Coronavirus NC: Why is the stock market going up? Can you defer student loans? Financial expert weighs in

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- David Schawel, the chief investment officer at Family Management Securities in Cary, is helping ABC11 answer financial questions for so many people trying to find their way through the stay-at-home orders and COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch the featured video for the full interview. A partial transcript of answers follows.

Why has there been a delay on stimulus checks? Is there a good place to check the status?

It's been a pain point ... I would recommend going to the IRS payment tracker. I think people that are receiving it via snail mail, regular check, it's taking a little bit longer. Those who have it set up via direct deposit , it's probably going to be a little bit quicker ... for some people, they may need to file this year's taxes to qualify.

Should we expect another stimulus program from the government?

Very possible. Recently, the White House and House and Senate recently expanded the small business program, the Paycheck Protection, so I think keeping employees on payroll is a big part of that so expanding the funds for that program is a big thing. If this ends up being longer than we think, if say, shelter in place stays in place for longer than we think, you know, there's a recurrence of this, I think there could be additional stimulus.

Why is the market going up even though the economy is struggling so much?

That has to be one of the most confusing questions I've heard from people lately ... I think that one of the biggest misnomers is that the stock market is really not the economy. Look at the largest stocks in the market right now - you're talking about Amazon and Apple, Google, Netflix, and these companies are not really representative of small business. They're not really representative of the average American and so I think what we're seeing in our communities and in our state and the cities is not really representative of these large corporations, and I think if anything, it's really highlighting the growing disparity between wealth and equality.

If you were given the option for deferment/forbearance, should you take it? How does this relate to student loans?

Well, for federal student loans, the good news is from March to September, you have automatic principle and interest deferral. So, you don't have to do anything, it's zero percent for the next six months. If you have a non-federal student loan, you can reach out to your servicer and see if they're amenable to pushing out those payments ... as far as mortgages go, same thing.

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