The Education 529 Channel

Political Noise, Market Poise

A review of last month’s market-moving events across countries and asset classes.

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: Index Near All-Time High

The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends came out this morning. The headline number for November came in at 107.5, up 3.7 from the previous month and near its all-time high reached in July 1983. The index is at the 99th percentile in this series. Today's number came in above the forecast of 104.6.

The Ratio of Part-Time Employed: November 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.

US Tax Reform: What Investors Need to Know

On December 2, Senate Republicans managed to obtain enough votes to pass sweeping US tax reform legislation, but with several changes compared with the original House of Representatives' bill. At more than 470 pages, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" is certainly not a light read. But, it has some important implications for individuals and corporations, for better or worse in some cases.

The Persuasive Power Of Being Positive

Persuading people to change their mind about anything is daunting. It is crucial to understand the research about what is effective.

Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Update

In our white paper, Tax Reform Near the Finish Line: What’s in the Bill, we summarize the portions of the Tax Cuts & Jobs bill of particular interest to investors, as well as the likely winners and losers under that legislation.

Visualizing GDP: An Inside Look at the Q3 Second 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.

On My Radar: Trade Signals Remain Risk On

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your wonderful family. Today’s post is holiday short because by the time it hits your in box I’ll hopefully be home with IPA in hand celebrating a hard-fought Black Friday golf tournament victory. Daughter, Brianna; son, Matthew and good friend, Stevie Oh, rounds out our foursome. If you are familiar with golf, it’s a scramble format where each player tees off.

October New Home Sales Up 6.2%, Beats Forecast

This morning's release of the October New Home Sales from the Census Bureau came in at 685K, up 6.2% month-over-month from a revised 645K in September. Seasonally adjusted estimates back to July were also revised. The forecast was for 625K.

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Bonfire of the Absurdities

This week’s letter will take a look at the growing number of ridiculous, inane, and otherwise nonsensical absurdities that fill the daily economic headlines. I have gone from the occasional smile to scratching my head now and then to “WTF” moments several times a week.

Five Calendar Seasons for a Great Year

I have employed a “five seasons” approach to the calendar with sales teams over the past couple of decades with great success. Using this approach will allow you to master your calendar and the spirit of each unique season, instead of allowing the calendar to master you.

Weighing the Week Ahead: The Millennial Effect on the Housing Market

The economic calendar includes many reports, but few of the most important. I expect the housing market to attract attention. There are several relevant releases on tap, and the sector is especially important. Some will take up a special slant, asking: Will Millennial buyers extend the housing market rebound?

Vanguard's Lesson on Great Client Communication

Advisors can learn from Vanguard, whose advice platform is adding $5 billion in assets a month, in part by making videoconferencing a core part of how it communicates with clients.