News You Can Use

$2,000 second stimulus checks after all? Congress considers: Here's how the headlines could affect your money

Plus how to become a sustainable investor.

A pedestrian walks past the U.S. Capitol on October 20, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Stefani Reynolds | Getty Images

Markets seem to shrug off stimulus relief drama as Americans wait to hear if they could get larger checks after all. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets climbed

Despite uncertainty surrounding stimulus relief, markets rose on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures and S&P 500 both posted gains, while the Nasdaq remained flat. 

Trump calls stimulus bill a 'disgrace,' demands $2,000 checks

After the $900 billion stimulus relief bill passed, President Donald Trump expressed his disappointment, calling it a "disgrace" and saying he'd like to increase the direct payment amount from $600 per qualifying person to $2,000.

House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, gave a thumbs up and will attempt to pass that measure on Thursday, Christmas Eve.

That said, chances aren't great that the larger checks will become a reality. Because the House is presenting the measure in a pro forma session, which requires unanimous consent, it will only take one lawmaker to prevent the measure's passage. And even if it does pass, the measure would have to be approved by the Senate, where several Republicans oppose higher direct payments. 

How your investments can help the planet 

Sustainable or ESG investing means using money in your portfolio to try to make the world a better place. It's becoming increasingly easier to find ESG funds as companies are recognizing investors' desire to put their money into stocks that align with their beliefs. 

ESG funds have also performed successfully, showing that you can do well by doing good. 

To make finding these funds a little easier, brokerage firms and robo-advisors offer services that will help you identify more sustainable stocks. For example, robo-advisor Betterment launched a Climate Impact Portfolio. Half the stocks in that portfolio screen out companies holding fossil fuel reserves.

Words you've heard: ESG

ESG stands for environmental, social, and corporate governance. These are the three areas on which sustainable investors commonly assess companies when deciding how to invest.

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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