Apologies for errors on site recently. Am working on it.

Errold. F. Moody Jr.

  
PhD, MSFP, MBA, LLB, BSCE
click above for bio

EFM@EFMoody.com

Financial and Economic Daily Commentary 2019

Knowledge makes obsolete the inequities that ignorance and prejudice justify
EFM


     

       
              
           


USA Today- "This is a high-powered personal bookmark list that spans the spectrum of the truly useful."

FORBES- "You'll find some great information."

BUSINESS WEEK: "For an Expert, Click here"  

From an adviser: It is a daily read for me. Clearly biased towards the client.
Great perspectives and links to thought provoking material. Greatly appreciated

Investor/Investing Risk of Loss: Identify, Manage and Limit Investment
Risk of Loss on Mutual Funds and ETFs

Four Phase Process that will change the investment dichotomy for 75% of Middle and Lower Income investors overall and up to 90% for 401k Investors 

Losses limited to about 12% for recessions

Patent Pending
  ain as such given sophomoric DOL rules and flaccid organizational enforcement. Specific commentary to sexism and ethical and moral lapses of society impacting women. Not the standard drivel



“It’s not the Fed’s job to stop people from losing money.”

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Revolutionary Method for Asset Allocation- Increase Returns, Reduce Risk

September 2018



BOGUS SEQUENCE OF RETURNS PLANNING

October 2018


Have you sold your Equities yet???

December 2018


Rebuttal to NY Times Retirement article. Terrible Advice & High Risk

February 2019


4/18: new-jersey-nevada-likely-to-push-fiduciary-rules-through


4/18: Scientists restore some brain cell functions in pigs four hours after death

Why not try to put pig brain cells in humans that are alive but dumber than a fence post. Oh, wait, there are probably not enough pigs

4/18:This new policy could save military members tens of millions of dollars on their student loans

Service members are entitled to a 0% interest rates while they’re in combat zones and other dangerous situations.


4/18: If it tumbles, look for others to do the same

 

Turkey’s central bank has bolstered its foreign currency reserves with billions of dollars of short-term borrowed money, raising fears among analysts and investors that the country is overstating its ability to defend itself in a fresh lira crisis.

Net foreign reserves held by the central bank stood at $28.1bn in early-April — a sum that investors already believe is inadequate because of Turkey’s heavy need for dollars for debt and foreign trade. But calculations by the Financial Times suggest that this total has been enhanced by an unusual surge in the use of short-term borrowing, or swaps, since March 25. Stripping those swaps out, the total is less than $16bn.

4/18:Wildfire took your home? Don't count on insurance

By Liam Denning

A new study concludes the prevalence of under-insurance among American homeowners might be close to 80%.

4/18: the Federal Reserve’s annual economic well-being of U.S. households found half of Americans don’t have enough to cover a $400 emergency.

4/18:IMF: Nonbanks' US leveraged loans could put stress on financial system

More than 90% of US leveraged loans to highly indebted corporate borrowers are made by nonbanks such as private equity firms, mutual funds and hedge funds, according to an International Monetary Fund report. Growing participation of nonbanks in the leveraged-loan market means a wave of investor redemptions could cause stress to the financial system.

4/18:China reports 6.4% GDP growth for Q1

The Chinese economy expanded 6.4% in the first quarter compared with Q1 of 2018. Factory activity, business investment and consumer spending increased in March compared with February, according to the National Bureau of Statistics

EFM- Higher than expected

4/18: EFM- Yemen is the worst humanitarian debacle in the world. Thousands upon thousands killed and more now due to starvation. The Saudis would like to 'cleanse' Yemen. I thought the politicians were absolutely doing with the right thing- brought about by Khashoggis's death- but with Trump vetoing the bill by stating "....an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future" the U.S. is again supporting the aggression and death. 

Trump vetoes resolution to end U.S. participation in Yemen’s civil war

It’s the second veto of President Trump’s administration. The resolution, which passed the House earlier this month and the Senate last month, would have ended U.S. support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.

“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said in a statement.

4/17: Protecting your assets in life and death

In a culture fixated on youth and beauty, death is often a taboo topic.

Some people in this country are so reluctant to breach the subject that they delay making an estate plan until it’s too late, leaving a confusing mess for their relatives to sort out.

But what if we told you that estate planning can help you while you’re still alive?

Consider what would happen to your assets, such as your home or business, if you were incapacitated by an illness such as a stroke, or an injury, such as a car accident. You might make a complete and total recovery, but would your assets survive?

They could if you’ve planned ahead. When people think about estate planning, they often think about writing a will. A will is a great first step in any estate plan, but it has its limitations. One of those limitations is that a will only takes effect after the testator’s death. It makes no provision for incapacitation.

Alternately, a living trust can work as a will substitute, but includes additional benefits not available in will. A living trust is a powerful and flexible estate planning tool that can be funded and administered during your lifetime and can benefit your loved ones after your death.

A qualified estate planning attorney can help you create a trust that fits your particular needs. A living trust has three key personnel. The Grantor creates the trust to hold property. The Trustee, who could be the same person as the Grantor, holds or manages the property in the trust and the Beneficiary eventually receives the property.

A living trust is also known as a revocable trust because the Grantor can change the provisions or revoke the trust at any point up to his death. For a living trust to work properly, you must fund the trust. That means adding assets by changing titles on real estate, stocks, CDs, bank accounts, investments, insurance and other assets with titles. You can also include assets that do not have titles such as jewelry, clothes, art and furniture.

The Grantor retains control over any assets that are added to the trust. The Grantor may add assets, such as property or investments, to the trust or sell assets from the trust. After the death of the Grantor, the trust becomes irrevocable, or unchangeable.

Assets in a trust may be maintained by more than one Trustee, such as a husband and wife. If one spouse becomes incapacitated, the other spouse retains access to the trust’s assets and can use them as necessary for the care of the other spouse. Alternately, if the trust has just one Trustee, a Successor Trustee, such as an adult child or sibling, may take over management of the trust due to the Trustee’s incapacitation.

Without a trust, a court appointee, not your family, would control how your assets are used to care for you, even if you have a will because a will only takes effect when you die. The courts would continue as your agent until your recovery or death. Without a trust, your spouse or business partner may be delayed or blocked from certain business transactions, such as the sale of property, because the court would be the new “co-owner” of your assets.

Life has many twists and turns and it’s difficult to know what’s around the bend. But with the help of a trusted estate planning attorney, you can be prepared for both life and death.

4/17: More Brexit mess

Pelosi warns there will be no U.S.-U.K. trade deal if Brexit harms the Irish peace accord

The House speaker’s remarks in London and Dublin echo European Union pressure to keep the Irish border open.

4/17: To discourage migrants from seeking asylum, Attorney General William Barr issued an order that could keep thousands of them in jail indefinitely.

EFM- This will never stand up legally and while I recognize the current difficulty at the border with a huge number of migrants, the U.S. should have come up with something much better than jail them until we got around to them in x months. This is wrong


4/17: Long Distance Caregiving


4/16: Long Term Care

there is a rising trend in younger people purchasing a policy to protect their future.

According to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, 26% of LTCi policies are sold to people age 45 to 54.

So what is prompting the younger generation to purchase something they may not use for 20 or 30 years?

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

Many people who purchase LTCi policies understand the importance of having coverage because they are currently taking care of their aging parents while trying to raise their own families. These people know the benefits of LTCi and don’t want to put the burden of being a caregiver on their own children.

COST OF PREMIUM

The premium for LTCi is based off the applicant’s age. This means that the younger they purchase a policy, the less they will pay. Although they may pay for a longer period of time, it is generally less expensive than waiting to buy.

FUTURE INSURABILITY

Younger buyers know that if their health were to change tomorrow they may not be able to purchase LTCi at any price. Buying the policy while young and in good health not only eliminates the concern about future insurability, it may cost less considering younger people have a better chance of qualifying for good health discounts.

EFM- this is from an ad. I would need to analyze ANY policy particularly as to what increase in premium would  be allowed. Might be better with a life insurance policy with the LTC rider. But a lot of homeowrk would be necessary

4/16:Climate change

Europe can expect even greater migratory pressure from Africa unless action is taken to prevent global warming, Sir David Attenborough has said in a strongly worded warning to policymakers that time is running out to save the natural world from extinction.

