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    The UAE is on track to have half its population vaccinated by the end of March

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates is on its way to having half of its population vaccinated against the coronavirus before a deadline it set for itself at the end of March, according to the country’s health authorities. 
    The small desert sheikhdom of 10 million began deploying its vaccination campaign for the public toward the end of last year, after making China’s Sinopharm vaccine available to frontline health workers and government officials from September. And in terms of vaccination rates, the UAE’s national program is now the second highest in the world after Israel. 

    More than 1.8 million people have already received the Sinopharm vaccine, which is available for free to all citizens and residents. That’s more than quadruple the per capita vaccination rate in the U.S. And the U.S. and German-developed Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is being rolled out in Dubai, currently in its first phase which is reserved for people over the age of 60, those with pre-existing health conditions, and frontline workers. 

    A health worker shows a dose of China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in the Jordanian capital Amman on January 13, 2021.
    Khalil Mazraawi | AFP | Getty Images

    Both vaccines require two jabs spaced apart by 28 days, and 28 days after receiving the second shot, patients are no longer required to quarantine, but will still have to wear masks and practice social distancing, the country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority has said 

    And while taking the vaccine is optional, NCEMA says, it’s strongly encouraged. Government employees in Abu Dhabi who choose not to take one of the vaccines will be required to take a PCR test every two weeks. 
    “We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made,” Omar Ghobash, the UAE’s assistant minister for culture and public diplomacy, told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Sunday. “Obviously there are people who are still getting sick, and unfortunately passing away, but overall we think that we’ve managed to find the balance between health and safety on the one hand and economic viability on the other hand.”
    Sinopharm’s developers say its vaccine is 86% effective while the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was found to have 95% effectiveness, though some medical professionals have expressed skepticism over the Chinese-made vaccine due to the lack of published data surrounding its development and trials. In November, UAE leaders including Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum tweeted images of themselves getting the Sinopharm shot. 

    Vaccinations push ahead amid spike in cases

    Cases have soared in the Gulf country within a less than three-week period since late December as tourists flocked to Dubai’s fully open beaches, restaurants and shopping malls. Despite visitors requiring a negative PCR test result before boarding or upon arrival, many suspect that a more transmissible strain of the virus first identified in the U.K. is at least in part to blame, given the high volume of British tourists in the emirate for the holiday season.  
    The jump in cases — now averaging more than 3,000 per day compared to around 1,000 per day at the end of December — led the U.K. to remove the UAE from its “safe travel corridor,” even as U.K. travelers are barred from many countries over fear of the new virus strain. The UAE had successfully kept its case count below 2,000 per day for the entirety of 2020.  
    The UAE has registered 256,732 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 751 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Sunday saw a record high daily case count of 3,453.

    Woman sunbathers sit along a beach in the Gulf emirate of Dubai on July 24, 2020, while behind is seen the Burj al-Arab hotel. After a painful four-month tourism shutdown that ended earlier in July, Dubai is billing itself as a safe destination with the resources to ward off coronavirus.
    KARIM SAHIB | AFP via Getty Images

    Still, it appears that for now at least, the party city and regional commercial capital of Dubai will push on with its vaccine campaign while keeping its tourism-dependent economy open. 
    Neighboring oil-rich capital Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, has been much more conservative, requiring a series of negative PCR test results over the span of several days for anyone who wants to enter the emirate — even from other emirates in the country.  
    As for Dubai, mask wearing remains required in all public venues, excluding activities like eating or engaging in strenuous exercise, and authorities remind residents to socially distance. The emirate’s openness, which increased gradually from the summer, had followed a period of one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in March and April. 
    By New Year, Dubai’s government was allowing residents to hold gatherings inside their homes of up to 30 people. Hotels once nearly entirely empty are seeing upward of 70% occupancy rates as tourists escape their own countries for a sense of normality and warm weather.     
    “They are balancing personal responsibility with an economy that needs to go forward,” Ghobash said of the country. 
    “Vaccinating the largest possible percentage of society” is the country’s aim, the NCEMA tweeted earlier this month, in order to “access the acquired immunity resulting from vaccination, which will help reduce the number of cases and control the disease.” More

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    World on the brink of 'catastrophic moral failure' due to unfair vaccine rollouts, WHO chief says

    Healthcare workers administer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents living in the Jackson Heights neighborhood at St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church on January 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
    Octavio Jones | Getty Images

    LONDON — The head of the World Health Organization said Monday the equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines is at “serious risk.”
    Warning of a “catastrophic moral failure,” WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “the recent emergence of rapidly-spreading variants makes the rapid and equitable rollout of vaccines all the more important.”

