By:  Matthew Theal, CFP® & Joshua Winterswyk, CFP®

Every Friday afternoon we recap what we are reading and the content we have produced. We hope you enjoy!

How can oil prices turn negative? That’s millions of Americans were asking themselves this week as they tuned into there nightly news telecasts and saw a negative price quote for the price of a barrel of crude oil.

The decline in oil prices lead to some calls for curious clients wondering if it was a good time to invest in crude oil? Our answer was easy. No. There’s no reason to speculate on the price of crude oil unless you are a professional futures trader or a professional money manager.

It’s just not a field you should be playing on.

The next question is, what does negative oil prices mean to me? The short answer is maybe in a few weeks you might see the price of gasoline at the pump decrease a little but it shouldn’t be anything dramatic. Most of the cost you pay at the pump is taxes and fees from the state and the federal government.

If you want to learn more about negative oil prices, Bloomberg does a better job explaining it than I could. 

Best From the Web

It’s Time to Build – (A16z)

This article by famous Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Anderssen is a must-read. It’s about starting to build in America again. Here is an excerpt:

“In fact, I think building is how we reboot the American dream. The things we build in huge quantities, like computers and TVs, drop rapidly in price. The things we don’t, like housing, schools, and hospitals, skyrocket in price. What’s the American dream? The opportunity to have a home of your own, and a family you can provide for. We need to break the rapidly escalating price curves for housing, education, and healthcare, to make sure that every American can realize the dream, and the only way to do that is to build.

Building isn’t easy, or we’d already be doing all this. We need to demand more of our political leaders, of our CEOs, our entrepreneurs, our investors. We need to demand more of our culture, of our society. And we need to demand more from one another. We’re all necessary, and we can all contribute, to building.”

Coronavirus Sends College and Universities Over a Cliff- (Axios)

It seems like the day of reckoning is here for the college bubble. The virus is making it difficult for Universities to plan for the fall. If you were sending your child to college, would you really pay $20,000 to $40,000 a year for them to have a Zoom class from your kitchen? Part of the allure of a college degree is getting children out of the house taking responsibilities and building a network of likeminded friends to help them throughout life. That’s is more difficult now due to the virus. It will be interesting to see what happens to higher education over the next few years.

Solving the Mysteries of Coronavirus With Genetic Fingerprints – (The New York Times)

This is a fascinating look at how the Coronavirus has spread around the world and how researchers use DNA technology to track it. In the article, I learned that all viruses mutated from host to host. It’s doesn’t necessarily mean the virus is getting worse or better which has been reported by other journalists.

The Tricky Task of Handing a Family Business to the Next Generation – (Wall Street Journal)

Awesome article for people who own family business. The article discusses the challenges owners face when handing off a family to the next generation. A lot of the times what we see is the older generation has problems letting go.  If you do own a family business, we recommend an exit plan that will lay out how the family plans to transition the business.

What We Created

The Long Term Impact of COVID-19- (Podcast)