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WashingtonWise Investor

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WashingtonWise Investor

Our finances, portfolios, and the markets are affected daily by the policies and politics coming out of Washington. In each episode of WashingtonWise Investor, host Mike Townsend, Charles Schwab’s vice president for legislative and regulatory affairs, focuses a non-partisan eye on the stories that matter most to investors, and his guests offer actionable suggestions for what to do—and what not to do—with your portfolio.

Click each episode link below for a transcript and full show notes.

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Election 2020 from WashingtonWise Investor

Listen as Mike Townsend and LizAnn Sonders discuss the implications of the 2020 election.

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Election Results & Vaccine News: The Market Reacts

America voted, and while some uncertainty remains—especially regarding control of the Senate—a new political configuration is taking shape. So what’s the market impact? 

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Election Upon Us: How Might the Market React?

In this episode of WashingtonWise Investor, Mike Townsend previews what to watch for on Election Night.

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COVID, U.S. Politics & Beyond: The Impact on Global Markets  

Domestic political drama—including the president’s bout with COVID—has far-reaching implications, potentially reverberating beyond our borders.

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What a New Fed Strategy Might Mean for You  

With unemployment still high, businesses struggling, and concerns about a COVID-19 winter wave on the rise, the Federal Reserve adjusted its approach to interest rates and inflation. What does it mean for the economy and investors?

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Can You Invest Confidently Amid Uncertainty?  

Investors are facing powerful headwinds—from the pandemic to election concerns to social unrest. So how do we calm our anxieties, stay focused, and make sound decisions for our portfolios and finances?

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More Aid Coming—But How Much and Who Gets It?

Individuals, state and local governments, and businesses are all struggling during the pandemic. But Congress can’t fix everything, so who will be the winners and losers in the next big aid package?

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Voting in the Time of COVID

With four months until Election Day, states are facing real challenges to ensure that everyone who wants to vote can, that they can do it safely, and that the process is secure. Are they up to the challenge?

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Markets and Economy Out of Sync: Does It Matter?

The stock market seems to shrug off an economy battered by unprecedented unemployment and plummeting GDPbut is that disconnect sustainable?

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U.S.-China Tensions Grow: Are Markets Concerned?

Relations between the U.S. and China have deteriorated, and both sides continue to throw fresh fuel on the fire. How much is the growing divide impacting markets, and what are its long-term implications?

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HEROES Act DOA in Senate: Compromise Coming?

The House sent their version of the next relief package over to the Senate, where it was met with total disinterest. There will need to be give and take on both sides to get an additional stimulus package through Congress.

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Can Munis Thrive If States Are Struggling?

State revenues have been hammered in the wake of the coronavirus. Does that mean investors should shy away from municipal bonds?

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Complications Loom as Senate Heads Back to Work

With the Senate heading back to Washington on Monday, a host of challenges—logistical, political, and practical—exist. How will Congress navigate them, and what will matter most to investors?

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Backstops & Stimulus: How Much Will It Take?

The Federal Reserve has created an alphabet soup of programs to support virtually every aspect of the economy. But will they be enough, and which ones matter most to individual investors?

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The Road to Recovery for Small Business

As the coronavirus continues to take a heavy toll on small businesses, we are reminded just how important they are to the economy—both local and national—and why it is important for the government to help them survive.

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Making Smart Choices in a Down Market

When the market drops precipitously, sometimes the best move is no move at all. But it’s hard to just sit still while your savings shrink—so what steps can we take during a downturn?

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Amidst a Pandemic, What’s the Prognosis for Global Economies?

The global health crisis is devastating economies around the world. As the countries that first felt the impact, like China and South Korea, begin to see improvements in the health of their populations and their economies, are there lessons for the U.S. recovery?

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Massive Stimulus Plus Unprecedented Easing Are Latest Efforts to Boost Economy

The U.S. quickly injects massive stimulus into the economy. Will it be enough to keep companies and individuals afloat?

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Fed and Congress Go Big: Will It Help the Markets?

The Fed and Congress are moving at breakneck speed to address market and economic uncertainty and to provide relief for businesses and individuals. How far are they prepared to go, and how will it impact investors?  

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Presidential Race Narrows While Government and Markets React to Coronavirus

The coronavirus crisis led the Fed to cut interest rates and is fueling extraordinary market volatility. Meanwhile, the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has narrowed.

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Bond Markets & the Beltway

Interest rates are unlikely to rise this year, the Treasury is offering long (and maybe even ultra-long) bonds, investors searching for yield are taking on more risk, and there are fears that battling the coronavirus may cause China to slow its bond purchases. So what are the expectations for bond markets in 2020?

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Coronavirus: What Are the Markets Watching?

From oil to cell phones and jeans to hamburgers, the coronavirus is impacting sales and shutting off supply chains. What does it mean for the U.S. and global markets, and what should investors watch for?

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The Year Ahead: What to Watch in 2020

Presidential election years are busy times, full of both promise and distractions. So what key actions in Washington should investors pay attention to in 2020?

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The SECURE Act: 5 Steps to Consider Taking Now

Recent changes to retirement savings rules have caused some confusion. So what do investors need to know to navigate the new law?

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The market is a fickle beastreacting strongly to some actions from Washington while shrugging off others. So what should investors focus on?

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The media scrutinizes the Fed’s every move. But what do investors really need to know about the Federal Reserve’s impact on their fixed income portfolios?

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Analyzing Democratic candidates tax policy proposals and the impact they could have on the markets.

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New retirement legislation is pending in Washington. Here’s what investors need to know.

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From a trade war with China to geopolitical conflict with Iran, how heavily do international issues weigh on the markets?

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The federal debt and yearly budget deficits continue to climb with no letup in sight. What’s the impact on the economy and investors?

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Big technology firms are facing increasing Congressional scrutiny. What could it mean for the tech sector?

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The sheer amount of news coming out of Washington every day can feel overwhelming, especially for investors. But decisions happening in Washington increasingly have a real-time effect on your finances. In this new podcast, host Mike Townsend, Charles Schwab’s vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, sorts through all of the noise to help investors figure out what matters most.

Important Disclosures

Information on this site is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered individualized recommendations or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

The policy analysis provided by the Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., does not constitute and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any political party.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market, economic and political conditions.

Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk.

Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily a suitable investment for all persons. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third-parties and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax.

Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are inflation-linked securities issued by the US Government whose principal value is adjusted periodically in accordance with the rise and fall in the inflation rate. Thus, the dividend amount payable is also impacted by variations in the inflation rate, as it is based upon the principal value of the bond. It may fluctuate up or down. Repayment at maturity is guaranteed by the US Government and may be adjusted for inflation to become the greater of the original face amount at issuance or that face amount plus an adjustment for inflation.

International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets. Investing in emerging markets may accentuate these risks.

Currency trading is speculative, volatile and not suitable for all investors.

Diversification, asset allocation, and rebalancing strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets. Rebalancing may cause investors to incur transaction costs and, when rebalancing a non-retirement account, taxable events may be created that may affect your tax liability.

Digital currencies, such as bitcoin, are highly volatile and not backed by any central bank or government. Digital currencies lack many of the regulations and consumer protections that legal-tender currencies and regulated securities have. Due to the high level of risk, investors should view Bitcoin as a purely speculative instrument.

Past performance is no guarantee of future results and the opinions presented cannot be viewed as an indicator of future performance.

Indexes are unmanaged, do not incur management fees, costs and expenses, and cannot be invested in directly.

This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.

All corporate names are for illustrative purposes only and are not a recommendation, offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.

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