For the 10 years leading up to COVID-19, the market was simple...
It went up.
There was noise, sure. There always has been and there always will be drama in the markets. No matter what's going on in the world, you'll always be able to find a "permabear" touting doomsday predictions.
But by keeping an eye on the data, we tended to have a good idea of where the market was headed.
Our message never varied too much: "The economy is still grinding higher, and this bull market can go higher as well" and "this dip in the market is a buying opportunity."
Month after month, chart after chart, we proved that the economy was in a good place... and that the market would follow.
But the market won't always be so easy...
Figuring out the economy and the market over the past two years has gotten more complex and – to a degree – even bizarre.
But as I tell my team all the time: KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.
And my colleague Matt McCall agrees...
Matt has created a brand-new portfolio of 10 stocks, which he's calling The Inevitable Portfolio. These companies are leaders in the technologies that are inevitably going to be part of our future...
And right now, the market has driven these stocks to trade at massive discounts.
According to Matt, we have an opportunity to scoop up shares of the most innovative companies in the world at ridiculously discounted prices.
Next Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern time, Matt will discuss exactly how to navigate today's historically volatile moment in stock market history and why he expects an incredible opportunity to make money.
Keep sending us your questions, comments, and suggestions. We read every e-mail... [email protected].
Q: Do you have a preferred tax software? My husband and I have pretty simply returns and we hate shelling out a few hundred dollars every year for a tax preparer. – M.C.
A: There are a lot of options for filing your taxes. Two of the most popular services are TurboTax and H&R Block. Lots of financial websites and magazines rank these two at the top of their lists in terms of accuracy and ease of use. Both offer online help from a tax professional if you need it (for an additional fee, of course). But only H&R Block has in-person services, if that's important to you.
Some folks find TurboTax easier to use, while H&R Block is a few dollars cheaper. I personally used TurboTax for years until my taxes became too complicated to do on my own.
If you're under certain income limits, you can file for free. Otherwise, the tax software's price rises on a sliding scale based on the complexity of your returns.
Q: I have a chronically bad and dry taste in my mouth when I'm sleeping. The only thing which seems to help is to take a small piece of gum and sleep with it in there. Occasionally, I've swallowed it when asleep. When I awake, I need to brush my teeth to resolve the lingering taste. I've tried Biotene before I go to bed, but it doesn't help. I usually use sugarless gum for decay reasons, but I know you don't like it. Any thoughts/suggestions? – R.M.
A: Thanks for the question, R.M. Dry mouth occurs when you're not producing enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. As a result, you have fewer salivary acids to keep bacterial growth in check – hence the bad taste you're experiencing. So, it makes sense that sleeping with gum in your mouth helps. Gum stimulates your salivary glands. But I agree that it's not a great long-term solution.
Here are a few thoughts to consider around why this might be happening:
- Are you taking any medications that list dry mouth as a common side effect? If so, you may want to talk with your prescriber and discuss possible alternatives. And by that, I do not mean simply adding another medication without also removing (or at the very least, adjusting) the one that's causing you problems. Don't let your doctor be lazy. Take the time to find out and weigh all your options.
- How's the relative humidity in your bedroom? If you've got the heat on – which many folks do this time of year – the dry air could be drying out your mouth. Consider getting a bedside humidifier to help with this. Just remember to clean it regularly with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. That prevents mold and bacteria buildup, which you certainly want to keep out of your lungs.
- Do you sleep with your mouth open? Try training yourself to breathe through your nose while sleeping instead. Practice while you're awake by putting a small piece of Scotch tape over your mouth and breathing strictly through your nose while engaging in your regular daily activities.
- Are you drinking enough fluids during the day? It can be hard to tell if you're slightly dehydrated. We don't buy into the "eight glasses of water a day" campaign – that's an outdated recommendation that doesn't take into account other sources of liquid in your diet. But some other indicators of mild dehydration include headaches or dizziness, muscle cramps, sleepiness, trouble concentrating, and constipation. Also, urinating five to eight times a day is average. Going more or less than that is another indicator of dehydration.
Hopefully those questions will help you get to the bottom of why this is happening. And as you're figuring this out, here are a few other things you can try to help alleviate this unpleasantry:
- Gargle with warm salt water to kill bacteria and promote hydration inside your mouth.
- Chew on some dill seeds before bed to help neutralize those bacteria. Dill seeds are antibacterial. (But I wouldn't suggest sleeping with them in your mouth, either.)
- Skip the alcohol and caffeine as they cause your body to flush out water. Instead, make sure you're eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which have nutrients that'll help boost your hydration.
Editor's note: Our offices are closed for Presidents' Day next Monday. Expect your next Health & Wealth Bulletin issue on Tuesday, February 22.
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Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
February 18, 2022