US Heading For Economic Problems If Literacy Levels Stay Low

Although the idea that the United States is no longer leading the world in education is not news for most people, few Americans realize how low its ranking has dropped compared to other developed countries.

A report by the Education Testing Service (ETS) outlines how the drop in educational standards is much worse than most people imagine. This review analyzes information gathered by the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to the report, America’s Skills Challenge: Millennials and the Future:

Recent research reveals an apparent paradox for U.S. millennials (born after 1980, ages 16–34): while they may be on track to be our most educated generation ever, they consistently score below many of their international peers in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. As a country, simply providing more education may not be the answer. There needs to be a greater focus on skills — not just educational attainment — or we are likely to experience adverse consequences that could undermine the fabric of our democracy and community. For example, for people who are hoping to find careers in PR and marketing, they will need to focus just as much on public speaking, extemporaneous and persuasive writing as they do social media techniques, graphic design and web sales.

The Paradox

The irony of this looming crisis is that the United States still has the knowledge and experience to offer its citizens a broad education. What’s more, for much of the first half of the last century it was far ahead of Europe when it came to educational leadership.

In the last century, it became clear that the United States needed more skilled workers to benefit from the industrial revolution. The consensus was that a high school education would be sufficient for the country to become a global economic powerhouse.

The nation rallied to this call with some decisive action. High school enrollment rose from 11 percent to 75 percent from 1900 to 1950. By the middle of the fifties, the rate of students in high school was double that of Europe. In 1944, when Britain was pushing the Education Act to give British children secondary school education, President Roosevelt was already initiating the GI Bill that would allow veterans to go to college tuition-free.

This remarkable history of educational achievement makes America’s educational crisis even more bewildering. Today, even working adults who did not get a chance to go to college or did not get the opportunity to go to graduate school, can sign up for accelerated degree programs at liberal art colleges like the Gwynedd Mercy Online Programs. Americans can now attend college classes in their pajamas after a hard day’s work simply by turning on their computers! Earning a degree that can launch your future without runining your present with time constraints and debt is a no brainer!

At present, the United States trails behind South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Finland, United Kingdom, Canada, Netherlands, Ireland, and Poland in “cognitive skills and educational attainment.”

The world has not only caught up with the United States, but it is now leaving it behind. Starting in the 1970s, graduation rates from 4 year colleges fell dramatically, and over the last generation, the United States has fallen behind many Asian and European countries when it comes to an educated population.

The Looming Crisis

This falling level of literacy is a critical situation because the demand for educated workers continues to increase every single year. Fast paced technology and increasing globalization is pushing the world forward. By the year 2020, as many as five million jobs will go untaken because there will not be enough qualified people to do the work. In the 20th  century, a high school diploma was enough to secure a middle class life in manufacturing and retail work, but these jobs will be largely automated. Automation has already begun replacing labor in factories.

ACT, a nonprofit organization that focuses on building a link between education and workplace success, has a report called “Help Wanted: Many Youth Lack Education for Modern Workplace.” The research paper summarizes the consequences of low educational attainment on young workers:

“Based on current completion rates, 24 percent of current high school freshmen are unlikely to complete high school and another 27 percent will earn a high school diploma but not pursue postsecondary education. While 65 percent of HSDGs continue directly on to college, few of these students persist to earn college degrees. This evidence suggests that the influx of new workers entering the labor force will do little to meet growing demand for high skilled labor. Rather, low educational attainment will leave many young workers with high unemployment rates, chronically low wages, and low wage growth.”

What Does This Mean for Hopeful Marketing and PR Pros?

All of this focus on educational achievement might seem strange, especially since the Marketing and PR industry is far more focused on contacts and ideas than it is on degrees and classroom achievements. Still, completing a degree and mastering some communication skills are two of the best things you can do if you want to further your career. Why? Many of the clients you will be marketing and promoting probably will have these high level educations and you will have an easier time helping them achieve their goals if you can work on their level. This is particularly important if you are hoping to work with clients in the tech or educational fields.

Learning as much as you can is always going to be an asset. And focusing your studies on the areas in which you are hoping to find clients is a great way to set yourself apart from your competitors who will likely still be focusing on the portfolios of “sample” campaigns they built in their undergrad classes. It is especially helpful when you are a new graduate who hasn’t had the time to make many contacts or do much networking.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Are Cheeseburgers Worth As Much As Babies?

