Hyundai expects new family of Ioniq vehicles to drive global EV sales By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A shop sign of Hyundai is seen outside a car showroom in Milton Keynes, Britain

By Paul Lienert

(Reuters) – Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co (KS:) is creating a family of electric vehicles it will sell under the Ioniq brand as part of its drive to become the world’s third-largest seller of EVs by 2025, the company said on Sunday.

Hyundai said the elevation of Ioniq from an individual vehicle nameplate to a brand will help support its goal of capturing 10% of global EV sales in 2025.

With electric vehicles still struggling to gain traction in most major markets, Hyundai’s main competitors will likely include traditional automakers Volkswagen AG (DE:) and General Motors Co (N:), both of which have announced plans to build and sell a million or more electric vehicles a year by 2025.

California-based Tesla Inc (O:), which makes only electric vehicles, aims to retain its current position as the world’s EV leader. Chief Executive Elon Musk has said he expects the company to sell “a few million” vehicles in 2025.

Ioniq was launched four years ago as a vehicle name plate under the Hyundai brand. The compact hatchback was offered with a choice of three powertrains: Conventional gas-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure battery electric. Those models will continue in production.

Starting in early 2021, Hyundai said it plans to introduce three all-electric models under the Ioniq brand. They include the Ioniq 5, a midsize crossover based on the 2019 Hyundai 45 concept; in 2022, the Ioniq 6 sedan, based on the Hyundai Prophecy concept unveiled earlier this year, and in early 2024, the Ioniq 7, a large crossover.

The three new Ioniq models will be built on a dedicated EV platform known internally as E-GMP, for Electric Global Modular Platform, which will “enable fast charging capability and plentiful driving range,” the company said in a statement.

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My father died from COVID-19, and left no will. My stepmother threatened to sell our family heirlooms — unless we sign over our claim to his estate. What can we do?


My dad passed away from COVID-19 in April 2020. He was a first responder at a walk-in clinic, and was in great health with no underlying health conditions. His death is still a shock to me as he and I were very close.

My sister, our stepmother of five years, her son and I are left behind. My father did not leave a will. It has been over two months, and we have now just received financial information regarding our dad’s estate.

My stepmother hired a lawyer who wants us to sign papers to say she gets everything (our family’s money, plus his house and car) and my sister and I basically get nothing (just enough to cover one semester of college).

She originally agreed to split everything evenly, and now she is denying any mention of that. She claims she wants all of this to be “fair” and the court system is “fair” when she knows none of this is respectable.

She said if we don’t sign our rights over, she will put everything through probate, including memorable items like family heirlooms, clothes, pictures or anything she possibly could. What should our next move be?

Feeling Trapped

Dear Trapped,

Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I’m sorry you lost your father to COVID-19. Losing a family member when it’s so difficult to make hospital visits during a pandemic is especially difficult. I am assuming that your father was a good man and a trusting soul who would want you to have your share of his estate under the law, and also regain ownership of mementoes that you hold so dear.

Onto the unpleasant dilemma facing you and your sibling: Your father’s widow is making a pretty brazen bet, and it’s one that boldly assumes you do not know your rights. During this emotionally taxing and grief-stricken time, she and her lawyer are relying on you making a hasty decision, and signing on the dotted line. My first and last piece of advice: Don’t do it.


This column is always about money and it’s never about money. Often times, our most regretful financial decisions are made based on impulse, fatigue, resentment, anger and, yes, fear.


— The Moneyist

This column is always about money and it’s never about money. We are emotional animals and, often times, our most regretful financial decisions are made based on impulse, fatigue, resentment, anger and, yes, fear. Don’t make those mistakes today. The tactics employed by your stepmother, especially coming so close to the death of a beloved family member, too often work.

However, your stepmother has far fewer cards to play than she would like you to believe. Take New York: Attorneys Price Benowitz LLP outlines intestacy law there thus: “If there is a spouse and no children, the spouse receives 100% of the estate. If there is a spouse and children, the spouse receives $50,000 plus half of the balance of the estate. The children inherit everything else.”

Also see: My wife and I bailed out our son with his mortgage and car payments, and set up 529s for his kids — yet we have the daughter-in-law from hell

There are many state-level variations on that inheritance structure for those who die intestate or without a will. Seek legal counsel and find out how intestate law plays out in your state. You should waste no time in contesting or preempting any action taken by your stepmother. You can petition the probate court to remove your stepmother as administrator of your father’s estate.