    But he added that this distribution could easily become “another brick in the wall for inequality between the world’s haves and have-nots.”
    “As the first vaccines begin to be deployed, the promise of equitable access is at serious risk,” he said, speaking at a session of the WHO’s executive board.
    While more 39 million doses of several different vaccines have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries, he said, just 25 doses had been given in one lowest-income country.
    “I need to be blunt, the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries.”
    Beginning his speech, Tedros had emphasized that the development and approval of safe coronavirus vaccines less than a year after the virus’ emergence in China, in late 2019, was a “stunning achievement and a much needed source of hope.”

    However, he added that “it’s not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries.”
    “There will be enough vaccine for everybody, but right now we must work together as one global family to prioritize (those) most at risk of serious diseases and death in all countries.”
    Without naming names, Tedros said some countries and companies speak the language of equitable access but continue to prioritize bilateral deals, bypassing COVAX, which is driving up prices and attempting to jump to the front of the line. “This is wrong,” he said.
    COVAX is a global scheme co-led by an international vaccine alliance called Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and also the WHO. It was established to ensure equitable vaccine access for every country in the world. It aims deliver 2 billion doses of safe, effective vaccines that have passed regulatory approval and/or WHO prequalification by the end of 2021.
    The WHO called on wealthier countries that had pre-ordered millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines, such as the U.S., U.K. and Europe, to share a portion of those vaccines with COVAX, so it can then redistribute these to poorer countries.
    Wealthier nations have been accused of “hoarding” more vaccines than they need, although the supply of vaccines is still in its early days as mass inoculation drives — which began in the West in December — are mainly still in their first distribution stage.
    Tedros called on countries with bilateral deals with vaccine makers, and on controls for supply, to be “transparent with COVAX on volumes, pricing and delivery dates,” and to share their own doses with COVAX once they have vaccinated their own health workers and older populations. More

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    China says its economy grew 2.3% in 2020, but consumer spending fell

    Employees working on a dry-type transformer production line at an electrical production factory in Haian, in eastern China’s Jiangsu province on Jan. 4, 2021.
    Stringer | AFP | Getty Images

    BEIJING — China reported Monday that its economy grew 2.3% last year as the world struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
    Gross domestic product rose by 6.5% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, official data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. Those numbers beat analysts’ expectations.

    However, Chinese consumers remained reluctant to spend, as retail sales contracted 3.9% for the year. Retail sales for the fourth quarter rose 4.6% from a year ago.
    Online sales of consumer goods rose at a relatively rapid pace of 14.8% last year, the statistics bureau said, but the proportion of overall retail sales held fairly steady at around one-fourth.
    Economists expected China to have been the only major economy to grow last year, and predicted GDP in 2020 expanded by just over 2%. Those polled by Reuters expected the economy to grow 6.1% in the fourth quarter, faster than the 4.9% pace of the prior quarter.

    Arrows pointing outwards

    Chinese authorities have been trying to increase the economy’s reliance on domestic demand, rather than more traditional growth drivers such as investment.
    For 2020, consumption accounted for 54.3% of GDP, Ning Jizhe, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, told reporters Friday. That’s lower than 57.8% of GDP that was initially reported for 2019.

    Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance, expects retail sales will pick up in 2021, rising more than 10% from the prior year’s subdued levels, partly as consumers spend excess savings from 2020.

    Impact of Covid-19

    Covid-19 first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019. In an effort to control the virus, Chinese authorities shut down more than half the country, and the economy contracted by 6.8% in the first three months of 2020.
    There’s been a resurgence of the coronavirus in parts of China this year, with the province of Hebei reporting a rise in Covid-19 cases since the start of the year.
    Ning said the re-emergence of the virus has increased uncertainty, and attributed the drop in retail sales to the coronavirus. But he portrayed the latest virus cases as controllable given China’s experience last year.
    While some economic indicators exceeded expectations last year, others were not ideal, Ning said, noting some of China’s problems can’t be resolved in the short term.
    China’s economy returned to growth in the second quarter.
    In late December, the National Bureau of Statistics lowered China’s official growth rate for 2019 to 6.0%, versus the previously reported 6.1%. The cut primarily occurred in manufacturing, as factories dealt with new U.S. tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods. More

