More stimulus checks, but smaller ones

A stalemate between U.S. House Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and at the White House has been holding up a second round of relief payments, which both political parties have indicated they support.

The original stimulus money (primarily paid out via direct deposit, though there were some checks and even debit cards) was distributed starting in April, and most Americans received $1,200. The House has passed a bill largely calling for a repeat.

But Payne indicates payments of $300 to $400 should be sufficient this time. He also wants to see lawmakers "reload" the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provided forgivable loans to businesses.

This time, Congress should "focus on very small businesses and other measures that encourage business investment," Payne says. PPP loans were intended for small businesses, but some large corporations also took advantage of the program.

The U.S. Senate is in recess until Sept. 8, and the House is due to return to Washington the following week.

The recession? It's history

Payne, who hosts the weekday afternoon Fox Business show Making Money With Charles Payne, is among those who believe the U.S. recession has already ended. He predicts gross domestic product readings will show a growing economy during the second half of this year.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard also declared the recession over, in interviews earlier this week.

Still, Payne says "parts of the economy will remain in shambles for months to come" without a coronavirus vaccine.

"My best advice is: A) If your financial resources are impacted, then make adjustments; but B) If you have the wherewithal, go for your dreams using lower rates and opportunities that occur while we are clearing away the aftermath of an economic shock," he wrote, in the interview with MoneyWise conducted via email.

Ultra-low interest rates don't come around every day, he points out.

"Everyone has to consider whether this is the time to buy a home, refinance a home or start a business," he says.

No bubble trouble on Wall Street, Payne says

Payne was anticipating lots of questions during Wednesday's virtual town hall about "the stock market and its miraculous rebound against the backdrop of an economy still suffering, although not at the depths of despair predicted."

But is the high-flying market at risk of another crash?

"I do not think the market is in a bubble," he says, adding that the gains for the Dow and the S&P 500 have been fairly modest, and "the Nasdaq is powered by companies that are seeing rapid underlying fundamental improvements."

He says the stock market remains "the greatest wealth-creating machine in history. Everyone has to consider owning businesses where CEOs and employees are working to build value for your investment while you sleep, play tennis, go on vacation, etc."

If you don't have money in stocks yet, you can easily start out small. Today's investing apps allow you to get a piece of the action on Wall Street with as little as $1.

Just keep in mind that sometimes there will be rough patches.

"The trick to the market is staying around after the first big hit," Payne says, "and being prepared for that hit as much as it is possible.'

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman

Editor-in-Chief

Doug Whiteman is the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and CNBC.com and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."

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