Asked by the IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, whether there was a link between migration and climate change, Attenborough said: “It is happening in Europe. People are coming from Africa because they can’t live where they are.”

He said migration pressures would become more acute as temperatures continued  to rise because more parts of the world would become uninhabitable.

Attenborough, who was publicising the Netflix series Our Planet, said: “I find it hard to exaggerate the peril. This is the new extinction and we are half way through it. We are in terrible, terrible trouble and the longer we wait to do something about it the worse it is going to get.”

EFM- you are seeing migration from South America due to droughts. There will be LOTS more.

In terms of the 10 or 20 year period, I doubt the world will embark on the true efforts to stop the carnage upon the earth. By 2050, the devastation will be too great and humans will slowly dwindle away.

4/16: New Jersey new fiduciary rule

“If the federal government won’t act to to protect investors, then we will,” said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewall in a statement referring to the federal government’s abandonment of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule in favor of a best interest contract, which is still pending at the SEC. “The rule we’re proposing will provide important safeguards for New Jersey families when they invest, save, and plan for the future.”

Under the proposal, all investment registered financial services professionals are required to act in accordance with their fiduciary duty when providing investment advice or recommending an investment strategy, the opening or transfer of assets to any type of account, the purchase, sale or exchange of any security, according to the press release from the New Jersey Bureau of Securities. Failing to do so would constitute “dishonest and unethical practice,” according to the proposal.

The proposal also sets forth the following conditions:

  • Investment professionals must provide in accordance with both duty of care and duty of loyalty in according to the common law definition of fiduciary duty
  • Consider risks, costs and conflicts of interest related to a recommendation or investment advice as well as a customer’s investment objectives, financial situation, needs and any other relevant information
  • Provide recommendations or advice without regard to the financial interest of the broker dealer, agent, and advisor any affiliated or related entity and its officers, directors, agents, etc.


4/16: Not only the poor need help for retirement:

Workers in the top 20% of earnings distributions have half of all retirement wealth in both 1992 and 2010, compared with the bottom group, which saw its share fall from 3% to 1% between those years, a recent analysis at The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) found. The share of workers in the bottom fifth of the earnings distribution with no retirement savings jumped from 45% to 51% in those 18 years.

The study looked at employees between 51 and 61 years old in 1992 and 51 to 56 years old in 2010 and divided their earnings based on lifetime labor market earnings, taking into consideration individual retirement accounts and employer-sponsored plans (like 401(k) plans).

4/16: 996- or 12 hours of work for 6 days

Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has spoken out on social media in recent days in support of the Chinese work practice known as "996." The number refers to working from 9 am to 9 pm six days a week and is said to be common among the country's big technology companies and start-ups.

"There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week,

EFM- At that rate, no one will have children. And no one to take care of the elderly

4/16:Obesity and cancer


Smoking has been the No. 1 preventable cause of cancer for decades and still kills more than 500,000 people a year in the United States. But obesity is poised to take the top spot

Being obese and overweight — long implicated in heart disease and diabetes — has been associated in recent years with an increased risk of getting at least 13 types of cancer, including stomach, pancreatic, colorectal and liver malignancies, as well as postmenopausal breast cancer. Researchers at the American Cancer Society say that excess body weight is linked to about 8 percent of all cancers in the United States and about 7 percent of cancer deaths.

Compared with people of normal weight, obese patients are more likely to see their cancer come back and have a lower likelihood of survival. Perhaps most alarming, young people, who as a group are heavier than their ­parents, are developing weight-related malignancies, including colorectal cancer, at earlier ages than previous generations

About 7 in 10 Americans are overweight or obese, according to a 2015 article in JAMA Internal Medicine. People are considered overweight if they have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 29, and obese if they have a BMI of 30 or more.

The proportion of adults who are overweight has remained relatively stable in the past several decades, but the obesity rate has soared. In the early 1960s, almost 11 percent of men and nearly 16 percent of women were obese; in 2016, those percentages were 38 percent and 41 percent, respectively

The type of cancer that is most strongly associated with obesity is endometrial, which develops in the lining of the uterus. Obese and overweight women are two to four times as likely to develop the disease as women of normal weight, and the risk rises with increased weight gain, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Meanwhile, people who are overweight or obese are about twice as likely to develop liver and kidney cancer, and about 1.5 times as likely to develop pancreatic cancer than normal-weight people

4/16: Celebration of death

 In 2030, people over 65 will outnumber children, and by 2037, 3.6 million people are projected to die in the United States, according to the Census Bureau, 1 million more than in 2015, which is projected to outpace the growth of the overall population.

4/16: World Economy way down

The International Monetary Fund cut its outlook for global growth to the lowest since the financial crisis amid a bleaker outlook in most major advanced economies and signs that higher tariffs are weighing on trade.

The world economy will grow 3.3 percent this year, down from the 3.5 percent the IMF had forecast for 2019 in January. The 2019 growth rate would be the weakest since 2009, when the world economy shrank. It’s the third time the IMF has downgraded its outlook in six months.

“This is a delicate moment” for the global economy, Gita Gopinath, who recently became the IMF’s chief economist. A projected pickup in growth next year is precarious

The global volume of trade in goods and services will increase 3.4 percent this year, weaker than the 3.8 percent gain in 2018 but reduced from the IMF’s January estimate of 4 percent

4/16: Fixed annuities explained

EFM- pretty  good

4/16:Reviewing Target Date Funds Is Now Top Priority for Plan Sponsors

"Costs and fees rank high among the concerns of the consultants and their clients, but other issues such as target-date fund glidepaths have emerged as topping to-do lists, especially in areas that focus on decumulation ... [O]ne question asked: What are the most important factors in evaluating and selecting investment default strategies? Glidepath structure placed first (82% of responses), followed by fees (56%) and probability of meeting retirement income objectives (47%). Multiple answers were permitted. In the previous survey, fees finished first (83%), followed by glidepath structure (82%) and probability of meeting retirement income objectives (65%)."

EFM- TDF are a real impediment to viable retirement. They started out with static glidepaths but now are effectively managed funds. Manged funds rarely beat passive. Further, the costs are greater

4/16:

Analysis: Retirement crisis not confined to the poorest

Half of retirement wealth in the US is held by the top 20% of earners, according to an analysis by The New School's Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis. However, the analysis showed that while low-income workers are in an especially precarious situation when it comes to retirement savings, retirement plan wealth inequality exists across all earnings groups.

4/15: San Francisco board-and-care homes for those with serious mental illnesses are shuttering as housing values soar and minimum-wage increases drive up staffing costs.

EFM- The homeless are a very large issue in SF. The cure??? Doubtful since the amount of money needed is simply not available and never will be. And it is the same in many states.

4/15: Choppy economic waters/IMF

Global economic growth remains tilted to the downside, with risks including trade tensions, policy uncertainty, geopolitical risks and a "sudden sharp tightening of financial conditions against a backdrop of limited policy space."  IMF/G20 meetings sent a "clear message" to international policymakers: "don't rock the boat in current unsteady waters." The IMF also warned of "historically high debt levels and heightened financial vulnerabilities

4/15: Sometimes real life is way outside the boundaries of not only common sense but any sense at all

Men in Papua New Guinea are using silicone and cooking oil to perform penis enlargements on themselves, and it's a medical disaster

4/15:

Wall Street rolls the dice with leveraged loans and your 401(k)
Ken Tingley / OLEAN TIMES HERALD

In recent months, the alarms bells are ringing about the proliferation of “leveraged loans” with many experts stressing the similarities with the abuse of sub-prime loans that led to the financial collapse in 2008.

“Leveraged loans” are extended to companies or individuals that already have considerable amounts of debt, or a poor credit history. These loans carry a higher risk of default and are more costly to the borrower.

Bloomberg news reported recently that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell says that leveraged loans aren’t threatening the U.S. Banking system yet, but it does pose a “macroeconomic risk” if the economy takes a turn for the worse.

4/15: And now there are seven

New Jersey law allows terminally ill to get life-ending meds
MIKE CATALINI / Associated Press

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed legislation making New Jersey the seventh state to enact a law permitting terminally ill patients to end their lives.

Murphy, a Democrat, signed the Medical Aid in Dying for the Terminally Ill Act in private. His office would not answer why the signing was not public. The law goes into effect in August.