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    The wealthy are investing like a market bubble is here, or at least near

    If an investor with $1 million or more in the market thinks that a stock bubble is already here — or soon enough one will be coming — what is the correct response? According to a new survey from E-Trade Financial, the answer is to keep investing in stocks, with more emphasis on undervalued sectors of the market.
    Only 9% of millionaires surveyed by E-Trade think the market is nowhere near a bubble. The rest of the affluent investor set:
    16% think we’re “fully in a bubble”
    46% in “somewhat of a bubble”
    29% think the market is approaching one

    Yet these affluent investors are not running from the market, or parking money in cash. In fact, amid rising bubble fears these same investors say their risk tolerance has increased, significantly, in the first quarter of 2021, and the majority expect stocks to end Q1 with more gains.

    A market bubble that can still move higher

    The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines, even if off to a slow start, and the prospect of another even larger stimulus package from President-elect Biden, has investors doing what market history says they should do: look ahead.
    “There is a broader recognition of an economy that is improving and signs that the factors are in place for the market to move higher,” said Mike Loewengart, chief investment officer at E-Trade Financial’s capital management unit.

    A trader blows bubble gum during the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on August 1, 2019, in New York City.
    Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

    The survey from Morgan Stanley’s E-Trade was conducted from January 1 to January 7 among an online U.S. sample of 904 self-directed active investors who manage at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account. The millionaire data set broken out exclusively for CNBC is comprised of 188 investors with $1 million or more of investable assets.
    The seeming contradiction in the continued bullishness at a time of rising bubble fears is not as stark as it seems. This bull market has defied every risk thrown at it and market experts continue to believe the path of least resistance is up. Though the bullish path may require some portfolio tuning-up with greater focus on undervalued sectors of the stock market.