I have been reading a lot about the protests going on, apparently throughout the United States, where fast food workers want to make a minimum of $15 per hour.  Last week here in Detroit, a bunch of workers protested, and 25-30 got arrested after they took to the streets…literally, by blocking traffic on major thoroughfares during the morning rush hour.

I have to be perfectly blunt on where I stand with this issue, and it’s not at all with the workers.  Before you paint me as some heartless scumbag, let me outline my reasons.

  1. You lost me when you shut down traffic – If workers wanted to gather and demonstrate to get media attention, fine.  But when they shut down traffic, sorry, you lost me.  The people whom they were blocking traffic for were regular people just trying to get to their jobs.  And, the demonstrators made it so that they couldn’t.  Innocent people with no skin in the game became collateral damage to those looking to make a point that could have been made without negatively affecting other people.  I equate this to people in traffic that pull out in front of other people before traffic clears, because they don’t want to wait a spot.  You shouldn’t make your problem other people’s problem.
  2. A real world comparison – Somebody I know worked at a day care facility taking care of a room full of toddler age children.  She worked there for seven years and was barely making $11 per hour.  She left that job to go to one that paid closer to $15, which she got only after negotiating.  Sorry, but you’ll never convince me that taking care of children all day, being instrumental in their development, and overseeing their well being for a huge chunk of their young lives is worthy of less compensation than working in a fast food environment.
  3. The market does not and can not bear $15 – If fast food companies could not find enough qualified people to work at lower wages, then the wages would go up. Pure and simple.  But, since they can find plenty of applicants to work at lower wages, free market theory indicates that there’s no rational economic reason for $15 to be paid.
  4. Paying $15 would mean job losses – Simple cause and effect tells me this: If fast food minimum wages went up to $15, prices would go up.  If prices go up, people would buy less fast food.  If people bought less fast food, restaurants would close.  If restaurants close, workers lose their job.  Bottom line, there’s no way the market could simply absorb these costs without a portion of workers going from what they make today to zero.
  5. No company has a responsibility to provide employees with a standard of living – The basic premise behind the $15 number is that the current minimum wage is not high enough for a worker to support themselves.  I don’t dispute that.  In fact, simple math tells me it’s true.  But, where is it the responsibility of the fast food companies to provide this?  Call me heartless, but the fact of the matter is that any company is expected to provide fair wages for the work performed.  That’s what I get.  While it so happens that I do make enough to support my family, what if that changed?  What if there was an illness and we couldn’t afford treatment on my salary?  Do I have a right to march in and demand more money?  Of course not.  What if my wife and I decided to take after the Duggan’s and shoot for 19 kids?  Would I go into my bosses office after each birth and demand a raise?  No.  That’s silly.

The point is that while $10 per hour (roughly the minimum wage) is peanuts compared to some of the costs, I don’t think that simply demanding an industry specific artificial prop is the answer.  There are other ways that each person has to work through and take personal responsibility for making the decisions about:

  • Reduce expenses – I’d be interested to see how many of the protesters have smart phones with high data plans with which they go to social media to propegate their ’cause’.
  • Side hustle – There are other ways to make money when you’re not at work.  Cut grass, shovel snow, clean windows, write a blog, or any other number of things.
  • Second jobs – When I hear stories about my parents and grandparents generations, there are multiple stories of people who worked multiple jobs.  It’s hard, it can be grueling, but it’s what people have done when the first job isn’t enough.

Personally, I hearken the whole thing to the Occupy Wall Street movement of a few years ago, as the common theme is trying to take ones problems and project them to others in order to gain a solution, rather than working the solution themselves.  I just can’t get behind that especially when it involves, you know, blocking traffic.

Readers, what do you think about the whole uprising going on for $15 per hour wages?

 

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Today’s Job Market Is The New Norm

Every morning I read through the Seeking Alpha headlines and click through to various posts that catch my eye.  Last week, I was browsing and saw “Steady And Disappointing – July Jobs” and decided to give it a read.

As I was reading through the article, I got a sense that people still do fully understand the fact that the job market has fundamentally changed since the last recession.

