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
  • Confident:  Optimism about finances is near record-high levels according to a survey conducted since 1977.  69% of Americans expect they will be financially better off in 1 year, a result that is only 2% less than the all-time record of 71% recorded in March 1998.  The 1998 record occurred during an economic boom with the S&P 500 posting annual returns of at least +20% for 5 consecutive years (1995-1999). (Source: Gallup)
  • Speed Walkers:  According to a recent study, married people walk faster and have a stronger grip.  At older ages, the better physical and mental health compared to unmarried people leads to longer lives.  The researchers attribute their better fitness levels to wealth, which married people tend to have more of later in life than unmarried people. (Source: CNN)
  • Financial Stability Elusive:  Despite average household income increasing 2% to $59,039, only 46% of households make more than they spend.  Additionally, other variables such as income volatility and financial shocks (i.e. unexpected expenses), mean income gains may not be enough to alleviate financial instability in many households, particularly those with mounting debts.  Families continue to walk a financial tightrope, even as income moderately improves. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, The Pew Charitable Trusts)
  • Caregiving:  17% of adults will provide some level of care to their aging parents (e.g. dressing, bathing, feeding, or shopping). (Source: Health and Retirement Study)
  • Perception Becomes Reality:  As we age, our attitude toward aging affects our health. Those who view their aging negatively tend to become less healthy and less mobile than those who view their aging positively.  The more negatively a person views their aging, the more likely they are to delay seeking health care. (Source: University of Michigan, The Gerontologist)

Thought for the Month


“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.”

– Augusta Kantra, Counselor at the Center for CALM Living (1963-)

Commentary – Why You Don’t Like New Music


After an argument with his brother about whether or not Bruce Springsteen’s song “Born to Run” was good, a New York Times columnist analyzed data from streaming music service Spotify to see if the year we were born influences the music we listen to now.  He found clear patterns showing listeners’ favorite songs were those that were popular during their early adolescence: when men were ages 13-16 and women were ages 11-14.  These key years match closely with puberty for each gender and are an important period for forming adult tastes and preferences.  As our parents told us and their parents told them, today’s popular “music” is not as good as it was when we were growing up.

Video for the Month – The History of Tesla in 5 minutes

Inspired by the failure of GM’s electric car, Tesla was founded in 2003 with three bold ideas they envisioned to make their company successful:

  1. Focus on improved batteries that were more powerful and less expensive.
  2. Start with a high-margin, high performance sports car to shed the existing stigma around electric vehicles. Then, use those profits to fund a more affordable car.
  3. Achieve economies of scale to then target other markets like semi-trucks and home energy.

In 2010, Tesla stock IPO’d as the first American car company to go public since Ford in 1956.  In 2013, the Gigafactory concept was introduced to supply batteries.  In 2017, Tesla overtook Ford in market value.  Led by Elon Musk, Tesla continues to focus on innovation and automation.

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.