Cheat Sheet Q & A:

 

The topic introduced to me was based on an article written by Paul Craig Roberts.  The entry “The New Economy is the no Jobs Economy”.  In the article Paul addresses the lack of credibility with much of the initial Government economic information (and it’s frequently revised by large amounts).  He speaks to the weak job growth and even weaker income associated with the newly created jobs as a result of the jobs being of low quality.  Here is the direct link to the article:  http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/08/05/the-new-economy-is-the-no-jobs-economy-paul-craig-roberts/

 

Bottom Line:  So let’s break this down:

 

Here is the job growth by month since the end of the Great Recession (which ended technically in June of 2009): 

 

-327

-216

-227

-198

-6

-283

 

2010

18

-50

156

251

516

-122

-61

-42

-57

241

137

71

 

2011

70

168

212

322

102

217

106

122

221

183

164

196

 

2012

360

226

243

96

110

88

160

150

161

225

203

214

 

2013

197

280

141

203

199

201

149

202

164

237

274

75(P)

 

2014

113(P)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So since the end of the Great Recession there have been 6.98 million jobs added altogether.  So averaged out over 55 months the average number of jobs created is a meager 127,000 jobs per month.  About 125,000 jobs do need to be created every month just to keep pace with population growth.  So in effect the “jobless” recovery claim can be validated on that basis as the reduction in unemployment rate has been almost completely a result of people leaving the workforce as evidenced by the near record low labor participation rate.  Now for the claim that the jobs that have been created are of low quality and incomes have been suffering.

 

If you take a look at the same period of time (July 2009- to present):

 

  • The average income was $22.21 per hour
  • Today the average income is $24.21 per hour

 

That equals 9% income growth over a 4.5 year period of time or just over 2% per year.  With core inflation at about 1.9% over the same period of time, it’s not necessarily true that new jobs that have been created are of such poor quality such as to impair individual income growth.  Income growth has actually slightly outperformed job growth on a relative basis. 

 

If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me:  brianmudd@clearchannel.com

 

Audio Report:

 

 

 

We hate doing these & they cost us a lot to have them over to others:

 

Bottom Line:  The copy company, Ricoh, commissioned a survey on the most disliked paperwork we have to do.  The options included DMV paperwork, performance reviews at work, applications for college, etc.  But the two most hated are…  Filing Taxes and preparing Wills/Trusts.  No surprise right?  But here’s the thing.  You’re also likely to pay the most to have someone else do those for you. 

 

  • The average tax prep fees are $246 per filing

 

  • The average Fees for Will and Trust preparation is $1200 to $3000 (depending on whether it’s a will or trust – trusts are more expensive)

 

Now how does that compare to if you prepare those items yourself? 

 

  • The average tax prep fees are 600% more than the average cost of filing yourself (using basic software ex: Turbo Tax)
  • The average will or trust preparation is 1000% the cost of self-preparation (using a basic service ex.  Legal Zoom)

 

There are times in which we do simply need the help of pros in these areas because we reach our point of failure (this would generally be in a complicated financial situation) but generally speaking we’re paying a lot of additional money in large part due to our desire to have someone else handle these items.  If you are looking to save money and you’ve never tried doing these items yourself, you may be surprised at how you’re potentially capable of doing them yourself. 

 

Audio Report:

 

 

 

 

How long you need to keep your tax items & the 2014 way to do so:

 

Bottom Line:  It’s that tax time of year.  One of the questions that comes up annually is…  How long do I have to keep old tax records?  You’ll have different responses based on who you ask but there is only one right answer.  Forever.  How or why? 

 

  • The IRS will only look into the most recent six years worth of tax information if you’re under an initial inquiry and/or audit

 

That’s why many will say that you can get rid of info after that period of time.  Here’s the very big caveat.  If they determine that you may have committed tax fraud they can go back in time to ANY year you filed taxes.  That’s right – there is no limitation if they feel that you’ve engaged in fraud.  Plus if you get audited the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that the deductions you used were legit.  So what’s a person to do with all of that paper? 

 

My 2014 remedy is to digitally scan all of the paper stuff, receipts, documents – everything in to files.  Then store the files on an external hard drive (maybe two to be safe).  You’ll have them stored offline in a secure digital environment and won’t have to worry about the paper headaches any longer.

 

Audio Report:

 

 


 
The perfect pair of shoes every time:

 

Bottom Line:  What if you were able to have the perfect pair of shoes designed to your specific feet every time you wanted a pair of shoes?  You’d think it would either not be possible or that it would be so expensive that it wouldn’t be a viable option.  Until now you’d have also been right. 


The age of 3D printing is on the verge of revolutionizing many industries.  Your shoes are just one of them.  A new
San Diego shoe company called Feetz is offering you custom shoes via 3D printing at any time.  Here’s how it works:

 

  • You take a picture of your feet from three different angles
  • You send Feetz the pictures
  • Seven days later you have your shoes

 

The average cost of a pair of shoes is expected to be about $99.  Pretty cool if you have trouble finding the right and/or comfortable shoes.  Here is the direct link to the company:  http://www.feetz.co/.

 

Audio Report:

 

 

Statistically speaking, is it better to trade our car in or drive it into the ground?

 

Bottom Line:  So what do you think?  The folks at Kiplinger studied this and found:

 

  • The average car is designed to easily achieve 100,000 miles with regular maintenance
  • Most vehicle can do 200,000+ with proper maintenance

 

But still is it better to off load it as the miles and the maintenance needs accumulate? 

 

Kiplinger found that generally speaking you’re best ROI on your depreciating investment is to drive your car into the ground (not literally of course). 


Audio Report:

 

 

 

The future of Job growth is clearly much worse than 20 years ago:

 

Bottom Line:  New information from the Census Bureau shows that indeed we’re creating many fewer new businesses than we used to.  In fact about 29% fewer:

 

  • In 1991 186 business were created per 100,000 US citizens
  • In 2011 (the most recent information available) only 131 business per 100,000 US citizens were created

 

That’s certainly not good for future job and income growth.  Two-thirds of jobs generally created come from small growing businesses (typically in years 2-5).  That’s a big part of the reason why job growth has been tepid in recent years. 

 

  • Excess regulation
  • Limited Access to capital
  • Risk aversion

 

All contribute to the decline in new business activity.

 

Audio Report:

 

 


Kickstarter hacked - reset your passwords:

 

Bottom Line:  So Kickstarter’s time has come.  In recent days Kickstater has become the latest to join the ranks of the hacked.  The good news is that it doesn’t appear as though this is a credit card / ID theft issue.  It is a username & password issue.  So if you have a Kickstarter account you should reset at a minimum your password (Kickstarter likely has been in touch already).  You also would be well served to change any additional accounts with other companies if they have the same username & password incase the hackers try to use the confiscated info to compromise your elsewhere.

 

Audio Report: