These 8 charts show the glaring gap between men’s and women’s salaries in the US

town hall on gender and pay equity in Minneapolis
US Rep. Ilhan Omar poses for a photo with fellow panelists at a town hall meeting on gender pay gap and equity on April 24, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • March 24 is Equal Pay Day, which reflects how many extra days women had to work to make as much as men did in 2020.
  • The gender wage gap persists, and women make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes.
  • These charts show the gap in pay varies widely based on location, race, and several other factors.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Men have earned more than women since 1979, the first year with available data.

Equal Pay Day reflects how many extra days women have to work to earn what men did in the previous year. This year’s Equal Pay Day falls on March 24. The Census Bureau wrote in a recent post that this is “earlier than it’s ever been since its inception in 1996,” suggesting a modest shrinking of the gender pay gap. 

Over half a century after the US passed the Equal Pay Act, American women still face a substantial gender wage gap across the spectrum. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that equal pay will not be reached until 2059.

Based on weekly earnings data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the gap has narrowed over time.

In the first quarter of 1979, median weekly earnings for men age 16 and over working full time was $408, compared to $251 for women. That is, women’s weekly earnings were 61.5% of men’s weekly earnings. There has been some progress over the years, and in the third quarter of 2020 women’s weekly earnings were 81.7% of men’s weekly earnings.

Overall, women who were full-time, year-round employees made 82.3 cents for every dollar men made in 2019, based on median earning data from the Census Current Population Survey. That means women are paid 17.7% less than men, earning $10,157 less than men.

The gender wage gap varies widely by state.

According to American Community Survey data from the US Census Bureau, the gender pay gap in the United States in 2019 was around 19%. This means that a woman who is at least 16 years old, working a full-time, year-round job, and who is part of the civilian employed population makes 81% as much as her male counterpart earns.

The pay gap varies, however, by state.

In Wyoming, for instance, the gender pay gap is 36.6%, the biggest wage gap in the nation based on those who are part of the “full-time, year-round civilian employed population 16 years and over with earnings” population. That is, median earnings of women who in this state make 63.4% of what men earn. In 33 states, the gender pay gap is larger than the national average.

Most states have implemented laws against gender discrimination, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects women at the federal level, yet disparities persist.

Vermont had the smallest pay gap in 2019 at 9%, with full-time, year-round women who are at least 16 and part of the civilian employed population making a median salary of $46,641, while men made $51,241.

Major cities show an even bigger discrepancy.

Around the US, salaries in large cities show an even greater range of pay discrepancy between men and women.

The American Association of University Women, a nonprofit that advocates for gender equality, examined how much women earn compared to men in 25 major metro areas using 2019 US Census data from the American Community Survey.

Out of the 25 cities, the narrowest gender wage gap overall is in Los Angeles, where women make approximately 90.6% of the median earnings for men, a pay gap of 9.4%. Detroit had the widest wage gap: Women’s median earnings of $44,486 in this city is 73.8% of men’s earnings of $60,278. That translates to a pay gap of 26.2%.

Overall, Black and Hispanic women face the biggest pay gap when comparing earnings to non-Hispanic white men.

Black and Hispanic women are most affected by the wage gap, especially when compared to non-Hispanic white men, who make up the largest demographic segment of the workforce.

We looked at the wage gap for different racial and ethnic groups using median earnings data for full-time, year-round workers from the US Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.

Asian women face the smallest wage gap — they earn 91.4% of what non-Hispanic white men earned, resulting in a pay gap of just 8.5%. Non-Hispanic white women earn 78.1% of what non-Hispanic white men do, while Black women earn 61.1%. Hispanic women earn 53%, or a pay gap of 47%.

When compared to Black men, Black women earn 90.7% of what men earn, and Hispanic women make 80.6% of what Hispanic men do.

The larger disparity between non-Hispanic white men’s and women of color’s earnings could be attributed to the fact that “women of color suffer both because of their gender and their race,” according to an April 2016 report released by the Senate Joint Economic Committee’s Democratic Staff.

Another way of looking at that gap for women of different racial and ethnic groups is to consider when “equal pay day” for each group falls.

Number of days women have to work into the next year to earn as much as white men calendar graphic

Equal Pay Days further vary by race and ethnicity, in line with the pay discrepancies between non-Hispanic white men and women of different races and ethnicities.  

The above calendar graphic shows how many days into the next year a woman has to work in order to earn what a non-Hispanic white man would have earned in the previous year, using estimates from the American Association of University Women.

For example, a typical full-time, year-round employed Black female worker starting on January 1, 2020, would have finally earned on August 3, 2021, what a similarly employed non-Hispanic white male worker would have made over the course of 2020 alone. That means Black women have to work around seven extra months to earn the same as non-Hispanic men earned in a single year in 2020.

It takes full-time, year-round employed Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) women the shortest time to make what non-Hispanic white men would have made the year before. It would take a female Asian American or Pacific Islander worker over two extra months in 2021, or until March 9, to earn what a non-Hispanic white man earned the year before.

However, pay gaps for Asian women vary further. Although AAPI women make 85 cents for every dollar non-Hispanic white men make, an analysis from the Center for American Progress finds Burmese woman makes just 52 cents for every dollar the median non-Hispanic white man makes, for instance.

Read more about equal pay day by race here.

Women with children gain no salary boost, while men with children are rewarded.

In 2015, women with children were earning roughly the same as women without children, $727 and $726 respectively. However, working fathers with children earned about $141 more than a men without children. 

That gap has slowly been closing since then, as 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that women with children now make slightly more than women without kids under 18 at home.

Men with children see an earnings boost, and the difference between their weekly take-home pay was typically $189 higher than their counterparts without kids in 2019.

For working women, the difference in earnings between women with and without children is minimal. Working mothers only made $30 compared to other working women in 2019.

While this disparity can be attributed to differences in careers and work hours between men and women who have children and those who do not, a 2016 report released by the Senate Joint Economic Committee Democratic Staff says that there is also a difference in how working mothers and fathers are perceived by management.

According to the report, some employers may view motherhood as a “signal of lower levels of commitment and professional competence.” Working fathers, on the other hand, may be viewed as having “increased work commitment and stability.”

Women’s earnings are lower than men’s over the course of a lifetime.

The gender pay gap exists for workers across a lifetime.

Using Census data from the Minnesota Population Center’s IPUMS program, we found that the median full-time, year-round male worker earns more than his female counterpart at every year of age.

The gap is narrower for younger workers, with the median 25-year-old woman earning about 91.1% of the median 25-year-old man. Meanwhile, the median 50-year-old woman earns just 76.9% of her 50-year-old male counterpart.

Women over the age of 75 are almost twice as likely to live in poverty, according to the Senate report. Many women that age didn’t work when they were younger, so they have fewer sources of retirement income than men their age.

In 1950, about 34% of American women were in the labor force, compared to about 86% of men, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 1980, the numbers were 52% and 77% respectively — and the numbers have largely plateaued since then.

Before the pandemic, the labor force participation rate for women was around 58% in February 2020 and around 56% in February 2021. The labor force participation rate for men was about 69% in February 2020 and about 67% in February 2021.

The number of women promoted to the highest levels within companies reveals unconscious biases.

Very few women are CEOs of major corporations, or in the C-level suite of executives running corporate America.

Data from a study put together by McKinsey & Co. and Lean In show how men are promoted up, while women fall by the wayside. Based on the latest report, only one in five C-level executives were women. Women of color are furthermore underrepresented at the executive level, making up less than 1 in 30 in the C-suite.

A recent IBM report also finds little change between leadership representation in 2019 and 2021. Based on the survey covering 10 industries from nine different regions, women made up just 10% of C-suite and 8% of executive board positions in 2019 and 2021.

The latest McKinsey report suggested that more women are working in senior positions, but it is still hard for women to move up from entry-level jobs into higher roles. “For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women were promoted,” the report said, which affects the number of women being promoted to higher positions in the corporate pipeline.

However, women consistently ask for promotions and raises more. One of the reasons for the disparity between women asking for promotions and actually getting them was because when women negotiate, people like them less for it, according to a previous McKinsey study, covered by Insider, found.

Harvard Business Review found in its research that women ask for raises just as much as men, but men are more “successful” with their requests, with a success rate of 15% for women and 20% for men.

