to private equity deals or leveraged buyouts. Also, private equity firms, hedge funds, and other “smart money” investors sponsored the creation of many SPACs.

Many of these SPACs are publicly traded. So, if the idea of having “smart money” go around hunting for the best deals on your behalf sounds appealing, you can typically invest in them through your normal brokerage account.

Here’s a short list of SPACs that you can either buy today or can buy very shortly once they go public. Be aware, many of these SPACs are just a few weeks old. So, there isn’t much history to judge their performance by.

Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH.U)

Fresh off a billion-dollar payday in March, Pershing Square Capital Management’s Bill Ackman just launched a $4 billion SPAC, the largest in history after overwhelming interest from investors.

Ackman has the right to put in another billion, giving the company access to a total of $5 billion to hunt for what Ackman calls a “unicorn” with “significant long-term growth potential that will be likely candidates for inclusion in the S&P 500 index.”

“Our thesis is by having a $5 billion cash pile in a public company; it’s our own version of a unicorn. It’s a one-of-a-kind entity,” Ackman said during an interview with Yahoo Finance. “So, we’re looking to marry a unicorn. So we’re prettying ourselves up for the most attractive possible partner.”

Churchill Capital IV (CCIV.U)

While not publicly traded yet, this will be founder Michael Klein’s fourth SPAC. Two of them have acquired companies and one has yet to find an acquisition target. To highlight investor demand for SPACs, Klein raised $1.8 billion for his fourth SPAC. This figure stands at 80% more than what he originally planned.

With his latest SPAC, Klein is looking for a company with excellent long-term growth prospects, a strong competitive advantage, recurring revenue, attractive free cash flow. He is also looking for a company that is in an industry where consolidation opportunities exist.

Dragoneer Growth Opportunities (DGNR.U)

Like Churchill Capital, this SPAC is not yet publicly traded. The company is lead by CEO Marc Stad, who appeared multiple times on Fortune magazines “40 Under 40” list. Also, other directors include David Ossip, CEO of Ceridian HCM Holding, and Sarah Frier, CEO of neighborhood social network Nextdoor.

Stad has a strong pedigree, having backed a number of very successful companies in the past, including Spotify and Uber Technologies. Dragoneer will focus on six areas: software, internet, media, consumer/retail, healthcare IT, and financial services/fintech.

East Resources Acquisition (ERESU)

Current Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula started East Resources targeting the energy industry in North America.

It makes sense given Pegula’s history, having sold his company, East Resources, to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion in 2010.

Now Pegula is back, looking for operational control of a company that has long-lived assets with low fixed costs, that is producing oil and gas and generating free cash flow, but is operating below full capabilities.

With Pegula’s extensive knowledge of the oil and gas industry, he could find multiple opportunities in a short period of time.

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Real Estate Could Be Dominant Asset Class This Decade

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Real Estate Could Be Dominant Asset Class This Decade

If you own real estate, you could be in for a decade of prosperity, says Ritholtz Wealth Management’s Ben Carlson.

After plunging during the Great Recession, homeownership rates are once again steadily climbing higher. This made Carlson believe that “There is a real possibility real estate could be one of the dominant assets of the 2020s.”

He acknowledges that many view owning a home as a terrible investment.

“There’s certainly an argument to be made for that claim when you consider all of the ancillary costs associated with homeownership — property taxes, upkeep, maintenance, insurance, renovations, landscaping, closing costs, etc. Owning a home involves more consumption than almost any investment on the planet,” says Carlson.

There’s data backing up that view, says Carlson, citing the Shiller home price index over the last 100+ years.

“From 1900 through 1996, the total real return for U.S. housing was 10.7%. That’s an annualized gain of 0.1% over the rate of inflation for 97 years! Then from 1997-2019, real housing prices were up 57% or around 2% per year. And those numbers include the fallout from the housing boom and bust.”

No doubt, real estate has lagged other asset classes of late.

Carlson, however, says there are four distinct reasons that he expects real estate to outperform for the rest of the decade.

