Economic and Investment News Bits
  • As of 2014, there were 72,197 Americans 100 years old or older, a 44% increase since 2000. By 2050, there are expected to be a million centenarians in the U.S. The biggest risk to these people will be the exploding costs of healthcare, including premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and long-term care.
  • “There would be days where we would open 5 checking accounts for friends and family just to go home early,” says a former Wells Fargo employee about the millions of fake accounts bank employees were coerced into opening. Branch managers checked employees’ quotas up to four times each day, a high-pressure technique that was encouraged by top bank executives.
  • Not as big a number as we might think. Total foreign aid spending by the U.S. for 2016 is expected to be $38.8 billion or about 1% of our government’s projected spending of $3.951 trillion, (Source: Office of Management and Budget).
  • Made in Ohio. In the early 1900s, aluminum pots and pans were replacing cast iron in kitchens. But the new pots were easily blackened by coal fires, creating the need for a cleaner.  A cookware peddler added a product, soap and steel wool, into his line of goods.  Demand increased quickly, a patent was secured, and the rest is history.  Today, all Brillo pads in the U.S. are made in London, Ohio.
  • World stock market performance year to-date is wide-ranging. Top developed markets are New Zealand and Canada, up 28% and 17% respectively. The best-performing emerging stock markets are Brazil, Peru, and Columbia, gaining 58%, 53%, and 29%.  The S&P 500 has gained 7% as of 9/12.
  • The average student loan debt of student borrowers who graduated in 2015, according to CNBC, was $35,051. And interest rates that range from 4% to 7% do not make repayment seem very easy. Graduate programs come with even higher price tags, with debt often in the $50,000 range for medicine and law graduates. 
Thought for the week

“There cannot be a crisis next week.  My schedule is already full.”

Henry Kissinger, American statesman (b. 1923)

Planning Commentary for September

How big of an emergency fund do you need?  It may be more or less than you think.  While we believe it is important to keep some readily available cash in a very safe account in case of an unforeseen expense, how much should this fund be?  Consider the following steps: 1. Make sure you have adequate and suitable health, auto, and property insurance.  2. Decide what is likely to be your most severe financial emergency that is not covered by insurance.  This is often loss of a job, with no income for many months. 3. If you are still working, figure out what your monthly cash flow needs would be if your employment stopped.  Create a list of your monthly expenses, then cross off non-essential spending such as vacations, gifts, restaurant meals, retirement funding.    4. Decide on the size (length of time needed) of your fund.  Six to nine months is typically where most people find comfort, since those who lose a job usually are able to find a new one within this period. 12 months or longer is an ok goal for self-employed or those in high-risk industries where layoffs are common. 5. Fine tune the time frame depending on your personal circumstances.

Chart For September 

“More than half of the people on earth live within the small green circle above.  The circle holds 22 of the world’s 37 megacities – massive cities that hold at least 10 million inhabitants.  It also includes the five most populous cities on the planet: Tokyo, Jakarta, Seoul, Karachi and Shanghai, which alone combine to hold 144.5 million people.  On the other hand, this also includes the least populated country on earth, Mongolia.”


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