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Mar 19, 2021
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This is not a time to simply throw or invest your stimulus funds in the most volatile assets," cautioned Mohamed El-Erian, Queens' College, Cambridge president and well-known investor, on Yahoo Finance Live. El-Erian is the former CEO and co-chief investment officer of bond powerhouse Pimco.

He suggests people have a more "tactical" mindset when putting their stimulus checks to work for them, and emphasizes it's important to take the time to research any stocks.

El-Erian isn't alone in pounding the table on a measured approach to spending stimulus money once those checks hit the bank account.

"If you are getting a stimulus check, that means you need the money to survive, you need the money to buy food to possibly pay rent, to keep your utilities on," personal finance expert Suze Orman told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-chief Andy Serwer. "If you're going to take the money to put in the stock market, in my opinion, you do not need a stimulus check."

Orman believes people should save their stimulus checks.

A photo of the economic stimulus check that was sent to US citizens during the covid-19/coronavirus quarantine
A photo of the economic stimulus check that was sent to US citizens during the covid-19/coronavirus quarantine. Credit: Getty
The latest round of stimulus checks will be sizable, so households have some tough asset allocation choices to make. Roughly 90% of American households will be eligible for stimulus checks, according to CNN. For those eligible, they stand to receive a $1,400 check. Considering dependents are included, a couple with two children could receive up to $5,600.

Unfortunately, many households are likely to do the opposite of the sage advice from money experts like El-Erian and Orman.

A new survey out of Mizuho Securities this week estimates that 10%, or nearly $40 billion of the $380 billion in direct stimulus checks, may be used to purchase bitcoin and stocks. Mizuho managing director Dan Dolev and his team surveyed approximately 235 individuals with less than $150,000 of household income. Of that, about 200 said they expect to receive the third round of direct stimulus payments in the coming days.

Nearly 2-in-5 check recipients expect to use some portion of their checks to invest. And stimulus check recipients prefer bitcoin over stocks, according to the survey.
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