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
  • More Debt than Equity:  As of 12/31/17, the U.S. stock market was worth $29.6 trillion.  The U.S. bond market (including treasury, municipal, corporate, mortgage, and asset-backed debt) was worth $40.8 trillion, or nearly 38% more than stocks.  As of 12/31/85, the US bond market was worth only $4.1 trillion, meaning it has increased tenfold in the last 32 years.  (Sources: Wilshire, SIFMA)
  • Retirees’ Confidence Waning:  80% of retirees are optimistic about their ability to afford basic expenses, down from 85% last year.  This decrease is attributed to growing concerns about rising medical and long-term-care expenses and uncertainty surrounding Social Security and Medicare benefits.  (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
  • Health Care Costs: The amount spent on health care in the U.S. is equal to 18% of the $20 trillion U.S. economy, or approximately $11,000 per year for each of the U.S.’s 327 million citizens. Coincidentally, $11,000 is 18.6% of the average household income of $59,000. (Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CNBC)
  • GDP Per Person:  China’s economy is the second-largest in the world behind the United States, but China’s GDP per capita is only $8,500 while the USA’s is $59,500.  Luxembourg has the highest at $107,700 per person for their population of 575,000 and 1,000 square mile country.  The global average is $15,800 per person. (Source: International Monetary Fund)
  • Concentration of People: 1 out of every 3 Americans lives in just 4 U.S. states: California, Texas, Florida, and New York.  These 4 states are home to over 100 million Americans out of the total U.S. population of 323 million.  (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Concentration of Bank Failures, FDIC Bored in 2018:  Of the 524 bank failures in the U.S. over the last 10 years, more than half have occurred in just 4 states: California, Florida, Illinois, and Georgia.  So far in 2018, there have been zero bank failures requiring a bailout from the FDIC.  (Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation)
Thought for the Month


“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.”   

Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1874-1965)

Commentary – Ohio 529 changes 

Ohio’s 529 College Advantage savings plan recently modified their age-based portfolios to provide a smoother glide path.  These updates provide smaller and more frequent adjustments to the investment portfolio as the beneficiary gets older.  Previously, these age-based portfolios had only 5 “steps” with asset allocation adjustments approximately every 4 years.  Now, the portfolio adjusts the allocation every 2 years (beginning at age 5), reducing the amount of stocks and increasing the amount of more conservative investments such as bonds and cash preservation options.  No action was required by participants in these age-based portfolios.

Chart for the Month


This month’s chart from “Visual Capitalist” surveyed 22,000 people to determine what is valued more:  Time or Money, Experiences or Possessions.  Across all age groups, more respondents preferred time and experiences over money and possessions.  Millennials (currently in their 20s and 30s) have the highest preference for experiences over possessions.  Surprisingly, only 20% of people in the 60+ age group clearly had a preference for time over money.

This survey serves to validate one of my favorite Bob Cochran sayings:

“Wealth is not about money.  It is about having the freedom and ability to do what you want and to have meaningful experiences.  It is what makes life worth living.”



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.