    Here are a few findings from the E-Trade survey that speak to where the investor mindset is right now amid the push and pull between risk and reward.
    1. Millionaires are more bullish than the broader investing public
    There is a lot of chatter right now about an overextended market and a dotcom bubble-like environment, making it hard to tune out the noise for many investors. But among these affluent investors, even with their own bubble fears rising, they are increasingly bullish and more bullish than the broader investor universe. Sixty-four percent of millionaires are bullish, and that is up 9 percentage points from Q4 2020, and that compares to 57% of the broader investor universe that remains bullish.
    Among these investors, the percentage that said their risk tolerance has increased in Q1 went up by 8 percent points (from 16% to 24%). The majority (63%) said it remains at the same level as last quarter. Only 13% of millionaires said their risk tolerance has declined.
    Wealthy investors are not expecting huge returns, with the largest group expecting the market to rise no more than 5% this quarter, but after the strong run in the markets already on the books, that is a safe, if bullish, response, Loewengart said. Fifty-nine percent of millionaires expect another quarterly gain in the S&P 500, with 43% of those seeing the gain no greater than 5%. Those who think the market is due for a quarterly drop declined from 28% to 22%.
    2. More portfolio changes are being made
    Even as risk-on remains the mode for many, more investors are tweaking portfolios. The rotation into value stocks, small-cap stocks, and depressed sectors like energy and financials, is already a well-charted phenomenon — the so-called “great rotation” — and these investors are no exception.
    The percentage of millionaires who say they are making changes to allocations in their portfolios ticked up for a second quarter in a row, by 6%, to almost one-third overall (32%). The percentage of millionaires moving into cash remains very low (7%) but did tick up from 5% last quarter.
    While it has been the growth stocks that outperformed in the past few years, investors are taking the opportunity to move to more cyclically oriented sectors of the market.
    “Everything outside of big tech became better potential opportunities,” Loewengart said.
    Small-caps have underperformed the S&P 500 since the end of 2018, according to data from CFRA.
    The price growth gap between S&P 500 Growth and S&P 500 Value was at its highest in history this past August (dating back to the mid 70s) and is currently, even after some stock rotation, as wide as it was in Dec. 1999, before dotcom crash. 
    The S&P 500’s 12-month price-to-earnings ratio is at a premium of 45% to its 20-year average. CFRA pegs 2021 earnings increase for the S&P 500 Growth component of the index at 13.3% versus 20.1% for its value group.
    3. The stay-at-home trade may be past its peak, but it is permanent
    Even with millionaires more likely to say they are making changes to their portfolio allocations, the S&P 500 sector by sector bullishness has not changed that much, according to the survey, showing that for every investor who is taking part in the rotation to value names and more cyclical plays there are still many letting their market money ride on the winners.
    “There’s the momentum factor. People want to continue to believe where they’ve seen strong returns it will continue, but some recognize it can’t go up forever,” Loewengart said.
    While interest in financials as the sector with the most potential ticked up slightly (by 3%) this quarter, a bet on a swift financial recovery, Loewengart says, overall information technology and health care remain the top sector bets, and that has been the case throughout this bull market. Health care (at 66%) and tech (at 53%) remain the two most popular sectors, and neither saw a decline in interest from investors.
    Technology, even for all of its gains, is hard to bet against.
    “We can talk a lot about how the stay-at-home trade is over and other segments are poised to do better, but when we see sector expectations being similar, that is also a reflection of the market being tied to tech and the fact that the world has changed as a result of Covid,” Loewengart said. “Some things will not return to way they were before, and we will see multiple expansion in big tech names,” he said.
    He added that investors should expect the gains to be more modest, given current valuations, than the opportunity in cyclical sectors where more stimulus and vaccine deployment can drive more significant valuation growth. “There is a potential change of leadership in the market,” Loewengart said.
    4. International market opportunities are more attractive
    The data is more clear on overseas interest rising than sector bets changing in a significant way within the U.S. market. That’s partly because these millionaires as a rule have a longstanding preference for the U.S. stocks.
    Millionaires are shaking their home country bias and taking greater interest in investments outside the U.S., with interest up this quarter 9 percentage points. The percentage of millionaire investors who said international markets were more appealing to them in Q1 2021 rose from 27% to 36%.
    “It’s definitely a large move in terms of millionaires, a significant move,” said Loewengart.
    Over the last three years, the S&P 500 has outperformed the S&P developed international and emerging market indices. The last time those international markets outperformed the U.S. large-cap index was 2017.
    While the dollar has rebounded recently, its broader weakness in recent months is a key element for international stock performance.
    “It makes the millionaire set more attuned to the opportunity” Loewengart said.
    How much of that new overseas interest is broad-based versus China, specifically, is impossible to know from the survey. “China could be the only member of the G8 that had GDP growth in 2020. That’s a clear indicator that the world outside the U.S., the developing world, is moving past the virus,” he said.
    5. The U.S. political risk factor sees a huge drop
    If political and election risk was a major factor in Q4, it saw a major downgrade from investors this quarter.
    The E-Trade survey’s tail-end caught the Georgia runoff elections and the riots at the Capitol, after which the market set another record, but on the biggest question — the presidential election — millionaire investors are no longer nearly as worried as they were last quarter.
    The percentage of affluent investors who view the new presidential administration as the biggest risk to their portfolio declined down from 50% to 30% this quarter. Twenty-six percent of these investors are pessimistic about the prospects for the U.S. economy under President-elect Biden, while 60% expressed some level of optimism, from moderate (38%) to high (22%).
    Market volatility, meanwhile, saw a spike among risk factors, from 18% of millionaires viewing it as the biggest portfolio threat to a little over one-quarter (27%).
    6. Millionaires are less likely to be risk-on when it comes to the riskiest assets
    The latest phase of this bull market, the post-Covid Spring 2020 phase, has been marked by a risk-on appetite for new offerings, IPOs and SPACs, as well as a surge in new asset classes like cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. Millionaires, even as they continue to be risk-on positioned, are less likely to be interested in these kinds of bets:

    Arrows pointing outwards

    When asked about their current level of interest, the riskiest risk-on assets are less popular with millionaire investors, including IPOs, SPACs, cannabis stocks and cryptocurrencies.
    E-Trade Financial More

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    Biden CDC pick confident there's enough Covid vaccine to meet target amid confusion over stockpile

    Rochelle Walensky, who has been nominated to serve as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks after US President-elect Joe Biden announced his team tasked with dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic at The Queen in Wilmington, Delaware on December 8, 2020.
    Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

    President-elect Joe Biden’s top health officials are confident the United States will have enough coronavirus vaccine doses to meet the incoming administration’s goal of inoculating 100 million people in 100 days despite a slower-than-expected rollout of the life-saving drugs.
    “That is what the president elect has promised. It will be a hefty lift, but we have enough to do that,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Biden’s pick to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

