Economy can handle the sharp rise in inflation: market bull Ed Yardeni

The post-lockdown spending frenzy may contribute to a sharp rise in inflation, but Ed Yardeni believes the economy can handle it.

Yardeni, who spent decades on Wall Street running investment strategy for major firms including Prudential and Deutsche Bank, sees inflationary pressures as a temporary byproduct tied to massive reopenings and historic liquidity.

“People are just going to keep spending,” the Yardeni Research president told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Friday. “A lot of pent-up demand is getting satisfied here both in goods and services.”

Wall Street got further confirmation last week of strong inflation growth through the core personal consumption expenditures, a key gauge closely followed by the Federal Reserve. It rose a faster-than-expected 3.1% in April from a year earlier.

“When the lockdown restrictions were gradually lifted, we did see this tremendous surge in shopping, and shopping does release dopamine in the brain,” said Yardeni. “A lot of people just ran out and started doing shopping.”

First it was goods, and now it’s services, according to Yardeni.

“A lot of services were really eliminated in terms of what was open,” he noted. “Clearly, we’re seeing the services opening up.”

Yardeni expects upward pressure on inflation to last at least a few months.

“The economy has a V-shaped recovery, and actually we’re back to where real GDP was right before the pandemic,” he said. “I would expect to see some slowing down in the economy later this year going into next year.”

He anticipates demand will eventually wear off even in the housing market where prices are booming.

“I can’t imagine that the kind of growth rates that we’ve been seeing over the past few quarters are sustainable,” said Yardeni.

But when it comes to rents, Yardeni sees landlords getting more pricing power. He finds the rental market is tightening up pretty quickly right now.

“We’ve kind of run out of an inventory of houses. All these people were hoping to buy something affordable and finding that prices are up 20% from a year ago, and there’s slim pickings,” he added. I’m concerned a lot of would-be homebuyers are just saying ‘You know what, no mas. I give up. Let’s just stay.'”

What’s next for Treasury yields

Stock futures start month slightly lower after major indexes saw gains in May

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Source: NYSE

Stock futures are slightly lower in overnight trading after major indexes saw gains in May.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30 points, or 0.09%. S&P 500 futures shed 0.09% and Nasdaq 100 futures ticked 0.04% lower.

The moves in overnight trading come after the blue-chip Dow and the S&P 500 gained 1.93% and 0.55% in May, respectively, to mark their fourth consecutive positive month. The S&P 500 closed Friday just 0.8% off its record high.

The small cap Russell 2000 rose 0.11% in May to post its eighth positive month in a row — its longest monthly win streak since 1995.

The Nasdaq gained 2.06% last week to post its best weekly performance since April. However, the tech-heavy composite lost 1.53% in May, breaking a 6-month win streak.

A key inflation gauge — the core personal consumption expenditures index — rose 3.1% in April from a year earlier, faster than the forecasted 2.9% increase. Despite the hotter-than-expected inflation data, treasury yields fell on Friday.

“Overall, given the market’s reaction to [Friday]’s PCE release, investor concerns about inflation may have been exaggerated — or perhaps already priced in,” Chris Hussey, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, said in a note.

“Consensus may be building that the inflation we are seeing today is ‘good’ inflation — the kind of rise in prices that accompanies accelerating growth, not a monetary policy mistake,” Hussey said.

Investors are awaiting the Federal Reserve’s meeting scheduled for June 15-16. Key for the markets is whether the Fed begins to believe that inflation is higher than it expected or that the economy is strengthening enough to progress without so much monetary support. 

May’s employment report, set to be released on Friday, will provide a key reading of the economy. According to Dow Jones, economists expect to see about 674,000 jobs created in May, after the much fewer-than-expected 266,000 jobs added in April.

Zoom Video Communications and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are set to report quarterly earnings results on Tuesday after the bell.

— CNBC’s Patti Domm contributed reporting.

Black Wall Street was shattered 100 years ago. How Tulsa race massacre was covered up

Ruins of the Greenwood District after the massacre of African Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June 1921. American National Red Cross photograph collection.

GHI | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

A century ago this week, the wealthiest U.S. Black community was burned to the ground.

At the turn of the 20th century, the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, became one of the first communities in the country thriving with Black entrepreneurial businesses. The prosperous town, founded by many descendants of slaves, earned a reputation as the Black Wall Street of America and became a harbor for African Americans in a highly segregated city under Jim Crow laws.

On May 31, 1921, a white mob turned Greenwood upside down in one of the worst racial massacres in U.S. history. In the matter of hours, 35 square blocks of the vibrant Black community were turned into smoldering ashes. Countless Black people were killed — estimates ranged from 55 to more than 300 — and 1,000 homes and businesses were looted and set on fire.

A group of people looking at smoke in the distance coming from damaged properties following the Tulsa, Oklahoma, racial massacre, June 1921.

Oklahoma Historical Society | Archive Photos | Getty Images

Yet for the longest time, the massacre received scant mentions in newspapers, textbooks and civil and governmental conversations. It wasn’t until 2000 that the slaughter was included in the Oklahoma public schools’ curriculum, and it did not enter American history textbooks until recent years. The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Commission was formed to investigate in 1997 and officially released a report in 2001.

