Economic and Investment News Bits
  • “Many investors erroneously surmise that frontier market nations must be more impoverished than emerging market nations. They might be surprised that Sri Lanka, a frontier nation, is almost twice as rich per capita as India, which is considered a leading emerging economy,” (Source: Matthews Asia).
  • The American Institute for Economic Research notes the “college experience is about more than attending a top-notch university”. The city or town where the school is located also is important. Based on factors contributing to student life, culture, economic health, and opportunity, the top mid-size metro areas are San Jose, Austin, Raleigh, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester, Nashville, Columbus, Hartford, and Salt Lake City.
  • There are now just four major carrier airlines in the U.S. After years of restructuring, they are doing very well. They are rolling in dough.  People see this and say ‘Mr. Airline, you’re supposed to pass along those savings to me.’  No, they’re not.  The price of airline tickets is determined by supply and demand. The supply is restricted, after years of cutting unnecessary routes and using smaller planes, and now everyone wants to fly again.  It’s showtime for airlines,” (Source: Mauldin Economics).
  • “Considering that the entire country relies on water systems that are between 40 and 90 years old, maintenance and upgrades alone should represent an investment bonanza. Even if you put aside all the issues related to climate change, population growth, water scarcity, and economic growth that causes people to use more water, we do not take care of our water systems in this country, “ (Source: author Charles Fishman).
  • “If you ask me today ‘Is it possible to live to be 500?’ the answer is yes” says Google Ventures president Bill Maris. He has $425 million to spend this year, and the freedom to invest it however he wants. He’s looking for companies that will slow aging, reverse disease, and extend life.
  • Here is a real-life example of inflation. In 1971, a one-day ticket to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom cost $3.50. In 1994, the cost was $36. Today it is $105.
Thought for the week

“In investing, what’s comfortable is rarely profitable.”

Robert Arnott, American investment author and manager (b. 1954)

Retirement Commentary for the Week

“For many individuals and married couples, Social Security retirement benefits are a major source of income.  Careful examination of when people should begin to receive benefits may improve their standard of living during retirement.  Delaying the start of Social Security retirement benefits can provide a very reasonable rate of return on the benefits delayed and a higher percentage of income replacement in retirement.  While no one knows how long he or she will live in retirement, people who have an option of delaying benefits until age 70 may experience very positive retirement planning results,” (Source: Clarence Rose, Radford University).

Graph of the Week (CLICK TO ENLARGE)


Lower prices for commodities, especially oil, sugar, soybeans, and coffee, have been a windfall for net-import countries, such as Thailand, Korea, Taiwan and other countries on the left of the above graph.  Besides Venezuela, Norway, Russia and Canada, whose economies largely depend on revenue from oil exports, the biggest losers have been Latin American countries, the biggest exporters of commodities. Note that lower prices are expected to lower Venezuela’s GDP by about 14%, while Thailand could see a 6% increase in its economic growth.


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