Economic and Investment News Bits
  • An individual who waits to take Social Security retirement benefits until age 70 will receive as much as 77% more income per month than if taking the monthly benefit at age 62. (Source: Social Security)
  • 80% of current members of Congress are not military veterans. This is a reversal from 1978 when 77% were military veterans. (Source: Vital Statistics on Congress)
  • “The evidence suggests lower oil prices are much more a boon than a hindrance to the global economy and developed nations in particular. The consensus has formed around a percentage point of stimulus to U.S. GDP from consumer spending as a result of the plunge in gasoline prices, which are expected to fall another 10-30 cents in coming weeks,” (Source: Federated Investors).
  • Two of China’s top internet firms (Alibaba and have recently partnered with Gap, Inc., Levi’s, Skechers USA, Quicksilver, and Costo Wholesale Corp. Another Chinese firm, Tencent Holdings, Ltd., has become the Chinese distributor for Warner Music Group and for HBO to stream programs in China. Instead of going through the costly setting up of brick-and-mortar stores in China, U.S. companies are now partnering to gain immediate access to tens of millions of potential customers. (Source: Reuters)
  • The hottest toys this gift-giving season include the LEGO Minecraft Micro World: The End, VTech’s Kidizoom Smartwatch, and the Zoomer Zuppies Personal Interactive Puppy. (Source: Hot Toys)
  • Did you know that Ohio is home to more Halls of Fame than any other state? It’s true. The list includes the well-known Rock-N-Roll, Pro Football, and Inventors Halls of Fame.  But Ohio is also home to the Polka, National Aviation, Motorcycle, Barbers’, Harness Racing, American Classical Music, and Ohio Women’s Halls of Fame.  Unfortunately, the Trap Shoooting Hall of Fame moved out of state last year.
Thought for the week

“Things don’t have to change the world to be important.”

Steve Jobs, American businessman (1955-2011)

Announcing the PDS Cares Charitable Fund

We at PDS Planning are blessed in so many ways, and we believe it is important for us to share our resources with those who do not have as much.  As a result, PDS has created the PDS Cares Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund of The Columbus Foundation.  We will use the assets of the fund to support tax-exempt organizations that focus on the needs of the communities in which we live and on programs supporting financial literacy.  In addition, we have established an Employee Matching Gift Program designed to encourage individual giving.  While PDS will maintain our support of local charities and causes, the PDS Cares Charitable Fund and Employee Matching Gift Program bring a new focus to our efforts and help to align our business philosophy with our many charitable interests.

Graph of the Week (CLICK TO ENLARGE)


This chart from Sentier Research shows the stagnant nature of wages in the U.S. over the last fourteen years.  While nominal wage growth has been good, inflation-adjusted wages are actually lower, some say a lot lower in real, purchasing-power terms.  Just in October, the median household income in the U.S. dropped by 0.6%, or about $318.  This goes a long way to explaining why lobbyists and some government officials are pushing for even lower mortgage qualification standards.  Their efforts are paying off.  The 20% down-payment requirement has disappeared, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now guarantee some loans with down payments of as little as 3%.  Will good credit be the next to go?


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