“The massacre was actively covered up in the white community in Tulsa for nearly a half century,” said Scott Ellsworth, a professor of Afro American and African studies at the University of Michigan and author of “The Ground Breaking” about the Tulsa massacre.

“When I started my research in the 1970s, I discovered that official National Guard reports and other documents were all missing,” Ellsworth said. “Tulsa’s two daily white newspapers, they went out of their way for decades not to mention the massacre. Researchers who would try to do work on this as late as the early 1970s had their lives threatened and had their career threatened.”

The body of an unidentified Black victim of the Tulsa race massacre lies in the street as a white man stands over him, Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 1, 1921.

Greenwood Cultural Center | Archive Photos | Getty Images

In the week following the massacre, Tulsa’s chief of police ordered his officers to go to all the photography studios in Tulsa and confiscate all the pictures taken of the carnage, Ellsworth said.

These photos, which were later discovered and became the materials the Oklahoma Commission used to study the massacre, eventually landed in the lap of Michelle Place at Tulsa Historical Society & Museum in 2001.

“It took me about four days to get through the box because the photographs were so horrific. I had never seen those kinds of pictures before,” Place said. “I didn’t know anything about the riot before I came to work here. I never heard of it. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been at my desk to guard them to the very best of my ability.”

Patients recovering from injuries sustained in the Tulsa massacre. American National Red Cross Photograph Collection, November 1921.

Universal History Archive | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

The Tulsa museum was founded in the late 1990s, but visitors couldn’t find a trace of the race massacre until 2012 when Place became executive director, determined to tell all of Tulsa’s stories. A digital collection of the photographs was eventually made available for viewing online.

“There’s still a significant number of people in our community who don’t want to look at it, who don’t want to talk about it,” Place said.

‘The silence is layered’

Not only did Tulsa city officials cover up the bloodbath, but they also deliberately shifted the narrative of the massacre by calling it a “riot” and blaming the Black community for what went down, according to Alicia Odewale, an archaeologist at University of Tulsa.

The massacre also wasn’t discussed publicly in the African American community either for a long time. First out of fear — if it happened once, it can happen again.

“You are seeing the perpetrators walking freely on the streets,” Odewale said. “You are in the Jim Crow South, and there are racial terrors happening across the country at this time. They are protecting themselves for a reason.”

Moreover, this became such a traumatic event for survivors, and much like Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans, many of them didn’t want to burden their children and grandchildren with these horrible memories.

Ellsworth said he knows of descendants of massacre survivors who didn’t find out about it until they were in their 40s and 50s.

“The silence is layered just as the trauma is layered,” Odewale said. “The historical trauma is real and that trauma lingers especially because there’s no justice, no accountability and no reparation or monetary compensation.”

A truck carries African Americans during race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. in 1921.

Alvin C. Krupnick Co. | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Records | Library of Congress | via Reuters

What triggered the massacre?

On May 31, 1921, Dick Rowland, a 19-year old Black shoeshiner, tripped and fell in an elevator and his hand accidentally caught the shoulder of Sarah Page, a white 17-year-old operator. Page screamed and Rowland was seen running away.

Police were summoned but Page refused to press charges. However, by that afternoon, there was already talks of lynching Rowland on the streets of white Tulsa. The tension then escalated after the white newspaper Tulsa Tribune ran a front-page story entitled “Nab Negro for Attacking Girl In Elevator,” which accused Rowland of stalking, assault and rape.

In the Tribune, there was also a now-lost editorial entitled “To Lynch Tonight,” according to Ellsworth. When the Works Progress Administration went to microfilm the old issues of the Tribune in the 1930s, the op-ed had already been torn out of the newspaper, Ellsworth said.

Many believe the newspaper coverage undoubtedly played a part in sparking the massacre.

The aftermath

People stand outside the Black Wall Street T-Shirts and Souvenirs store at North Greenwood Avenue in the Greenwood District of Tulsa Oklahoma, U.S., on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

Christopher Creese | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Rev. Dr. Robert Turner of the Historic Vernon Chapel A.M.E. Church holds his weekly Reparations March ahead of the 100 year anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S., May 26, 2021.

Polly Irungu | Reuters

Meanwhile, historians and archaeologists continued to unearth what was lost for decades. In October, a mass grave in an Oklahoma cemetery was discovered that could be the remains of at least a dozen identified and unidentified African American massacre victims.

“We are able to look for signs of survival and signs of lives. And really look for those remnants of built Greenwood and not just about how they died,” Odewale said. “Greenwood never left.”

— CNBC’s Yun Li is also co-author of “Eunice Hunton Carter: A Lifelong Fight for Social Justice.”

Reviving the spirit of Black Wall Street

Growing up, Tulsa native Bobby Eaton Jr. knew his grandfather Joseph was a respected member of the community in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He knew Joseph owned a barber shop there — where Eaton’s father and uncle were barbers — among other family-run small businesses.

