Economic and Investment News Bits
  • The average credit score has reached an all-time high of 700. There are now more U.S. consumers rated “super-prime” (800+ credit score) than there are rated “subprime” (<600 credit score). You can obtain your free credit report and score at:  (Source:  FICO)
  • 44% of adults could not pay for an unexpected $400 emergency expense out of cash reserves, forcing them to borrow funds or liquidate an asset to pay the expense. (Source: Federal Reserve’s Survey of Household Economics and Decision Making)
  • It is estimated that one in four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one in ten will live past age 95. Since 1940, life expectancy has increased by 1 year every 13 years. (Source:  Social Security Administration)
  • 78% of Americans are confident in their ability to maintain the lifestyle they want throughout their retirement. (Source: Gallup/Wells Fargo)
  • By 2030, the U.S. could face a shortage of as many as 104,900 medical doctors, including 43,100 primary care physicians. (Source: Association of American Medical Colleges)
  • During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress issued paper money to help fund the war effort. Due to massive over-printing, runaway inflation ensued causing it to be worth just 2.5% of its face value after five years. (Source: The Money Project)
  • Less than 10% of U.S. corn was used to produce cereal, corn syrup, and other foods for human consumption in 2016. Almost half was used to feed livestock, and nearly 30% became the biofuel ethanol. (Source: How Stuff Works)


Thought for the Month

“The things you own end up owning you.”

Tyler Durden as played by Brad Pitt in the movie “Fight Club” (1999)


Chart for the Month 

Amazon has the largest market capitalization among U.S. retailers, is the fourth most valuable publicly traded company in the world, and has the highest revenue of any internet company.  Amazon’s “Prime Day” began in July 2015 to commemorate their 20th birthday.  Amazon recently celebrated their third annual event to reward their approximately 80 million Prime subscribers and had sales of $1 billion in a 30-hour period (3x the sales of a normal shopping day, and a 60% increase from last year).

As the chart above shows, by itself, Amazon achieved nearly one-third of the sales that all U.S. retailers earned during Black Friday 2016.  The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has offered a similar promotion to “Prime Day” since 2009.  Alibaba’s “Singles’ Day” holiday promotion had $17.8 billion in sales in 2016, which is close to what Kohl’s sold in their 1,155 department stores for the entire year!


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