Thursday: Unemployment Claims, Flow of Funds
2 hours ago
Fully 57% of people who earn less than $50,000 said they can’t afford to both pay their bills and save for retirement, compared with 35% of people who earn $50,000 or more. Meanwhile, 59% of those surveyed said their top, day-to-day money worry is paying the monthly bills—that’s’ up from 52% who said that in 2012.
Three-quarters of Americans have “positive perceptions” of their own financial knowledge and math skills. but only 14% were able to correctly answer five financial literacy questions posed by a top regulator’s investor education foundation.Source
The gulf between the richest 1% of the USA and the rest of the country got to its widest level in history last year. The top 1% of earners in the U.S. pulled in 19.3% of total household income in 2012, which is their biggest slice of total income in more than 100 years, according to a an analysis by economists at the University of California, Berkeley and the Paris School of Economics at Oxford University. The richest Americans haven't claimed this large of a slice of total wealth since 1927, when the group claimed 18.7%. The analysis is based on data from Internal Revenue Service data. One of the economists behind the research, Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, is a top researcher in the topic of wealth and income inequality. He won the John Bates Clark medal last year. The Clark medal is awarded to the most promising economists under the age of 40. Past winners have includes Paul Krugman of Princeton University, Lawrence Summers and Steve Levitt, co-author of "Freakonomics." In a separate analysis, Saez found the top 1% of earnings posted 86% real income growth between 1993 and 2000. Meanwhile, the real income growth of the bottom 99% of earnings rose 6.6%.Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/09/10/pay-gap-richest-poorest/2793343/
Based on trailing 12-month earnings, the S&P 500’s SPX current P/E ratio is 18.8. Even if we assume that all 500 companies in the index will report earnings over the next few weeks that match analyst estimates, the S&P’s P/E drops only modestly, to 17.9. Even that lower level is higher than 77% of comparable readings over the last 140 years, according to data compiled by Yale University finance professor Robert Shiller. The average P/E for the S&P 500 since 1871 is 15.5 and the median P/E is 14.5.Read the whole article.
Despite the Great Recession and slow recovery, the American dream of working hard, saving more, and becoming wealthier than one's parents holds true for many. Unless you're under 40. Stagnant wages, diminishing job opportunities, and lost home values may be painting a vastly different future for Gen X and Gen Y. Today's political discussions often focus on preserving the wealth and benefits of older Americans and the baby boomers. Often lost in this debate is attention to younger generations whose wealth losses, or lack of long-term gains, have been even greater.Gene Stuerle wrote a blog post about it. You can ready the study as well.
The amounts that investors have saved through their 401(k)s vary widely depending on a participant's age. Fidelity said the average year-end balances were $143,300 for participants 55 and older and not yet retired; $120,400 for baby boomers born from 1946 to 1964; $59,100 for Generation Xers born from 1965 to 1978; and $15,400 for those in Generation Y, born from 1979 to 1991.In case you missed it here is CNBC's article.