What Eaton didn’t know until he was adult was that Joseph Eaton was a survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre in Greenwood, and that he helped rebuild the area known as “Black Wall Street.” As a kid, Eaton didn’t even know the massacre had happened.

This May 31 to June 1 marks the 100th anniversary of the massacre, which occurred over two days in 1921 and saw an armed white mob descend upon Tulsa’s Greenwood District. The area was one of the wealthiest Black communities in the U.S. and home to hundreds of Black-owned businesses, earning it its nickname. The violence that ensued killed as many as 300 of the city’s Black residents, injured hundreds more and left 35 city blocks “in charred ruins.”

A black and white photograph of the Greenwood district in Tulsa, OK, with residents walking by shopfronts, before 1921.

Source: Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of the Families of Anita Williams Christopher and David Owen Williams

It has been described as “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history,” and much of the property and wealth the city’s then-prosperous Black community had built up over decades was destroyed. A study commissioned by Oklahoma officials in 2001 determined that the massacre resulted in roughly $1.8 million in property damage in Greenwood, an amount that would equal nearly $27 million in today’s dollars, based on inflation.

Today, Eaton, 66 owns a radio station and media company, Eaton Media Services, housed in the same building where his grandfather ran the barber shop for decades after the 1921 massacre. 

As a Black business owner in Tulsa, Eaton feels he’s both carrying on a family legacy while also continuing a tradition of Black entrepreneurship that goes back more than a century, to when the Greenwood District was teeming with Black-owned businesses.

Now, Eaton hopes the massacre’s centennial, and the increased national attention it brings to Tulsa, will help boost local efforts to revive the area even after the anniversary has passed.

“Everybody’s talking Black Wall Street, for right now,” Eaton tells CNBC Make It. “My thing is, can we restore and rebuild Black Wall Street? Can we get it back to where it was intended to be?”

A family of entrepreneurs

When the “Black Wall Street” massacre was perpetrated in 1921, Eaton’s grandfather Joseph was a factory worker in his 20s. He joined the effort to rebuild the community in the aftermath, which included building the home where Eaton now lives and runs the radio station that broadcasts on KBOB 89.9 FM.

“He built this home that I occupy right now,” Eaton says. “And next door to it was the barbershop … He went to work every day inside this barber shop. And as his children — my dad, Bobby Sr., and my Uncle Jerry — got older, they became barbers there as well.”

Joseph also ran a nearby grocery store in the years after the massacre. But it was the barber shop that remained open for decades, passing down to the next generation of Eaton’s family, and serving as an important meeting spot for the Black community in North Tulsa, Eaton says.

“That barber shop is where the civil rights movement from North Tulsa … got started,” he says, adding that his father and grandfather would meet with “all of these iconic black men in the community” when Eaton was a child in the 1960s to discuss racism and the Civil Rights movement, while planning local protests. (Eaton’s father, Bobby Eaton Sr., was reportedly one of the first Black men arrested in Tulsa for protesting segregation laws in the 1960s.)

Bobby Eaton Sr., son of Tulsa massacre survivor Joseph Eaton, sits in a chair from his family’s barber shop that will be on display in the Greenwood Rising History Center.

Source: 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission

The massacre ‘was never taught in schools’

Carrying on a tradition

Eaton became a musician, touring the world playing bass with the likes of Natalie Cole and Ike and Tina Turner. His music career took him away from Tulsa for decades, but he returned in 2016 and soon found himself looking to continue his family’s legacy as a Black entrepreneur in Tulsa. 

Bobby Eaton Jr., whose grandfather survived the 1921 Tulsa Massacre, now operates a radio station out of the same Tulsa building where his family ran a barbershop for decades.

Source: CNBC Make It Video

“I realized that being able to have a business and doing it, kind of, like the Black Wall Street way [as a Black business owner] was real important, and something that I really wanted to do,” he says.

Not only did his father, grandfather and uncle cut hair at the family barber shop that operated through the “early 2000s,” Eaton says, but other family members frequently ran other businesses in another open space in the same building, from a grocery store to a photo studio.

“It’s been a lot of things throughout the years,” says Eaton, whose brother, Dwight Eaton, is also a co-owner of a local coffee shop, the Black Wall Street Liquid Lounge, that’s located in the heart of Greenwood.

Between his own family’s history of running businesses in Tulsa and the history of Black Wall Street, Eaton now feels like he’s carrying on multiple traditions as a Black business owner in the city.

He also sees the importance of operating a Black-owned media company in a community that once boasted the Black-owned Tulsa Star newspaper before it was destroyed during the massacre (a successor publication, called the Oklahoma Eagle still operates as a weekly newspaper) and is now also home to the Black-owned news website The Black Wall Street Times.

“Keeping that legacy going on [and] being able to spread information throughout the world about Black Tulsa is a good thing,” says Eaton, who hosts his own program on his radio station four days a week, discussing current events and community issues. The station, which streams online as well, also features a weekly program created by a group of students from Tulsa’s public schools, called the Juice Radio Show.

“[The station] is a platform where I feel like not only the community can connect to it, but the world can connect to it … It makes me feel good to know that I’m able to set that up for us.”

Black Wall Street today… and tomorrow

The Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center stands under construction at North Greenwood Avenue in the Greenwood District of Tulsa Oklahoma, U.S., on Thursday, June 18, 2020.

Christopher Creese | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Still, when asked to compare Greenwood today to its pre-1921 heyday, Sherry Gamble Smith, founder and CEO of the Black Wall Street Chamber of Commerce, a separate organization, says “there’s no comparison to what the spirit of Black Wall Street was back… before the massacre.”

In those days, she says, there were “a lot of thriving businesses” owned by and catering to the Black community. Today, though, the Black community does not own nearly as much property in Greenwood, making it more difficult for Black business owners to thrive in the area, says Gamble Smith, who herself runs an events business as well as a mentoring program for women and children. 

Eaton agrees with Gamble Smith, saying that the key to restoring the spirit of Black Wall Street in Tulsa is for more Black entrepreneurs to have the means to own commercial property. He also stresses the importance of teaching younger generations about the history of Black Wall Street. 

“Educate [the youth], tell them about the Black Wall Street,” he says. “Let them have a sense of entrepreneurship about themselves, where maybe they want to grow up and open [a business].”

A pedestrian stands in front of the Black Wall Street Mural in the Greenwood District of Tulsa Oklahoma, U.S., on Friday, June 19, 2020.

Christopher Creese | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Millions of Americans could face eviction as housing protection expires in June

No-Mad | iStock | Getty Images

More than 11 million Americans are behind on their rent and many could be pushed from their homes when the national eviction ban expires in June.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium, which has been in effect since September, will lift on June 30. Although the policy has been far from perfect at keeping renters housed, it’s reduced the normal number of eviction filings over the same time period by at least a half, according to Peter Hepburn, an assistant professor of Sociology at Rutgers University-Newark and research fellow at The Eviction Lab.

Experts say the number of evictions could skyrocket when the ban lifts. Around 15% of adult renters are not current on their housing payments, according to an analysis by The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

“We’re going to see what we’ve been managing to stave off: this wave of evictions that is just going to crush some of these areas,” said John Pollock, coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. 

The CDC’s eviction moratorium has faced numerous legal challenges and landlords have criticized the policy, saying they can’t afford to house people for free or shoulder the country’s massive rental arrears, which could be as high as $70 billion.

Yet housing advocates say the ban is lifting at a terrible time for both property owners and tenants, with states still scrambling to distribute the $45 billion in rental assistance allocated by Congress to address the crisis. (That funding is unprecedented: Renters were given just $1.5 billion during the Great Recession, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.)

“We need to let this moratorium stay in place until we spend all this money,” said Mark Melton, a lawyer who has been representing tenants facing eviction pro bono in Dallas.

“If you bail out the renter, that means you bailed out the landlord,” he said.

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Heather Jordan has been approved for rental assistance in Missouri, but it could take weeks for the money to reach her landlord, who has already moved to evict her.

“If you’ve got the moratorium in place, it allows you the time to get the landlord paid,” said Jordan, 48, who fell behind on her $1,475 rent after she lost her sales job shortly before the pandemic. Her wife is disabled and can’t work.

If she and her family, including her wife, two children and two grandchildren, are evicted from their house in St. Louis, she doesn’t know where they’ll go. She’s lived there for nine years, and finding a landlord to rent to her with an eviction on her record will be difficult.

“We will be homeless,” she said.

Who’s at risk?

Eviction rates will likely be higher in some states than others.

For example, nearly 1 in 4 renters are behind on their housing payments in Florida and South Carolina, compared with 6% in Maine and Kentucky, according to The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Households with lower incomes also report more problems paying their rent. “Anyone who before the pandemic was living paycheck-to-paycheck is going to be vulnerable,” Pollock said.

Older Americans are yet another vulnerable group.

According to one recent count, more than 100,000 people over the age of 65 said they expected to be evicted within the next two months. Almost 450,000 renters between the ages of 55 and 64 said the same.

Are you at risk of eviction? If you’re willing to share your story for an upcoming article, please email me at annie.nova@nbcuni.com

Netanyahu’s opponents Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid close in

In the past 24 hours, Israel has inched closer to what could be the removal of its longest-serving prime minister.

Naftali Bennett of the right-wing Yamina party announced late Sunday his intention to team up with the centrist Yair Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid party, to form what aims to be a unity coalition.

This would be a diverse collection of parties with little in common except the goal of unseating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in power for more than 12 years. If successful, it would end the complex political deadlock that has seen Israel hold four elections in less than two years.

Leader of the Israeli Yemina party, Naftali Bennett, delivers a political statement at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem, on May 30, 2021.

YONATAN SINDEL | AFP | Getty Images

Lapid’s government-formation challenge is one that Netanyahu himself failed to achieve by a previous deadline in early May. The prime minister’s failure to build a governing coalition with enough support from multiple parties — at least 61 seats in the Israeli parliament, specifically — meant that President Reuven Rivlin handed another politician, Lapid, the mandate to have go, and with another 28-day deadline.

If Lapid fails, Israelis will likely have to end up going to the polls for the fifth time in two years.

‘Grave opposition’

But was Sunday’s news the nail in the coffin for Netanyahu’s premiership?

Asif Shuja, a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Middle East Institute, says there’s still time for the right-wing prime minister to convince members of parliament to take his side before an upcoming vote of confidence.

“My view is he still has some days to use any other cards he may be having up his sleeve, because once the deadline is done, then after that there will be some time for him before the vote of confidence is done,” Shuja told CNBC’s Dan Murphy on Monday. “Before that, if he can get some members of the Knesset to his favor, then he can actually form a government.”

The 71-year-old Netanyahu, who leads the right-wing Likud party, launched a last-minute bid on Sunday to offer a three-way leadership alliance with himself, Bennett and another right-wing politician, Gideon Saar. His attempt to lure the lawmakers offered a rotating premiership between the three men for the rest of their government’s term, if he were to succeed in forming a winning coalition with them.

But Saar, a former Likud lawmaker, quickly tabled the offer, writing on Twitter: “Our position and commitment was and remains: to change the Netanyahu regime.”

“As far as I can see,” Shuja added, “there is a grave opposition against his rule for another two years … that is a long reign. And a lot has changed during this period of time.”

Lapid has until Wednesday to seal the deal with Bennett, after which the agreement still needs to be signed and presented to the president before it can be officially sworn in.

Given the often unpredictable nature of Israeli politics, a lot can happen between now and then — and any majority is likely to be slim.

Israel’s centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid delivers a statement to the press at the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in Jerusalem on May 31, 2021.

DEBBIE HILL | AFP | Getty Images

Ofer Kenig, a professor of politics and research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, said it was “questionable” whether a government would be formed.

“And the nightmare of a fifth election is not in the realm of the impossible,” he wrote in an article for the institute on Sunday.

Lapid himself said the same day that “many obstacles” remain before his diverse coalition can be agreed.

New coalition ‘very diverse in nature’

Netanyahu is currently on trial for several corruption charges, which he denies. But aside from that, Shuja and other analysts point to one of the single biggest concerns for many Israeli voters: security.

“Israel isn’t looking very secure because of this 12 years of reign. There are many geopolitical issues which can illustrate that view,” Shuja said. Regional watchers point to several clashes between Israel and Palestinian militants, primarily Hamas, over the course of his time if office, most recently the violence in Gaza in May that left more than 250 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead.

“That is why this opposition is firming up and we can see that there’s real opposition to his rule, and this new coalition is very diverse in nature so we will have to see what exactly what comes up in the future,” Shuja added.

That said, the broad array of parties in the proposed opposition coalition — centrist, left wing and right wing — present the potential for further deadlock and demonstrate just how fragile such a government could be.

Bennett, known for being a hardline nationalist on the Israeli right wing, has been supportive of the controversial Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But to achieve a coalition government, he must have the support of at least some of Israel’s Arab parties, one of which has said it will join the unity government if it agrees to their demands.

As long as the common goal is to unseat Netanyahu, experts say the alliance could hold up. But, if the coalition does take power, the issues that have always divided its members could see their “unity” called into question.

3 B2B side hustles that could make you $100 per hour or more

Year after year, side hustles continue to be a popular way for Americans to make money to cover basic expenses, pay down debt, or have extra cash to spend. More than 1 in 3 Americans, or 34%, have a side hustle, and nearly 1 in 4, or 24%, plan to start one in 2021, according to a recent Zapier survey of 2,001 U.S. adults.

Before you decide which side hustle to go for, consider your potential pool of customers.

“A lot of folks are focusing on B2C side hustles,” says Angelique Rewers, founder of The Corporate Agent, a consulting firm that helps small businesses land corporate clients. Business-to-consumer, or B2C, side hustles connect you directly with consumers, whether you’re selling on Etsy or teaching kids a course online.

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While these may seem like the best options, “there are a lot of folks who have been professionals who should really look at a business-to-business side hustle,” says Rewers. A business-to-business, or B2B, side hustle, is one in which you serve a business directly. Depending on which B2B side hustle you’re considering, you could be getting as much as $15,000 in one sale, she says.

Here are three “highly lucrative” B2B side hustles she recommends considering.  

‘At least $100’ per hour as a specialized virtual assistant

Video by David Fang

In those kinds of specialized assisting roles, tasks could entail “working with businesses on helping them manage their content on their blogs or their social media channels, helping them to set up their email marketing campaigns, building their websites, managing all of their online subscriptions and all the stats tools that are out there,” she says.

“You’re often talking at least $100 [per hour] and up” for this gig, she says.

‘$125 to $450 an hour to be a leadership coach’

There are a lot of folks who have been professionals who should really look at a business-to-business side hustle.

Angelique Rewers

Founder of The Corporate Agent

‘$2,500 to $5,000 for a half day’ consulting workshop

Set boundaries and ‘treat it like a business’

New apps aim to change the way parents save for college

Hispanolistic | E+ | Getty Images

When Jordan Wexler’s niece recently lost her first tooth, he sent her $15 along with a video of himself dancing while dressed up as a Tooth Fairy.