1. Millennials — Even though the millennial generation is slower to hit milestones than previous generations, Carlson argues that they will eventually get around to accomplishing those milestones, like buying a house.

“Young people are settling down later in life because they are going to school for longer…But millennials were going to begin doing adult things eventually. That means buying houses, even if it comes later in life than it did for their parents. Millennials are now the biggest demographic in the country and will dominate the most common ages in the country for years to come.”

2. Interest rates — Interest rates are historically low, making houses more affordable.

“Lower borrowing rates have kept things more affordable than most people realize,” says Carlson. “If the Fed has their way it sounds like rates are going to stay low for a number of years.

3. Supply — There likely aren’t enough homes available to meet demand.

“The hangover from the bursting of the 2000s housing bubble is still being felt when it comes to the supply of homes in this country,” Carlson said. “New single-family homes for sale are finally on the rise but are still barely at the levels seen in the early-2000s while existing home inventories basically went nowhere for the entire 2010s.”

He says if new home construction doesn’t keep pace with demand, existing home prices will surge higher.

“If builders don’t start making more homes available, prices will keep rising to account for the increase in demand.”

4. Work from home — a massive shift that was sped up by the pandemic.

“There could still be a nasty transition period as employers and employees alike realize they don’t all need to live and work in big cities to be productive,” Carlson said. “Untethering employees from a specific location will allow them to move to more cost-effective areas and potentially change the housing dynamics for a large group of people.”

He doesn’t believe there will be a “death of big cities” like many are predicting. However, he does think that the pandemic has dramatically shifted employers and employee expectations for where work needs to occur. And if remote work becomes the norm, it could dramatically shift housing needs of millions of workers.

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3 Overlooked Ways to Boost Your Social Security Income

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According to a study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, nearly 40% of baby boomers will rely on their Social Security benefits as their primary source of income in retirement.

With so many Americans counting on that monthly income to survive, it’s important to make sure you are collecting the highest benefit you possibly can.

Here are 3 overlooked ways you can boost your monthly social security income.

1. You Can Collect Social Security Even If You Didn’t Work The Full 35 Years

Typically, your Social Security benefits are based on the 35 highest-earnings years of your career. Then, you adjust the income you earned for inflation. However, if you haven’t worked a full 35 years, zero income will replace any missed years. You need this to calculate your benefits. While this reduces your benefits, it means you can still qualify for Social Security.

Many Americans assume they won’t qualify for benefits because they worked far fewer than a full 35 years. For example, women who entered the workforce and then dropped out to raise a family can still qualify for monthly benefits. The cutoff for benefits is 40 credits, which equals 10 years of work. So if you worked at least 10 years and then stopped working altogether, you should still file for benefits. You likely won’t collect much, but every bit helps.

2. Not Collecting All The Benefits You Are Entitled To

Most people think Social Security benefits are just monthly retirement income. But there is much more to the program, including spousal benefits, divorce benefits and survivors benefits.

If your married spouse was the breadwinner in the family and is now eligible for Social Security benefits, you may be eligible to collect what are known as spousal benefits. If eligible, you could collect up to 50% of the amount your spouse can receive at full retirement age.

Also, if you are now divorced and haven’t remarried, if your ex-spouse is entitled to benefits, you may be eligible to claim divorce benefits based on their work history as long as you two were married for at least 10 years.

Most importantly, these benefits can stack on each other. So If you’re eligible for Social Security benefits based on your own work history, the Social Security Administration will pay out your benefits and then add to it any benefits that you’re entitled to, such as spousal or divorce benefits.

If you are a widow or widower over the age of 60 you may be eligible for survivor benefits, but children, parents, and other family members that were financially dependent on the deceased individual may also be eligible to claim these benefits.

3. Consider Tax Implications Of Where You Live In Retirement

The federal government is still going to want their cut of taxes on your benefits. So when you consider where you are going to live in retirement, take into account the various tax laws in each state. You can’t do much to avoid federal taxes. Your “combined income” is the basis of the amount you owe. It is half of your annual Social Security benefit plus any additional income you earn. But for state taxes, some states won’t tax your benefits at all. This lets you keep more money in your pocket.

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