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
- Trillion Dollar Club: After Apple became the first trillion dollar company just last month, Amazon surpassed $1 trillion market capitalization to join them earlier this month after starting 2018 with a value of $580 billion. In 2017, Amazon “only” posted profits of $3 billion compared to Apple’s profits of $48 billion. (Source: Investor’s Business Daily)
- Waffle House Index: Waffle House is known for being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Government officials monitor Waffle Houses during emergency events (i.e. hurricanes) as an informal barometer of the severity of a disaster. From open with a full menu (green) to open with a limited menu (yellow) to closed (red). (Source: The Economist)
- Brothers Grim: 10 years ago (9/15/08), Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy due to substantial investments in subprime mortgages after 158 years in business. It remains the largest U.S. bankruptcy in history. (Source: The Brookings Institution)
- The Graying of Bankruptcy: Older Americans are more likely than ever to file bankruptcy due to reductions in the social safety net and a shift away from pensions. 62% of seniors file for bankruptcy because they are overwhelmed by medical expenses. (Source: Consumer Bankruptcy Project)
- A Lost Generation?: The net worth of a typical family headed by someone born in the 1980s was 34% below what was expected, and even lost ground between 2010 and 2016 after the recession ended. Older generations were worth somewhat more than expected, significantly widening the wealth gap between young and old. (Source: St. Louis Fed: “The Demographics of Wealth”)
Thoughts for the Month
” Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.”
“Our shared values define us more than our differences, and acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again.”
“Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you.”
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.”
– John McCain, American politician and naval officer (1936-2018)
Commentary – Major League Baseball is in Trouble
According to an article by the Bleacher Report that includes interviews with baseball greats, many lament how “America’s Pastime” has changed for the worse in recent years. The MLB batting average is the lowest it has been since 1972, the season before the American League instituted the designated hitter. In 1999, 55 players had a batting average over .300. There are currently only 17 hitters batting over .300 with no one even close to Ted Williams’ storied .406 average. In April, there were more strikeouts than hits in a month for the first time in MLB history, and the league is on pace to have more strikeouts than hits overall for the full season for the first time. Perhaps not coincidentally, attendance has dropped to its lowest point in 15 years. The MLB postseason starts October 2nd and the World Series begins October 23rd.
Chart for the Month – The Huge Costs of an American Wedding
Love is in the air with engagements and weddings. “Wedding Season” is upon us with nearly 40% of weddings taking place during the Fall including the top 5 wedding dates of the year. Nearly 40% of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day with Christmas Day as the most popular to pop the question.
Average costs of items for a wedding ceremony and reception range from $9,000 for the venue to $300 for the Officiant. Average total spending does vary by location, with New York spending the most of the 25 largest metro areas at $45,000, and St. Louis the least at $21,000.
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.