The Cycle Of The Job Market Pre-2008

I’ve been in the job market full time for about 18 years.  I’ve seen a few recessions, and have worked through enough companies that have gone through some sort of cost cutting measures, so that I got a sense of how the job market worked.  It was a pretty standard cycle, and I’ll pick things up in what was the best part and go from there:

  • Full Profit and Job Growth – Profits would go up, and companies would expand jobs and wages, as more jobs meant more work which contributed to the bottom line.
  • Declining Profits, Continued Job Growth – The economy would start slowing down,  but there was always a lag, so job growth would continue.  The difference resulted in declining profit margins.
  • Continued Declining Profits, No Growth – Companies would finally start recognizing the slowdown in the macro economy and would cease hiring and likely freeze wages.
  • Job Cuts, Profitability in Free Fall (maybe even losses) – Recognizing that there were too many employees to justify slowing sales, layoffs would commence.  Jobs would be cut and the bleeding on the bottom line would hopefully be stopped.  If companies were lucky, they just had narrow losses, but in some cases, they would be in the red.  This would, of course, factor into how many jobs were lost.
  • Stabilized Profits, No Growth – No more jobs are added here, but the idea is to stop the bleeding, otherwise further cuts are required.  If things are stable and the economy as a whole hits bottom, the recovery can start.
  • Improving Bottom Line, Moderate Growth – Eventually things pick up and growth starts occurring.  Jobs start to get added in key areas.
  • Full Profit and Job Growth – The circle is complete.  If things went well, sales were soaring, profits had recovered, and headcount was back up.

That’s the way things were.  But, with the last recession, things changed.

The Post-2008 Job Market

The model I described above worked pretty regularly, but the 2008 recession was so severe, and other factors came into play (which I’ll get to in a minute), that the cycle was broken.

Effectively what happened is that companies went through the cycle where they hit rock bottom, but the panic set in when things didn’t get better.  The 2008-09 recession was one that broke the cycle and it forced companies to drastically changed.

And they did.

When the cycle didn’t get broken, companies fundamentally changed their business models.  They restructured their operations.  They got more efficient.  They restructured or eliminated debt.  They shed business practices that they had previously been able to keep on even though they weren’t hugely profitable.

A lot of companies didn’t do this or were unable to do this. Most of those companies are gone today.

The ones that made it found that their changing business practices led them back to profitability.

And this time, companies learned that job growth was not key to getting back to profitability.  Yes, jobs were needed, but by becoming more lean, more efficient, more focused, and more driven to innovation, they could get their profitability back without bring back employees en masse, as had been pretty standard practice.

This is going to sound harsh, but the thought pattern emerged was “Why bring employees back if we don’t need to?”

As an employee, that’s scary.  We all want to see everybody with jobs, with great jobs that we love that give us big raises every  year.  For a good portion of my career to date, that’s what I was used to.  My friends and I, we all grew, we all got raises, we all knew that if one door closed, there was another somewhere that was waiting to be opened.

It was secure.  It was comfortable.  It couldn’t last.

Not after 2008.

But, I don’t think everybody really gets that.  Max Wolff, the author of the article I linked to, writes in one paragraph:

“We are now 4 years into an impressive profit and asset price recovery.  Our leading indexes have recently been setting new highs.  The Q2 earning season…was strong again.”

With that in mind, I was thinking that he ‘got it’ and understood that this is the new reality and why it is.  But the cracks appeared when, in the next paragraph he says:

“The economy we have been rebuilding is not generating job opportunities sufficient to steadily increase labor force participation…..This means that many more folks are left behind than are included in the recovery.”

I started shaking my head when I read that.  Here he acknowledges that profits have recovered, that leading indexes are showing strength, and that corporate earnings were strong.  Then, he laments asking why jobs haven’t followed suit.

Answer: Because they don’t need to.

Question: If companies are hitting all the high notes with the employees that they have, what motivation is there to create more jobs?

Answer to that question: There isn’t any.  I’ll repeat that, there isn’t one reason in the world that companies should hire more if they’re hitting all of their goals and objectives, have solid balance sheets, and have debt under control.

Look at most of your strong performing companies, and you’ll find that by and large, those things hold true.  They also hold a benefit that I’ve mentioned before, and will outline again, that being that the profitability and balance sheet standing as things exist today provide a more fundamentally strong economy than existed prior to previous recessions.  This means that while the robustness may not be there that many economists and job seekers are looking for, I also believe that the economy is much more insulated from the potential of future recessions and the impact that they could have.