"I have concluded that, while my faith may lead me to a particular decision for myself, as a public official I cannot deny this alternative to those who may reach a different conclusion. "I believe this choice is a personal one and, therefore, signing this legislation is the decision that best respects the freedom and humanity of all New Jersey residents."

4/14: Finland is finished

Finland, the “Democratic” Socialists’ most favored nation, their example of the country America should emulate, just saw its government collapse and its Prime Minister and Cabinet resign due to the unsustainable costs of universal health care. 

4/14: Let's do what China and Russia are doing- congratulations on Kim's hard fought democratic effort to remain on top of North Korea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday congratulated North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on his reelection as chairman of North Korea's state affairs commission, a top post in the country.

North Korea said that it was a hard fought election by Kim against 123 recently dead people.

Way to go Kim!!!!!

4/14: ALS and medical aid in dying

An emotional article from NBC news on an ALS patient and the decision to die with medication.  8 states make it legal- all should. People with Alzheimers may find it worthwhile as they lose living in the real world. 

4/14: Benefits of Family Caregiver Support Groups

As the average life expectancy increases in the United States, the incidence of age-related diseases — such as dementia — continues to rise exponentially as well. In turn, the number of family caregivers in the U.S. has also increased.

Dr. Peter Steinglass, Executive Director of the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York City, says, “Today, people are being asked to provide treatment at home that would have been unthinkable even three years ago. In addition, there is much greater awareness of the burdens facing family caregivers… and fortunately, the availability of family caregiver support groups has increased substantially.”

Recent studies show that involvement in family caregiver support groups can benefit the mental and physical health of caregivers, as well as improve their measures of success.

Other benefits of family caregiver support groups include:

  • Family caregiver support groups provide a safe place for caregivers to share feelings in a non-judgmental environment
  • Socialization
  • Support
  • Support groups provide tools for coping with caregiver stress

The Types of Family Caregiver Support Groups

There are several different types of family caregiver support groups available, including:

  1. Caregiver groups: These groups consist of family caregivers who care for people of all ages, with a wide range of conditions. The focus is on caregiving in general sense, instead of focusing on a specific illness. Those who need social connections or who need to talk about their own needs may find this type of group most helpful.
  2. Condition-specific caregiver groups: These groups focus on a specific condition, disease or disability, such as dementia. Those caregivers whose parents or senior loved ones are newly diagnosed, or in need of more education and resources, may want to consider this type of group.
  3. Family support groups: These groups may be more like group therapy than other types of support groups. The focus is on improving communication and strengthening family bonds, for those impacted by a person who needs ongoing care. This is a good choice for dementia caregivers who are struggling with conflict over caregiving tasks, monetary issues or unresolved problems between family members.
  4. Online support groups: Attending online support groups from the convenience of the home is a good option for caregivers who live in remote areas, caregivers struggling with a lack of time for self-care, or for caregivers who have transportation issues.
  5. Relationship-oriented groups: This type of group involves adult children, parents, spouses etc. This group may be the most helpful for those who are looking for support from others who can easily relate to the specific challenges that people go through in family relationships with care recipients.

Everyone is different, so, we all have a different gauge as far as what makes a good support group.

Some groups employ professional counselors or trained facilitators, but in other cases, a very effective layperson may act as the family caregiver support group leader. The group facilitator should be able to:

  • Employ and enforce the agreed-upon structure of the group
  • Facilitate a primary goal for the group for all members
  • Offer care and concern for every member in need
  • Provide reliable resources
  • Respect each member’s opinion

Some people may prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and others, a structured group with guidelines for how long each member shares, etc. There are some basic qualities that apply to all groups, however. A functional family caregiver support group should include:

  • A caring environment offering trust among members
  • A clear purpose of the group’s function and goals
  • A good group facilitator
  • A straight-forward policy on confidentiality
  • Agreement among members about how the meeting will be conducted and the type of structure of the group

Tips on Finding the Right Family Caregiver Support Group

Caregivers may need to attend several different support groups before discovering the one they feel most comfortable joining.

Here are some questions to ask when beginning your search:

1. What type of structure does the family caregiver support group have?

Is it an open speaking forum? Is participation required of each group member? What are the rules of confidentiality?

2. Who is the group facilitator?

If possible, talk to the group leader and ask questions about the group directly. You may also want to inquire about any credentials the leader has, as well as inquiring about their background and experience.

3. Who sponsors the family caregiver support group?

Reliable support group sponsors include local churches, hospitals and other well-established organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association.

If you don’t like the group the first time, try it at least one more time before deciding the group is not for you. New attendees oftentimes feel anxious when trying out an unfamiliar group and may not get much out of it the first time.

Keep in mind that the most important thing to take away from any family caregiver support group is the feeling that group members really care for each other. The other details can usually work themselves out when differences surface — provided there is mutual respect among the members.

If finding the right group seems impossible, consider counseling. A professional may be able to recommend the perfect support group, based on getting to know you and your personal family caregiving situation.

Have you joined a family caregiver support group before? What suggestions do you have for other caregivers searching for a support group? We’d like to hear your tips in the comments below.

Related Articles:

4/14: Businesses Need Better Family Caregiving Policies

A recent report from the Harvard Business School (HBS) found that 55% of family caregivers are less likely to progress in business at the rate of their peers, despite the amount of effort they put in.

32% of caregivers leave jobs that don’t support their caregiving needs, a loss that costs businesses money in having to find and train new workers to replace them.

Businesses supporting caregiver employees is not just good for the employees, it has real, tangible benefits for businesses as well.

Better family caregiving policies can bring about these three important business benefits:

1. It makes the business more competitive.

For businesses to be competitive in their industry, they have to be able to attract top talent. Offering attractive benefits is one of the best ways to do that, especially if businesses can’t afford to provide the highest salaries in the space. Workers with caregiving responsibilities will absolutely consider factors like flexibility and paid leave policies when deciding whether to accept a job, especially if they’re in a position to choose between multiple options.

2. There is improved productivity.

In addition to keeping employees around longer, better family caregiving policies can mean workers get more done. Someone that’s overextended and stressed won’t bring as much energy and focus into their work each day. In states with paid leave programs, 89% of businesses said increased paid leave led to either improved productivity or no discernable change. In other words, letting people work less doesn’t mean they get less done. Employees that can go to work knowing that their loved one at home has everything they need won’t be distracted with worry and they’ll have an easier time focusing when in the office.

3. There is increased employee loyalty and retention.

When workers aren’t happy with their place of employment, that’s bad for business. They’re much more likely to be seeking other opportunities and leave at the first alternative offer they get. Without some kind of family caregiving policy, a significant portion of employees at a business will struggle with basic work-life balance needs. The HBS report noted that “Companies that ignore this emerging crisis risk losing their hardest-to-find and highest-paid employees — educated, skilled professionals… With those employees goes the substantial investment that companies make in recruiting, retention and training.” That adds up to a real monetary loss. Deloitte estimates that flexible work policies saved the firm $41.5 million in turnover costs.

4 Ways to Make the Case at Your Company

As a family caregiver, knowing that your life would be better if your employer offered better policies for work-life balance isn’t worth much unless you can get your employer to agree with you. That’s the hard part.

But the business case for better family caregiving policies is strong. It’s just a matter of getting your managers to give it fair consideration. Employees at a number of companies have gotten employers to institute better policies, so it is possible.

Here are a few steps that can help you do the same:

1. Prepare your case.

Develop a persuasive case for how the family caregiving policies you want will benefit the company — not just the employees. Find data that back up your arguments and mix that with human stories that reveal the personal side of how family caregiving affects work. See if you can find examples of people who chose not to work for the company or who left specifically because of the lack of good family caregiving policies. Or share times that not having the flexibility needed had negative consequences for an employee’s life and work.

Organize the arguments you want to make in advance so you can present them clearly, with all the information you need in front of you.

2. Provide specific suggestions.

Work up a proposal of what you’d like to see in specific terms. If you want to institute a better paid-leave policy, tell your company specifically how much paid time off you suggest and who you think it should be available to. Would you like to incorporate flexible hours or more remote work opportunities? Picture what that will look like. Try to think of challenges those options present so you can address potential objections up front.

Do your research so you can provide specific solutions and back them up with evidence on why they’ll work. If you can find case studies from companies in your industry, even better.