    The president-elect has vowed to place suppressing the virus as a top priority once he’s sworn into office in the coming days. On Friday, Biden laid out a five-step plan that includes expanding the number of vaccination sites across the U.S., which he believes will accelerate the nation’s ability to get more vaccine doses into Americans’ arms.
    The U.S. has fallen far short of its goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of last year. While the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed has delivered over 31.1 million doses across the country so far, only 12.3 million people have been inoculated, according to the most recent CDC data.
    In an effort to pick up the pace, the CDC issued new guidelines for state leaders on Tuesday that expands vaccine eligibility to everyone age 65 and older as well as to those with comorbid conditions, like diabetes. The federal government said it would also begin releasing doses that were being held in a “physical reserve” to ensure enough supply.

    A senior citizen receives the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in Tucson, Arizona, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021.
    Cheney Orr | Bloomberg | Getty Images

    Both Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines, which are the only two so far to be granted emergency authorization in the U.S., require two shots several weeks apart. The reserve was meant to ensure people who had their first shots would be provided a second dose later on.
    Several Democratic leaders, however, accused the Trump administration of misleading them about the extra supply of doses after The Washington Post reported on Friday that no such reserve of vaccines existed. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar responded on Twitter Saturday, saying that they had a stockpile of second doses that were released toward the end of December.

    The HHS chief said that the announcement this week “was that we are releasing the remaining reserved second doses according to the established cadence—ensuring second doses would be available at the right interval—and that going forward we’d no longer have a reserve of second doses.”

    Biden’s incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain, the former Ebola czar under President Barack Obama, told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the new administration is “inheriting a huge mess.” However, Klain said he was confident that there will be “continued supply and distribution of that supply to hit that target of 100 million shots in 100 days.”
    Part of Biden’s five-step plan to ramp up vaccine distribution includes greater use of the Defense Production Act, a wartime law that allows the president to compel companies to prioritize manufacturing for national security reasons.
    That will allow Biden to increase the number of key resources that will strengthen the supply of doses, Klain said. For instance, some of Pfizer’s vaccine vials were found to have an extra sixth shot in them, which could increase the supply of doses by 20%, Klain said.
    The federal government, which sends supply kits to the states with items like needles and syringes to administer the drugs, didn’t account for the extra doses in their original planning, said Jessica Daley, a pharmacist and vice president with Premier, which purchases medical supplies for thousands of hospitals.
    Some health-care providers have since had to dip into their own reserves or have tried securing extra supplies on their own, Daley told CNBC on Wednesday. The Biden administration will ramp up production of those necessary syringes to access the extra doses, Klain said on Sunday.
    “One thing that’s clear is that the issue of getting 100 million doses in the first 100 days is absolutely a doable thing,” White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who will become a medical advisor to Biden once the president-elect is in office, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
    Fauci added that the use of the Defense Production Act will mean the U.S. won’t be “hesitant to use whatever mechanisms we can to get everything on track,” such as vaccine supplies and Covid-19 testing.
    “The feasibility of his goal is absolutely clear,” Fauci said of 100 million doses in 100 days. “There’s no doubt about that… it can be done.”
    Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration chief in the Trump administration who sits on the board of Pfizer, said on Sunday that the Biden administration will likely hit their goal of 100 million doses, and Biden’s five-step plan “makes a lot of sense.”
    “I think the issues going to become demand,” Gottlieb told “Face the Nation.” “I think they’re going to have the supply in place and the distribution in place to do that.”
    — CNBC’s Tucker Higgins and Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

    Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and is a member of the boards of Pfizer, genetic testing start-up Tempus and biotech company Illumina. Pfizer has a manufacturing agreement with Gilead for remdesivir. Gottlieb also serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings′ and Royal Caribbean’s “Healthy Sail Panel.” More

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    Bucs lineman Ndamukong Suh uses Warren Buffett’s advice to navigate market turmoil

    Matt Ryan (2) of the Falcons is chased by Ndamukong Suh (93) of the Bucs during the regular season game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 03, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
    Cliff Welch | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

    National Football League lineman Ndamukong Suh tries to speak with Warren Buffett quarterly to catch up and solicit investment advice.
    The two have been close since 2009, when Suh attended the University of Nebraska. The last time he spoke with the “Oracle of Omaha” was during the holidays. Suh, who now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said Buffett discussed opportunities and being in position when they arrive.