Families have come a cropper over far less than this. This daughter fell out with her mother over a sewing machine. Should these family heirlooms remain in your stepmother’s possession after the estate is divided, you could — as a last resort — attend the estate sale, or have a friends attend for you and bid over the phone. It may be undignified, but it would be a story to tell your children.

Her son is not a legal heir to your father’s estate. He does not figure in the equation. It is true that regaining ownership of family heirlooms is difficult without a will, but you have a better chance ordering the court to freeze your late father’s assets, using the full weight of the legal process to put your faith in the hands of the courts rather than in the hands of your stepmother.

Your stepmother is an unreliable narrator. The time has come to find a lawyer you can trust.

Also see: ‘Nothing is ever his fault, everyone is out to get him.’ Our brother inherited our late mother’s home and it was repossessed. He’s now in prison — do I send him money?

Do you have questions about inheritance, tipping, weddings, family feuds, friends or any tricky issues relating to manners and money? Send them to MarketWatch’s Moneyist and please include the state where you live (no full names will be used).

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I have student debt, a mortgage, a growing family and I’m relocating for work — how do I save for retirement?


My wife and I are wondering how to begin growing our wealth. I am 34 and make $96,000, she is 33 and makes $45,000. We have a 1.5 year old at home and plans for another in the near future. I have around $37,000 in student loans left and we just opened a 30-year mortgage a year ago. We have $15,000 in a traditional savings account, I have a pension through public education, and she has a 401(k) with around $20,000 in it from an old job and another one with a few thousand in it she opened a year ago. She also has a Roth IRA a family member opened for her recently with $5,000. To muddy the waters, I will be searching for a new job next year which will mean a move with all the trappings (new mortgage, etc.), that will put me somewhere around $130,000. She is planning to stay home with the kids for a few years or work part time, if possible.

Our total take home/spending difference averages around $1,000 each month that we can save, invest or put toward debt. The student loan has a 5.625% interest rate but is suspended right now because of the CARES Act. The payment is $242 a month. Our mortgage balance is $192,000 and that monthly payment is $1,427 but we pay a little extra each month. We’d love to refinance but the closing costs aren’t worth it since we are likely selling it next spring or summer. We got a good deal in a seller’s market in our Nebraska town and did some minor upgrades to the house. I realize after two years of interest, initial closing costs, maintenance, etc. we will still probably be losing money on this house, but I’m optimistic we will walk away with at least $20,000 cash when the sale is complete.

My biggest concern is purchasing another house next summer and how to balance that with paying off this student loan and starting to save for retirement. Should we just sit tight and squirrel money away for a down payment rather than trying to invest in the current uncertain market? I’m nervous to tie a lot of it into retirement accounts that I can’t touch, as well, even though I’m tempted to open a Roth IRA for myself and fully fund it for 2019 given the extended tax deadline this year. Doing that right now would leave us less than $10,000 in liquid cash.

Thanks again,

B.C.

See: I have a seven-figure nest egg — am I saving too much for retirement?

Dear B.C.,

First, a congratulations is in order — you’ve got money in the bank, you’re paying extra toward your mortgage, you’ve got some retirement savings already stashed away as well as a pension and you’re focusing on your finances. That’s all great stuff.

There are a lot of moving parts to this question but you’re certainly not alone — many people in their 20s, 30s and beyond worry about how to save for retirement while they’re juggling so many other present-day financial responsibilities, such as paying down student debt, starting a family, paying for child care and enjoying their lives at least a little bit.

The good news is: You can, and should, still be putting money away for retirement, but financial advisers had a few other suggestions for you first.

Ideally, you should start by beefing up your emergency savings. I know that probably sounds overwhelming considering you’re talking about your mortgage, student debt and retirement savings, but because you expect to do so much within the next year or so, having more in your emergency savings will pay off. The $15,000 is a good start, which means you won’t have to dedicate all of your extra cash flow to this type of account, but advisers suggest you have at least three months’ worth of expenses — and probably closer to six months if your wife will be staying home for a few years, said Mary Beth Storjohann, chief marketing officer and partner at Abacus Wealth Partners. She suggests splitting that extra $1,000 so that half of it goes toward an emergency savings. The other half can go to a Roth individual retirement account, which, if you dedicated the $500 a month for a full year you’d hit the maximum contribution limit of $6,000 (also depending when you start contributing and if you make the final payment for that tax year by Tax Day).