3. Try to identify other family caregivers working for the company.

One person advocating for change alone in a company will have a tougher hill to climb than a group of employees working together. So you should try to identify other family caregivers working in the company. The more you can find the better. If you can find people in executive or managerial roles struggling to balance caregiving with their job, even better. Their words will have that much more weight when making your appeal to the higher ups. Then, talk to the other family caregivers that you find and ask them about their struggles and about the kind of policies they’d like to see.

Then ask if they’re willing to publicly work to help you convince the company to do better. If you can get them to sign their names to a letter or petition, or join you in going to HR or your manager to discuss options, you’ll have a stronger case.

4. Work together with others pushing for better policies.

Many of the policies that would most benefit caregivers would also improve the lives of working parents who face similar struggles. When Walmart recently expanded parental leave, one of the deciding factors was evidence of broad employee support, including a petition that collected thousands of employee signatures. Banding together with other family caregivers can help you start to show that broad support, but if you join forces with other employees that can benefit from the same policies caregivers need, your numbers will swell.

With more people throwing their support behind your suggestions, you make your argument more persuasive to the decision makers.

Although there’s no promise that putting in this work will result in you getting what you want, you won’t know unless you try. Businesses have good reason to listen. While progress on this front may be slow, companies will begin to see the importance of offering benefits that take into account the needs of family caregivers. If you can help your business be at the forefront of this movement, it will benefit everyone involved.

4/14: Canadians not wanted

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has started quietly enforcing a policy change that makes it harder for Canadians working in the country to renew their L-1 visas.

4/14: Confidence??

\A gauge of how consumers view their "Present Situation" fell in March by the most since 2008.

  • Leuthold's quantitative analysts find that the Present Situation reading is the indicator most closely linked to future stock market performance.
  • When the Present Situation index is in a downtrend, like it is now, monetary easing from the Federal Reserve has basically no impact on stock performance. That stands in contrast to the idea that a more accommodative Fed is bullish for equities.

Screen Shot 2019 04 05 at 11.52.03 AM

"After years of overdoing it, policymakers should now be careful not to overdo it," he said in a recent client note. "Confidence is fragile enough that excessive dovishness might actually be harmful."

He continued: "If confidence erodes for even a few more months, we believe the entire US recovery from mid-2009 will come to an end."


4/14: Native American women

84 percent

That’s how many indigenous women have experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Justice.

______

1 in 3

That’s how many Native American women have been raped or experienced an attempted rape, according to the Justice Department, more than twice the national average.

______

13 percent

That’s how many sexual assaults reported by Native American women result in arrest, according to the Justice Department, compared with 35 percent for black women and 32 percent for white women.

In 2016, 5,712 indigenous women and girls were reported missing, but only 116 were logged by the U.S. Department of Justice’s federal missing persons database, according to the National Crime Information Center.

506

The number of indigenous women and girls who have disappeared or been killed in 71 urban American cities in 2016, according to a November report by Urban Indian Health Institute.


4/11: Aging into Homelessness — Reporter Kevin Fagan analyzes a disturbing trend: nearly half of all homeless people older than 50 became homeless for the first time after that age.

4/14: Millenials


Finances

1) Twenty-eight percent of millennials think they're worse off financially than they thought they'd be a decade ago.

2) A variety of economic factors have played a role in delaying some millennials' wealth-building process. The Great Recessionstudent-loan debt, and a higher cost of living have made it difficult for millennials to save.

College

1) Nearly half of millennials who have or have had student-loan debt think college wasn't worthwhile.

2) The divide between people who do think college was worth it and those who don't is clear: Millennials who are still paying off their student-loan debt feel worse about having gone to college than millennials who have already paid off their debt.

Retirement

1) Many Americans expect to buy a house or retire one day but aren't saving for it.

2) One-quarter of millennials who expect to retire between ages 66 and 75 have no retirement savings account.

3) Nearly half of Gen Xers have no retirement account, despite most expecting to retire between 56 and 75.

But, despite all of these money worries, our survey shows that millennials aren't curbing their spending. In fact, if given an extra $1,000 in a month, millennials and baby boomers would spend similarly. And while millennials are delaying major life events such as buying a house and having kids (due in large part to massive student loan debt), they aren't abandoning these things entirely. 

Bottom line: millennials have been accused of killing razors, mayo, golf, weddings, beer, and cereal. The rationale for this (at least according to the Fed) has been that it's because younger Americans don't have as much money to spend than previous generations.

4/11: If you have been to downtown San Francisco, literally every corner has a homeless person begging for money. Can it be corrected??

"It estimated the average per unit cost of housing each homeless person in the Bay Area region at $450,000 but also noted that housing costs in San Francisco are more than $700,000 per unit when land is factored in.

Using the $450,000 per unit cost of Bay Area housing, the report estimates it would cost $12.7 billion “to end homelessness under current methods of building and providing services.” It also said providing services at about $25,000 per person annually to half of the region’s homeless population over 10 years would require another $3.5 billion."

And this will increase the cost of California living shortly

If California wildfires continue their destructive trend of the past two years, electricity rates could skyrocket 50% and threaten the state’s ability to execute some of its top clean energy initiatives.

4/10: Aging and cognitive impairment. 

Studies of old people conclude that between 16 percent and 23 percentof Americans over 65 experience some form of cognitive impairment. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology found that these subjects performed worse than others on tasks involving working memory — the ability to remember information while manipulating it, as when calculating the tip on a restaurant bill — and that they’re more impaired when those tasks become more complex. Older adults also have difficulties with tasks that require dividing or switching attention, like cooking while chatting on the phone. On tests of reasoning, memory and cognitive speed, the average scores for adults in their early 70s were near the 20th percentile of the population, whereas the average performance for adults in their early 20s was near the 75th percentile. A Mayo Clinic study of 161 cognitively normal adults between 62 and 100 years of age showed that declines in learning ability closely track the passage of time. “Research has shown that concept formation, abstraction, and mental flexibility decline with age, especially after age 70, as older adults tend to think more concretely than younger adults,”

We live in an age of isms, and ageism (discriminating against people because of how many birthdays they’ve celebrated) is forbidden by statutes like the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and by political correctness. This bothers some people in the field of gerontology. “If talking about someone’s age is taboo and we are immediately accused of ageism, then that shuts down the discourse,” argues Jennifer Sasser, 52, a gerontologist at Oregon State University. A 70-year-old candidate “will have 20 more years of lived experience than a 50-year-old, and that translates not only into potential expertise but also a richer mind,” Sasser says. But “you can’t stay at the height of your capacity forever. That’s not the trajectory. We do become less energetic. Our bodies and minds do change.”

Funniest/cutest dog cat video ever

4/10: Climate change

Rainfall across central and northern Europe was 80% below average levels, resulting in agricultural losses and wildfires. Satellite photos showed dozens of Swedish forests burning in July that destroyed more than $100 million worth of woodland.

“As temperatures rose during the year, so did the duration of sunshine,” Copernicus said in a statement. “Parts of central and northern Europe experienced up to 40 percent more sunshine hours than average with Germany being the sunniest on record.”

“Glacier retreat would have a large impact on the Alps since glaciers are an important part of the region’s ecosystem, landscape and economy,” said Harry Zekollari, a climate scientist in Switzerland. “They attract tourists to the mountain ranges and act as natural fresh water reservoirs. Glaciers provide a source of water for hydroelectricity, which is especially important in warm and dry periods.”

The pain felt by European farmers was evident from space, according to Copernicus, which published images showing how the normally lush cropland of central and northern Europe were burnt crisp by heat and lack of rain.

“Dry conditions were especially persistent in Germany, where the April-September period was the second-driest on record, leading to heavy agricultural production losses,

In order to avoid the catastrophic effects of runaway climate change — rising seas, super-storms, famine and war — the world needs to invest some $2.4 trillion a year through 2035 in order to cut fossil fuel emissions. Even a rise of 1.5 degrees would have massive consequences, including a “multi-meter rise in sea levels” over hundreds to thousands of years and a mass extinction of plants and animals.