Read the original article on Business Insider

7 charts that show the glaring gap between men’s and women’s salaries in the US

town hall on gender and pay equity in Minneapolis
US Rep. Ilhan Omar poses for a photo with fellow panelists at a town hall meeting on gender pay gap and equity on April 24, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • Not only is March Women’s History Month, but March 24 is Equal Pay Day for women.
  • Even though a lot of progress has been made, the gender wage gap persists.
  • That gap in pay varies widely based on location, race, and several other factors.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

March is not only Women’s History Month, where all the hard work and achievements of women are recognized, but March 24 marks this year’s Women’s Equal Pay Day.

The date refers to how many days into 2021 women had to work to make as much as men did in just 2020. Equal Pay Days further vary by race and ethnicity, in line with the pay discrepancies between non-Hispanic white men and women of different races and ethnicities.

And while women have gained important political power and some gains in the corporate pipeline, there is still work to be done to reach equality, especially when it comes to financial power.

Over half a century after the US passed the Equal Pay Act, American women still face a substantial gender wage gap across the spectrum. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that equal pay will not be reached until 2059.

Overall, women who were full-time, year-round employees made 82.3 cents for every dollar men made in 2019, based on median earning data from the Census Current Population Survey. That means women are paid 17.7% less than men, earning $10,157 less than men.

The seven charts below illustrate the significant pay discrepancies between men and women based on race, age, geographical location, and more.

The gender wage gap varies widely by state.

According to American Community Survey data from the US Census Bureau, the gender pay gap in the United States in 2019 was around 19%. This means that a woman who is at least 16 years old, working a full-time, year-round job, and who is part of the civilian employed population makes 81% as much as her male counterpart earns.

The pay gap varies, however, by state.

In Wyoming, for instance, the gender pay gap is 36.6%, the biggest wage gap in the nation based on those who are part of the “full-time, year-round civilian employed population 16 years and over with earnings” population. That is, median earnings of women who in this state make 63.4% of what men earn. In 33 states, the gender pay gap is larger than the national average.

Most states have implemented laws against gender discrimination, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects women at the federal level, yet disparities persist.

Vermont had the smallest pay gap in 2019 at 9%, with full-time, year-round women who are at least 16 and part of the civilian employed population making a median salary of $46,641, while men made $51,241.

Major cities show an even bigger discrepancy.

Around the US, salaries in large cities show an even greater range of pay discrepancy between men and women.

The American Association of University Women, a nonprofit that advocates for gender equality, examined how much women earn compared to men in 25 major metro areas using 2019 US Census data from the American Community Survey.

Out of the 25 cities, the narrowest gender wage gap overall is in Los Angeles, where women make approximately 90.6% of the median earnings for men, a pay gap of 9.4%. Detroit had the widest wage gap: Women’s median earnings of $44,486 in this city is 73.8% of men’s earnings of $60,278. That translates to a pay gap of 26.2%.

Overall, Black and Hispanic women face the biggest pay gap when comparing earnings to non-Hispanic white men.

Black and Hispanic women are most affected by the wage gap, especially when compared to non-Hispanic white men, who make up the largest demographic segment of the workforce.

We looked at the wage gap for different racial and ethnic groups using median earnings data for full-time, year-round workers from the US Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey.

Asian women face the smallest wage gap — they earn 91.4% of what non-Hispanic white men earned, resulting in a pay gap of just 8.5%. Non-Hispanic white women earn 78.1% of what non-Hispanic white men do, while Black women earn 61.1%. Hispanic women earn 53%, or a pay gap of 47%.

When compared to Black men, Black women earn 90.7% of what men earn, and Hispanic women make 80.6% of what Hispanic men do.

The larger disparity between non-Hispanic white men’s and women of color’s earnings could be attributed to the fact that “women of color suffer both because of their gender and their race,” according to an April 2016 report released by the Senate Joint Economic Committee’s Democratic Staff.

Another way of looking at that gap for women of different racial and ethnic groups is to consider when “equal pay day” for each group falls.

Number of days women have to work into the next year to earn as much as white men calendar graphic

The above calendar graphic shows how many days into the next year a woman has to work in order to earn what a non-Hispanic white man would have earned in the previous year, using estimates from the American Association of University Women.

Equal Pay Day for all women falls this year on March 24. This day falls much later in the year for some racial and ethnic groups.

For example, a typical full-time, year-round employed Black female worker starting on January 1, 2020, would have finally earned on August 3, 2021, what a similarly employed non-Hispanic white male worker would have made over the course of 2020 alone. That means Black women have to work around seven extra months to earn the same as non-Hispanic men earned in a single year in 2020.

It takes full-time, year-round employed Asian American or Pacific Islander (AAPI) women the shortest time to make what non-Hispanic white men would have made the year before. It would take a female Asian American or Pacific Islander worker over two extra months in 2021, or until March 9, to earn what a non-Hispanic white man earned the year before.

However, pay gaps for Asian women vary further. Although AAPI women make 85 cents for every dollar non-Hispanic white men make, an analysis from the Center for American Progress finds Burmese woman makes just 52 cents for every dollar the median non-Hispanic white man makes, for instance.

Read more about equal pay day by race here.

Women with children gain no salary boost, while men with children are rewarded.

In 2015, women with children were earning roughly the same as women without children, $727 and $726 respectively. However, working fathers with children earned about $141 more than a men without children. 

That gap has slowly been closing since then, as 2019 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that women with children now make slightly more than women without kids under 18 at home.

Men with children see an earnings boost, and the difference between their weekly take-home pay was typically $189 higher than their counterparts without kids in 2019.

For working women, the difference in earnings between women with and without children is minimal. Working mothers only made $30 compared to other working women in 2019.

While this disparity can be attributed to differences in careers and work hours between men and women who have children and those who do not, a 2016 report released by the Senate Joint Economic Committee Democratic Staff says that there is also a difference in how working mothers and fathers are perceived by management.

According to the report, some employers may view motherhood as a “signal of lower levels of commitment and professional competence.” Working fathers, on the other hand, may be viewed as having “increased work commitment and stability.”

Women’s earnings are lower than men’s over the course of a lifetime.

The gender pay gap exists for workers across a lifetime.

Using Census data from the Minnesota Population Center’s IPUMS program, we found that the median full-time, year-round male worker earns more than his female counterpart at every year of age.

The gap is narrower for younger workers, with the median 25-year-old woman earning about 91.1% of the median 25-year-old man. Meanwhile, the median 50-year-old woman earns just 76.9% of her 50-year-old male counterpart.

Women over the age of 75 are almost twice as likely to live in poverty, according to the Senate report. Many women that age didn’t work when they were younger, so they have fewer sources of retirement income than men their age.

In 1950, about 34% of American women were in the labor force, compared to about 86% of men, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 1980, the numbers were 52% and 77% respectively — and the numbers have largely plateaued since then.

Before the pandemic, the labor force participation rate for women was around 58% in February 2020 and around 56% in February 2021. The labor force participation rate for men was about 69% in February 2020 and about 67% in February 2021.

The number of women promoted to the highest levels within companies reveals unconscious biases.

Very few women are CEOs of major corporations, or in the C-level suite of executives running corporate America.

Data from a study put together by McKinsey & Co. and Lean In show how men are promoted up, while women fall by the wayside. Based on the latest report, only one in five C-level executives were women. Women of color are furthermore underrepresented at the executive level, making up less than 1 in 30 in the C-suite.

Since 2015, there’s been an increase in the share of women in the C-Suite, while women in lower-level management roles have seen a smaller increase since that year. 

A recent IBM report also finds little change between leadership representation in 2019 and 2021. Based on the survey covering 10 industries from nine different regions, women made up just 10% of C-suite and 8% of executive board positions in 2019 and 2021.

The latest McKinsey report suggested that more women are working in senior positions, but it is still hard for women to move up from entry-level jobs into higher roles. “For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women were promoted,” the report said, which affects the number of women being promoted to higher positions in the corporate pipeline.

However, women consistently ask for promotions and raises more. One of the reasons for the disparity between women asking for promotions and actually getting them was because when women negotiate, people like them less for it, according to a previous McKinsey study, covered by Insider, found.

According to Lean In, women who negotiate are more likely than men who negotiate to receive feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy.”

