Economic and Investment News Bits 
  • In the last 50 years, the S&P 500 has experienced declines of at least 10% on 25 occasions, roughly every 24 months on average. The most recent of the 25 declines occurred on February 11, 2016, or 19 months ago.
  • Americans gave $390 billion to charity in 2016. Giving from individuals accounted for over 70% with the remaining gifts from estates, foundations, and corporations. (Source:  The Giving Institute)  We assist many of our clients with incorporating charitable gifts into their financial plan.  As the above statistic shows, your personal donations have a substantial impact on benefiting causes that are meaningful to you.
  • Lottery Fever: Americans spend over $80 billion on lottery games. That is more than is spent on movies, video games, books, music, and sports tickets combined.  (Source:  North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries)
  • 40% of U.S. homeowners are mortgage-debt free. Of homeowners with a mortgage, only 4% are “underwater” (mortgage debt exceeds the value of their home). “Underwater” homeowners peaked in 2010 at 33%.  (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Healthcare costs in retirement: A 65 year-old couple retiring this year will need $275,000 to cover healthcare expenses throughout retirement (an increase of 6% from last year and up more than 70% since 2002). (Source: Forbes)
  • Home size inflation: New single family homes built in the U.S. average 2,422 square feet, an increase of 532 square feet compared to 25 years ago. That’s equivalent to a 23’ x 23’ addition to a new home today compared to 1991 home construction.  (Source:  Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University)
  • Fewer homes were built over the last 10 years than any 10-year period in recent history. Over the past 10 years, 9 million new homes were built compared to 14+ million homes in the 1980s and 1990s. (Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University)


Thought for the Month

 “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

General George S. Patton, U.S. Army (1885-1945)


Article – The Best Ways to Help in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many clients have asked us for recommendations on how best to help those in need.  An article from Consumer Reports provides guidance on fulfilling your charitable intentions.  Unfortunately, numerous scammers attempt to take advantage of others’ misfortune and your goodwill, so they suggest using a “charity watchdog” to help you select an established charity that has a history of meeting standards.  Additionally, they recommend sending money rather than food, clothing, or other supplies due to logistical challenges and potential cost savings by obtaining items locally.


Charts for the Month

With college and NFL football recently beginning their seasons, the EPL season underway, and the MLB playoffs, NBA, and NHL seasons beginning next month, this chart of The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams shows the business of sports off the field, court, or ice.

NFL teams make up more than half of the list (only 3 of their 32 teams did not qualify) with the Dallas Cowboys again being the highest-valued sports team in the world.  For the fifth consecutive year, the same five teams have been in the top-5, and, to add a sports idiom, have jockeyed for position.




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.