Have you heard the report the bill President Obama can’t sign a bill because it’s still incongruous?
In a week that saw the United States turn as red as a blister, we think some political humor is appropriate. We congratulate Republicans for their decisive win and chastise the Democrats for letting it happen. We hope Republicans don’t let their win go to their heads. They should remember that in popularity contests, Americans like syphilis more than them. Americans will be more than happy to fire Republicans in their next prospective elections if they don’t do what they were sent to Washington to do.
Did I tell you that the IRS left a message on my cell phone that I owed them more money? It was a taxed message.
Gallup started the economic news week with its October Consumer Spending Measure, which confirmed that more Americans are feeling like they’re back in the black. Respondents who were asked how much they spent the previous day on average answered, “$89”. This is up $2 from September’s $87 answer. Contrary to September, however, upper-income American’s spending increased month-over-month, while middle and lower-income American’s spending stayed steady.
Gallup released its October Economic Confidence Index report on Tuesday, which increased to negative 12 from September’s negative 15. This is its highest score since July 2013 and the largest monthly improvement in 2014. While the current conditions component indicates conditions are currently poor by a margin of ten points, the future expectations component indicates that Americans expect the economy to worsen by a margin of 13 points. Whether respondents factored in a stampede of elephants this week or expected more jackasses, the survey doesn’t say.
Gallup released its October Job Creation Index on Wednesday, which dropped to 27 points from September’s six-year high of 30 points. The reason for the month-to-month drop is less respondents saying that their employer is hiring.
Did you know that I’ve been called a rare commodity? I wonder if that makes me silver or gold? I guess I could be either ore.
If on Tuesday Americans gave Republicans a rose, on Thursday our fearless leaders returned a thorn to Americans and confirmed that Americans were right to give Washington a pruning. First, Challenger’s Job-Cuts report showed a sharp increase in the number of announced layoffs from September to October across a wide range of industries. The year-over-year figure did show an improvement. Gallup then released its Payroll to Population Index, which saw a nominal drop from 44.8 in September to 44.4 in October. What concerns us the most is the workforce participation component drop to 66.6 percent in October from September’s 67.2 percent. When politicians overly praise the “improving job market”, much of “the improvement” is because prospective workers have given up looking for work or are working part-time. That’s a recipe for apathy.
The Labor Department released its Employment Situation Report on Friday. This report showed that 214,000 jobs were added to the economy, which pushed the official unemployment rate down to 5.8 percent from September’s 5.9 percent. Wages, however, remained sluggish and rose only $0.3 to $24.57. Very importantly, hours worked ticked up to 34.6 hours from 34.5. This increases pressure for wage growth.
With the mid-term elections and QE3’s end behind us, along with a sluggishly improving job market, we expect market volatility to abate for the foreseeable future. We continue to recommend controlling spending and increasing savings and investments. Now may be time to start reducing slightly overweighted cash positions and, for those who must, start looking for your new home.
If you find ten cents in each of your pockets, be glad of the new paradigms.
With the end of the year approaching, end-of-the-year-to-dos must be completed. Most companies will soon host their open enrollment. This is a good time to make sure you have adequate health and life insurance coverage, to ensure your beneficiaries are up-to-date and that your portfolio is balanced.
This is, also, the time of year when parents and loved-ones wrack their brains for the perfect gift for the child in their life. Our advice this year is to consider an investment account in addition to or in lieu of a temporary gift. If you choose this option as a cheaper alternative to gift giving, remember gift giving isn’t the real reason the holidays blow budgets.
What do you call Santa’s helpers? Subordinate Clauses.
We’re currently working on our November newsletter to be distributed next Saturday, November 15th. If you haven’t signed up for our free newsletter, please do. You’ll receive exclusive Debt Free Guys’ content and a free copy of our eBook, Do You Know How to be #MoneyConscious?
That’s it for this week’s #MoneyConscious Mash Up and all things you should know to be #moneyconscious. Come back every Saturday for our somewhat offbeat take on all things money.
Finally, we’ll leave you with this sage advice:
Those who live beyond their means should act their wage.