Another poll by American Express and The New York Women’s Foundation found that less than one-third of women were comfortable with calling themselves ambitious. According to psychologists interviewed by Insider, the reasoning behind this is that the word could be seen as aggressive.   

Harvard Business Review found in its research that women ask for raises just as much as men, but men are more “successful” with their requests, with a success rate of 15% for women and 20% for men.

Read the original article on Business Insider

What to expect after a COVID-19 vaccine, from how long side effects last to when protection kicks in

vaccine reactions covid 19
Healthcare workers get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination at the Legacy Emanuel Medical Center on December 16, 2020 in Portland, Oregon.

  • Getting a COVID-19 shot does not make you immediately immune to the coronavirus.
  • Shots from Pfizer and Moderna are designed to be most effective starting 7 to 14 days after the second dose is given. 
  • Johnson & Johnson’s efficacy was measured 28 days after the single jab. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you’ve gotten a COVID-19 shot, congratulations! You’re on your way towards some very impressive protection from novel coronavirus infections. 

Over the next few days, you might notice the arm where your vaccine was injected feels sore, and you might feel some fatigue, headache, or other common vaccine side effects.

This is a good sign that the shot is working as planned, and that your body is building up its defenses against the virus.

But, if you’re thinking that this new jab in the arm also means you can go ahead and throw your face masks in the trash – not so fast.

Protection begins to build 10 to 14 days after the first shot, but it’s not full-strength 

There are three coronavirus vaccines authorized for use so far in the US. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are given as two separate shots, administered three to four weeks apart. Johnson & Johnson’s new adenovirus vaccine, meanwhile, is administered in a single jab. 

The shots are extremely effective at eliminating severe disease, and your body will start to develop some protection from infection, beginning somewhere around two weeks after the first one is injected. But that coverage isn’t complete until at least a full month out for J&J’s one shot vaccination, while for Pfizer and Moderna’s two shot course, protection’s not full strength until a week or two after your second dose. 

Read More: Answers to your 24 most pressing questions about the coronavirus vaccine, from side effects and costs to when you’ll be able to get one

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, recently explained to the Harvard Business Review that “you will get some degree of protection, literally within 10 to 14 days” after the first dose, as studies have shown.

But, he stressed “it will not be maximum.” For Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, it’s possible that protection could wane quickly, without a second (booster) shot. 

Here’s precisely how long it takes your vaccination to become near-perfect at preventing severe disease and death from COVID-19, according to scientific studies of tens of thousands of volunteer vaccine-takers around the world:

 

These vaccines protect people very well from serious disease and death, but they may not stop the spread

These new vaccines protect people very well from developing symptoms of COVID-19, and they’re near-perfect at eliminating death. 

“But if you want to get back to normal, just you or a few other people being vaccinated doesn’t change the dynamics of the outbreak,” Fauci said. 

If a majority of people choose not to get vaccinated, this disease will continue to spread to healthy people who aren’t vaccinated. That’s why it’ll still be important for everyone to social distance and wear a mask for at least several months to come. 

It’s going to take a while to develop herd immunity through vaccination

The good news is that this country, and the world, have conquered diseases like this before: mass inoculating people against deadly and crippling infections including smallpox, polio, and many other now-defunct diseases, which have been wiped out by vaccinations. 

“You can take the most formidable virus, if you have a good vaccine, and essentially box it out,” Fauci said. “And that’s what we hope to do. So if you want to help, get your friends, your colleagues, and your family to get vaccinated.”

And, if you miss your target date for the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer’s vaccine, worry not. In vaccine trials, not everyone was perfectly on time for their booster dose either, and a few days of lag time shouldn’t be an issue. Just don’t let the delay drag on for weeks on end, because it’s possible that those vaccines won’t work as well then.

This story has been updated to include Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine data. Aria Bendix contributed reporting. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Beginner’s guide to investing in marijuana stocks and the booming cannabis industry

GettyImages 1178310599
As cannabis goes mainstream, the budding industry is poised to grow.

  • As the legal cannabis market grows in the US, there are several ways for investors to gain exposure to the marijuana industry.
  • In addition to investing in individual stocks, marijuana ETFs allow you to invest in a range of companies across the industry. 
  • Due to legal uncertainties on the federal level, marijuana investments remain risky and volatile.
  • Visit Insider’s Investing Reference library for more stories.

When it comes to investing in the legal marijuana industry,  they dont call it the “green rush” for nothing. 

Many analysts are projecting massive growth for the cannabis industry. New Frontier, a Washington DC-based cannabis research firm, expects total US legal cannabis sales to exceed $35 billion by 2025.  

In light of such tremendous growth potential, many see marijuana as a golden investment opportunity – but not without risk. It’s important to remember that the use and sale of marijuana, despite state laws, is still illegal under federal law.

Here’s what you need to know about investing in the legal cannabis industry, including the risks and challenges, the biggest companies to watch, and why ETFs could be the safest way to add marijuana stocks to your portfolio. 

Basics of the cannabis industry

With each election, more states are voting to legalize some form of marijuana use. A total of 36 states have legalized medical marijuana, with 15 states and Washington DC legalizing cannabis for recreational adult use. 

Broadly speaking, there are two markets in the marijuana industry: recreational and medical. While each cater to different markets, both represent growth potential. Whereas medical marijuana stocks involve companies dedicated to the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of the drug, recreational cannabis companies cover products for personal enjoyment. 

On the medical side, there’s also a growing market for CBD products. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is the legal, non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants that’s taken to ease chronic pain, anxiety, and other ailments. 

The growing acceptance of cannabis is not just happening in the US, but all over the world. Grandview Research projects that the global market size for the cannabis industry will reach $73.6 billion by 2027.

“Investors have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an emerging industry,” says Michael Shea, CFP at Applied Capital, adding that by getting in early, investors could “capture outsized returns as the industry grows and develops.”

Types of marijuana investments 

Currently, the medical marijuana market offers strong short-term income potential. But the recreational side continues to attract investors as more states pass legislation. 

There are four major categories of marijuana stocks related to different facets of the cannabis industry:

  • Growers: Companies that own marijuana farms and actively cultivate the plant.
  • Retailers: This includes dispensaries in states where residents can purchase marijuana and cannabis-related products such as edibles, oils, and more. 
  • Manufacturers: Companies that provide ancillary support to the industry and are involved in cannabis extraction, product preparation, packaging, and labeling.
  • Drugmakers: Pharmaceutical companies that use biotech to create drugs derived from the cannabis plant.

It should be noted that some companies that are tangentially connected to the marijuana industry may still benefit from its growth. An example would be companies that develop hydroponic technologies, such as GrowGeneration (GRWG).

Risks of investing in marijuana 

One of the biggest risks of marijuana investing is that it’s rising popularity makes it a prime target for scam artists. In fact, the SEC has issued a warning that lists several various marijuana-related fraudulent investment schemes including unlicensed sellers, unsolicited investment offers, and market manipulation. 

Other risks of investing in marijuana to consider:

  • Business risk: As long as marijuana is federally illegal, it will continue to be difficult for marijuana companies to open US bank accounts. Sean van der Wal, Managing Partner at Drawing Capital, explains that this not only makes it more difficult to secure funding, but also means that “many marijuana producers rely on cash,” which “poses a significant risk from a liability and accounting perspective.”
  • Legislative risk: The industry’s growth is tied to legislation. Surprisingly, there’s even some risk involved with the legalization of marijuana. Kenny Polcari, founder and Managing Partner of Kace Capital Advisors, says future taxation is a big question mark. “Right now you can buy marijuana and pay no sales tax.” But “taxes will increase the price of marijuana for the end user.” And, if too high, those added costs could push some consumers away.
  • Valuation risk: Many of the companies that are involved in producing or selling marijuana are young. What should their valuations be?  It’s hard to tell. Polcari warns that “if valuations end up too high as the excitement builds, the potential exists that the market will correct and prices will decline.”
  • Demand risk: As more companies enter the market, supply could outpace demand for cannabis products. Van der Wal also says that “enthusiasts may be compelled to produce their own product in small batches for personal consumption” as legalization spreads. This could especially be true if high excise taxes are applied to marijuana sales. And, in these ways, he says “analysts may overstate the total addressable market.”
  • Volatility risk: Marijuana stock prices often swing wildly up and down in short periods of time. This is less likely to be a concern if you plan to hold onto your investments for 10-30 years or more. But if you have a shorter investment horizon, you may want to stay away from volatile investments like marijuana stocks.

