Vorisek Financial Weekly Market Update for November 7, 2018

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Good morning!

The midterm elections take place tomorrow (Tuesday 11/06/18) across the United States.  All 435 House seats and 35 of 100 Senate seats are up for grabs.  History is on the side of the party not occupying the White House – going back to 1934, the sitting president’s party has lost seats in the House of Representatives in 18 of 21 midterm elections (86%) and lost seats in the Senate in 15 of 21 midterms (71%).  Democrats lost 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats in the November 2010 midterm elections, i.e., 2 years into the Obama administration’s first term in the White House, the same point in time that the Trump administration finds itself today (source: Congress).         

The USA added a net +250,000 jobs last month, its 97th consecutive month of job gains.  There are 149.8 million workers in our country today, split 85/15 between the private sector (127.4 million) and the public/government sector (22.4 million).  Surprisingly, the number of private sector workers has increased +13.6 million in the last decade while the number of public/government sector workers has declined slightly (down 0.2 million) (source: Department of Labor).           

Former Fed Chairperson Janet Yellen has no political aspirations, allowing her to voice what few Washington lawmakers would be willing to say.  At an investment conference last Tuesday (10/30/18) in Washington D.C., Yellen said “if I had a magic wand, I would raise taxes and cut retirement spending.”  She lamented the buildup of our national debt, a liability that she described as “unsustainable.”  Our country’s outstanding debt reached a record $21.7 trillion last week (source: Charles Schwab Impact conference).   

Notable Numbers for the Week:

  1. OWNERS AND RENTERS - The 111.7 million households that existed in the United States on 9/30/08 were split 68/32 between 75.9 million owners and 35.8 million renters.  The 121.4 million households in the United States on 9/30/18 were split 64/36 between 78.1 million owners and 43.3 million renters (source: Census Bureau).

  2. SHIFTING THE RISK - Between 1975 and 2014, the number of defined benefit pension plans in the private sector fell by 57% while the number of defined contribution plans increased by +208% (source: DOL).

  3. NOT A PENNY - 39% of Millennials have accumulated no funds for their eventual retirement.  Millennials were born between 1981-97 and are age 21-37 in 2018 (source: Personal Capital).    

  4. THE RIGHT MATE - For Americans who got married in 2017 for the first time, the median age for men was 29.5 years old and the median age for women was 27.4 years old (source: Census Bureau). 


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