A hearty emergency savings account might seem boring or unnecessary, but especially in this moment of time, it’s crucial.

“In this environment, nobody’s job is safe,” said Peter Palion, a financial adviser and founder of Master Plan Advisory. So many people have lost their jobs, suffered a reduction in wages or had unexpected expenses as a result of the current crisis that made them financially vulnerable.

As for your student loans, you might have some options. Because you are in public education, you may qualify for student loan forgiveness. There are a few types, including one specifically for teachers who worked full time for five complete and consecutive years in a low-income elementary or secondary school. The program would forgive up to $17,500 on your loan. Here’s more on that. Although that sounds like a dream, public service forgiveness loans haven’t always worked for everyone — so you might want to keep tackling these debts as you go. You don’t want to put that debt repayment off just to find out you didn’t qualify because of some paperwork loophole.

There are a lot of questions surrounding your relocation and potential new job, and some of them you may not even know the answers to yet. You should consider factors such as: what your current home will sell for, how much your future home will cost, the fees associated with both of those transactions and the unexpected costs during and after the move. This is yet another reason why you should focus on building up your liquid cash reserve, Palion said.

Also, when you make that job switch, remember to look through employee benefits. Higher salaries are great, but you should also dive into health care coverage and retirement account benefits, Storjohann said.

Staying at home to take care of the family is a hard job, and that transition will also affect your finances. If you ended up earning $130,000 but your wife stopped working for now, you’d actually see a loss of income around $10,000 a year. You and your wife should talk through that possibility and the finances that will come along with that scenario. The first few conversations should be around the logistics of these changes, Storjohann said. “From there, once you shape your goals, it’s like building your own financial plan,” she said. Plan to meet on a monthly or biweekly basis to understand the household’s spending and saving as you pursue these goals and then eventually achieve them. Create a financial spreadsheet or statement where you can update your numbers every six months, so that you clearly understand where your money is going, how it’s working for you and where you can go from there.

And even while your wife is staying at home with the kids, she can still be contributing to a retirement plan through a spousal IRA. A recent study found families don’t often account for the nonworking spouse when relying on one income for retirement savings. What one does with old employer-sponsored plans is usually a personal preference, but she may want to consolidate her old 401(k) plan into her current plan or eventually roll them over into an IRA. The key in this particular situation however is to ensure she is getting the same high quality fund options (if not better) and low management fees.

Also see: I’m a 32-year-old stay-at-home mom, and my husband earns $150,000 a year. Will I ever be able to enjoy a retirement?

Saving for college is important for families, but it probably shouldn’t be prioritized before retirement.

“Yes, they should be thinking about college funds but not at the expense of their retirement,” said Juan Ros, a financial adviser at Forum Financial Management. For retirement, “there are no loans you can get, no scholarships — it is just whatever you have.” If you want to dedicate some of your extra cash flow to college savings, though, a 529 plan would be a good start. And it doesn’t hurt if you are expecting a second child soon. “With one child, it is going to be expensive,” Palion said. “With two, it is going to be twice as expensive.” If you start with $50 a month, you’ll have a “pretty sum of money” in 18 years, Palion said. Comparatively, if you started saving farther down the road, you’d have to hike up your contributions substantially to make up for the lost time. There are also other types of accounts, including Coverdell, custodial accounts and savings bonds. Here’s a breakdown of some of the pros and cons of each avenue.

There are a few tasks you should also consider, though you didn’t mention them here, Ros said. Because you have a young family, and there is the possibility that they will rely on you for their major source of income, you should look into an estate plan, such as a will or trust depending on your state’s rules. You and your wife should also get powers of attorney, so that you can dictate who your children’s guardians are. And while you may have group life insurance through your employer, you should consider some type of term life insurance with a policy of at least $1 million, Ros said. At your age, that policy should be relatively cheap. Although it will cost a few thousand dollars most likely, getting these affairs in order would protect your family in the event something happened.

As for your question regarding how to save for retirement: Having a pension through your public education job is a huge win, advisers said. You may also have access to a 403(b) plan, and if you do, you should consider contributing to it — especially if there is some sort of employer match. Your wife won’t be able to participate in her 401(k) plans once she stops working at those jobs, but you both can work on investing in IRAs. There are traditional IRAs, which are funded with pretax dollars, and Roth IRAs, which are funded with after-tax dollars. There are advantages to both types of accounts, though it also doesn’t hurt to diversify so that you have options in retirement to save on taxes.