How to invest in marijuana

Much like investing in any stock, you’ll need a broker to invest in marijuana. You’ll also want to do your due diligence before choosing investments, which means taking the time to research each company and staying up to date with the latest regulations. 

There are two main types of marijuana investments: individual stocks and marijuana ETFs. ETFs allow you to spread your investment among companies across the entire marijuana industry.  

If you’re a trader looking to take advantage of short-term price shifts, Polcari says that individual stocks may be the way to go. Otherwise, he prefers ETFs since they don’t require you to pick and choose and run the risk of picking the wrong company.

Marijuana ETFs

Some ETFs seek to provide investment results that correspond to an underlying index while others are actively managed. The advantage of index ETFs is that they tend to have lower expense ratios. But actively managed funds may be able respond faster to marijuana stock news – both positive and negative.

The list below of popular marijuana ETFs includes a mixture of actively managed and index options:

ETF Net Assets
ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) $1.44 billion
AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF (MSOS) $582.68 million
AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (YOLO) $265.07 million
The Cannabis ETF (THCX) $91.59 million
Global X Cannabis ETF (POTX) $84.36 million

Marijuana stocks

Because US marijuana companies are engaged in activities that are illegal on the federal level, there aren’t many publicly-listed US cannabis stocks on major exchanges. By contrast, Canadian cannabis companies – where recreational use of cannabis was legalized in 2018 – are able to list on major stock US exchanges like the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. 

The distinction is important to know because US cannabis companies looking to raise capital are forced to list on the secondary market, or trade over-the-counter (OTC). OTC stocks can be dangerous as they lack public financial records and are often more susceptible to price manipulation. 

The good news is that the number of publicly-listed marijuana stocks is growing. As you’re evaluating your options, the first thing to consider is the company’s market cap. The larger the market cap, the better the chance that the company will have the financial stability to survive over the long haul. 

Here’s a list marijuana stocks that have a market cap of at least $1 billion:

Company Market Cap Type
Canopy Growth Corp (CGC) $15.86 billion Grower/Retailer/Drugmaker
Curaleaf (CURLF) $7.74 billion Retailer/Drugmaker
GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) $6.77 billion Drugmaker
Green Thumb Industries Inc (GTBIF) $6.55 billion Manufacturer/Retailer
Tilray Inc (TLRY) $5.49 billion Drugmaker
Cronos Group (CRON) $4.70 billion Manufacturer
Village Farms International, Inc. (VFF) $1.41 billion Grower

The financial takeaway

Marijuana investing isn’t for everyone, especially for retail investors who prefer to minimize risk. But investors with a higher risk tolerance may find that the growth promise of marijuana stocks and ETFs make them a worthy addition to their portfolios.

From ETFs to over-the-counter stocks, here’s how to invest in the booming cannabis industry, according to 2 expert investorsHow to invest in healthcare, a massive market sector that offers unparalleled diversification for portfoliosAll the states where marijuana is legal – and 5 more that voted to legalize it in NovemberVolatility measures how dramatically stock prices change, and it can influence when, where, and how you invest

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All the states where marijuana is legal – and 5 more that voted to legalize it in November

medical marijuana cbd hemp weed smoking joint leafly flowers cannabis cox 82
  • Marijuana is legal for adults in 15 states and Washington D.C. Medical marijuana is legal in 34.
  • New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November’s elections.
  • South Dakota also voted in favor of a medical-cannabis program, as did Mississippi.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Marijuana legalization is spreading around the US. 

Since 2012, 15 states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for adults over the age of 21. And 36 states have legalized medical marijuana – meaning that a majority of Americans now have some form of access to marijuana, whether medically or recreationally.

Four more states – New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota – voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November. On top of that, voters in Mississippi backed the creation of a medical cannabis program.

In February, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation officially legalizing marijuana in the state. 

Though Canada legalized marijuana federally in 2018, the US has not followed suit, forcing states to chart their own courses. As it stands, marijuana is still considered an illegal Schedule I drug by the US federal government.

Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election and the Democratic party’s control of Congress, could give marijuana a bigger boost in the US. The House in December voted on a bill to legalize marijuana and expunge the records of those convicted under previous laws, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, though the legislation was considered a nonstarter when Republicans controlled the Senate.

Cowen analyst Vivien Azer said in a January 6 note that with a Democratic-controlled government, cannabis-related legislation – like the STATES Act or MORE Act – has a better chance of passing through Congress, creating big opportunities for the US industry.

“[W]e expect Congress will give cannabis companies access to commercial banking and insurance,” Azer wrote. “We also see medical cannabis being protected. Capital markets access is largely dependent upon enactment of either the STATES Act or the MORE Act.” 

Biden has said he would support federal decriminalization of the drug. Vice-president-elect Kamala Harris sponsored a previous version of the MORE Act in the Senate. And, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that marijuana reform would be a priority for the Senate this year. 

Despite the political back-and-forth, most Americans want legal marijuana, according to recent polls. Sixty-seven percent of Americans polled by Pew Research said marijuana should be legal, with only 32% in opposition.

All the states where marijuana is legal: 

 

This article was first published in January 2018 and has been updated with new information about where cannabis is legal and the results from Georgia’s runoff elections. Melia Russell contributed to an earlier version of this report. 

Alaska

cannabis
A cannabis-testing laboratory in Santa Ana, California.

Adults 21 and over can light up in Alaska. In 2015, the northernmost US state made it legal for residents to use, possess, and transport up to an ounce of marijuana — roughly a sandwich bag full — for recreational use. The first pot shop opened for business in 2016.

Alaska has pounced on the opportunity to make its recreational-pot shops a destination for tourists. More than 2 million people visit Alaska annually and spend $2 billion.

Arizona

Curaleaf
Nate McDonald, General Manager of Curaleaf NY operations, talks about medical marijuana plants during a media tour of the Curaleaf medical cannabis cultivation and processing facility Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Ravena, N.Y

Arizona in 2020 voted to legalize cannabis for all adults over the age of 21

The measure had support from almost 60% of Arizona voters, according to preliminary results from Decision Desk HQ. 

The ballot measure was backed by a number of cannabis giants, including Curaleaf, Cresco, and Harvest Enterprises. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services is required to lay out adult-use cannabis regulations by April 5, 2021.  

California

cannabis
A MedMen store in West Hollywood, California, on January 2, 2018.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. California became even more pot-friendly in 2016 when it made it legal to use and carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

The law also permits adults 21 and over to buy up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates, which are found in edibles, and grow no more than six marijuana plants per household.

Colorado

marijuana
A marijuana leaf.

In Colorado, there are more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald’s combined. The state joined Washington in becoming the first two states to fully legalize the drug in 2012.

Residents and tourists over the age of 21 can buy up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates. Some Colorado counties and cities have passed more restrictive laws.

Illinois

JB Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Illinois lawmakers in June 2019 passed a bill that legalized the possession and commercial sale of marijuana in the state starting on January 1.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who made marijuana legalization a core component of his campaign for the governor’s office, signed the bill into law.

For its part, Illinois is the first state to legalize marijuana sales through a state legislature, rather than a ballot initiative.

Maine

marijuana
Harvested cannabis plants at Hexo Corp.’s facilities in Gatineau, Quebec, on September 26, 2018.

A ballot initiative in 2016 gave Maine residents the right to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, more than double the limit in most other states.

Recreational-marijuana dispensaries are set to open in Maine in October.

Massachusetts

cannabis
Medicinal cannabis cigarettes on July 12, 2018, at a cultivation facility in Milford, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts was the first state on the East Coast to legalize marijuana after voters approved the measure in 2016. 

Marijuana dispensaries opened their doors to consumers in November 2018. Adults over the age of 21 can purchase up to 1 ounce of marijuana but cannot consume it in public.

Michigan

marijuana
The Far West Holistic Center dispensary on November 7, 2018, in Detroit.

Voters in Michigan passed Proposition 1 in 2018, making it the first state in the Midwest to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Adults can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and residents can grow up to 12 plants at home.

The law is more permissive than other states with legal marijuana: Most allow residents to possess only up to 1 ounce at a time.

Marijuana dispensaries in Michigan opened on December 1.