    “As you can see, he’s been super cash-heavy,” Suh told CNBC on Friday. “It’s being prepared to make moves and see where there’s opportunities in the market.”
    Though Suh is busy preparing for the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, in a showdown between iconic NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady on the Bucs and Drew Brees on the Saints, he said he stays aware of market turmoil and activity via CNBC mobile alerts.  
    While waiting for investing opportunities, he’s also preparing for life after football.
    “I have aspirations to be more successful off the field than I was on the field,” Suh said. “I think I’m in a fairly good place, but I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of myself to accomplish that.”

    Suh’s portfolio

    Suh, 34, has been particularly keen on opportunities in hospitality and restaurants, and says he’s “bullish” on the sectors.

    “I’ve seen a lot of good growth in those areas that a lot of people wouldn’t expect,” Suh said. (He’s an investor in a SPAC in the hospitality space, but declined to name it.)
    “There’s going to be a bigger demand as the vaccine is rolling out and people more open to being out in public,” Suh said. “Deliveries and the opportunity to grab and go; I’ve seen a lot of success in those spaces.”
    Suh didn’t add publicly traded food companies to his portfolio in 2020, but privately he has “projects in the pipeline” this year around Portland, Oregon, where he grew up.
    “We’ve signed leases and waiting for things to get up and rolling as things come back,” Suh said.
    Other investments include Silofit, a fitness company that specializes in privatized workouts. The Canadian company went through a $2.5 million fundraising round last November, according to Crunchbase, and Suh says the firm is expanding.
    He’s used his NFL stardom to make connections with Gary Shiffman, chairman of real estate company Sun Communities Inc, and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. He has stock in both companies and is exploring investments in tech firms, too.
    “I would say I’m a hands-on investor,” Suh said. “I like to get my hands dirty. I like to add value, which is why I like to be an advisor to companies if I’m not a board member or a venture partner.”

    Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions
    Getty Images

    A meeting with Phil Knight

    While with the Detroit Lions in 2011, Suh made the headlines when he was suspended for two games after stomping a Green Bay Packers player. He returned to Portland and met with Nike founder Phil Knight, who helped him turn a negative into an opportunity.
    Suh said Knight told him: “‘We’re going to be able to leverage this from a branding perspective.’ And Nike is one of the smartest groups as storytelling, so they’ve been able to leverage me in a lot of ways.”
    Since then, Suh’s foundation has focused on providing opportunities for others, one of which he described as the “young Black professional housing project.” Suh’s mission is to provide housing to young entrepreneurs, allowing them to focus on building their business, not on rent.
    With Covid-19 impacting the nation, rent prices in the city have declined, but monthly rent for a a one-bedroom apartment still exceeds $1,100, according to The Oregonian, which used data from apartment websites.
    “Rent is not easy,” said Suh, adding he has a 40-unit and 56-unit project in the architect phase before moving to city approval.
    “I think they’ll find that it’s a good project and one that will come online soon,” he said. “It’s high-quality living and having the ability to help young professionals get their feet wet in their business focuses but also at the same time, not having to be concerned with their living situation.”

    Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a pass during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
    Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images

    Brady owes Suh

    Suh described the NFL’s Covid-19 season as “challenging,” especially with changing protocols as the league got serious following an outbreak on the Baltimore Ravens.
    “I’m lucky to be an older guy,” he said. “I anticipated what I needed to do and knew all I needed to take care of when it comes to football. The ancillary pieces, I could just handle that as it came.”
    Suh added he’s was impressed with how young players on the Bucs handled the season, especially rookies.
    “I know their head was spinning just with football, let alone with the pandemic they had to deal with,” said Suh. “Definitely a challenging year but something that we all believed that we could handle. As professional athletes, we’re always adjusting and adapting. So, I think it’s in our blood to be able to find ways to get things done.”
    Speaking of getting things done, Suh is counting on Brady to lead the team past the Saints to continue their pursuit of a Super Bowl. It would be his first title and Brady’s seventh.
    Suh gives Brady flak for the 2019 Super Bowl the quarterback cost him, as the Los Angeles Rams fell to Brady’s New England Patriots.
    “He owes me a Super Bowl since he stole one from me in [2019],” Suh joked. “I got to take care of business this year and would love to get that Super Bowl,” he added. “I’ve seen a lot of individual success, but I need that team success to really solidify my career.” More

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    How one mother is building generational wealth for her young son

    Jernessa Jones, 39, and her son Kyan Blair, 5, at graduation. Jones graduated with her master’s degree in business administration at the same time Blair graduated from preschool.

