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.

  • Record Inflation:  The January inflation numbers were released earlier this month and, as expected, the Consumer Price Index increased significantly. Over the last 12 months, prices have increased 7.5%, the largest year-over-year increase in 40 years. This increase is costing the average American household an extra $276 per month on expenses. (Source: Wall Street Journal)
  • Speaking Of Price Increases:  New homes built and sold in the US have jumped from an average price of $228,700 in 2002 to $391,000 by the end of 2020. In the same period of time, the number of homes costing less than $150,000 decreased from a 30% share to now just 1%. (Source: Statista)

  • Debt, Debt, and more Debt:  2021 finished with consumers holding a record-breaking amount of debt. $15.6 trillion ($15,600,000,000,000). It grew $333 billion in the 4th quarter and a full $1 trillion over the full year. The majority of the debt added this year (89%) comes in the form of mortgages. (Source: CNBC)
  • Avocado Toast:  The US was forced to suspend all avocado imports from Mexico after an agency employee received a threat. As the fruit has become more popular over the years, the cartels in Mexico took notice and began forcing their way into the industry. 80% of all avocado’s consumed in the US come from Mexico and even a two week ban could cause already expensive prices to increase.  (Source: New York Times)

Thought of the Month

I’ve been a lot of music from the band Half Alive. The music sounds great, but it’s the song writing that really pulled me in. From their songs ‘What’s Wrong’ and ‘Make of It’ come two lyrics, respectively, that made me want to write them down:

“The time’s always right to fix what’s wrong” ~What’s Wrong

“Life isn’t what I made it. My past is what I make of it” ~Make of It

What’s Wrong was released in March of 2021. The band explained, “That line felt like the open door to address the social climate we’ve all been surrounded by for nearly a year now & prompted the idea of transformation of one’s immediate & eventually global environment by looking inward first, to look in the mirror & realize that is where the change is going to begin.”

There’s never a bad time to start working on yourself, or trying to fix something. It’s easy to keep pushing things off until the start of next week, next month, or next year. But waiting only prolongs what needs fixing.

Rarely do things ever go exactly to plan. Last weekend I planned to watch the Super Bowl but instead got food poisoning and was asleep by 8:00. As much as I try to be in control of everything in my life, it’s impossible. When things aren’t going according to plan, it’s important to try finding the silver lining. At the time, it might not exist. But things happen for a reason only when I find the reason.

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.