Montana

Cannabis
A CPlant employee organizes a box of hemp for export at the company’s farm on the outskirts of Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

Montana in 2020 voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over

Montana residents will officially be allowed to use marijuana as of January 1, 2021. A year later, the state would begin to open up applications for dispensaries. 

New Jersey

cannabis
A CPlant employee trims a hemp flower for export at the company’s farm on the outskirts of Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

New Jersey in 2020 voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, opening a market that could near $1 billion given New Jersey’s proximity to New York City and Philadelphia. 

In February, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legalization legislation, after months of back-and-forth arguments about criminal penalties for minors possessing marijuana and the proper way to set up a licensing framework for cannabis sales in the state, among other details. Sales of cannabis for adult use could start in the second half of this year, analysts at Cowen said.

Nevada

marijuana recreational dispensary las vegas nevada
The Essence cannabis dispensary on July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Residents and tourists who are 21 and over can buy 1 ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates in Nevada. Less than two weeks after sales of recreational weed began on July 1, 2017, many stores ran out of marijuana to sell.

There’s bad news if you want to grow your own bud, though. Nevada residents must live 25 miles outside the nearest dispensary to be eligible for a grower’s license.

Oregon

marijuana cannabis cost Canada United States
Oregon’s Finest medical-marijuana dispensary in Portland, Oregon, on April 8, 2014.

Oregon legalized marijuana in 2015, and sales in the state started October 1 of that year. 

Sales in Oregon pot shops have exploded since legalization: They’re expected to top $1 billion by 2020, Portland Business Journal reported.

South Dakota

Aurora Cannabis
A team member of Aurora Cannabis works in the grow room at Aurora Sky cannabis growing greenhouse in Alberta, Canada, in this 2018 handout image.

South Dakota in 2020 voted to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, the first time a state has voted in favor of both at the same time.

State lawmakers have until April 2o22 to create rules around cannabis, including regulations around dispensaries.  

Vermont

cannabis
Cannabis plants in a laboratory.

Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative, when Republic Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law in January 2018.

Adults in the Green Mountain State can carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow no more than two plants for recreational use. The law went into effect in July 2018. But it is limited in scope. It doesn’t establish a legal market for the production and sale of the drug, though the Vermont Legislature is working on adopting rules to create a recreational market.

Washington

medical marijuana
A medical-marijuana plantation on March 21, 2017.

Marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Washington in 2012.

The state allows people to carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana, but they must use the drug for medicinal purposes to be eligible for a grower’s license.

Washington, DC

Capitol Hill sunset

Residents in the nation’s capital voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for adult use in November 2014.

The bill took effect in 2015, allowing people to possess 2 ounces or less of marijuana and “gift” up to an ounce, if neither money nor goods or services are exchanged.

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What is a stock market crash? Understanding its causes and consequences can help investors prepare for a sudden, severe drop in share prices

stock market crash 3
A variety of factors and events can cause a stock market crash, an abrupt and unexpected collapse in share prices across the board.

  • A stock market crash is a sudden or severe drop in overall share prices, usually within a day.
  • Stock market crashes can be due to economic or natural disasters, speculation, or investor panic.
  • Investors can prepare for stock market crashes by diversifying portfolios and shifting to CDs or bonds. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s Investing Reference library for more stories

The stock market is constantly moving, prices of individual equities rising and falling throughout the trading day. Whenever the majority of them – or a representative group of them, called a stock market index – takes an especially large dive, a panicked cry often arises:

“The stock market has crashed!”Stock market crashes are certainly scary: Hundreds of investments decline their value, investors lose thousands of dollars – on paper, anyway. 

But what causes them? And what are the after-effects?

Here is a closer look at what a stock market crash really is and what you need to know before one impacts your portfolio. 

What happens when a stock market crashes?

There are many definitions of what a stock market crash is. Some categorize a crash strictly as a stock market or a stock market index (a representative sampling of stocks) losing more than 10% of its value in a single day. Others provide a more general view, simply stating that a crash is a significant or dramatic loss in the stock market’s value, and the prices of shares overall, usually within a short period of time. 

Any way you look at it, a stock market crash happens when confidence and/or value placed in publicly traded assets goes down, causing investors to sell their positions, and move away from active investing, and towards keeping their money in cash, or the equivalent.

The impact of a crash can vary as well. Sometimes, it’s limited. For example, on Oct. 19, 1987, after five years in a strong bull market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 both dropped over 20%, following markets throughout Asia and across Europe. The crash was short and markets quickly recovered.Within a few days, the DJIA regained more than 43% of the points it lost and within nearly two years the market had recovered almost 100%. 

At other times, the effects are widespread, and longer-lasting. The most notorious example is the Crash of 1929. Stock prices dropped first on Oct. 24th, briefly rallied – and then went into free fall on Oct. 28-29. Ultimately, the market lost 85% of its value. Though not the sole cause, this crash was one of the contributing factors of the Great Depression, the worst economic period in American history, lasting nearly 10 years.

What causes a stock market crash?

Historically, stock market crashes often occur after a long period of economic and/or market growth. Confidence in the economy, steady stock gains, and low unemployment are all drivers of bull markets, as these sustained rallies are known. As more and more stocks are purchased, prices go up – both of individual equities and of the stock indexes themselves. 

But in the world of securities, prices can’t keep rising indefinitely, and bull markets can only last for so long before something happens to turn the tide. Sometimes it’s a general shift in sentiment, as in 1929, but usually some precipitating event occurs. 

Numerous things can cause a stock market to crash, including:

  • Panic: This is one of the most common contributing factors to a crash. Stockholders who fear the value of their investments are in danger of dropping will sell their shares to protect their money; as prices begin to drop, the fear spreads, more sales ensue, and this can lead to a crash. Anything from a major player in the market having financial troubles to fears about the impact specific legislation may have can cause scores of investors to panic and sell off stock. 
  • Natural or man-made disasters: These can include all sorts of catastrophes, from floods to wars to pandemics. Case in point: the coronavirus-induced crash of March 2020. As realization of the spread of COVID-19 began to take hold, the economic outlook for the US and countries worldwide began to look grim. While countries announced travel limitations, mandatory business shutdowns, and quarantines, consumers stocked up on essential supplies causing shortages, companies began protecting profit margins through layoffs and furloughs, and investors started selling off stocks.
  • Economic crises: A problem in industry or one section of the economy often has a ripple effect. One example is the subprime mortgage crisis, which unfolded over 2007-2008. Earlier in the decade, deregulation in the banking industry had led to an increase in mortgages to high-risk borrowers since the beginning of the decade. When these borrowers began defaulting on payments, home prices dropped, and the housing market collapsed. Even worse, many of the now-worthless mortgages had been packaged and sold off to institutional investors – who in turn lost billions on them. Big firms began to fold, and the stock market reacted sharply. From Sept. 19 to Oct. 10, the Dow Jones Industrial Index declined 3,600 points. 
  • Speculation: When you have people and companies investing in a sector in the hopes that an asset or security will grow or based on future performance expectations, you have speculation that often creates a bubble. If the performance disappoints, and hype doesn’t live up to the reality, the bubble bursts and a mass sell-off occurs. 

The 20 biggest drops in the New York Stock Exchange, ranked by percentage drop in the Dow

Rank Date Dow Jones Industrial Average
% drop drop in points  
1 October 19, 1987 −22.61 −508.00  
2 March 16, 2020 −12.93 −2,997.10  
3 October 28, 1929 −12.82 −38.33  
4 October 29, 1929 −11.73 −30.57  
5 March 12, 2020 −9.99 −2,352.60  
6 November 6, 1929 −9.92 −25.55  
7 December 18, 1899 −8.72 −5.57  
8 August 12, 1932 −8.40 −5.79  
9 March 14, 1907  −8.29 −6.89  
10 October 26, 1987 −8.04 −156.83  
11 October 15, 2008 −7.87 −733.08  
12 July 21, 1933 −7.84 −7.55  
13 March 9, 2020 −7.79 −2,013.76  
14 October 18, 1937 −7.75 −10.57  
15 December 1, 2008 −7.70 −679.95  
16 October 9, 2008 −7.33 −678.92  
17 February 1, 1917 −7.24 −6.91  
18 October 27, 1997 −7.18 −554.26  
19 October 5, 1932 −7.15 −5.09  
20 September 17, 2001 −7.13 −684.81  

Source: Dow Jones S & P Indices

An example of a stock market crash

Sometimes, crashes are due to several factors. One example is the Dotcom Bubble-induced Crash of 2002.

