Welcome to Viewpoints, a monthly bulletin from PDS Planning to our valued clients and friends. Our goal with each issue of Viewpoints is to provide you with a wide variety of perspectives on life and wealth. Feel free to share with others.
Economic and Investment News Bits
- Delaying the Inevitable: In the 75 years from 1943-2017, the S&P 500 had 28 “corrections” (a decline of between 10% and 20%). On average, one occurs every 2.7 years. The last “10% correction” for the S&P 500 was a 13.3% drop over the 3 months that ended 2/11/16, or 2 years ago. (Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices)
- Concentrated Wealth: The three richest people in the U.S. (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett) own as much wealth as the bottom half of the entire U.S. population, or 160 million people. (Source: The Guardian)
- Generational Shift: There are more Millennials (born between 1981-1997) than Baby Boomers (born between 1946-95) in the United States (83 million Millennials compared to 75 million Baby Boomers). (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
- From Detroit Iron to Silicon Valley Batteries: In 1956, the Ford Motor Company’s IPO was the single largest stock offering in Wall Street’s history up to that point. In 2010, Tesla became the first American carmaker to go public since Ford, 54 years earlier. It took only seven years for Tesla to pass Ford in value on the public markets, with Tesla being valued higher than Ford by the end of 2017. (Source: Visual Capitalist)
- “Increasing” Fuel Costs: The average price of a gallon of gas today is $2.54. The average price of a gallon of gas in 1968 was 34 cents. After adjusting for 50 years of inflation, the 34 cent price in 1968 is equivalent to $2.47 in 2018 dollars. (Sources: AAA, U.S. Department of Labor)
Thought for the Month
“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.”
John Lennon, English singer, songwriter, and peace activist (1940-1980)
With tax season upon us, we remind you to be vigilant and aware of scams targeting taxpayers. The IRS frequently provides updates on common scams including how to protect yourself and what to look out for. In today’s high tech world, the crooks are no longer simply stealing checks from mailboxes. A new twist is scammers stealing data to file fraudulent tax returns and using the taxpayers’ real bank accounts to deposit erroneous tax refunds. Then, the scammers pose as IRS or law enforcement officials and ask the taxpayer to “return” the money to them. If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, be sure to work with the IRS directly.
Chart for the Month
While the price of gas may not have changed much on an inflation-adjusted basis over the past 50 years, this month’s chart (click to view the full listing) shows the change in the price of common grocery food items over the last 10 years. Only three items saw their prices decrease: chicken breasts (-6.4%), whole milk (-7.4%), and eggs (-14.9%). Inflation over the last decade was “only” 18.1%, but the average price increase for all items was a bit higher at 22%, led by meats: bacon (58.2%), ground beef (44.6%), top round steak (40.6%), frozen turkey (38.3%) and sirloin steak (35.2%). For purely economic reasons, we suppose the take away from this can be summed up by Chick-Fil-A’s slogan: “Eat Mor Chikin”.
Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that any specific investment, strategy, or product or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this newsletter, will be suitable for your individual situation, or prove successful. This material is distributed by PDS Planning, Inc. and is for information purposes only. Although information has been obtained from and is based upon sources PDS Planning believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy. It is provided with the understanding that no fiduciary relationship exists because of this report. Opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily the opinions of PDS Planning and are subject to change without notice. PDS Planning assumes no liability for the interpretation or use of this report. Consultation with a qualified investment advisor is recommended prior to executing any investment strategy. No portion of this publication should be construed as legal or accounting advice. If you are a client of PDS Planning, please remember to contact PDS Planning, Inc., in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives. All rights reserved.