EFM-  $2.4 trillion per year is laughable if it was not so sad. Human population will decrease certainly by 2050 and Mother Earth will retain her rights to the earth by 2100

4/9: How to put together a care teamife was significantly changing in the home of Helen’s parents. Her father’s tremors had increased and his falls had become more frequent in recent weeks. He also had difficulty sleeping and caring for his personal needs. His Parkinson’s disease was noticeably taking its toll on Helen’s mother as well. She was weary from a lack of sleep and unable to fully care for her husband’s needs anymore. Her own health was in jeopardy as she faced high blood pressure and she had injured her back while attempting to lift her husband after a fall. Suddenly, Helen found herself providing care to both of her parents! It seemed as if their lives were unraveling and Helen knew she couldn’t handle this crisis all alone. Her siblings lived out of the area and seemed unaware of their parent’s urgent needs. Helen felt very much alone and was unsure what to do first or whom to call for help.

No matter how well intentioned, caregiving for a loved one can be quite challenging. Too often the responsibilities land on the shoulders of one individual, either by choice or default. Whether the care receiver is a parent, spouse, adult child or sibling, upholding the total weight of a loved one’s needs can take its toll on even the strongest of caregivers. That’s why it is vital for a caregiver to build a care team and form a circle of support.

The concept of building a care team is not new, yet many families and caregivers are unaware of its importance to their respective roles. Planning the team should begin as soon as it’s apparent that an individual is in need of care.

First, make a list of those individuals who can join the care team and contribute to its success. The following list of team players can get you started:

  • Family members, including children
  • Physicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Medical professionals
  • Clergy/Church members
  • Neighbors/Friends
  • Volunteers
  • Caregiver consultant/Social worker
  • Counselors/Therapists
  • Adult day program staff
  • Home Care Providers
  • Medical organizations

Secondly, plan a family meeting to evaluate the caregiving situation and discuss any concerns. Quite likely, each family member has a skill or ability to contribute. Discuss which member is best equipped to handle specific needs. For example, those with financial skills can assist with monetary guidance, and those in the legal field can provide expertise in taking care of wills, health care directives and estate planning. Other members may possess organizational skills, have home repair experience or are able to offer personal care assistance. Long distance family members can make phone calls, send emails or letters to the caregiver and care receiver to boost their morale. Perhaps they could contribute toward hiring housekeeping or chore services. All members should be urged to collectively contribute what each is capable of giving to the family.

Thirdly, consider the family dynamics and how this may influence the caregiving scenario. One common mistake is to presume that everyone is comfortable with and responsible for giving personal care, cleaning or handling finances. This assumption has caused many family members to distance themselves when help is needed and can bring about family disharmony. Hopefully a family meeting can bring everyone together to pool their resources and agree on a plan of care.

Lastly, consult the professionals and seek the support and skills from people outside of the family. The physician and his/her staff will offer the necessary medical guidance to care for an individual. Pharmacists can answer questions regarding medication usage and interactions. Clergy and church members can offer spiritual guidance and perhaps assistance with occasional meals or transportation. Neighbors and friends often are willing to help decrease social isolation as well as provide respite care to allow the caregiver a much needed break. Adult day staff can propose a respite and activity plan and give support. A caregiver consultant can provide resources, education and even act as a family mediator, thus encouraging families to work together for everyone’s benefit. Counselors or therapists are available to help with emotional needs and can assist the caregiver in sorting out feelings to gain perspective. Home care agencies offer certified and licensed staff to provide custodial and skilled care services. Medical organizations that address Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, etc., should also be contacted for information and support groups.

As one can see, there are many benefits to building a strong, multi-faceted care team, one step at a time. Communication, cooperation, and forming partnerships within the family and the community can all promote and support a successful caregiving experience.

That's a moron


4/9: EURO traiffs

The US is weighing tariffs on $11bn of EU products — including civilian aircraft and agricultural goods ranging from Roquefort cheese to olive oil — in a move that threatens to further escalate transatlantic trade tensions.

The Trump administration said it was proposing the levies in response to EU subsidies to support Airbus, the European aerospace and defence group, which were judged to be illegal by the World Trade Organization. 

The move represents a significant escalation between Washington and Brussels at a time when officials on both sides of the Atlantic have become increasingly frustrated with one another. (FT)

EFM: The U.S. is still having difficulties with China; Mexico is a mess with tariffs and immigration; North Korea is still building nuclear weapons. Brexit is ????? Israel vote is up in the air. ETC. If we can slide through these problems of a recession will be later. If we screw up, the alternatives to avoid a recession becomes even starting this year.

4/9: OIL

In today’s newsletter, we will take a quick look at some of the critical figures and data in the energy markets this week. 

We will then look at some of the key market movers early this week before providing you with the latest analysis of the top news events taking place in the global energy complex over the past few days. We hope you enjoy.


INVESTOR ALERT: Oilprice.com is finally launching its industry-leading energy intelligence service - Global Energy Alert. New members of this service will also receive our exclusive 5-part report on The Top 50 Oil & Gas Companies of 2019 for FREE. Claim your 100% 30-day risk-free trial here









-    Between 2013 and 2017, Pennsylvania was the largest exporter of electricity, shipping out 59 million megawatt hours (MWh) on average each year. 

-    California, on the other hand, imported an average of 77 million MWh, the most out of any other state.  



4/9: How to get someone to eat

A common nutritional problem that can affect someone in poor health is cachexia-anorexia and it especially involves those in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and cancer. Cachexia-anorexia is a syndrome in which progressive and involuntary weight loss occurs. The people with this disorder are “wasting-away” from the lack of vitamins and nutrients and as a caregiver; this can be a difficult and frustrating event to witness. 

The syndrome can be attributed to cancer treatments, medications, physiological problems like an obstructing tumor in the gastrointestinal track or psychological problems like depression. It is also possible the person you are caring for has a loss of appetite simply from not feeling well. Remember to consult your physician about the specific dietary needs of your loved one.

  • Water, Water, Water. Make sure the person you are caring for has plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can lead to appetite suppression.
  • Keep it small. Instead of three large meals a day, which can look overwhelming to someone in poor health, serve six small meals a day.
  • Bulk up on the amount of calories per meal. For instance, you can add protein powder mix to shakes or drinks to increase calories. 
  • Soft is better. Serve soft foods such as pudding, ice cream or fruit smoothies because they can be tasty and easy to digest.
  • Make it tasty. Don’t serve bland or sour tasting foods.
  • Put the power in their hands. When possible, give the person you are caring for the decision-making power to decide what they would like to eat; it helps them to feel in control.
  • Make it pretty. Present appetizing looking meals by accenting the plate with a garnish (i.e. strawberry or melon). Also, make the dining experience pleasant for the person you are caring for by playing soft music or talking to them about the day’s events while they are eating to take their minds off not feeling well.
  • Write it down. Keep a food diary about the person you are caring for and include: what food they have problems or complications digesting and their daily food menus, and review it with their doctor or dietician for feedback. They may be experiencing digestive problems or irritable bowl syndrome due to their menu.
  • Work it out. Try and get them moving to work up an appetite. If overall exercise such as walking isn’t possible, have them fold the laundry or peel vegetables.

4/9: Recovery Room Kit

Three years ago, my mom underwent major surgery to remove a brain tumor. The day of her surgery felt like the longest day of my life. Because she didn’t have any family members in the area, I was going to be her primary caregiver. She worried how I would be able to handle things by myself. It was an emotionally draining experience, but I had prepared myself for the long wait.

Prior to the surgery, I prepared a backpack filled with items that I would need for the long day. To help with my mom’s recovery, I needed to remain strong, both physically and emotionally. My backpack was my recovery room survival kit.

If someone you love will be undergoing major surgery, it might be helpful to have your own survival kit. The day of surgery can be a traumatic experience for both the patient and the caregiver. If you make adequate preparations, you can make yourself as comfortable and alert as possible. 

My own kit included the following essentials:

Notepad and pen: The patient will receive a lot of instructions regarding post-operative procedures such as medications and wound care. You and the patient may experience information overload. It will be helpful to jot down notes as soon as the nurse or doctor gives you those instructions. If certain instructions are vague, ask follow-up questions before the patient is discharged.

Chocolate or energy bar: You may be so stressed that you will forget to eat. You will need to keep your energy level up. A piece of chocolate has enough caffeine for a temporary boost. An energy or protein bar has enough calories to substitute for a small meal. You can also carry a bag of nuts or a banana. If you don’t have an appetite for cafeteria food, keep some snacks in your bag. 