It started with speculation. A boom of investing in internet companies prevailed through much of the late 1990s. E-commerce was the new frontier for investors and money flooded the rapidly evolving technology sector and inflated valuations beyond profits these companies could ever realistically provide. 

Venture capitalists swooped in early to provide funding to dotcoms that were on the rise towards going public, quickly cashing out after their overpriced debuts. Excitement over internet tech and the future of business mixed with companies that had yet to turn a profit pumped up an economic bubble. 

In 2000, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates (partly to stem the overheated investment activity) and poor financial performance from dotcoms began to surface, bursting the bubble and throwing the NASDAQ index into a bear market. By October 2002, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index had fallen more than 75% from its March 2000 height of 5,048.62.

A recession began, which was exacerbated by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City that shut down the New York Stock Exchange and other markets for several days. In between the economic uncertainty and the shadow of war, stocks crashed when trading resumed on Sept. 17. The government had to step in with economic stimulus policies before the economy as a whole began to recover from two major blows so close together. 

Can a stock market crash be prevented?

There really is no way to prevent the stock market from crashing. However, governments have added safeguards to prevent severe drops and upsets in market stability. 

Once such tactic is the circuit breaker, instituted after the 1987 crash. If the S&P 500 Index experiences a drop of 7% or more over the previous day, trading in all US stock markets are halted. Depending on the severity of the drop, trading could be suspended for either a 15-minute period or the rest of the day. The purpose of this measure is to give analysts and investors time to gather enough accurate information before making trade decisions. 

Large amounts of stocks might also be purchased by private investors to try and stabilize a market. In fact, that used to be quite effective a century ago, shortening the Panics of 1873 and 1906. The government itself can step in, lowering interest rates to encourage investors to borrow and buy.

But even with these mitigating factors, crashes still happen. 

What should you do if the stock market crashes?

First thing: Don’t panic and sell out. Yes, it’s hard to hold on and watch your portfolio balance shrink. But unloading when prices are falling is rarely a winning move. Markets tend to shift back over time and you could end up losing money in the long term if you sell when shares are low. 

Remember that crashes can be short-lived, and prices may quickly rebound.

This is especially important for older folk or retirees who are looking to live on their investment income or capital gains. They may not have enough time to recoup their losses before needing to use that money for day-to-day expenses. Becoming more anticipatory with market shifts becomes more important the closer you are to this point.

One advance strategy is to ensure that you have a strong mix of defensive stocks in your portfolio. These are securities that are much less influenced by disruptions in the market and tend to be in industries considered to be essential, such as utilities and food. If the market crashes, they may feel some financial pain. However, it will be much less than with cyclical stocks, which are in industries greatly dependent on a flourishing economy to grow.

If you see economic conditions start to shift toward leaner times, and stocks seem to be entering a prolonged sluggish phase – a bear market – you may want to pull your investment dollars out of the market and place them in a safer financial product that can still earn money. Shifting to CDs or bonds when volatility in the market is getting perilous can be a good move to safeguard your money until things stabilize. 

The financial takeaway

The natural cycle of markets is to rise and fall. While crashes in the stock market can result in crippling losses, economies inevitably bounce back. This makes a strong case for taking a long-view approach to investing. That means creating a strong portfolio that will hold up to dives in market values and provide a healthy mix of securities that will grow when times are good and see you through when times are lean. 

Though the thought of a market crash may be scary, recovery will eventually come. You just have to invest carefully to minimize your risks and keep a close eye on economic conditions. 

Related Coverage in Investing:

8 of the biggest stock market crashes in history – and how they changed our financial lives

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is one of the most-watched stock index in the world – here’s how it works and why it’s so influential

The different shapes of recovery: Understanding how quickly and strongly an economy can bounce back after a recession

The main causes of the Great Depression, and how the road to recovery transformed the US economy

Business cycles chart the ups and downs of an economy, and understanding them can lead to better financial decisions

Read the original article on Business Insider

Which country has vaccinated the most people against COVID-19?

which county has done the most coronavirus vaccine jabs?
Which country has done the most coronavirus vaccine jabs?

  • The race to vaccinate the world against the coronavirus has begun with more than 40 countries administering a jab.
  • The vaccination data illustrates that rich and middle-income countries have secured almost all the available vaccine supply to date.
  • A small number of countries have made a strong start. However, there is still a long way to go until the world is effectively protected against Covid-19.
  • Read on for the full list of countries administering vaccine jabs and how many they have administered so far.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The global effort to vaccinate people against COVID-19 began in early December. Since then, more than 40 countries have started administering coronavirus jabs among their populations.

Israel is leading the world in terms of its vaccination rate, with nearly 20 people in every hundred having received a dose, according to data compiled by Our World In Data, a research website affiliated with Oxford University. 

That figure is significantly higher than any other country in the world, an effort which has been attributed to the country’s digitized healthcare system and the government’s early success in purchasing enough doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to cover the whole population.

The United Arab Emirates has achieved the second-highest vaccination rate at 8.98 per 100 people, while Bahrain comes third at 4.25.

The United Kingdom, which became the first country to administer a coronavirus vaccine on December 8, had administered 1.91 jabs per 100 people by January 3, while the United States had administered 1.79 doses by January 7.

Meanwhile, France, which was criticized after administering just 516 jabs in the first 6 days after it rolled out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, still lags behind other European countries in its vaccination efforts, with a vaccination rate of 0.07 per 100 people.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has been wary of making it appear that the vaccine is being forced on the people because polls have indicated that it is one of the most vaccine-skeptical in the world. An Ipsos poll conducted in December indicated that only 40% of France’s population wanted to take the vaccine.

Statistics compiled by Our World in Data from official sources listed above. Data updated on January 7.

Our World in Data recorded the number of people who have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The most widely used vaccine candidates, including the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs, require two doses administered over a period of weeks.

The vaccination data illustrates that rich and middle-income countries have secured almost all the available vaccine supply to date.

India plans to launch its vaccine rollout on January 16. John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an article for Nature that vaccinations in Africa are not likely to begin until mid-2021

COVAX, an initiative to promote the equitable distribution of COVID-19 jabs among rich and developing countries, said this week that it had secured $6 billion to finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines to 92 developing countries that do not have the resources to buy vaccines themselves, Reuters reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Which country has administered the most COVID-19 vaccines?

Vaccine

  • Israel is leading the world in terms of its vaccination rate, with nearly 20 people in every hundred having received a dose.
  • The global effort to vaccinate people against COVID-19 began in early December. Since then, more than 40 countries have started administering coronavirus jabs among their populations.
  • The United Arab Emirates has achieved the second-highest vaccination rate at 8.98 per 100 people, while Bahrain comes third at 4.25.
  • The United Kingdom, which became the first country to administer a coronavirus vaccine on December 8
  • France, where the government has been heavily criticized for a sluggish start to its vaccine rollout, lags behind most European countries with a vaccination rate of 0.07 per 100 people.
  • The vaccination data illustrates that rich and middle-income countries have secured almost all the available vaccine supply to date.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The global effort to vaccinate people against COVID-19 began in early December. Since then, more than 40 countries have started administering coronavirus jabs among their populations.

Israel is leading the world in terms of its vaccination rate, with nearly 20 people in every hundred having received a dose, according to data compiled by Our World In Data, a research website affiliated with Oxford University. 

Statistics compiled by Our World in Data from official sources listed above. Data updated on January 7.

That figure is significantly higher than any other country in the world, an effort which has been attributed to the country’s digitized healthcare system and the government’s early success in purchasing enough doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to cover the whole population.

The United Arab Emirates has achieved the second-highest vaccination rate at 8.98 per 100 people, while Bahrain comes third at 4.25.

The United Kingdom, which became the first country to administer a coronavirus vaccine on December 8, had administered 1.91 jabs per 100 people by January 3, while the United States had administered 1.79 doses by January 7.

Meanwhile, France, which was criticized after administering just 516 jabs in the first 6 days after it rolled out the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, still lags behind other European countries in its vaccination efforts, with a vaccination rate of 0.07 per 100 people.