The Next Driver of Job and Wage Growth

What will drive job growth next is opportunity.  The marketplace will have to create opportunity above and beyond what we have today.  That could be through new technology, new or additional needs in the certain sectors above what we have today, or any number of reasons.

When I read articles like this, I almost get the sense that many out there think that job and wage growth is something that is not only desired, but expected.  Almost like companies owe the marketplace more jobs and higher wages.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  Companies owe it to themselves and their shareholders to be profitable.  If they can do that with less jobs than they had provided in the past, then that’s what they are going to do.  If this means that you think that the economy is broken or hasn’t fully recovered, that’s fine.

But, until something fundamentally shifts, I don’t think this is going to change. There is no magic fairy dust that the marketplace is going to suddenly provide.  Hopefully this gets recognized, and we can stop reading articles about how today’s job market equates to a weak or unsteady economy.  The two simply are not correlated as many would suggest.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the job market and the current state of the economy? Do you agree that the old way of equating economic strength with the job market is no longer valid?  Discuss below.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Evaluating Historical Financial Asset Class Returns (Part 2 of 2)

I’m off on a little camping trip, so I’m proud to allow Larry Russell, a fellow blogger, to contribute.  Part 1 was published last week.

Post-World War II economic expansion from 1947 through 1968 using inflationary dollars

Inflation was quelled by a post-war recession. The immediate post-war inflation spike ended with a drop in inflation of -1.2% during 1949. This immediate post-war downturn saw the value of stocks fall by 8.3% in 1946. For this reason, the chart below begins with 1947 as stock markets recovered and began an upward march for two decades through 1968.

Post-World War II Economic Expansion 1947 through 1968 inflationary dollars

Between 1947 and 1968, there were four years in which stock values fell measured year-over-year: -1.2% in 1953, -10.46 in 1957, -8.8% in 1962 and -10.0% in 1966. Nevertheless, during the other 18 years of this period, stock values rose. In 14 of those years, inflationary stock values increased by at least 10%. Moreover for those 14 years of double digit stock appreciation, 6 years experienced stock appreciation of 10% to 20%, 4 years experienced stock appreciation of 20% to 30%, 2 years experienced stock appreciation of 30% to 40%, and 2 years experienced stock appreciation exceeding 40%, including one year exceeding 50%.

Clearly this post-WWII economic expansion graph using inflationary dollars, shows that stock returns dominated cash and bond returns. Stock appreciation was dominant to the point that any possible appreciation for bonds or cash hardly registers on this inflationary dollars chart. While the inflationary value of the original stock dollar moved up by a factor of 18, the value of cash rose by just 73% and bonds by just 53% over these 22 years.

Post-World War II Economic Expansion from 1947 through 1968 using real dollars

This post-WWII economic expansion graph uses real dollars, rather than the inflationary dollars presented in the graphic above. Over these twenty-two years, the purchasing power of the initial stock dollar increased by ten-fold, while the purchasing power of both cash and bonds fell actually fell. Over this period, the purchasing power of cash fell by -3% and the real dollar value of bonds decreased by and even greater cumulative -13%.

Post-World War II Economic Expansion 1947 through 1968 real dollars

Escalating inflation and increasing economic stagnation from 1969 through 1981 using inflationary dollars

This inflationary dollar graphic for the 1969 to 1981 period demonstrates the increasingly caustic impact that sustained and increasing inflation can have to all asset classes — especially to stocks. Asset values measured in inflationary dollar increased over most of the period, yet initial one dollar invested in stocks dropped below one inflationary dollar in 1969, 1970, and again in 1974.

The fact that throughout this period that CPI line rises above the cash, bond, and stock asset classes means that all asset class did not maintain purchasing power in the face of consistently rising inflation. Clearly, the real dollar graphic below will tell a more accurate story about asset valuation.