Bottled water: This may seem obvious, but water is an essential. You don’t want to dehydrate yourself with too much coffee or soda. Also, you don’t want to pester the nurses for a glass of water. Right after surgery, the patient will not be able to take water for a few hours. However, you still need to keep yourself hydrated. 

That one phone number: As a caregiver, you need to remain physically and emotionally strong. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t forget to ask for help. Everyone has that one phone number to call. It can be a family member, friend, or mentor. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. When I thought the pressure was too much, I called my best friend to share my fears and anxieties. Just a five minute conversation can work wonders.

If you are going to be a caregiver, be prepared and bring your own essentials. In my mom’s case, the actual procedure lasted about five hours. She was awake by the time they rolled her into the Intensive Care Unit. I waited in the hospital lobby until they allowed me to see her. When I walked into her ICU room, I wasn’t sure what to expect. She looked up, saw me, and waved. I waved back, and I knew everything was going to be okay.

4/9:


4/9:

 

4/8: This could be the bombshell  that stops the stock market- along with the HUGE debt that is larger than 2008.

Corporate profit squeeze looms, threatening stocks’ climb. Dozens of companies have slashed their profit forecasts for the first quarter, calling into question whether the Federal Reserve's move to loosen monetary policy will continue to boost the market through its first pullback in earnings in nearly three years.



C. auris is so tenacious, in part, because it is impervious to major antifungal medications, makingued.

Resistant germs are often called “superbugs,” but this is simplistic because they don’t typically kill everyone. Instead, they are most lethal to people with immature or compromised immune systems, including newborns and the elderly, smokers, diabetics and people with autoimmune disorders who take steroids that suppress the body’s defenses.

In the United States, two million people contract resistant infections annually, and 23,000 die from them, according to the official C.D.C. estimate. That number was based on 2010 figures; more recent estimates from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine put the death toll at 162,000. Worldwide fatalities from resistant infections are estimated at 700,000.

Other prominent strains of the fungus Candida — one of the most common causes of bloodstream infections in hospitals — have not developed significant resistance to drugs, but more than 90 percent of C. auris infections are resistant to at least one drug, and 30 percent are resistant to two or more drugs, the C.D.C. said.

C. auris isas “the top” threat among resistant infections. “It’s pretty much unbeatable and difficult to identity,” she said.

Nearly half of patients who contract C. auris die within 90 days

hospital workers used a special device to spray aerosolized hydrogen peroxide around a room used for a patient with C. auris, the theory being that the vapor would scour each nook and cranny. They left the device going for a week. Then they put a “settle plate” in the middle of the room with a gel at the bottom that would serve as a place for any surviving microbes to grow, Dr. Rhodes said.

Only one organism grew back. C. auris.

The germ has spread into long-term care facilities. In Chicago, 50 percent of the residents at some nursing homes have tested positive for it,

EFM- I have been waiting for at least two decades for something like this to decimate civilization. Maybe this isn't it but climate change might offer up other organisms. The permafrost in  northern countries is now melting and will release spores and microbes that have been buried in ice for centuries. So I will now state that the world will suffer a major contagion with the next ten years. It will kill the old and young first and new strains will occur as it spreads.
 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday it has yet to determine the source of an E. coli outbreak that has infected 72 people in five states — an admission one expert in food-borne illness called “perplexing,” considering how many have become sick.

Symptoms of E. coli infection often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, typically occurring three days after consuming the bacteria. The states affected by the outbreak are Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.

“Given the size and the number of states that are involved, what you’re seeing is very unusual,” Marler said. “If it was five people or 10 people, that’s a little harder to figure out. But when there’s 72 people and they’re being interviewed by epidemiologists, it’s pretty unusual you don’t have a culprit.”

this O103 outbreak is by far the largest in recent memory


According to the Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture — especially cattle — generates nearly 10 percent of heat-trapping emissions in the United States.

  • The 4 types of medications that affect brain function. These are listed in depth in my article on this topic, and are also included in the 2019 AGS Beers Criteria’s Table 3, in the list of medications to avoid in people with dementia or cognitive impairment. They should also be avoided when older people have delirium. They are:
    • Anticholinergics
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Non-benzodiazepine sedatives
    • Antipsychotics
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
    • These include common over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen (brand names Advil and Alleve), as well as prescription-strength NSAIDs, which are often prescribed for arthritis and other pain. I explain the risks of these medications in this article.
  • Aspirin for prevention (in adults age 70+ who have NOT had a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular event).
  • Proton-pump inhibitors.
    • These are medications that reduce stomach acid, such as omeprazole (Prilosec).  They are not recommended for chronic use of more than 8 weeks, unless there are compelling reasons to continue.
  • Medications to avoid or use with caution if there is a history of falls or fractures.
    • This is an important list since falls are really common in older adults.
    • The AGS 2019 Beers Criteria list for this includes:
      • Anti-epileptics (also known as anticonvulsants; these are sometimes used off-label for difficult dementia behaviors, see here.)
      • Antipsychotics
      • Benzodiazepines
      • Non-benzodiazepine sedatives
      • Antidepressants
      • Opioids
    • Note: in my own list of medications to review for fall prevention, I also include medications related to blood pressure (recommended by the CDC guidelines) and blood sugar (common sense; low blood sugar is common in older people on diabetes medications and is definitely associated with falls). For more, see here.


the majority of Millennials are investors, the top three reasons some Millennials do not invest are they do not have enough money to do so, they say they do not know how to properly invest, and they do not know the first thing about investing.

Eighty-five percent of Millennials say they are not too young to invest. They believe that the right age to start investing is 28. Among the Millennials who have never invested, 83% said that if they were to do so, they would want to invest in a company that is ethical and socially responsible.

However, Millennials say that in order to invest, they would need a salary of more than $35,000 and at least $3,659 in their savings account. And, 20% of Millennials say they are so overwhelmed by the idea of investing that they haven’t even looked into it at all.

Millennials make up nearly a quarter of the total U.S. population, 30 percent of the voting age population, and almost two-fifths of the working age population.

4/7OIL
Crude rallied on Friday morning, ending the week on a bullish note as traders are increasingly concerned about global supply outages.

Trader Alert: Make sure you don't miss out this week's Oil & Gas Insider. This week we look at tightening supply, global outages and their effect on crude oil futures. Sign up today for your free trial.















44 percent of American workers who participate in a 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan feel secure about their retirement, as long as they watch their spending. That positive sentiment was echoed by the CNBC and Acorns Invest In You Savings Survey, which found that more than half of adults are either somewhat more confident (30 percent) or much more confident (27 percent) about their ability to save for retirement than they were three years ago.

Gen Xers

This middle generation has $166,328 saved toward retirement, on average.

Gen Xers project they will need to have $980,466 put away in order to stop working. That means they're at 17 percent of their goal.

Members of this generation, with an average age of 45, want to retire at 64.

To do that, they must save $42,849 per year.

BABY BOOMERS

have made the most progress, with an average of $306,703 saved toward retirement.

With that, they have made it to 30 percent of their $1,018,488 goal.

But because they are older — 64 years old on average — and they have a shorter time to their goal retirement age, 69, they must put away much more per year: $142,357

financial concerns get in the way.

The biggest concerns that get in the way: daily living expenses, which was cited by 65 percent of respondents. That was followed by generational debt, with 43 percent; housing costs, 43 percent; and health-care costs, 32 percent.

What makes matters worse is that 22 percent of workers admitted to taking a lump sum distribution from their retirement funds without moving the money to another plan.


EFM- these articles provide some insight. But in realty, unless a formal budget is done, etc. they are a guesstimate only.


Since 2016, the equity release market has been growing at the average rate of 7.1 per cent each quarter. The amount of equity unlocked from people’s homes more than doubled from £514m in the second quarter of 2016 to £1.08bn in the final quarter of 2018. In 2018, there was a record £3.94m of equity release lending. A much higher sum — £7.83bn — was taken flexibly from pensions in the same year. However, this market has been growing at the much slower pace of 0.71 per cent each quarter.