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has been wary of making it appear that the vaccine is being forced on the people because polls have indicated that it is one of the most vaccine-skeptical in the world. An Ipsos poll conducted in December indicated that only 40% of France’s population wanted to take the vaccine.

Our World in Data recorded the number of people who have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The most widely used vaccine candidates, including the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs, require two doses administered over a period of weeks.

The vaccination data illustrates that rich and middle-income countries have secured almost all the available vaccine supply to date.

India plans to launch its vaccine rollout on January 16. John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an article for Nature that vaccinations in Africa are not likely to begin until mid-2021

COVAX, an initiative to promote the equitable distribution of COVID-19 jabs among rich and developing countries, said this week that it had secured $6 billion to finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines to 92 developing countries that do not have the resources to buy vaccines themselves, Reuters reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to invest in healthcare, a massive market sector that offers unparalleled diversification for portfolios

healthcare
The highly diversified healthcare sector ranges from biotech and drug companies to insurers and pharmacies.

  • The size and variety of the healthcare sector make it suitable for almost any investor building a diversified portfolio.
  • Healthcare stocks fall into six categories: pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical equipment, sales, insurance, and facilities.
  • While the healthcare industry has good growth prospects and is often economy-proof, it also carries some unique investment risks.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Investing Reference library for more stories.

Investing in healthcare is enticing.  After all, everyone needs medical care at some point in their lives; everyone uses health services of some kind.  If you go by the adage “invest in what you know,” then health stocks, which range from drug to insurance companies, certainly qualify.

They qualify for economic reasons too. For years now, healthcare costs have far outpaced the rate of inflation. National health spending, which accounts for 18% of total US GDP (gross domestic product), is projected to reach $6.2 trillion by 2028

Many healthcare stocks have exhibited robust earnings and share price growth – not only in the COVID 19-dominated year of 2020 but throughout the past decade – and many economists and analysts predict continued growth in the years to come. 

Why invest in healthcare stocks?

Actually, the question might be why not invest in healthcare stocks. In fact, the healthcare industry is hard for investors to avoid. 

So, you might be hard-pressed to build a diversified portfolio of any kind that doesn’t include at least some healthcare stocks.

But it goes beyond ubiquity. Ranging from robotics to insurance companies, from century-old drug makers to fresh cannabis farms, the diversity of the health care sector also makes it an important place to invest. And because the sector includes both growth and value stocks, defensive stocks, aggressive small-cap plays and more conservative large-cap companies, you can achieve a lot of diversification within your portfolio via healthcare too.

We’ll get into the hows of investing in healthcare. But first, let’s examine how the healthcare industry is organized, the types of companies it includes, and their characteristics.

Types of healthcare stocks for investment

When you invest in the healthcare sector you’re actually investing in a broad range of industries. Some are manufacturing/production, others are service-oriented. 

Each element of the health care sector can act like its own mini-sector, with varying degrees of volatility and performance depending on demographics, government regulation, reimbursement patterns, scientific and technological breakthroughs.

There are six generally agreed-upon healthcare subsectors, each with its own characteristics:

healthcare industry sectors
The six segments of the healthcare sector.

Pharmaceuticals

Major pharmaceutical companies, aka “Big Pharma,” manufacture and market prescription and over-the-counter drugs, creating a stable stream of revenue from continued sales. These firms also conduct research and development to create new drugs that undergo clinical trials in the hopes of ultimately being approved for use. Some of these efforts can result in “blockbuster” drugs such as cholesterol-lowering agents and diabetes drugs that generate profits for years.  

The fortunes of these big drugmakers wane when patents expire and generic competition eats into sales or improved drug therapies are approved and take precedent over established brands. 

Leading pharmaceutical companies include names such as Novartis AG, GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and Pfizer, the company that developed a COVID-19 vaccine with BioNTech.

Generic drug manufacturers are another important member of the pharmaceutical subsector. These companies manufacture look-alike drugs that are cheaper than brand-name pharmaceuticals once the patents for those brand-name drugs expire. Because of insurer and government incentives to use less-expensive generics, these companies can benefit from increased demand for lower-priced drug alternatives. 

At the same time, because of the lower prices, generic drug makers experience thinner profit margins. In addition, many manufacturers have been under fire for faulty formulas and quality standards.

Biotechnology

Biotech firms also conduct research and development to create new drugs and therapies. However, they are often focused on one or two “breakthrough” products or treatments. 

Biotech firms are sometimes classified as part of the pharmaceutical drug subsector, but they often behave differently than their Big Pharma counterparts. While the established drug-makers often offer steady returns and income, biotech firms are more akin to volatile growth stocks. Because their pipelines are concentrated and because it can take years to get FDA approval for a promising product, investors can wait years for a payoff. 

Biotech firms include small startup companies and larger, more established drug makers such as Amgen and Biogen. BioNTech has become a well-known biotech name as Pfizer’s partner in developing the COVID-19 vaccine.

Medical equipment

Medical equipment makers range from firms that make everything from commodity items such as bandages and gloves to expensive, high-tech equipment such as MRI machines and surgical robots. 

In the right product categories, medical equipment stocks can offer long-term growth as the growth in healthcare consumption continues to increase. Investors need to consider product innovation, patents, government approval and reimbursements, and market demand when evaluating medical equipment stocks. 

Large medical equipment companies include companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic PLC.

Sales and distribution

This sector includes pharmacies and retailers and wholesalers of healthcare products. Companies can be influenced by general retail trends, but are also subject to consumer demand for medical and health goods, and to regulations affecting the healthcare industry. 

With more healthcare products and drugs being produced and used, growth in distribution networks has increased significantly in recent years, making healthcare distribution a growth industry with names such as McKesson and AmerisourceBergen. 

Managed Healthcare

Managed healthcare is just another way of saying insurance companies. The field includes any company that provides health insurance policies, whether it be through employer-sponsored or private insurance, the Affordable Care Act exchanges, or socialized programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Since health-care coverage is a staple of people’s lives, managed-care companies’ returns tend to be steady. It also helps that this sector in the US is dominated by a quintet of companies. The “Big Five” firms are: 

  • UnitedHealth Group Inc. 
  • Anthem Inc.
  • Aetna Inc.
  • Humana Inc.
  • Cigna Corp.

Unlike the firms in other healthcare sectors, like biotech, the Big Five don’t face many disruptors or new competitors. However, insurers’ profits are tied to both consumer demand and government actions. The creation of new laws, or prospects of changes in laws, often causes ripples in the stocks, as the market tries to assess “what that’ll mean for the insurance companies.”

Healthcare facilities

Healthcare facilities firms operate hospitals, clinics, labs, physician offices, psychiatric facilities, and nursing homes.  Major players include HCA Healthcare, which operates hospitals, and Laboratory Corp. of America.

Although the demographics are in its favor, this subsector has had problems with profitability in the past – making its business models work. It’s also somewhat subject to real estate market trends. 

It was particularly hard hit in 2020 by COVID-19, as consumers stayed away from routine doctor visits and hospitals wrestled with the demands of the pandemic.

The pros and cons of healthcare stocks

The number one advantage of investing in health care stocks? To participate in a sector that’s expanding at a faster rate than the economy as a whole. 

Healthcare stocks generally belong to an investment category of defensive stocks – that is, they provide consistent returns, regardless of how the stock market or economy is doing. But of course, some companies perform better than others. When investing in healthcare, look for companies that are best poised to take advantage of some underlying fundamentals that can fuel growth, including:

  • An aging population
  • Treatment advances in chronic diseases and conditions, including obesity and diabetes
  • Technological advances such as telehealth and remote monitoring

Drawbacks of healthcare stocks

Despite their defensive reputation, healthcare stocks do offer risks – some typical of any investment, some more unique to this industry. 

  • Regulatory: Subsectors such as pharmaceuticals and managed care are highly regulated by the government. So FDA standards, new rules/changes in Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs, and cost controls can all play a role in how a stock performs.
  • Political: No industry is immune to public opinion, but healthcare is a particularly hot button item. Consumer demand for lower costs and the ongoing debate for universal insurance programs and healthcare reform all can and do impact the prospect for healthcare corporate profits, and their stocks. 
  • Economic: Although the industry as a whole has good growth potential, many providers and facilities are experiencing dramatic competition – and consolidation trends. as consolidation continues pricing, and profits, could decline.

