Economic and Investment News Bits
  • The surest way to reach financial goals is to contribute adequately on a regular basis. This is more important than asset allocation, security selection, and even risk management. Increasing contributions trumps all other aspects of investing.  The goal should be to max out payroll deductions for retirement plans.  (Source: Hal Ratner, Morningstar)
  • The most recent “bang-up” employment report prompted economist Jeremy Siegel to pen the following comments: “Bottom line is that there is absolutely no reason for the Fed to raise rates at this point, and March is most certainly a pass. I still rate June as a likely increase.”
  • Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase we make, and rising prices are creating major problems in some cities. According to Real Estate Special Report, here is the average sale price of a home in the following cities: San Francisco, $835,400; Los Angeles, $536,700; Washington, $393,500; Miami, $315,000; Chicago, $244.100; Columbus, $236,400; Cincinnati, $157,000; Cleveland, $138,900.
  • The best stock market returns by country for 2016 were Russia (+52%), Argentina (+45%), Brazil (+39%), Norway (+18%), Canada (+18%), Indonesia (+15%), the U.K. (+14%).
  • In 1970, 92% of 30-year old Americans earned more than their parents. In 2014, after adjusting for inflation, only 51% of 30-year old Americans earned more than their parents. (Source: Trends in Income Mobility Since 1940)
  • Founded in 1857, this company’s primary product was condensed milk. The company prospered during the Civil War and started selling processed milk to consumers in 1875, pioneering the use of glass milk bottles in 1885. It began selling evaporated milk in 1892. The company moved its headquarters from New York City to Columbus in the 1960s and at one time was the largest producer of dairy and pasta products.  The company no longer exists, having died at the hands of takeover firm KKR.  It’s name was Borden.
Thought for the week

“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.”

Lily Tomlin, American Actress (b. 1939)


Chart for February

Commodities have been a recent hot topic with the media and market observers.  This chart from Visual Capitalist shows the wild year that each of these underlying commodities have experienced.  Iron ore and oil were both up over 50% in 2016 while coal, wheat and uranium were all in the red.  The entire commodity index increased by just over 10% as investors started to look for a potential inflation hedge.  This is a sharp contrast to the -1% commodity return in 2013, -33% in 2014 and -32% in 2015.


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