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
- Impact of Inflation: In 1980, an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $80,580 would rank in the top 1% of U.S. taxpayers. In 2016, a similar AGI of $80,921 only ranks in the top 25%. (Sources: Internal Revenue Service, Tax Foundation)
- More Education = Higher Earnings: Over their working life, high school graduates, on average, earn $1.2 million, while those with bachelor’s degrees earn $2.1 million. Those with master’s degrees are expected to earn $2.5 million. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
- Little to Nothing Saved: 74% of Americans put 10% or less of their monthly paycheck towards savings, while 23% report saving nothing. (Source: First National Bank of Omaha 2019 Savings Survey)
- Born Lucky: In an analysis of data from 1900-2010, researchers discovered that approximately 60% of wealth is inherited rather than saved. Another study by the Fed found that 56% of wealth is inherited by those already in the top 10% while less than 10% was inherited by the bottom 50%. (Sources: Thomas Piketty, Federal Reserve)
- Hog Wild: Half of the world’s pig meat is produced and consumed by China. The deadly African swine fever virus outbreak (with no known vaccine or treatment) is predicted to reduce China’s pork output by as much as 30% (more than the total production of the U.S. and Brazil combined). After rising by 15-20% in April, Chinese pork prices may surge 50% by year-end according to some forecasts. (Source: Alliance Bernstein)
- Small Toy, Big Return: Reselling Lego returned an average of 11% per year, more than large stocks, bonds, and gold in the three decades ending in 2015. In one extreme case, a Star Wars minifigure returned 613% in one year. (Source: National Research University Higher School of Economics)
Thought for the Month
“If you work harder than somebody else, chances are you’ll beat him though he has more talent than you.”
Commentary – The Importance of Place
According to a recent study by the American Enterprise Institute, the neighborhood in which you live can literally change your life. Living close to amenities where you enjoy spending time has a dramatic impact on your feelings of community satisfaction, social trust, and decreased loneliness. This doesn’t mean you have to live in a dense urban center either. People living in amenity-rich suburban neighborhoods where they can walk to parks, grocery stores, or the library report similar levels of a sense of belonging, mutual concern, and helpfulness. The main takeaway from this study is: To be happier, live closer to the stuff you want to do.
Chart for the Month – Smartphones vs. the Camera Industry
“The best camera is the one that’s with you.” – Chase Jarvis, Award-winning photographer
The introduction of the iPhone in 2007 has had a dramatic impact on modern life. One major change has been on the sales of stand-alone cameras. In 2010, 121 million dedicated cameras were sold. With many now relying solely upon the cameras built into our phones, sales of cameras have dropped to 19 million per year, the lowest number of cameras sold since 1984 and an 84% drop since 2010.
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.