How to invest in healthcare

There are several ways to add healthcare stocks to your investments.

Individual stocks

All types of global healthcare stocks are available on the exchanges – not just US ones, but international companies as well, like Bayer AG (BAYZF).  You’ll need to determine which subsectors best fit with your portfolio and from there determine which companies offer the best potential for appreciation, income, or whatever your main investment goal.

Mutual funds and ETFs

There are numerous healthcare sector mutual funds and ETFs. Many are index funds. Some follow the sector as a whole via an index like the S&P 500 Health Care Index. There are also subsector indices such as the S&P Pharmaceuticals Select Industry Index or the Russell 2000 Biotechnology index. 

Other funds are actively managed, with the manager choosing individual stocks within the healthcare sector based on corporate performance, outlook, and other factors. 

Some examples of healthcare funds include:

REITs

Real estate investment trusts, publicly traded funds that hold a portfolio of properties, often specialize in healthcare facilities – the physical buildings that contain hospitals, medical offices, and senior housing. Though a more indirect play, these healthcare REITs can be a way to invest in real estate and healthcare at the same time.

The financial takeaway

Healthcare stocks offer an unusual bevy of choices and diversity. Growth, value, aggressive, and low-risk investors can all find choices within this expansive sector. Its sheer size, the growth in healthcare consumption makes this sector hard for any diversified investor to ignore.

Forecasts for healthcare consumption and spending suggest good growth prospects for this industry. As with any investment, though, healthcare has its downsides – and its own characteristic risks, such as its sensitivity to government regulation and political currents. That’s why thorough research is an important part of healthcare investing.

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What is the Nasdaq? Understanding the global stock exchange that’s home to the fastest-growing, most innovative companies

nasdaq index
The Nasdaq has a headquarters in New York City, though it’s actually an electronic stock exchange.

  • The Nasdaq is the world’s largest electronic stock exchange with two closely watched indexes: the Nasdaq Composite and the Nasdaq 100.
  • Technology, consumer services, and other growth stocks dominate Nasdaq and have caused it to outperform other stock markets in recent years. 
  • The easiest way for individual investors to participate in the Nasdaq’s volatile but high-performing stocks is via index funds.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Investing Reference library for more stories.

The Nasdaq is the largest and oldest electronic stock market in the world, meaning all of its buying and selling happens electronically, rather than on a physical trading floor. Short for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, the Nasdaq is the second-largest stock exchange globally based on the market capitalization  of its listed companies – exceeded only by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). 

A pioneer in online operations when it launched in 1971, the Nasdaq provided a listing service for companies that had previously only traded over-the-counter (OTC). It quickly became the home for many new and innovative high-tech startups, including Microsoft and Apple.

Today, the Nasdaq plays an important role in the US and global economy, with its two major indexes – the Nasdaq Composite and the Nasdaq 100 – closely watched barometers of business.

To help you make sense of it all, here’s what you need to know about the Nasdaq, from what it is to smart strategies for investing. 

What is the Nasdaq?

The Nasdaq is technically a dealer market where both buyers and sellers trade with a market maker in a particular stock or security, unlike an auction market (like the NYSE) where buyers and sellers trade with each other through a broker.

Nasdaq fast facts

  • 3,889 listed companies trade on Nasdaq.
  • Nasdaq’s listed companies are collectively worth $11.23 trillion. 
  • Over 4.5 billion shares are traded daily on Nasdaq.
  • To be listed on Nasdaq, companies pay $47,000 to $163,000 in fees. 

Nasdaq’s 3,889 listed companies represent 10 broad sectors or industry groups. Most are in the fields of technology, consumer services, and health care. 

While Nasdaq has plenty of giant corporations, such as PepsiCo., PayPal, and Amazon, its stocks tend to be more growth-oriented, and less blue-chip, than those on the NYSE. Nasdaq equities have a reputation for innovation, disruption – and volatility

History of the Nasdaq

The Nasdaq was created in 1971 by the then-National Association of Securities Dealers (currently known as FINRA). Originally, it was just a quotation system – an electronic ticker of bid and ask prices – but it began adding trading and transactional systems.

  • In 2002, Nasdaq became a fully independent, publicly traded company. 
  • In 2006, it became an SEC-registered national securities exchange.
  • In 2007, it combined with the Scandinavian exchange group OMX to become the Nasdaq OMX group. 

The Nasdaq does not have, and has never had, a physical trading floor. This became a problem for the exchange in 1995 as major companies such as Microsoft threatened to leave. No trading floor meant no physical presence, no opening bell ceremony, and, more importantly, no place for media networks to broadcast from during the trading day. 

That problem was solved in 2000 with the construction of a massive 10-story tall tower at the corner of 43rd and Broadway in New York City, known as MarketSite, complete with video screens, a full television studio, and, yes, an opening bell ceremony. But the actual trading remains electronic.

It’s a bit ironic: Nasdaq, which began as an all-electronic exchange, had to create a physical presence to gain credibility with Wall Street. But eventually, the NYSE and other older, established exchanges, discovered the need for an electronic component in order to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace. 

The Nasdaq has two major indexes 

Nasdaq isn’t just a stock exchange. It also has two highly regarded indexes that track the performance of Nasdaq stocks daily: 

  • The Nasdaq Composite index tracks 2,790 Nasdaq securities – basically, everything but mutual funds, preferred stocks, and derivative securities. The Nasdaq is heavily weighted with technology stocks making it the ‘de facto’ bellwether for the tech sector.
  • The smaller Nasdaq 100 index focuses on the largest, non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq. Over half of them are in the tech sector.   

Of the two, the Nasdaq Composite is the more influential. When commentators refer to “the Nasdaq closing up five points,” it’s usually the Composite they mean.

While the Composite index is more widely followed, the Nasdaq 100 is viewed by traders and investors interested in futures, options, and exchange-traded funds.

Calculating the Nasdaq indexes daily average

Both the Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 use the same modified market capitalization weighting method in which the closing price of each share (LSP) is multiplied by the total shares outstanding (TSO) for that company to arrive at that stock’s market capitalization.

Share weights are calculated by dividing each security’s market capitalization by the total capitalization of all index securities. Share weights for each stock are then multiplied by that stock’s closing price and the total divided by an index divisor that accounts for market fluctuations such as stock splits, mergers, and other actions. The result is the Nasdaq average for that day.

Performance of the Nasdaq indexes

Nasdaq stocks have led the charge of the long-running bull market the US has seen in the 2010s.  Its indexes have dramatically outperformed the S&P 500 (which tracks large-cap stocks), and the Dow Jones Industrial Index (the 30 largest US companies), two other stand-ins for the stock market overall. 

The explanation? Since both Nasdaq indexes lean heavily into tech, consumer services, and health care – all top-performing industries in recent years.

How to invest in Nasdaq stocks

You can always try to duplicate the Nasdaq 100 or the Nasdaq Composite yourself, with individual stock purchases. But it probably would be more efficient to invest in an index fund that tracks the market’s indexes. Many of them, naturally, trade on the Nasdaq. 

  • One of the most popular Nasdaq index funds is the Invesco Unit Investment Trust QQQ ETF (QQQ) which tracks the Nasdaq 100. 
  • To invest in the entire Nasdaq composite, Fidelity’s Nasdaq Composite Index ETF (ONEQ) is a popular exchange-traded fund. 
  • If you prefer a mutual fund, the Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index Fund (FNCMX) is a well-established vehicle.

In addition to being a stock market, the Nasdaq is a public company and you can invest in it, too. It trades as Nasdaq Inc. (NDAQ). But remember, you are investing in the company itself – not in the stocks listed on its exchange.

The financial takeaway

The Nasdaq made history by being the first electronic stock market. Today, as the second-largest major stock exchange, the stock exchange reflects market movement in tech and high growth companies. The Nasdaq, and its indexes, are highly watched by those who invest in those types of securities.

Investing in the Nasdaq or Nasdaq stocks is, by definition, riskier and more volatile than investing in the NYSE or DJIA, both of which rely on more established, less volatile stocks. But that also means potentially higher returns. 

Weighted towards growth stocks, Nasdaq indexes have outperformed others. And investing in Nasdaq-tracking mutual funds or ETFs give investors an easy, efficient way to take advantage with less risk.

Related Coverage in Investing:

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A guide to stock market indexes: What they measure and how they can guide your investing

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