It's Time to Do Better

Lots of readers have asked how I've handled the pandemic...

I'll be honest, I've never had a 12-month period where I've spent this much time in my pajamas. (I'd bet a lot of folks have done the same.)

There's no doubt that 2020 was a difficult year for many people. We went from a great economy with full employment to painful unemployment levels today. We saw a massive drop in the stock market (before it went on to hit new highs). And many of us have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

But I'm optimistic about the future...

In just 12 months, we've come up with vaccines to combat the pandemic. Cities around the U.S. are working toward sending kids back to school, opening up restaurants, and attempting to give some sense of normalcy.

Plus, many folks have made good use of their extra time at home. They've entered the new year with some home-improvement projects checked off their to-do lists, and with more money in the bank.

Even so, I know some of you could have done much better with your finances last year. Maybe you just needed to organize your brokerage accounts or rollover your IRA, but you didn't take the time to do it. Or maybe you were afraid of the volatile stock market and missed out on huge gains.

I want you to make 2021 the year you do better.

On Tuesday night, I sat down with my colleagues Dr. Steve Sjuggerud and Austin Root, and our publisher Brett Aitken, to take a look at where we are in the markets, where we're heading, and we shared our top picks for 2021. We also talked about a unique product we offer here at Stansberry Research... Portfolio Solutions.

Steve, Austin, and I comb through all of our recommendations, pick out our favorites, and then hand subscribers a fully allocated, ready-to-use model portfolio. It takes all the guesswork and anxiety out of investing.

Austin is the best there is... He has an MBA from Stanford and 20 years of experience on Wall Street, and he has worked with some of the most successful billionaire investors in modern history.

No matter where you are right now... whether you're all-in on the bull market... nervous that another crash is just around the corner... or simply overwhelmed with what's happening in the world... I urge you to watch a replay of our special briefing.

If you want to make 2021 the year where you take control of your finances, click here to watch now.

On to this week's Q&A... Please keep sending your questions, comments, and suggestions to [email protected].

Q: I very much enjoy reading (and implementing) your various health tips.

On several occasions, you mentioned how beneficial it is to go outside for natural sunshine as the best source for vitamin D, and I agree. My question is that in the winter, we have to bundle up to go outside, leaving very little skin (just my face) exposed to the light. Do we get the same benefit (I would not think so)?

Thanks for all your advice! – R.R.

A: If you live in a very cloudy environment or an area with dangerously high levels of air pollution, or you just can't get enough sun because it's winter, you could consider taking a supplement. But only take the lower doses or take just one a week. You shouldn't take more than about 600 to 800 IU a day.

In your e-mail to me, you also shared an article that encouraged you to take up to 4,000 IU a day... And many supplements contain 5,000 to 10,000 IU in each pill. But those are dangerous levels, especially over long periods of time.

And when conditions do let you expose more of your skin to sunlight, that's still the best way to get your vitamin D.

Q: Tinnitus – anything help? – J.M.

A: For readers who aren't familiar with the term, tinnitus is that ringing in your ears with no apparent external cause. Most of us have experienced ringing in our ears before, but some people have the ringing constantly. For some, it's so bad that it hinders sleep, concentration, and communication.

There's no cure for tinnitus... Instead, you can reduce your risk of tinnitus by keeping the volume down in your headphones and wearing protective ear gear (like earplugs) when you're in a location with extremely loud noise (like concerts or car races).

There's also some evidence that taking a magnesium supplement may reduce tinnitus in people who already have moderate to severe tinnitus. One belief is that people with tinnitus don't have enough magnesium in their bodies. Nearly half of Americans don't get enough magnesium.

If you're worried about tinnitus or already have it, you can try upping the magnesium in your diet instead of heading straight for a supplement. A healthy intake of magnesium is about 320 mg a day for women, while men need about 420 mg.

Three foods to help you increase your magnesium are nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. A handful of almonds has 76 mg of magnesium, a quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds has 190 mg, and a cup of spinach has 156 mg.

Q: Thanks for the tip on the Franzia Crisp White, very nice, I've been drinking boxed wine for years (each box saves more than six bottles) and I drink a 5-liter box every month. I do make an exception for Beringer's White Zin. Costco sells a six-pack of 750ml bottles for $20. I prefer the semi-dry to semi-sweet wines. I'm 91 years young and my liver is just fine, thank you! What is your vineyard producing this season? – B.K.

A: Glad to hear you enjoyed it, B.K.

As for Eifrig Cellars... We did not produce any grapes for our own wine this year, thanks in large part to the wildfires. The reds – the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon – were left to raisin on the vines due to smoke taint. The Chardonnay was picked and sold off to a bulk buyer who uses technology (filters and centrifuges) and chemistry (sugar) to get rid of smoke taste. We don't risk it.

It's similar to what we experienced in 2017, when we didn't pick any reds and sold the whites off to a large winery group. But as luck would have it, a friend in Alexander Valley offered me some 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon grapes two weeks before that fire, and we already had it in barrels by the time the fire hit us in Dry Creek Valley.

In fact, I was just out to the winery in Northern Sonoma last week and bottled the 70 cases of that 2017 Cabernet from Alexander Valley. It's the first time using Alexander Valley grapes, and it's a beautiful wine. And so – the same way Silver Oak launched its label in Alexander Valley decades ago, only to see it often win critical acclaim and even beating its Napa Cab in many vintages – Eifrig Cellars has launched the 2017 Alexander Valley Cabernet Reserve 2017!

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
January 29, 2021