The numbers of lifetime mortgages in particular rose by 25 per cent from 2017 to 2018. Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva says the figures suggest homeowners are turning to their properties as a means to raise wealth in retirement. “Property and pensions together represent nearly 80 per cent of private wealth in the UK,” he says. “As our life expectancy reaches record highs and our savings ratio hits record lows, it is understandable that people are increasingly turning to their property wealth to fund their longer later lives.” How prevalent is equity release in the UK? Lifetime mortgages make up about a third of all mortgages taken out by homeowners in their mid-50s, compared with less than 20 per cent a decade ago

4/7: almost half of Americans approaching retirement have nothing saved in a 401(k) or other individual account

Of those 55 and older, 48 percent had nothing put away in a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan or an individual retirement account, according to a GAO estimate for 2016 that was released Tuesday.

That’s an improvement from the 52 percent without retirement money in 2013.

Two in five of such households did have access to a traditional pension, also known as a defined benefit plan. However, 29 percent of older Americans had neither a pension nor any assets in a 401(k) or IRA account.



a screenshot of a cell phone

Too soon to know if this is a trend

a close up of a map


Findings reveal that two in five caregivers are caring for or have cared for a parent and, while the majority (83%) have siblings, only one in 10 say siblings equally share responsibilities as a team. Rather, 40% say their siblings don’t assist in caring for their parent at all, and an additional 41% indicate that while siblings offer some help, they themselves are the primary caregiver.

Is there a choice when it comes to stepping up as a caregiver?

While more than half of caregivers (58%) knew in advance that they would be providing care, for two in five, it was not discussed and was completely unexpected. This factor – whether a caregiver knows in advance about taking on this role – impacts how they feel about the choices they have:

  • 58% of caregivers who feel they did not have a choice in becoming a caregiver said there was no discussion ahead of time and it was totally unexpected.
    The perception of choice is also influenced by age and relationship with the person receiving the care:
  • 72% of Millennials report that they had a choice, followed by Gen X (56%). Whereas 62% of Baby Boomers don’t feel they had a choice.
  • Two in three (65%) of those caring for a spouse don’t feel they have/had a choice, versus 51% of those caring for a parent.

Financial, emotional and practical realities

The study looks at the financial and practical realities of caregiving and finds:

  • Caregivers define caregiving as a combination of practical/personal care support (42%), emotional support (34%) and financial support (23%).
  • 55% of caregivers are providing more than six hours a day of care over an expected average of almost 10 years of total care.
  • When it comes to getting support for their caregiving responsibilities, most turn to friends (43%) before siblings (34%) for help with the emotional aspects of support, but rely equally on siblings, other family members and healthcare professionals for practical/personal care support (28%).
  • Caregivers are spending on average 26% of their own monthly budget on caregiving, a percentage that is slightly higher for Millennials (32%) versus Gen X (25%). They mostly don’t seek any support when it comes to financial needs (43%). If they do, they will ask family members (22%) or siblings (20%), rather than friends (13%).

A whole new meaning to the phrase “parents’ expectations”

Despite their own experience, 72% of caregivers have not planned for their own long-term care needs. Moreover, two in three haven’t spoken about preferences for their care either because they just expect it will be taken care of as it has always been done in their family (37%), or because they don’t have any expectation that anyone would be responsible for them (30%).

Among those who have planned:

  • 47% increased their savings
  • 39% purchased long-term care insurance
  • 37% incorporated long-term care into their financial plan
  • 31% talked to their financial advisor
There's a real disconnect between perceptions and realities when it comes to caregiving...

The majority (76%) of caregivers anticipate their family will provide their care, either their spouse/partner (41%), another family member (31%) or their children (29%).

Caregivers who have or expect to have children themselves assume their children will provide long-term care in terms of:

  • Emotional support – 71%
  • Practical/personal care support – 52%
  • Financial support – 35%, which is even higher for Millennials, among whom 47% expect their children will provide financial support

Overall, caregivers who will look to their children for financial support anticipate they will rely on them for an average of 41% of their financial support needs.


4/7: MAX

"If the issues are not resolved in a timely manner and production of the 737 MAX needs to be halted for a spell,” wrote the JPMorgan strategist. “It would take about 0.15% off the level of GDP, or about 0.6%-point off the quarterly annualized growth rate of GDP in the quarter in which production is stopped."

EFM- Boeing seems to be on top of the problem but can you imagine how flyers would feel for at least 6 months in finding out their next flight was on a MAX????

4/7:

"The Limits of Forward Guidance" Fee Download
CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13612

JEFFREY R. CAMPBELL, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, CentER, Tilburg University
Email: jcampbell@frbchi.org
FILIPPO FERRONI,
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Email: Filippo.Ferroni@chi.frb.org
JONAS D. M. FISHER,
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago - Economic Research Department
Email: JONAS.FISHER@CHI.FRB.ORG
LEONARDO MELOSI,
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Email: lmelosi@frbchi.org

The viability of forward guidance as a monetary policy tool depends on the horizon over which it can be communicated and its influence on expectations over that horizon. We develop and estimate a model of imperfect central bank communications and use it to measure how effectively the Fed has managed expectations about future interest rates and the influence of its communications on macroeconomic outcomes. Standard models assume central banks have perfect control over expectations about the policy rate up to an arbitrarily long horizon and this is the source of the so-called "forward guidance puzzle." Our estimated model suggests that the Fed's ability to affect expectations at horizons that are sufficiently long to give rise to the forward guidance puzzle is substantially limited. We also find that imperfect communication has a significant impact on the propagation of forward guidance. Finally, we develop a novel decomposition of the response of the economy to forward guidance and use it to show that empirically plausible imperfect forward guidance has a quantitatively important role bringing forward the effects of future rate changes and that poor communications have been a source of macroeconomic volatility.


I'm not cleaning that up!


4/7: More than 32 major cities around the world are experiencing a shortage in affordable housing, many as a result of their renewed prosperity. The crisis is becoming a hot-button political issue, along with rent control, but solutions are slow to be found.

4/7: Bear markets (though if losses average 33%+, I consider that they are recessions). This is from an agency that uses indexed universal life. Number 3 doesn't make sense to me- but I will attend their seminar later in the month.

1) Since WWII a Bear Market occurs every 6 Years.
2) During a 30 year retirement, you can expect 5 Bear Markets.
3) The market will experience 0% gains during 50% of retirement.
4) A Bear Market lasts on average 16 months.
5) After the market bottoms, it takes on average 22.5 months to reach the market peak where the Beat Market started.
6) The total new Bull Market appreciation (from the bottom) is 74%.
7) Most of the Bull Market gains are in the first year.
8) The average total Bull gain is 135%.
9) The average Net gain from prior peak to new peak is 74%.
10) The average loss is 33% (plus fees)


4/7: Caregiving duties usually fall on just one

 For most families, caring for mom or dad as they age is not a family effort. According to new data from Northwestern Mutual’s latest C.A.R.E. Study, the responsibility most likely falls on the shoulders of one sibling, rather than being shared among all the children.

Findings reveal that two in five caregivers are caring for or have cared for a parent and, while the majority (83%) have siblings, only one in 10 say siblings equally share responsibilities as a team. Rather, 40% say their siblings don’t assist in caring for their parent at all, and an additional 41% indicate that while siblings offer some help, they themselves are the primary caregiver.


4/4: The frogs are dying; the frogs are dying!!!!

On Thursday, 41 scientists published the first worldwide analysis of a fungal outbreak that’s been wiping out frogs for decades. The devastation turns out to be far worse than anyone had previously realized.

“It now earns the moniker of the most deadly pathogen known to science.”


In the late 1990s, researchers discovered that frogs in both Australia and Panama were infected with a deadly fungus, which they named Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis  Bd, for short.

The fungus turned up in other countries, but studies of its DNA suggest that Bd originated on the Korean Peninsula. In Asia, amphibians seem impervious to Bd, but when it got to other parts of the world — probably via the international trade in pet amphibians — the pathogen reached hundreds of vulnerable species.

Amphibians are infected with Bd by contact with other animals or by spores floating in the water. The fungus invades skin cells and multiplies. An infected frog’s skin will start to peel away as the animal grows sluggish. Before it dies, a frog may manage to hop its way to a new stream or pond, spreading the fungus further. (EFM_ or a bird drops one into new ponds)

EFM- I wonder if the worst influx of Cane toads can be tamed. Millions upon millions upon MILLIONS have overrun Australia and Florida is now seeing the beginning of a swarm. They have no known predators

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4/4:

An answer to skilled-labor shortages? How vocational schools became sought-after academies in New Jersey

New Jersey is facing a looming shortage of skilled workers. To address it, the state is investing in vocational schools, transforming them into competitive academies that combine work-based training with rigorous coursework and respond directly to employers’ needs.