The money was not the typical cash kids traditionally receive under their pillows.

Instead, Wexler put the money toward an investment on EarlyBird, an app aimed at letting parents and family and friends save for children’s futures, where he serves as CEO.

The video also lives on the company’s platform, where his niece regularly requests to watch it again.

“She has that connection to the product already at almost 4 years old,” Wexler said.

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As investing apps become more mainstream, new companies are emerging hoping to find young millennial parents where they typically are – on their phones.

The apps aim to make it so parents can automate investing for their children’s college educations and other pursuits, and let friends and family help toward those goals.

The accounts offered can include 529 plans — tax-advantaged savings accounts for education — as well as custodial investment accounts that adults manage on behalf of minors.

Backer, a San Francisco-based company that is working to make 529 plans more accessible, went live with its app in 2017.

The company is led by CEO Jordan Lee, a self-described underperforming student until one teacher took an interest in him. Now, his academic career includes degrees from Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

Through Backer, Lee wants to help give children the same encouragement he received.

The message he said he hopes the contributions to the app convey: “You are a college-bound person because someone thinks you are.”

Making 529 plans easily accessible

Participation rates in 529 savings plans are low. Just 36% of Americans can correctly identify the funds as an education savings tool, according to a recent survey from Edward Jones and Morning Consult.

Those who do know about the plans often do not know they can be applied for uses other than college, such as K-12 tuition, practitioner programs and some student debt pay-down.

Moreover, costs associated with the plans are often high.

Backer is hoping to change that by making 529s available to a wider audience at lower costs. A Backer account costs a minimum of $1 per month, while it’s up to families to decide if they want to pay more.

Setting aside even a little bit regularly can make such a huge difference for how much you’ll ultimately save.

The company currently has about 50,000 families signed up, according to Lee. About 70% of the company’s customers earn less than $100,000. About half are non-white.

The 529 plans Backer recommends to clients typically cost about 20 basis points, compared to 60 basis points for an average 529, according to Lee.

Backer recently raised $8.4 million from venture capital investors led by Crosslink Capital, an early investor in Chime. Other investors included Rally Ventures, Correlation Ventures and Expansion Ventures.

“Setting aside even a little bit regularly can make such a huge difference for how much you’ll ultimately save,” Lee said.

Ultimately, the goal is for children not to rack up student debt, he said.

Long-term strategy

Morten Falch Sortland | Getty Images

Helping to prevent people from amassing large student debt balances is also why Ksenia Yudina founded college savings app UNest.

Yudina, who serves as CEO of the company, first came to the U.S. from Russia when she was 18 and ultimately took on $180,000 in student loans to pay for her education.

Now, she wants to help children and families avoid accruing those high balances.

In 2020, UNest launched its app. It currently includes five investment options through Vanguard funds that range from conservative to aggressive. The portfolios also come with an age-based option, which automatically rebalances to more conservative investments as a child grows.

UNest charges $3 per month, or $6 per family. That monthly fee covers the stock and managed accounts for children, with no commissions.

The accounts allow for unlimited gifts from friends and family. Parents can also earn rewards to their UNest accounts by shopping with certain brand partners.

UNest’s accounts are custodial accounts, which means the investments ultimately belong to the child. That frees up the money to be used for broader future goals , like purchasing a car or home, versus 529 plans.

Currently, 90% of UNest’s users earn less than $100,000.

The company has raised a total of about $15 million in venture capital funding through investors including Anthos, Draper Dragon, Artemis Fund, Northwestern Mutual and Unlock Venture.

UNest’s users, who are age 34 on average, have said they would like more stocks and even cryptocurrencies to choose from, which the company plans to eventually add.

But the company’s emphasis continues to be long-term buy-and-hold investments to create a legacy for younger generations, Yudina said.

Early inspiration

For EarlyBird, the focus is not only on improving the long-term savings strategy for families, but also helping to solve the question of how to best give to children.

Wexler said he had the epiphany that there had to be a better way when he was scouring the shelves of a local store for a gift for a friend’s child.

Now, the company hopes to inspire the same zeal for investing that Wexler got when he received his first brokerage account from his father when he was 10 years old.

EarlyBird’s app is also providing custodial investment accounts that the children can eventually use for multiple purposes, from college tuition to starting a business.

The portfolios are comprised of exchange-traded funds, which range from conservative to aggressive. An algorithm provides recommendations based on how users answer certain questions.

Ultimately, the company is planning to expand to include 529 plans and cryptocurrencies to its investment menu.

EarlyBird has three pricing tiers. For investments from $0 to $200, there is no cost. However, once an account surpasses $200, the fee is $1 per month per child. Then once an account reaches $5,000, that switches to 25 basis points.

The company launched its app publicly at the end of December. So far, it has raised seed funding through investors including Network Ventures, Chingona Ventures and Bridge Investments.

By providing children ages 6 to 13 with resources to build their financial literacy, and then view-only access to their accounts from 13 to 18, EarlyBird plans to help them get ready to manage their money in adulthood.

