Shutdown Survival Guide!

Welcome to the first work week of the government shutdown!

(That is, unless you’re one of the 850,000 “non-essential” government employees being furloughed.)

If the government shutdown keeps you from going to work today, it might be a great day to check out my Big Book of Income — which gives you 47 work-free ways to generate some extra income on the side.

You can see how to get your free copy of my book here.

For the rest of us, the government shutdown shouldn’t make that much of a difference in our daily lives. I had to change my running plans on Sunday because the trails at a local national battlefield park were closed. But otherwise, it’s not as big of a deal as it sounds.

So today, let’s take a quick look at what is — and what is not — closed due to the government shutdown.

Here’s What To Expect From The Shutdown

As I write to you Monday morning, the Senate is planning a noon vote on a bill to extend funding for a few weeks. There’s no telling whether the bickering group of teenagers — I mean lawmakers — will make a deal or not.

But in the meantime, here are the most important changes with the government shutdown:

Park and Monument Closings — If you’re planning a trip to national parks or monuments, you’ll need to switch to plan B. This is especially frustrating if you’ve been planning a trip for a long time.

Passports and Visas — Don’t expect to get your passport renewed until the shutdown is over. This is particularly frustrating if you have a family emergency. But if you already have a passport or visa for where you’re traveling, you’re in good shape.

National Health Studies — The National Health Institute will not be enrolling new drug or treatment schedules. If you’re already involved in a study or treatment, your schedule should still remain the same.

Some Mortgage Approvals Delayed — This is perhaps the biggest disruption for most Americans. If you’re closing on a mortgage, the IRS and the Federal Housing Administration are closed. So necessary documentation may be difficult to come by.

Delay in Tax Refunds — The IRS also won’t be processing tax refunds. Just so you know, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for filing taxes. And if you have an installment payment plan with the IRS, you still need to meet your obligations.

Small Business Loans — Your bank may find it difficult to close on a new business loan because of some of the same challenges that affect mortgages.

Now that we’ve covered the biggest things that will change with the government shutdown, let’s take a quick look at some of the areas that will NOT be affected.

Still Operating as Normal…

National Security — The military will continue to operate along with homeland security and other national security agencies.

Safety and Order — I’m traveling to New York this week to talk with some of my Wall Street contacts and don’t expect any issues. Air traffic control, along with federal law enforcement agencies, will all be operational.

Medical Care — Any existing federal health care programs will be operational so you don’t have to miss any appointments

U.S. Mail — The postal service operates on its own (very challenged) budget. So come rain or snow or government shutdown, the mail must go through.

Social Security / Food Stamps — Don’t worry about your Social Security checks getting processed. Seniors will still be receiving their normal payments, and food stamps will also be sent out as normal.

Federal Courts — You can’t get out of that court appearance just because of the government shutdown. Federal courts will still be operating.

Keep in mind, a government shutdown has happened 12 times since 1981. So while this sounds like a big deal, the sun rises each time this happens and we’ve actually become quite practiced at keeping things going without non-essential government functions. (What does that tell you? Hmmm….)

Anyway, now that you know how the government shutdown will (or will not) affect you, let’s turn our attention to markets.

Here are the five things you need to know as we kick off a new trading week:

5 Must Knows for Monday, Jan. 22

Throw Them All Out — Lawmakers failed to compromise (again) on a bill to fund the federal government, thus furloughing approximately 850,000 workers. These furloughed workers are forced to stay home without knowing if back pay will be provided, while workers deemed “essential” must still report without knowing when their next paycheck will come. The Senate is expected to vote at noon today, January 22 on a temporary funding bill.

Oil Cuts Will Continue — On Sunday, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak reaffirmed the prior agreement with OPEC to extend production cuts through 2018. So far, their efforts have been successful. Since July, one barrel of Brent crude is up 54% while a single barrel of WTI crude is higher by 50%.

Davos Day — Today is the beginning of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. This annual four-day meeting gathers the world’s most influential leaders from business, politics and entertainment. This year’s motto is “creating a shared future in a fractured world.”  Much different from President Trump’s “America first” policy… which sets the stage for his speech at the conference on Thursday.

Earnings Season Hits Its Stride — Plenty of blue-chip companies are reporting earnings this week. On Monday, Netflix and Halliburton kick off the week. On Tuesday, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble are all set to announce. And then towards the end of the week, United Technologies, General Electric, Caterpillar, Intel and Honeywell are all scheduled to announce.

Tax Plan Impacts Begin — For months we here at The Daily Edge have talked about the impacts of Trump’s tax plan. And let me be the first to say, we’re already starting to see the positive impacts. Just today, Sanofi agreed to buy Bioverativ, Celgene agreed to buy Juno Therapeutics and AIG agreed to buy Bermuda insurer Validus. M&A is heating up which means big gains are in store for investors who stick with the bull market.

Here’s to growing and protecting your wealth!

Zach Scheidt

Zach Scheidt
Editor, The Daily Edge
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