“They’re discussing trends in the industry,” said Ted Szczawinski, director of curriculum at Passaic County Technical Institute, of the meetings between school staff and local industry leaders. “How is the workforce evolving, what’s on the horizon, what hasn’t been developed yet, what’s about to be outsourced?”


EFM- China has been doing this for some time. They take those from the farmlands and put them into learning centers where they go on to work on computers doing simple- but necessary- tasks for AI. Every state should be doing this.



more than 80% of women globally are highly involved in their short-term finances, such as daily expenses, budgeting and cash flow, according to UBS Global Wealth Management’s Investor Watchreport, which surveyed more than 3,600 high-net-worth (HNW) married women, widows and divorcees in nine markets including the U.S.

Women reportedly are “acutely aware” of their long-term financial needs. The top three financial needs identified by the majority of women globally include retirement planning (76%), long-term care (72%) and insurance (68%). Surprisingly few, however, take the lead in managing their own long-term finances. Only 23% of women globally take charge of long-term financial planning decisions.

According to the report, women’s deferral of important financial decisions to spouses extends to all generations, but for different reasons across markets.

More than half of women globally (58%) defer to their spouse to manage long-term decisionmaking for reasons ranging from “my spouse never encouraged me” to “we take a divide-and-conquer approach.” Yet, the main reason apparently has to do with women’s assumptions about who knows more. An overwhelming 82% of women think their spouses know more about long-term finances, citing this belief as their top reason for deferring.

And somewhat surprisingly, Millennial women in the U.S. were even less likely to take charge, with 56% of women age 20-34 deferring to their spouse, as opposed to 54% of women over 51 years of age.

UBS emphasizes that this lack of participation stands in contrast to the urgent calls of U.S. widows and divorcees (98%) to push greater financial involvement, and the clear benefits — such as increased confidence and lower stress levels — for women who do partner with their spouses.  

“When 58% of women around the world – including the next generation of Millennials – defer to men on important financial decisions, we need to ask why,” notes Paula Polito, Global Client Strategy Officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “This dynamic could go on for generations to come, unless both men and women make a commitment to engage in financial decisions together.”

4/4: Military Suicides- not what I expected

the Army’s Health Promotion, Risk Reduction and Suicide Prevention Task Force studied cases of suicide, it found that most soldiers who had taken their own lives had deployed only once to Iraq, or not at all, and that deployment-related mental-health troubles didn’t necessarily correlate with suicides.

the committee found that the pace of Army life, particularly during wartime, produced a hectic stream of trainings, deployments, job changes and relocations that placed soldiers under more stress than their civilian peers but that soldiers most often took their lives for the same reasons that civilians did: failed relationships; careers imperiled by legal trouble or injury; mounting debts; or unmanageable depression, anxiety or substance abuse.

 “Health Promotion, Risk Reduction, Suicide Prevention Handbook,” which argued that the frantic pace of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars had led leaders to value fighting skills over people skills, to the point that soldiers’ struggles — deteriorating relationships, substance use that was becoming abuse, maxed-out credit cards or a penchant for risky behavior — were not being noticed until too late.

Condemning what it called “the lost art of garrison leadership,” the Army determined that it needed to change its culture to cultivate leaders’ capacity to care for and mentor soldiers. “Now more than ever, our Soldiers need firm, fair and consistent leadership,” Gen. Peter Chiarelli, then-vice chief of staff, wrote in the report’s introductory letter, adding, “We must identify our Soldiers who are at-risk, mitigate their stress and, if necessary, personally intervene to assist them.”

4/4: 30 Tips to Start Sleeping Better

improving your sleep can result in the following benefits:

  • better skin health and more healthful appearance
  • emotional regeneration and better relationships
  • decreased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease
  • fewer accidents
  • lower levels of inflammation
  • enhanced immune function
  • hormonal balance
  • faster rate of weight loss
  • decreased pain
  • stronger bones
  • lower risk or Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline; better memory
  • longevity

The report shows that from 2001 to 2008, the average allocation to fixed income, equities and alternative asset classes was roughly the same for public and private plans. But from 2009 to 2015, those allocations diverged, with public plans allocating significantly more to risky assets than private plans. Specifically, public plans had 72% in risky assets (50% in equities and 22% in alternatives), while private plans had 62% (44% in equities and 18% in alternatives).

4/4:

"International Willingness to Pay for the Protection of the Amazon Rainforest" Free Download
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8775

JUHA VEIKKO SIIKAMAKI, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
ALAN JEFF KRUPNICK,
Resources for the Future
JON STRAND,
World Bank
Email: jstrand1344@gmail.com
JEFFREY VINCENT,
Duke University
Email: jeff.vincent@duke.edu

The Amazon rainforest, the world's largest tropical rainforest and an important constituent of the global biosphere, continues degrading by rapid deforestation, which is expected to continue despite policies to prevent it. Current international funding to protect the Amazon rainforest focuses on benefits from reduced carbon emissions. This paper examines an additional rationale for Amazon protection: the valuation of its biodiversity and forests as natural heritage to the international community. To measure the economic value of this benefit, the paper examines U.S. and Canadian households' willingness to pay to help finance Amazon rainforest protection. The analysis finds that mean willingness to pay to avoid forest losses projected to occur by 2050 despite current protective policies is $92 per household per year. Aggregating across all households and considering the area protected, the analysis finds that preserving the Amazon rainforest is worth $3,168 per hectare (95-percent confidence interval $1,580-$4,756), on average, to households in the United States and Canada. Considering households in other developed countries would generate yet larger estimates of aggregate value, likely comparable to the carbon benefits from rainforest protection. The results reveal high values of the Amazon rainforest to people geographically distanced from it, lending support to international efforts to reduce deforestation in the Amazon.


4/4: OIL

In today’s newsletter, we will take a quick look at some of the critical figures and data in the energy markets this week. 

We will then look at some of the key market movers early this week before providing you with the latest analysis of the top news events taking place in the global energy complex over the past few days. We hope you enjoy.










 
-    The EIA
projects that U.S. tight oil production, having taken over from conventional crude as the major source of output for the country, will hit 10 million barrels of daily oil production by 2030.

-    In 2018, tight oil production reached 6.5 mb/d.

-    Three shale plays in the Permian – the Spraberry, Bone Spring, and Wolfcamp – account for 41 percent of total U.S. tight oil production.  



4/3: The Rate of Return on Everything

What is the aggregate real rate of return in the economy? Is it higher than the growth rate of the economy and, if so, by how much? Is there a tendency for returns to fall in the long-run? Which particular assets have the highest long-run returns? We answer these questions on the basis of a new and comprehensive dataset for all major asset classes, including housing. The annual data on total returns for equity, housing, bonds, and bills cover 16 advanced economies from 1870 to 2015, and our new evidence reveals many new findings and puzzles.

Massive amount of data

4/3:



EFM- the housing crisis meltdownwas caused by fraud, irresponsible ratings on the longest tranches etc. But it was also helped along by the news programs that would intereview people who would buy a condo, sight unseens, and then turn around and resell for a nice profit in a few weeks, nevermind months.




As the Tech bubble was getting ready to pop, the curve inverted in April 2000. The smart money began selling some high-profile names like WorldCom, Enron, and Pets.com to retail buyers who still believed that the only thing that mattered was eyeballs and clicks.

EFM- And the fact that there were 30 year old pretty boys on FNN and the like that said that business cycles were a thing of the past.


EFM- And it will probably work. Why? Because if they contest the final report et al, then we will never see THEM again. That is a decent amount of money to keep your mouth shut.

Trump has effectively been kept quiet. Why? All the money the U.S. makes in selling its armaments. Also note that we started bombing again in Yemen. One of the worst humanitarian calamities in the world.


The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to provide prices to consumers seeking them over the phone and to give an itemized price list to anyone requesting one in person. But the rule, which first took effect in 1984, when the internet was in its infancy, does not require online disclosure of prices.

The typical cost of a traditional funeral, including viewing of the body and burial, was about $7,400 in 2017, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, a trade group. A funeral with cremation, which is increasingly popular, was about $6,300. But costs vary widely, even within the same market.

Commercial websites like