    Jernessa Jones’ next financial goal is twofold – to buy a house and begin to build generational wealth for her 5-year-old son, Kyan Blair.
    In the last six years, she’s turned her life and finances around. In 2014, she was laid off from her job as a production manager at Hillshire Brands, pregnant and recently single due to a broken engagement. It took her about a year to find another job at Safeplace, a domestic violence program in Alabama, and the pay was significantly less, she said.

    During that time, her credit score sank to about 470 and she went into debt.
    “It was survival mode,” said Jones. She found a financial startup – Self Inc. – that would let her open an account with her credit score and started working on building it while paying off debt.
    The journey also led to a career shift. Today, Jones is a financial coach at Operation HOPE, a non-profit dedicated to financial literacy, and recently completed her master’s degree in business administration. She’s paid off about $5,000 in debt and has built her credit score back up in the 700s, she said.
    Now, her focus is on building wealth and passing along financial knowledge to her son. She’s teaching him personal finance basics such as saving and is looking to start investing on his behalf in assets that will grow over time and yield dividends.
    “Hopefully he’s positioned well,” said Jones, adding that beyond resources, she wants to give him the knowledge and the wisdom to grow wealth.

    What is generational wealth and why is it important?
    Generational wealth is assets – such as a house, savings or investment accounts – that can be passed down to one’s family members, and generally continue to benefit them over time.
    “It’s to give individuals a chance to reach their full potential in the future,” said Lauryn Williams, a certified financial planner and founder of Worth Winning. For example, having family wealth can give people different opportunities when it comes to education and careers.
    Building wealth that can be passed on has been difficult for people of color due to systemic barriers, said Kilolo Kijakazi, an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute. Occupational segregation has resulted in people of color at every level of education being employed in lower-paying jobs with fewer, if any, benefits, she said.
    In addition, many people of color are unbanked or underserved by financial institutions, making growing wealth difficult.
    In 2019, the median White household held $188,200 in wealth, nearly 8 times more than the median Black household, with $24,100, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances.
    That gap has left many more vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and they could be further hurt by an uneven economic recovery. This was seen during the Great Recession, when White families’ wealth fell 26.2% compared to a 47.6% drop for Black families and a 44.3% fall for Hispanic ones, according to the Urban Institute.

    Arrows pointing outwards

    “The dollar amount of the racial wealth gap has expanded over the last 60 years and is likely to grow substantially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Kijakazi, adding that this is in part because of job losses that have had a disproportionate impact on workers of color.
    “Without income from a job, families of color may deplete their savings and go into debt to sustain themselves,” she said.
    Workers of color have also been more likely to be in a job where they’re exposed to the virus, putting them at a higher risk of illness or death. They are also more likely not to have access to employer-sponsored healthcare or retirement plans, a further barrier to building wealth.

    The dollar amount of the racial wealth gap has expanded over the last 60 years and is likely to grow substantially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

    Kilolo Kijakazi
    Institute fellow, Urban Institute

    Ways to start building generational wealth
    Still, financial advisors say there are things that individuals can do to set themselves up to pass along assets to their families in the future.
    The first is boosting financial education, like Jones is doing for her son. “So much of what we’re up against is a narrative that we’ve been told,” said Williams, adding that a big issue for many families is secrecy around money and finances. “How do you learn about money if you’re not talking about it?”
    One thing that can help those that have been underserved by traditional financial institutions is finding a Black or Hispanic owned bank, which will generally be better equipped to serve communities of color.
    Then, Williams recommends starting with personal finance basics such as having a budget to help boost savings, if you have the means. Next, she says it’s important to save for retirement, either in an employer-sponsored or individual plan, and begin basic long-term investing in the stock market.

