From an article I read in today’s Houston Chronicle:

“Parents expect to spend an average of $673.57 on electronics, clothes and notebooks this year, compared with $630.36 last year, according to the National Retail Federation, an industry trade group. In total, parents of kindergarten through 12th-grade students say they will spend $27.3 billion on school supplies this year, up from $18.4 billion in 2007.”

We have one daughter still living at home. We probably spent around that average. One surprise large purchase we had to make this year was a TI NSpire CX calculator, which set us back around $120. As long as she doesn’t lose it, she should be able to use it through college.

How much did you spend on back to school?

I saw this video circulating on Facebook.

With all the negative stuff going on in the world, it’s nice to come across something positive. This young man reminds me of my boys. Check this out:

Well, it happened…

All the useful features of Yahoo! Finance have been thrown out the window in the latest “update”. I’m starting to think that “update” is code for “take away features”.

Yahoo! Finance was my right hand. It’s like it’s been cut off.

Sad…

UPDATE: Here is Yahoo’s announcement of the changes.

I Like This Judge

July 17, 2016

I saw this video this morning on facebook and thought it was worth sharing:

For the first time ever, I am making available the S&P 500 Monthly Total Returns going back to 1926.

I originally put this together years ago and have been religiously updating the information each month for the last ten years or so (what a life I have, right?).

My numbers vary slightly from the numbers found in the Ibbotson Year Book. I think the difference is due to rounding. My numbers come from percentages rounded to the nearest .00.

Anyway, I hope AFM readers find this helpful.

According to the latest Vanguard “How People Save” report, the average 401(K) balance is $96,000, while the median account balance is $26,405 (median age of participant is 46).

This does not bode well for the future of America’s retirees.

“Experts” suggest saving at least 10% of income. If you can’t do that, you should save as much as you can and increase it 1% per year until you hit your goal.

My advice: START AS SOON AS YOU CAN! The one thing you can never get back is time.

I received the following information in an email this morning.

I haven’t written much lately. I especially haven’t written much about politics lately. I am not very excited about this election. That said, I would prefer neither Hillary or Bernie be our next president (that’s not an endorsement for Trump).

So…

Back the email I mentioned. Here is what Oxford Economics has to say about Donald Trump’s tax plan:

If implemented fully, Mr. Trump’s tax proposal would reduce government revenues by just over $4 trillion over the next five years, writes Gregory Daco, Head of US Macroeconomics at Oxford Economics in a research note released today. Assuming 25% of the revenue loss would be offset by reductions in government outlays (and the remainder would be deficit financed) his plan would send the US economy into a recession by the end of 2017.

The report makes these additional points:

• Under Mr. Trump’s budget proposal, the unified budget deficit would widen to nearly 7% of GDP by the end of 2018, compared with 2.8% in our baseline, while the federal debt to GDP ratio would surge from 77% of GDP today to 95% by 2020. This would likely cause severe stress in bond markets.

• Higher interest rates would lead to substantial crowding out of private investment, consumer spending and housing activity.

• On the individual tax front, reducing marginal tax rates, collapsing income tax brackets, repealing the AMT, increasing deductions and taxing carried interest income as ordinary business income would likely stimulate spending and overall activity. However, the skewed distributional nature of the tax cuts – favouring higher income individuals – and higher interest rates would severely limit the boost to spending.

• On the corporate side, the prospect of lower tax rates would initially stimulate a desire for investment, but higher borrowing costs would rapidly deter business investment.

• Factoring in severe government spending cuts, the US economy would contract 2% in 2018 compared with a 2.4% expansion in the baseline. It would count 3 million fewer jobs by the end of Mr. Trump’s first term.

• Under a more realistic scenario where Mr. Trump’s plan is made deficit-neutral to pass Congress, the economy would avoid a recession, but still grow slower than in our baseline and count 1.1 million fewer jobs by the end of Mr. Trump’s first term.

I have no idea how accurate these numbers are and I haven’t read the full report. I would hope that government would be financed through tax revenues rather than deficit spending. That would mean cuts in spending, which I think are necessary. The government is bloated. It needs to be pared back and the focus should be on only what’s important. It’ll never happen, though. Politicians love spending money on their favorite projects in order to buy votes. Politicians think their job is to stay in office.

I searched Oxford Economics’ website but didn’t find any information on Hillary Clinton’s tax plan. Hopefully one will be forthcoming.