Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life in the Great Recession

Life in the Great Recession by Rodney Johnson

In the hundreds or thousands of presentations that I gave during the boom years, one question kept coming up: “What should we be watching to know when we have turned the corner into the long winter?” The answer was simple consumer expenditures. The Bureau of Economic Analysis tracks consumer expenditures quarterly. Adjusted for inflation, they are shown in Chart 1 from 1990 through March 2010. You will notice that, except for a brief time in 1991-92, consumption expenditures consistently have gone up until the recent downturn. This happened through the Russian bond default, the tech bubble busting, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and so on. We just kept spending more, but now we’ve reined ourselves in. We are spending less.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Student Loan Debt Exceeds Credit Card Debt

Student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt. Where is the demand going to come from when young people have so much debt? As a general rule he says you should not borrow more than one times your estimated starting salary once you graduate.

Here is the latest from Finaid.org's Kantrowitz.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Credit Situation in America

Credit Card Debt: its worse than it looks - Brett Arends WSJ

During the first quarter of this year, says the Fed, credit-card balances fell by about $19.5 billion. How much of that was written off? About $18.7 billion, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

He discusses how the credit write downs are misleading. Americans are defaulting not saving to pay off debt, and they are staying current on their credit card payments because it is their last source of liquidity to cover their living expenses, so they will do everything in their power to send the minimum payment.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

To Buy Now or Later

Let's not kid ourselves now is most likely not the time to buy.

Housing Crash Continues by Patrick Killelea

Some are waiting until 2012 or later, here is a recent blog post by Millionaire Mommy that explains her case.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Art of Asset Location

This is a timely topic that does not get enough attention. Putting assets in the right location can dramatically change your after-tax returns. As tax laws are set to change next year consider putting your bonds, REITs, high dividend paying stocks into IRA's, 401k's, and low cost annuities. Put your municipal bonds and tax efficient stocks and stock funds in taxable accounts. Tax rates are near historic lows and we can anticipate rates increasing over the next decade, so now is the time to start building this into your planning.