Yes, the “middle-class
is disappearing” as we hear all the time, but it’s because middle-income
households in the US are gradually moving up to higher income groups, and not
down into lower-income groups. In 1967, only 9% of US households (only 1 in 11)
earned $100,000 or more (in 2017 dollars). In 2017, more than 1 in 4 US
households (29.2%) were in that high-income category, a new record high. In
other words, over the last half-century, the share of US households earning
incomes of $100,000 or more (in 2017 dollars) has more than tripled! At the
same time, the share of middle-income households earning $35,000 to $100,000
(in 2017 dollars) has decreased over time, from more than half of US households
in 1967 (53.8%) to less than half (only 41.3%) in 2017. Likewise, the share of
low-income households earning $35,000 or less (in 2017 dollars) has decreased
from more than one-third of households in 1967 (37.2%) to below one-third of US
households last year (29.5%), a near-record low.
Mark J. Perry, “America’s middle class is disappearing … but it’s because they’re moving up.”, July 30, 2019, aei.org. Emphasis in the original.
Courtesy of one of our
clients, below is a link to determine if you were affected by the
hack. Everyone should check.
If you are affected, the
site directs you to File a Claim.
Here’s hoping your name doesn’t show up.
August 13th marked the
40th anniversary of BusinessWeek’s famous cover and cover story, “The Death of
Equities: How Inflation is Destroying the Stock Market”.
At the time of that
writing, the S&P 500 closed at 107.42.
Today, as I write, the
S&P 500 is north of 2,900.
The fuel of financial
journalism is negativity. The same tired crap is being written
today. Really, don’t read or listen to it. It can only cause you to
underperform. Read something happy … and factual.
Health Savings Accounts
(HSAs) are powerful savings vehicles.
HSAs are triple tax
- Contributions are tax-deductible
- The account grows tax free
- Withdrawals are tax free if used for medical
One of the best uses of
an HSA is to save up for the enormous medical expenses we will experience in
To be eligible, you have
to have a high-deductible health insurance plan, which many, if not most, of us
This is a powerful addition to your retirement savings. If your health plan is HSA eligible, open one. I use Further at www.hellofurther.com. Low fees, more than enough investment choices.
In response to Monday’s
sizable market downturn, on top of last week’s stink up, I submit the
following, courtesy of Scott Grannis’ Friday June 21st submission:
- Household debt is at
historically low levels
- U.S. Household net worth has
reached an all-time high, due to increased savings and investments
- Per Capita net worth is at an
Please don’t get twisted
about the current state of affairs or the market’s short term reaction to
them. Keep your long term financial plan on track, leave it just the way
An interesting idea from
one of our clients:
Kids over 18, legal
adults, need a Will, a Durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will so you, as
parents or close relatives, can act on their behalf if the unthinkable occurs.
As ugly as this is, the
pain of something happening doesn’t need to be magnified by having to hassle
with existing laws.
The IRS warns that IRS
phone scams are surging, with caller IDs being altered to read, ‘IRS’ or
‘Taxpayer Advocate Services’.
Victims are told they
owe taxes and must pay through a wire transfer, gift card or prepaid debit
card, which is ridiculous when you think about it. The scammers are
threatening arrest, foreclosure or deportation.
Seniors and low-incomers are especially
targeted. Please be aware. If you get one of these calls, just hang
The 3 engines of wealth accumulation are:
- Personal Initiative
- Hard Work
I don’t know any other
Heard a great quote from
one of the speakers at The Investment Center’s Educational Conference in New
Orleans that Maria and I attended.
“Gambling odds are less
than 50%. The longer you’re in, the greater your chances of
failure. The market goes up 75% of the time. The longer you’re in,
the greater your chances of success.”
In the world of
investing, the future is unknowable. ‘Uncertain’ is simply the way it
is. How much uncertainty you can handle will determine your ultimate rate
‘Certainty’ and rate of
return are inversely related. If you want ‘certainty’, like a money market
or a Treasury bond, your returns will be scant. Factor in inflation, and
your ‘certain’ return is actually negative.
If you can accept
‘uncertainty’, now you’re in the game. Embrace uncertainly and buckle up
for a wild and rewarding ride!