The Education 529 Channel

Tackling Student Debt and College Savings Plan Myths

The cost of a college education continues to rise, and along with it, student debt. Roger Michaud, senior vice president and director of college savings for the Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan, and Mike O’Brien, director, Program Marketing, Global Client Marketing, look at how mounting student debt could have a long-term impact on one’s future.

New Home Sales Down 1.5% in April

This morning's release of the April New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 662K, down 1.5% month-over-month from a revised 672K in March. The Investing.com forecast was for 680K. Revisions were made going back to 2013 for seasonally adjusted figures.

Weekly Market Summary

Equities are 2-5% higher so far in May, trying to add to their small gains from April and put behind a rough winter. This week, small caps closed at a new all-time high (ATH) and NDX broke to a 7 week high near its March ATH.

Weighing the Week Ahead: Will Higher Interest Rates Lead to Lower Stock Prices?

The economic calendar is light, and the market week will be shortened. There is no holiday this week, but expect many participants to take off early for a long weekend. If interest remain above 3% on the ten-year note, that will be the focus.

1Q Corporate Results Were Excellent, But Margins May Be Peaking

Overall, corporate results in the first quarter were very good. S&P sales grew 10%, earnings rose 24% and profit margins expanded to a new all-time high of 11.6%. Fundamentals are driving the stock market higher, not valuations.

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.

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.

Insights from ICON Advisers: May 2018

A review of bonds, domestic equities, and international equities at the four-month mark of 2018.

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.

NFIB Small Business Survey: "Record Level of Small Businesses Experiencing Profit Growth"

The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends came out this morning. The headline number for April came in at 104.8, up 0.1 from the previous month. The index is at the 96th percentile in this series. Today's number came in below the Investing.com forecast of 105.2.

The Ratio of Part-Time Employed: April 2018

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.

Rewiring the Financial Planning Profession

To serve the needs of our evolving consumers, a more comprehensive fiduciary mindset needs to be adopted in order to survive.

10-Year Treasury Yield Upshifts past 3% as Fear of Curve Inversion Grows

Stocks slide on rising rates and yield curve inversion concerns, but a recession doesn't look likely, judging by other economic data and the high-yield bond market.

Real Median Household Income Reintroduction, March at $61,227

The Sentier Research monthly median household income data has restarted. Data is now available through March 2018, when the real median household income was at $61,227. In real dollar terms, the median annual income is 1.1% higher ($674g) than its interim high in January 2008.

Rhyme or Reason

A recap of the overall economy and stock and bond markets during the first quarter of the year. It also gives examples of historical data advisors and investors should consider when determining their investment strategies for the remainder of the year.