Retirement Concerns

I wrote this article knowing full well that I’m going to sound like a broken record but I believe the subject matter is to important to ignore. Last week I wrote an article about the impending insolvency of Social Security and pointed out why it is so important to save for your own retirement. Basically, why you should never depend on the government for your retirement security. Then this week I saw two Bloomberg articles that caught my eye. Continue reading “Retirement Concerns”

End of the Road

The 2017 report from the Social Security and Medicare trustees was released a few days ago. The good news is that payouts in 2018 will see their first significant bump in years, 2.2%. Bad news is that the impending insolvency of these programs is still looming on the horizon. Ironically, 100 years after the program began it could face the issue of not being able to fulfill it debts to the public. Continue reading “End of the Road”

Minimum Wage Experiment

It is a statement that many will disagree with but in my opinion it is the truth. A minimum wage has no place in a free market and it will do more harm than good. Back in 2015 the city of Seattle began an experiment. They decided to give in to the popular demand sweeping the nation and raise their local minimum wage well above the Federal standard. The raise would happen over many years and eventually hit $15 an hour. A couple years later and the shock waves from this decision are already being felt. Continue reading “Minimum Wage Experiment”

Ups and Downs

The markets this year could be described with one word, stability. We’ve seen very little in the way of volatility. Even when bad news has consumed the headlines, markets have shrugged said news off and continued their upward climb. This is very different, if not bizarre, behavior for the markets. Usually when bad news of any kind starts coming out, even if it is an unproven rumor, the markets tend to react creating what we call volatility. A popular measure of volatility is the VIX index and earlier this month it hit its lowest level since 1993. What could possibly rock this boat? Continue reading “Ups and Downs”

Passive Fund Doomsday

I ran across an interesting article this week. Yahoo Finance conducted an interview with the indexing legend himself, Jack Bogle, and he made an interesting comment concerning index investing. He stated the only word to describe everyone indexing is chaos, catastrophe. So what is the issue and why would Jack Bogle of all people make such a statement? Continue reading “Passive Fund Doomsday”

Biggest Budget Chunks

What 4 categories eat up the largest pieces of your budget pie? I was reading an article on Motley Fool that tried to answer this very question. The results were based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Before we get to the four budget categories the article mentioned another interesting factoid about our average savings rate. In the past 50 years our savings rate has dropped in half from 12% to 5.6%. This is an interesting thing to note since we are talking about our largest expenses. Now to the four categories. Continue reading “Biggest Budget Chunks”

Millennials and Consumer Debt

I firmly believe that debt is the greatest risk that consumers, businesses and governments face right now. From my viewpoint all three groups are overextend but it hasn’t stopped them. They keep racking up more and more debt while seemingly oblivious to the consequences. I’ve written a lot of articles about debt and today I have another one for you. At the end of the day, the increase in debt doesn’t have to continue. It can stop today and it starts with you saying enough is enough. Continue reading “Millennials and Consumer Debt”

Digit Outrage

This story broke last week and I wasn’t sure how to respond to it. The savings app Digit has decided to charge a $2.99 monthly fee for their service. The service was free so you can imagine there were a lot of upset people. At the end of the day though, Digit is a business. Any business has to find a way to make money. They have to be profitable or the business isn’t sustainable. I understand going from a free app to charging a monthly fee isn’t what people want to hear but it is the reality of life. Continue reading “Digit Outrage”

Tesla, The Little Engine that Could

Yesterday, Tesla became the most valuable US car maker, slightly edging out GM. Obviously this is based on their stock values and their market capitalization. GM sells way more cars each year compared to Tesla. But Teslas’ stock value has surged in the last month by 35%. Investors appear to be betting on the upcoming Tesla Model 3 and hoping that it will take over the market. Continue reading “Tesla, The Little Engine that Could”

Household Debt on the Rise

The last quarterly gauge of 2016 that looked at household debt saw a near record level. Household debt stood at $12.58 trillion dollars. Debt was up $460 billion year over year and is now just 0.8% off the all time high that was reached just before the Great Recession hit, $12.68 trillion. Mortgage debt was the largest piece of the pie at $8.48 trillion followed by student loan debt at $1.31 trillion and auto loan debt at $1.16 trillion. I know that I’ve beat this drum over and over again but we are a nation and a people with way too much debt. Continue reading “Household Debt on the Rise”