    Beyond saving, there are other low-cost things people can do to help ensure they transfer wealth, said Williams.
    Term life insurance, for example, can leave money to the next generation, Williams said.
    “Isn’t it worth 30 bucks a month to pass a million down to someone, even if you don’t have children?” she said.
    In addition, a will, powers of attorney and naming beneficiaries on accounts can be a huge help. If you die without the proper documents, a probate court will determine how your estate is divided and take a cut of your total assets, leaving less for your family.
    “Little things like that make a huge difference,” Williams said.
    More from Invest in You:How to reset your finances and become smarter about moneyThis lender wants to close the racial wealth gapThis critical link could help bridge America’s racial wealth gap
    Systemic changes are also needed
    To be sure, many of the barriers to building financial wealth that have perpetuated the racial wealth gap are not the fault of individuals.
    “For too long, the misconception has been that these disparities are due to the poor financial planning or poor financial behavior of communities of color as opposed to the systemic barriers that really are at the root of the racial wealth gap and continue to perpetuate it,” Kijakazi said.
    Addressing the problem will take both policy changes and making private financial institutions more accountable.

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    Democratic governors accuse Trump administration of misleading them about vaccine stockpile

    Nurse Dawn Duran administers a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Jeremy Coran during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Pasadena, California, U.S., January 12, 2021.
    Mario Anzuoni | Reuters

    Several Democratic governors are criticizing the Trump administration for apparently misleading public health officials about holding a stockpile of Covid-19 vaccines in reserve.
    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Tuesday that the government would begin releasing doses of vaccine that were being held in “physical reserve” to ensure enough supply for second doses.

    Both federally approved vaccines, made by Pfizer and Moderna, are administered in two shots spaced several weeks apart.
    The Washington Post reported on Friday that despite Azar’s comments, no such federal stockpile of vaccines exists. The newspaper, citing state and federal officials, said the Trump administration had already started shipping its available supply in December.
    The Democratic state leaders say the lack of a federal reserve will upset plans to increase the speed and scope of their vaccination campaigns.
    “Last night, I received disturbing news, confirmed to me directly by General Perna of Operation Warp Speed: States will not be receiving increased shipments of vaccines from the national stockpile next week, because there is no federal reserve of doses,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wrote in a post on Twitter, referring to Army Gen. Gus Perna, the chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed.
    “This is a deception on a national scale,” Brown added. “Oregon’s seniors, teachers, all of us, were depending on the promise of Oregon’s share of the federal reserve of vaccines being released to us.”

    Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, also took to the platform, saying that the administration “must answer immediately for this deception.”
    “I’m shocked we were lied to and there is no national reserve,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter.
    He said that the federal announcement about the stockpile release “led us to expect 210,000 doses next week” and that other governors had made similar plans.
    “Now we find out we’ll only get 79,000 next week,” Polis wrote.
    Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota, a Democrat, said at a press conference that “they were lying,” referring to the federal government.
    Walz and Democratic Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Tony Evers of Wisconsin said in a joint statement on Friday that “it has become abundantly clear that not only has the Trump administration botched the rollout of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, but also that the American people have been misled about these delays.”
    The governors requested permission to purchase vaccines directly from manufacturers.
    “Without additional supply or authorization to purchase directly, our states may be forced to cancel plans for public vaccination clinics in the coming weeks, which are expected to vaccinate tens of thousands. It’s time for the Trump administration to do the right thing and help us end this pandemic,” the governors wrote.
    Azar responded to the governors in a thread on Twitter on Saturday, calling their claims “completely misleading” and a “debasement.”
    “We had a stockpile of reserved second doses from December. We started releasing those second doses at the end of December so people could get their second doses. We progressively continued that release,” Azar wrote.
    The HHS chief said that the announcement this week “was that we are releasing the remaining reserved second doses according to the established cadence—ensuring second doses would be available at the right interval—and that going forward we’d no longer have a reserve of second doses.”
    “The effort of some governors to mislead the American people to distract from their own distribution failures is unfortunate,” Azar said, referencing data that showed that Michigan, Oregon and Wisconsin had yet to administer the bulk of the vaccines that had already been distributed to those states.
    The Trump administration has sparred with Democratic state officials since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, at first over supplies of tests and other medical equipment and more recently over vaccine distribution.
    President-elect Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated Wednesday, has pledged to elevate the role of the federal government in vaccine delivery. Biden has pledged to have 100 million doses of vaccine administered in his first 100 days in office.
    To date, vaccination efforts have lagged far behind official predictions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12 million doses have been administered. Health officials had hoped to get that number to 20 million by January.

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