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May Monthly Market Commentary

Tariffs, IPOs…and Salty Chips

May. Springtime. Three-day weekends. It’s usually a time to celebrate Star Wars, not initiate trade wars, but that’s not how it went down this year. That, plus some chip drama and some new murmurs about Bitcoin made for a spicier-than-usual month in the markets. On top of that, the IPOs kept popping. Yep, 2019 has been ripe so far for some delicious market news.

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A Look Into Elizabeth Warren’s Free College Plan

In our efforts to bring you the latest updates on things that might impact your financial life, we may occasionally enter the political fray, covering candidates, bills, laws and more. Please note: SoFi does not endorse or take official positions on any candidates and the bills they may be sponsoring or proposing. We may occasionally support legislation that we believe would be beneficial to our members, and will make sure to call it out when we do. Our reporting otherwise is for informational purposes only, and shouldn’t be construed as an endorsement.

Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is taking charge of the heated national conversation regarding out-of-control college tuition costs. In April 2019, she released a $1.25 trillion proposal that addresses increasing college expenses and the widening student debt crisis.

“Higher education opened a million doors for me,” the senator wrote when she introduced the plan in a post on Medium . “It’s how the daughter of a janitor in a small town in Oklahoma got to become a teacher, a law school professor, a U.S. Senator, and eventually, a candidate for President of the United States. Today, it’s virtually impossible for a young person to find that kind of opportunity.”

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Balancing a Great Deal vs. Interest Charges

The dilemma: you’re in a store with an armful of essentials. You’re handing your treasures to the cashier, ready to check out, when they ask, “Would you like to open a credit card account and save 10% today?”

It happens in many a retail store across the country. Cashiers have been trained by corporate to wag the brochures in front of you, tempting you with even deeper discounts. This is your favorite store, right? You want a better deal, right? In the moment, it sounds fantastic—an extra 10% and you can simply put the purchase on that shiny new retail credit card and pay it off when you get home.

Except that a few weeks roll by and you’re back at the same store, tempted by yet another discount, so you whip out that plastic again. Pretty soon, bills come around and there doesn’t seem to be enough money in your checking account to cover the new credit card payment. Maybe it’s time to revisit this important question: How does credit card interest work again?

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The Lyft IPO: What Happened and What to Do Next

When ride-sharing app Lyft went public with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) March 28, 2019 , the story was probably supposed to follow the same script as other tech unicorns (think Facebook and Etsy).

For these companies, the IPO meant a big cash raise and the debut of stocks that would surge in value. Facebook raised over $16 billion its first day and is currently trading around $190 a share. Etsy opened at $16 and nearly doubled the first day.

The IPO, the first time publicly traded stocks are offered for sale, can be a time of hope and celebration. Founders and early investors are hoping to make money, and individual investors have the opportunity to finally buy a share of a company they’re passionate about.

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National Student Debt Forgiveness in the 2020 Election

In our efforts to bring you the latest updates on things that might impact your financial life, we may occasionally enter the political fray, covering candidates, bills, laws and more.
Please note: SoFi does not endorse or take official positions on any candidates and the bills they may be sponsoring or proposing. We may occasionally support legislation that we believe would be beneficial to our members, and will make sure to call it out when we do. Our reporting otherwise is for informational purposes only, and shouldn’t be construed as an endorsement.

As the election cycle heats up in anticipation of the 2020 presidential election, national student loan debt relief is becoming a red-hot topic. Mark Huelsman , associate director of policy and research at Demos, shares that Americans can likely expect dramatic student-debt relief proposals, in contrast to previous election debates, saying that, “There is more consensus about the need to go big on college affordability than there has been in previous election cycles.”

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