What to do with $600 payments? CNBC asks financial advisers, gets dragged for tone-deaf & clueless tips
Unsolicited financial advice on how Americans should spend their meagre Covid-19 stimulus payments has put a target on CNBC’s back as visions of pitchforks and torches dance in readers’ heads.
The outlet asked financial advisers, landlords, and other well-heeled professionals how ordinary Americans should use the $600 stimulus payments Congress agreed on Sunday that will go out to all Americans making less than $70,000 per year and the $300 weekly unemployment boost.
Their answers, delivered in a Tuesday article, were seen by many as insulting, lacking in empathy, or just clueless – not exactly surprising, considering most financial advisers and landlords make quite a bit more money than the national average, and both jobs are at least somewhat pandemic-proof.Also on rt.com While Covid ‘stimulus’ gives Americans $600, omnibus spending bill in Congress would spend BILLIONS on foreign aid & pet issues
The advice ranged from the banal (use the money for basic living expenses or to pay bills) to the patronizing (“invest in yourself”). Other suggestions were just confusing, like “Americans should generally have an emergency fund that covers six months of expenses.” Even before the pandemic, 70 percent of Americans had less than $1,000 in emergency savings – and 45 percent had no savings at all.
Besides, as some readers noted, surely the pandemic was the emergency one ought to be saving up an ‘emergency fund’ for?
Other advice seemed potentially harmful. A self-described landlord suggested low-income readers not to even try to catch up on rent, instead hoarding the $600 check for a new apartment in case of eviction. However, $600 wouldn’t even cover a month’s rent in many parts of the US, let alone the month-plus-security required to sign a lease for a new apartment.
This article is completely tone-deaf. Financial advisor suggests “if an individual is behind 6 or 7 months in rent....save the $600 for another place”..🧐??? Most financial advisors wouldn’t take you on as a client for $600, let alone, advise you what to do with it.— 💜Callie💜 (@CallieSpeaksUp) December 22, 2020
The main advice, however, seemed to be ‘every circumstance is different’ – making the entire article somewhat pointless, as readers pointed out.
"Financial advisors recommend various uses for this extra cash, depending on individual and family circumstances." Someone got paid to write an article explaining that you should spend your own money however you want.— Punky Brewster (@xLAWx_) December 22, 2020
Many shredded the suggestions, raising an eyebrow at the idea of requiring a financial adviser to manage $600.
You are all so out of touch with the reality the majority of Americans live in it’s actually astounding— Conor (@krbbyddy) December 22, 2020
You should invest that money in not dying because if you die you can't do anything with the money. This is according to all the experts i know— Ant, Excelsior!🌹🇵🇷 🗽 (@ajcarab81) December 22, 2020
Others managed to find humor in the situation.
Retire. $600 will put me over the edge. Been waiting for a big one like this for awhile. Am going to travel the world and sail the Caribbean and snorkel with the fishes. And eat some of them. This is a dream come true!— Shields (@7th1) December 22, 2020
Wow $600 !!!! 🙄🙄... We all should have set up LLC’s to get some of that real $$ .. or bought an ✈️ ... or been Kanye .. or made more this year by not even having a job ... 🙄🙄— Jamey Heñslee (@jhhenslee) December 22, 2020
While a few thought it needed translating.
A message from CNBC sponsors: "plebs, make sure you spend your money on repaying debts to us rather than buy necessities or god forbid, some fleeting pleasure"— STRIKE FETISHIST STAN ACCOUNT ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@parsonshanged) December 22, 2020
"I have a lot of money, therefore I'm good at money and poor people should just do what I do. Let me think of how I'd spend 6 hundred thousand, then simply divide by one thousand."— Tailsteak📎 (@tailsteak) December 22, 2020
And some noted that even the cover image was showing more money than Americans were actually getting, adding insult to injury.
There's more money in that photo than we are getting in stimulus. Probably said some intern that you didn't listen to but should.— Arclegger (@Arclegger) December 22, 2020
“We literally don’t know how much money 600$ is so we took a picture of 1000$”— Thorn (@ThicketThorn) December 22, 2020
To be fair, the congresspeople who passed the swollen stimulus bill might have little more understanding of poverty than the average financial adviser. On top of their salaries, which can run over $200,000 a year, their furniture budget is $40,000 – close to the yearly salary of the average American.
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