You definitely have a lot going on but you’re on the right path.

Have a question about your own retirement savings? Email us at HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com.



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I asked my family to boycott Chic-fil-A over its support of anti-LGBTQ causes — but they suggested going there to eat instead


I’m a gay man from a family of 10 siblings, and the only gay member of my extended family of cousins, to my knowledge. I have been dismayed for several years now that some members of my immediate family support Chic-fil-A, the fast-food corporation controversial for its positions placing religious freedom over LGBTQ rights. At best, the company’s stance is irrelevant to these particular siblings. At worst, these positions are a key reason for their support.

Some of them have even gone so far as to post Chic-fil-A on their Facebook page for several years now, even though I have brought to their attention how much that hurts me. In contrast to the aforementioned siblings; a couple of my other, supportive siblings; as well as several of my cousins; refuse to patronize Chic-fil-A as a show of solidarity with me and the LGBTQ movement.

Also see: Yes, America needs to brace itself for a second wave of coronavirus

It has led me to the painful realization that the most homophobic members of the entire extended family are those with the gay brother. When several siblings are together, these same perpetrators don’t hesitate to suggest that we all go out to eat at Chic-fil-A. The disrespect has caused a rift between me and these siblings, made me uncomfortable to be around them. I was definitely not looking forward to our annual July Fourth gathering.

This situation has bothered me for at least five years now, and I am unsure how to handle it.

Bill

Dear Bill,

I don’t know what’s worse: being slapped in the face with a wet fish, or being slapped in the face with a lightly-battered fried cod fillet served on a warm, buttered bun from Chic-fil-A.

If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that consumers are more powerful than anytime in history. With social media, Americans have a voice and many companies have chosen to listen. For instance, I don’t believe the Black Lives Matter movement would spurred a reckoning that reached the C-suites of corporate America had companies not had one eye on the social-justice movement and the inequalities of race in America, and the other eye on their bottom line. Whatever it takes, I suppose. Perhaps this time, the momentum to take action will sustain itself and continue to gain steam as Americans question their own white privilege, much like the #MeToo movement has done, with heads rolling and policies changing in industries across the land.

But your immediate concern lies with another fight for equality that, arguably, also upholds the ideals of Lady Liberty and the principles of freedom that this country was reportedly founded upon. This last decade has been a period of significant progress for the LGBTQ community in America. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that LGBTQ workers are protected from job discrimination. The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers. Five years earlier, in May 2015, marriage equality became legal in the U.S., one month before my home country of Ireland made the same decision by popular vote.

Also see:George Floyd, white supremacy — and the ‘otherization’ of African-American men

But where does that leave you and your family as they walk past Chic-fil-A with an empty stomach, and contemplate an order of chicken wings and crinkly fries? America is a country divided, and many dinner tables over the July Fourth Weekend were split too. Even without that perplexing and polarizing political panorama, siblings like to push each other’s buttons. The more effective the button, the more likely it is to get pushed. You basically put a big red sign on your forehead with a Chic-fil-A logo. It sounds as if they don’t like being told where they can and can’t eat, and they are going out of their way to make you know that. They are giving you a dollop of indignation with a side order of passive aggression. Bill, I get it. That is enough to give anyone indigestion.

I’m not saying that what they’re doing is right or compassionate. It would be kinder and easier to eat there when you’re not around, and avoid checking in on Facebook when they are there. More importantly, it would be more brotherly and sisterly, too. You regard their support for Chic-fil-A as a thoughtless swipe at your freedom to be who you are and live with the same legal protections and social acceptance as anyone else. They, I imagine, see being told where to spend their money as an infringement on their freedom to order a Chic-fil-A Deluxe Chicken Sandwich with 500 calories and 1640 milligrams of sodium. That, they might argue, is their right as Americans.

People are what they eat. And if they want to eat Chic-fil-A, that’s their prerogative. If they want to patronize independent bookstores, they’re entitled to do that too. You have every right to tell them that it would mean a lot to you if they would not buy food at this joint, thank you very much. That’s the easy part. The hard part is waiting for their reply, and being prepared for a response that you may not like. You have stated your case. If you don’t get the reaction you had hoped for, you must let it go. Otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy obsessing over this. Today, it’s Chic-fil-A. Tomorrow, your difference of opinions could be over the Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center named after David H. Koch, the late billionaire who donated money to many conservative causes.