Escalation of Inflation and Increasing Economic Stagnation 1969 through 1981 inflationary dollars

Escalation of inflation and increasing economic stagnation from 1969 through 1981 using real dollars

This real dollar graphic for the 1969 to 1981 period is particularly helpful in understanding the negative inflationary impacts in relative terms between the cash, bond, and stock asset classes. Initially, yields on cash (3 month treasury bill) rose slightly above inflation, but eventually lost a modest amount of purchasing power during the second half of the period. At the end of these thirteen years, the initial dollar invested in cash was worth $.95 in real dollars.

Bonds also rose in value above inflation in the 1971 through 1973 period, but they fell in value more severely from 1977 to 1981, as annual inflation rates escalated. By the end of this thirteen year period, the initial dollar invested in bonds was worth only $.65 in real dollars.

Compared to cash and bonds, increasing inflation had a more substantially negative impact on stocks in the beginning and in the middle of this period. However, relative values for stocks improved during the last several years, despite the escalation of inflation. This trend reversal reflects, in part, the ability of firms to raise prices along with inflation. By the end of this stagflation period, the initial dollar invested in stocks was worth $.78 in real dollars, trailing the purchasing power of cash, but exceeding that of bonds.

Escalation of Inflation and Increasing Economic Stagnation 1969 through 1981 real dollars

Stock and bond bull markets as inflation recedes, including the Dot Com mania, from 1982 through 1999 using inflationary dollars

Inflation was finally defeated in the early 1980s, through harsh monetary policies and an associated recession. A two decade period of relatively high economic growth and high stock appreciation followed. The 1980s and 1990s stock value growth was comparable to the post-WWII expansion period from 1947 through 1968. However, unlike 1947 to 1968, the last two decades of the 20th century was also a bond bull market fueled by falling interest rates and a growing economy.

Stock and Bond Bull Markets, Inflation Recedes, Dot Com Mania 1982 through 1999 inflationary dollars

Stock and bond bull markets as inflation recedes, including the Dot Com mania from 1982 through 1999 using real dollars

When the 1980s and 1990s are viewed in real dollars, it becomes more obvious how stock value appreciation rates differed between the two decades. In constant purchasing power terms, the initial stock dollar grew to be worth $2.89 at the end of 1989 and to $11.30 in 1999.

Bonds and cash appreciated more steadily in inflation-adjusted terms without the “birth of the Internet” growth inflection point that stocks experienced in 1994. For bonds, the initial bond asset class dollar grew in real terms to be worth $2.16 at the end of 1989 and to $3.28 in 1999. For cash, the initial cash asset class dollar grew in real dollar terms to be worth $1.34 at the end of 1989 and to $1.60 in 1999.

Stock and Bond Bull Markets, Inflation Recedes, Dot Com Mania 1982 through 1999 real dollars

Dot Com crash and recovery, Credit Crisis, Great Recession, and recovery from 2000 through 2013 using inflationary dollars

Because we have all lived though the most recent economic period, it is obviously fresh in our memory compared to any of the earlier historical periods discussed above. The dot com crash was followed by an anemic recovery pumped up somewhat by increasingly unsustainable debt. The Credit Crisis — induced by completely irresponsible financial industry mortgage underwriting, deceptively cleaver financial engineering, and toxic mortgage debt derivatives — broke the global banking system and quickly impacted the real economy, leading to the very ugly Great Recession.

Stock prices bottomed in March of 2009 and have recovered to record levels measured by some stock market indexes. The slow revival of fragile economic growth has been facilitated by extraordinary monetary steps taken by central banks around the world. Even though stock markets have recovered, both consumers and investors are generally shell-shocked, and our economic, financial, and monetary systems seem far from whatever “normal” is.

During this period, bonds have been in the ascendancy and falling stock values have generated massive quantities of stomach acid. However, the bond versus stocks relative performance gap had closed substantially by the end of 2013. During the past year or two, one pervasive financial media meme has been the end of the bond bull market and the expected rise in interest rates that will negatively impact bond values. And, oh by the way, cash earned nothing during this period and ended slightly below inflation, if that really needed to be pointed out.

Dot Com Crash and Recovery, Credit Crisis, Great Recession, and Recovery 2000 through 2013 inflationary dollars

Dot Com crash and recovery, Credit Crisis, Great Recession, and recovery from 2000 through 2013 using real dollars

This real dollar chart for the latest period tells a similar story to the inflationary graph above. Because inflation has been relatively low and steady throughout this period of two crashes and two recoveries, making asset value adjustments for changes in CPI do not change the story of what has happened. Most people just hope that we are done with all this financial crisis excitement for a very long time.

