· The June unemployment figure of 6.1% was the lowest in six years. A total of 288,000 new jobs were created and the government increased May's number to 224,000 jobs created. While the summer can be very volatile, we expect solid gains for the rest of the year. Last week's applications for unemployment fell to only 304,000, which was below expectations of 315,000. It will be hard for the numbers to keep falling as 300,000 is a very low number even in a healthy economy. The Fed expects job creation for the rest of the year to be steady as the economy continues to improve. It is possible, however, for job growth to be much better than is expected.
· What do Shanghai, China, Belgium, Estonia, Australia, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Poland, and Latvia all have in common? The 15 year olds in each of these countries all outscored the 15 year olds in the United States for financial literacy. With the exception of Latvia, all of these countries scored above the global average. Students who participated in the survey were asked if they would give up on a problem that seemed overly difficult. Those who said "yes" scored lower than those who said "no". We guess those with tenacity and perseverance understand what it takes to be financially successful. What are we not teaching that we should be if we want to remain the largest economy in the world? (Source: Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development)
· So, can you think of a tougher time to graduate from college than the start of the recession? Talk about bad timing...or was it? According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 83% of the college grads from the spring of 2008 are now employed. Surprised? We were. Those with a degree in STEM majors (Science, Technology, English and Math) had more jobs (85.1%) than those without (82.1%). Engineering topped everyone with 89.6% of those grads holding down jobs. Unfortunately those in social services only saw 78.2% employed. Eighty-five percent of those employed are fulltime and had a median income of $46,000. STEM majors had a median income of $60,000, and non-STEM majors had a median of $44,000.
· Wondering about your chances of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service? Unless you have over a million dollars in income, the chances are pretty slim. This year there is an even lower chance as the IRS simply doesn’t have the resources. They are using technology, however, to help catch those returns they think will provide the greatest amount of revenue. Last year the chance for an individual to be audited was less than one percent (0.96%) including routine correspondence audits which accounted for about 75% of all audits. These correspondence audits include issues like failing to report interest, dividends, etc. Thus, only about 0.25%, 1 out of 400, had a face to face meeting with an agent. Obviously, the more income, the greater the chance of being audited. Those under $200,000 had a chance of 1 out of 519, those between $200,000 and $1 million faced odds of 1 out of 91 and those with over $1 million had a 1 in 20 chance of having a face to face audit. (Source: Kiplinger Tax Letter)
· Identity Theft is a growing problem and the fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated in their tactics. At ProVise we take security very seriously and we are constantly working to improve our systems for our clients’ protection. As an example, we no longer accept wire transfer instructions by email or a letter alone. We follow up for further verification verbally.
Here are some steps you can take to help guard against identity theft:
- Regularly change your email, computer and device passwords
- Protect your computer with anti-virus software
- Safeguard or properly destroy documents that contain personal and financial information
- Immediately notify your financial advisor if you have a change in email address or telephone number
- Immediately notify your financial advisor if you believe you have been a victim of identity theft.
· You can now follow us on twitter by going to www.twitter.com and follow us at @pro_vise. We will use twitter to supplement the Bullets as the news warrants. We look forward to providing this valuable service.
As always, we encourage you to give us a call if you would like to discuss anything further. We will visit again soon. Proudly and successfully serving our clients for over 27 years.
RAY, KIM, ERIC, BRUCE, LOU, NANCY, TINA, JON, STEVE, DOROTHY and PAUL
©7/15/14 ProVise Management Group, LLC
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