The Education 529 Channel

Buying Value in a Good Ol’ Bull Market

Many well-regarded experts have weighed in on the length and the pricing of common stocks eight and one half years into this bull market. They range from the dire warnings of perma-bears like Marc Faber to more reserved warnings from Howard Marks and Robert Shiller.

Buy the Haystack: Dan Solin's Investing Secrets

Trends in the Teenage Workforce Update

In July of 2015, CNN Money featured an article with the optimistic and intriguing title "More American teens are getting jobs. That's good for everyone." After reading the article, we revised one of our monthly charts on Labor Force Participation to include the age 16-19 cohort -- one we elsewhere combine with the 20-24 year-olds. We've updated this article to include the latest employment data.

Baby Boomer Employment Across Time

The 20th century Baby Boom was one of the most powerful demographic events in the history of the United States. We've created a series of charts to show seven age cohorts of the employed population from 1948 to the present. What we see is essentially the "Boomer Bulge" in employment across time. Those born between 1946 and 1964 continue to grow the employment of the two oldest cohorts. It will be interesting to see how long those two trends continue.

NFIB Small Business Survey: Index Tumbles in September

The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends came out this morning. The headline number for September came in at 103.0, down 2.3 from the previous month. The index is at the 90th percentile in this series. Today's number came in below the forecast of 105.1.

Long-Term Trends in Employment by Age Group

The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is a simple computation: You take the Civilian Labor Force (people age 16 and over employed or seeking employment) and divide it by the Civilian Noninstitutional Population (those 16 and over not in the military and or committed to an institution). The result is the participation rate expressed as a percent.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Can Earnings Season Spark a Big Year-End Rally?

After last week’s avalanche of economic data, the calendar is back to normal. More important is the onset of earnings season. Recent data have reassured many observers about the health of the U.S. economy. The period of seasonal weakness is ending. Expect people to be asking: Can this earnings season lead to a big year-end rally?

The Ratio of Part-Time Employed: September 2017

Let's take a close look at Friday's employment report numbers on Full and Part-Time Employment. Buried near the bottom of Table A-9 of the government's Employment Situation Summary are the numbers for Full- and Part-Time Workers, with 35-or-more hours as the arbitrary divide between the two categories. The source is the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) of households. The focus is on total hours worked regardless of whether the hours are from a single or multiple jobs.

Hurricanes End 83-Month Employment Expansion

The macro data from the past month continues to mostly point to positive growth. On balance, the evidence suggests the imminent onset of a recession is unlikely.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Does Economic Strength Equal Stock Market Strength?

It is a big week for economic data. The punditry will be analyzing the Trump tax proposal. Everyone will be drawing conclusions about how these factors may be linked with stock prices. Expect people to be asking: Does economic strength equal stock market strength?

Visualizing GDP: An Inside Look at the Q2 Third Estimate

The accompanying chart is a way to visualize real GDP change since 2007. It uses a stacked column chart to segment the four major components of GDP with a dashed line overlay to show the sum of the four, which is real GDP itself. Here is the latest overview from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Household Incomes: The Value of Higher Education

What is the value of education for household income? The Census Bureau's annual survey data for 2016 published this month gives us some interesting insights into this question. The median income for all households with a householder age 25 and older was $60,523. The chart below shows the median annual household income for nine cohorts by educational attainment. We've rounded the data points to the nearest $100, e.g. $60.5K for all households age 25 and older.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for Tax Reform?

With the FOMC decision behind us and a moderate data calendar, the financial world will be focused on Washington. Expect people to be asking: Has the time come for tax reform?

August New Home Sales Down 3.4% from July

This morning's release of the August New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 560K, down 3.4% month-over-month from a revised 580K in July. Seasonally adjusted estimates back to October 2014 were also revised. The forecast was for 588K.

Weekly Market Summary

The major US indices all traded at new all-time highs (ATH) this week. Even the lagging small caps index closed at a new ATH on Friday, and transports are very near a new ATH. Persistent strength like that seen throughout 2017 has almost always continued into year-end. However, like last week, a few studies suggest short-term upside will likely be limited. The third quarter ends on Friday.