Monday Night Finance- Volume 18

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Each Monday we feature three personal finance articles we loved this past week. Here are this week’s features.

Volatility and Consistency

Anyone who has been following the stock market in 2020 will be familiar with volatility. The markets rapidly plunged more than 30% as a result of the coronavirus and an oil price war. Speaking of oil, the price for oil contracts actually went negative for a short period of time. For the average investor, volatility can be scary; most would much rather prefer to see consistent, solid, returns. So is volatility always a bad thing? In this article, Matt from looks at the merits of both consistency and volatility.

Volatility is a fact of life – we will never be able to control the change that surrounds us. However, inside that risk, there is great reward. ~Wealth in Any Economy

What exactly are volatility and consistency? The article defines volatility as a combination of the amount that a stock price is fluctuating and the amount of trades happening on the stock. So if many people are buying and selling stock XYZ and the price is moving up and down, then it has a high volatility. Consistency on the other hand is the opposite where the price is moving slowly (hopefully upward) and there is relatively low volume. Most average investors crave consistent returns over the long run. However, volatility allows traders to potentially make large amounts of money rapidly. For a given stock, there are likely to be periods of both consistency and volatility. This article gives great perspective about trying to maximize returns through both consistent and volatile periods of returns.

How To Make Money From Hobbies (Get Paid To Have Fun!)

Almost everyone has a hobby. Maybe it’s playing tennis or taking photographs. Could those hobbies make you money? Obviously Rafael Nadal makes money playing tennis and someone paid $4.3 million dollars for a photograph. At the same time, I don’t think Nadal considers tennis a hobby. Is there are sweet spot where you can have a fun hobby that instead of costing you money pays for itself or in fact, makes you a few extra dollars? In this article, Bob from TheFrugalFellow explores different ways to make money from your hobbies.

I’m sure that for most of us, there can be a dilemma when deciding whether to do something we enjoy or something that makes good money. This begs the question: are there any decent ways to make money without selling your soul? ~Bob, the Frugal Fellow

In the post, Bob shares a list of hobbies and a corresponding way to monetize them. I learned that you can make money playing online video games by trading objects in the game that can be converted into real currency. Some hobbies, like dog walking, have apps that help facilitate earning money from the hobby. Beyond the listed hobbies, Bob sets up a framework on what kinds of hobbies can be monetized. The hobbies should provide value to others. This could be a sentimental value, by capturing a family photograph, or a more tangible value, like increasing the profit of a company. If you’re interesting in making more money, check out the article and look at your hobbies to see if you can find a way to turn it into a small business.

How Coronavirus Will Change the Way Americans Save Money

The coronavirus has changed nearly every facet of our lives. I cringe when I think about how commonplace handshakes were just three short months ago. Watching movies or televisions shows with scenes of large crowds now cause me to sweat when I think about the ability for a virus to rapidly spread through the crowd. At the same time, many of us have completely adapted to teleworking and our employers are seeing potential benefits to having a decentralized workforce. In actuality, we’re just scratching the surface of how this virus has changed our lives. In this article, Clint from explains how the coronavirus has affected our spending habits and what this means for the future.

So how will the events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic change the way Americans save money? What will savings habits look like moving forward through the remainder of 2020 and beyond? Here’s what the best data available tells us we should expect. ~Clint from

The article focuses on emergency funds, or money that is easily accessible in case of a job loss or unexpected expense. Clint notes that in the months leading up to the pandemic, the percentage of Americans with an emergency fund was shrinking, despite near-record low unemployment and a robust economy. However, the coronavirus has already changed saving habits with many people across all income levels starting to hoard cash. While the future is still uncertain, the article predicts that people will focus more energy on budgeting in the future. We think that CountAbout is an excellent budgeting tool to help you increase your emergency savings.