Also see: Can you alter your 2019 taxes in order to qualify for the stimulus check?

I admire you for standing by your beliefs. You put your heart on the line. That takes guts. However, you are playing God if you think you have the power or the right to control where they choose to spend their money. It’s their breakfast party, and they’ll enjoy their carbohydrates, if they want to. Chic-fil-A was not immediately available for comment on its current position on LGBTQ causes, but last November the Georgia-based chicken-sandwich chain said it would cease making multiyear donations to two religious organizations that reportedly made and/or supported controversial statements about homosexuality and same-sex marriage in the past.

Instead, the company said it would “deepen its giving to a smaller number of organizations working exclusively in the areas of education, homelessness and hunger,” and has committed $9 million to organizations such as the Junior Achievement USA, which fosters work-readiness and financial literary skills for students through 12th grade, as well as Covenant House International, which provides outreach to 70,000 homeless, runaway and trafficked young people each year. Rather than praising Chick-fil-A for being more inclusive, many people on Twitter
TWTR,
+2.01%

— including some identifying as Christian and conservative — slammed the chain for chickening out in the face of a “left-wing mob.” You can’t please everyone. They too wanted Chic-fil-A to do what they wanted.

Will they also boycott Chic-fil-A now that the company has stopped supporting those organizations? If they do, it’s none of our business if they go to Popeyes, Bojangles or KFC
YUM,
-1.86%
,
instead.

You can email The Moneyist with any financial and ethical questions related to coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com

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Hedge fund celebrity John Paulson shuts firm to become a family office By Reuters


© Reuters.

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) – Hedge fund manager John Paulson, whose multi-billion payoff on a bet against the overheated housing market a decade ago turned him into an industry superstar, will stop managing money for outside clients and turn his firm into a family office.

“After considerable reflection and careful thought, Paulson & Co. will convert into a private investment office and return all external investor capital,” the 64-year old manager wrote in a letter seen by Reuters.

The news had been expected for some time after Paulson & Co’s assets had been shrinking, prominent employees left the firm, and performance had been mixed.

Paulson himself hinted at the move toward a family firm, in which the wealthy invest just their own fortunes, in a podcast early last year.

Now he joins a number of prominent fund managers – Carl Icahn, George Soros, Stanley Druckenmiller – who have all returned outsiders’ money and freed themselves from the pressures of sending quarterly client letters, talking clients through big positions and being always tethered to the office.

Paulson called his 26 years as a fund manager “rewarding” and said he is proud of his returns and the fact that the firm has been at the forefront of investing in global events ranging from the housing crisis to many block-buster mergers.

He plans to remain active in the markets, the letter said, without disclosing how much money will be returned to clients and whether his firm, headquartered in midtown Manhattan, might cut employees or cut the size of its offices.

“Even the great investors stumble, and when they do, they realize how little they like dealing with outside investor questions and withdrawals. Family office life, unlike family life, often is less filled with drama,” said Erik Gordon a professor at the University of Michigan.

A spokesman for Paulson could not be reached for comment.

Bloomberg first reported the move.

At the start of 2020, Paulson & Co oversaw $10.7 billion in assets and noted in a regulatory filing that many of the funds were 100% owned by Paulson himself, suggesting that many outside clients had already left the firm.

Paulson, a soft-spoken manager with a courtly manner, shot to fame when he earned $4 billion off the subprime bet in 2007 and repeated with a $5 billion payout in 2010 on bets the economy would recover.

By 2011, his firm was managing $38 billion and Paulson was a regular speaker at industry conferences and guest at charity events. He donated to favorite causes and become somewhat involved in Republican politics. Central Park, where he often jogs, received $20 million and Harvard University, where he earned his business degree, got $400 million five years ago.

Still Paulson maintained a low profile by refusing most interviews and declining to discuss big investments on television. Some of those bets didn’t work out and many clients left after losses on Sino-Forest Corp and drug companies like Valeant. The firm shrunk further when employees including Samantha Greenberg, Sihan Shu, Dan Kamensky, James Wong and Michael Barr moved on.





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