“Our goal is that if you start around zero to 3 years old, you can have about $20,000 to $40,000 fully invested by the time you turn 18 or 21, depending on the state,” Wexler said.

“And you also have this priceless library of memories from loved ones over 18-plus years.”

What happens when you do not pay your federal student loans

Student debt relief has helped millions of Americans during the pandemic. Since March 27, 2020, federal student loan interest rates have been set to 0% and payments have been paused. 

But the policy is currently set to expire on Oct. 1, 2021, and many borrowers are still struggling financially, leaving many to wonder: What happens if I can’t make my student loan payment? 

Private student loans do not have federal protections and have specific contracts that dictate the consequences of missing a payment. However, the consequences for missing federal student loan payments often follow a common pattern.

Here is a step-by-step guide of what happens when a borrower misses a federal student loan payment: 

After graduation

15 days after payment is due

Persis Yu, director of NCLC’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project says that most federal student loans give borrowers a roughly 15-day grace window after their regular due date to make a payment. This means if you are less than 15 days late making a federal student loan payment, there will likely be few consequences. 

However, if a borrower has not made a payment after this window ends, their loans will be considered delinquent and can begin to impact borrowers’ credit scores which can have significant long-term consequences such as making it more difficult to buy a car or a home. Bad credit can also impact work opportunities when an employer does a credit check.

“But at that point, you still have some time to get back on your feet. You can still make a payment and then get back on track,” says Yu. “The really really bad things don’t start happening until a little later.”

270 days after payment is due

“The government has extraordinary collection powers under the umbrella of the Debt Collection Improvement Act,” says Yu, listing all of the different ways the federal government can collect on missed student loan payments. “The most common collection activity is that folks will have any tax refunds seized. When Social Security benefits or wages are garnished, they will typically take roughly 15% of those payments, but for the tax refunds, they actually will seize the entire amount.”

She adds that garnishing tax refunds such as the Earned Income Tax Credit can have a harsh impact on families and children.

“There’s a significant amount of research that’s been done to show that the Earned Income Tax Credit is the most effective anti-poverty measure that we have in this country,” says Yu. “And so the impacts of taking this money actually are intergenerational.”

Yu adds that borrowers in default “can apply for what’s called a ‘Post 270-Day Forbearance’ in which you can retroactively wipe out [the delinquency]. You have to engage with your servicer and there’s a specific form you have to fill out.”

One year after payment is due

If a borrower has not made a payment in over a year, federal student loans will often be transferred to a default collection agency, says Harrington. 

The Department of Education works with third-party collection agencies who will charge penalties and fees for not making a payment, sometimes as much as 18% of the balance of your loan. 

Collection agencies “harass folks with calls and texts, which can add to the mental stress of the debt,” explains Harrington, noting that around this time the impact of default on a borrower’s credit would be significant. “Default loans impact your credit score, can limit access to credit and makes credit more expensive overall. That then makes your life that much harder.”

At this point, Harrington recommends that borrowers reach out to their servicers to see if they qualify for economic hardship deferment or if they can switch to a repayment plan that works better for them so that they can get back on track. But ultimately, she says some borrowers have their hands tied. 

“Not paying your federal student loans and going into default and delinquency can have really disastrous consequences. Consequences that can make your life harder in numerous ways and we should be clear about that,” says Harrington. “But it’s also important to note that there are a lot of people who are really struggling and student loan payments are a part of that. Some are not making the decision to not pay their debts, but they have numerous other commitments: they’re having to pay rent, we’re in a pandemic, there’s job losses, there’s underemployment, there’s child-care needs. There’s all these other things that student loan borrowers are dealing with.

“And they need to keep the lights on.”

“One of the things that is really unique about federal student loans is that there’s no statute of limitations, says Yu. “So the consequences can last for a very long time.” 

Fortunately, unlike some private student loans, federal student loans are discharged at death.

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Supreme Court decision in major LGBT rights case seen as bellwether

The Supreme Court is expected to release a decision in the coming days that could provide the first glimpses of how its 6-3 conservative majority will shape the future of LGBT rights.

The case, known as Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, No. 19-123, is a fight over a city policy that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation. Citing the policy, Philadelphia dropped a contract with a Roman Catholic foster agency that said its beliefs didn’t allow it to certify same-sex couples for adoption. The agency, Catholic Social Services, brought a lawsuit alleging that Philadelphia violated its First Amendment religious rights.

The dispute was argued in November and a decision is expected before the court’s term wraps up at the end of June, which also happens to be Pride Month, a historic time of celebration in the LGBT community. The Supreme Court is expected to release its next opinions on Tuesday, though it does not say in advance which ones are coming.

The coming decision could have broad ramifications that stretch beyond the approximately 6,000 children in foster care in Philadelphia. Lawyers who specialize in LGBT rights have argued that a broad ruling in favor of the adoption agency could also open the door to legalizing discrimination in other spheres where governments hire private contractors to provide public services.

More broadly, the case could provide significant clues about the direction the court will take in future LGBT rights cases. Since the mid-1990s, the nation’s top court has gradually expanded protections for gays and lesbians, largely under the leadership of former Justice Anthony Kennedy, who retired in 2018.

The nine-judge court currently has six Republican appointees, including three nominated by former President Donald Trump.

“This will be a bellwether for how the court, as it’s currently comprised, will view these LGBT civil rights cases,” said Marques Richeson, a partner at the law firm Squire Patton Boggs who worked on a friend-of-the-court brief in the case on behalf of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders.

“I definitely think that it’s going to set a precedent that in the future either will work to our benefit, or potentially to our detriment, within LGBT communities,” Richeson said.

Legal experts emphasize that Supreme Court decisions are often unpredictable, and that there are a range of possible outcomes with more nuance than which side wins or loses.

Jennifer Pizer, the law and policy director for Lambda Legal, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, said that it is possible that the court could deliver a narrow win for Catholic Social Services that does little more than force Philadelphia to retool its contract management policies.

Such an outcome would still be worrisome, she said, because of the message it would send, particularly to LGBT children. And, she added, it could encourage more faith-based agencies to bring lawsuits with similar arguments. That’s what happened, she said, after the court delivered a narrow victory to a devout Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding in the 2018 case Masterpiece Cakeshop.

But for LGBT activists, there is a much worse possibility looming. Catholic Social Services has argued that the court should use the case to overturn a 30-year-old precedent that has upheld laws that are religiously neutral and generally applicable. Two lower courts cited the case establishing the precedent, Employment Division v. Smith, in upholding Philadelphia’s nondiscrimination policy.

“The worst case scenario is that the court upends decades of Supreme Court precedent that says, while religious freedom is an important constitutional principle, it can’t trump the equally important principle of nondiscrimination,” said Janson Wu, the executive director of GLAD, an organization that defends LGBT legal rights.

During arguments in November, the justices seemed more sympathetic to arguments made by Catholic Social Services than Philadelphia. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, seen as occupying the court’s ideological center, suggested that the city was being “absolutist” and “extreme.” But the justices hardly touched on Smith, leaving observers to guess at whether the precedent will hold.

Richeson said that a broad ruling in favor of Catholic Social Services could have “grave ramifications spreading far beyond the context of foster care.”

“I see it as a cradle to grave sort of issue,” Richeson said, saying that such a decision could allow discrimination against society’s most vulnerable populations — such as the elderly and the disabled — who rely the most on government services.

“They depend on services like food delivery, Meals on Wheels, affordable housing, transportation, in home nursing care — all of these services and support are often provided by government contractors,” he added.

Catholic Social Services, which sued alongside two foster mothers, has argued that the warnings offered by those siding with Philadelphia are overblown.

The organization has also claimed that Philadelphia’s nondiscrimination policy is not neutral. In legal briefs, the adoption agency has pointed out that it had never been approached by a same-sex couple seeking adoption certification, and if it had been, it simply would have referred the couple to another group.

“As a Catholic agency, CSS cannot provide written endorsements for same-sex couples which contradict its religious teachings on marriage,” Mark Rienzi, an attorney for the agency, wrote in a filing. “The mayor, city council, Department of Human Services, and other city officials have targeted CSS and attempted to coerce it into changing its religious practices in order to make such endorsements.”

The tug-of-war between LGBT rights and religious freedom the case presents come as the court appears to be increasing its deference to claims by religious groups.

Last term, the top court sided with religious interests in three significant cases, involving discrimination suits at religious schools, religious groups seeking to deny contraceptive coverage to employees, and taxpayer funding for religious schools. The court has also adopted expansive protections for religion in the context of knocking down restrictions imposed by states to fight off the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regardless of the outcome of the case, some advocates say that the fact that the justices agreed to hear it signals a departure from its past trend of expanding LGBT rights.

“This case, many of us would not have expected the claims made by Catholic Social Services in this case to be taken seriously at all just a few years ago,” Pizer said. “It appears to be the result of the three recent changes in Supreme Court membership to provide the votes to take this case, to decide the outcome of this case, and to reshape this body of law in profound and troubling ways.”

Still, Pizer said that there’s a possibility for a surprise, despite the fact that the three most recent additions to the court have conservative track records.

Occasionally, justices do veer from expectations. After all, Kennedy was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan. And Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first pick, authored the court’s last major opinion expanding LGBT rights, last June, in a decision that prohibited discrimination against gay or transgender workers. Gorsuch was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberals.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s second appointee, dissented from that opinion. And, in the time since it was handed down, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s third appointee, replaced former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September. Importantly, Gorsuch left open the possibility in his opinion that religious employers could be allowed to discriminate, but said such a question was a matter for “future cases.”

Wu said that, over the past few decades, the top court has moved LGBT rights along a “positive trajectory.”

“The LGBTQ community has been building a societal and legal norm that LGBTQ people should be treated fairly,” Wu said.

“We are not there yet, but we have been moving in the right direction, beginning with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Romer case stating that LGBTQ individuals should be able to seek protections from the government,” he added, referring to the 1996 decision in Romer v. Evans.

“A loss in this case would be a serious setback in that trajectory,” he said.