Dot Com Crash and Recovery, Credit Crisis, Great Recession, and Recovery 2000 through 2013 real dollars

Conclusion

Viewing the relative 85-year historical performance of cash, bonds, and stocks broken down into these five major thematic periods tells a long-term story of “see-saw” investment performance between the primary financial investment asset classes.

During these first and fifth sub-periods of relatively high economic adversity, bond assets and cash held their purchasing power far better than stocks :

    • Stock market crash, Great Depression, and World War II from 1928 through 1946
    • Dot Com crash and recovery, Credit Crisis, Great Recession, and recovery from 2000 through 2013

During these second and fourth sub-periods of relatively strong economic activity, stocks appreciated in value far more than bond asset or cash assets:

    • Post-World War II economic expansion from 1947 through 1968
    • Stock and bond bull markets as inflation receded, including the Dot Com mania from 1982 through 1999

Only during this middle (third) sub-period of stagflation were comparative asset class returns mixed and relatively close to each other, when compared to the other four major sub-periods:

    • Escalation of inflation and increasing economic stagnation from 1969 through 1981

Several things do stand out, when one looks at the long-term historical data in this manner:

    • There have been extended periods when one or another asset class is generally ascendant or descendant.
    • Even within periods that seemed generally to have favored one asset class over another, there been significant trend reversals in comparative asset class performance.
    • In the two sub-periods when stocks have been ascendant, their appreciation multiples have been very high in both inflationary or real dollar terms. This largely accounts for the cumulative dominance of stock performance across the entire period.
    • A broad, long-term, but unpredictable picture of reversion toward upward trending return averages is presented for bonds and stocks. Obviously, the upward trending performance averages differ dramatically between bonds and stocks, while cash has barely exceeded long-term inflation.

The selection of beginning-points and ending-points for these five periods was arbitrary and driven by historical hind-sight knowledge. Nevertheless, these five periods do present a long-term, cyclical pattern. These previous five extended periods alternated or see-sawed between “good and bad” stock appreciation episodes.

Given that the most recent period exhibited relatively poor performance, going forward can we now expect an extended period of relatively high stock asset class appreciation? The answer is either an emphatic “no” or a perhaps a more wishy-washy “maybe – maybe not,” which really means do not count on it.

A statistician would complain about the paucity of data points, the pitfalls of data mining, etc. The problem is that historical data is solely informative. It can never be predictive. Expecting stocks to continue an extended bull market — beyond the post-credit crisis and Great Recession recovery that we have already experienced — is just one of a range of future scenarios. History knows nothing about the future, and neither do you nor I.

Securities history is not predictive regarding any particular aspect of the future, but historical returns and price volatility do illustrate the varying risk premiums that the various asset classes have paid over time. The only sane response to the uncertainty of investment risk and reward across asset classes is to diversify broadly and thoroughly.

Even then, each investor is challenged to determine how much to allocate to cash, bond, and stock securities. At one extreme, one could hold all cash, but history tells us that cash pays only a very small return over inflation. At the other extreme, one could hold all stocks, but history tells us that one needs a strong stomach and iron will to endure price fluctuations in pursuit of the higher risk premium that has been paid to equities.

Each individual investor and all investors in aggregate must face the future with complete uncertainty. All investment crystal balls are really completely opaque for both professional and amateur investors. Despite theories, models, and firmly held beliefs about the future, any belief in predictability is largely delusional.

The more certain any future event is to a larger number of investors, the larger the shock to the system when an improbable “black swan” presents itself. The factors that gave rise to the mortgage derivatives driven credit crisis of the past decade represent just another major delusion that later was made plain to investors.

Nevertheless, I do hope that this graphical review of the past 85-years of U.S. asset class performance has been illuminating. Understanding the historical context of relative financial asset class performance at least provides some reference points for deciding one’s investment strategy in the face of complete uncertainty about actual future events.

Larry Russell, the author of this investment returns article, is also a very strong proponent of investment cost reduction. While there are no reliable strategies that will beat the market, reducing investment costs to a minimum ensures that investors will keep the highest portion of their gross returns. Individual investors do not need to spend their lives paying tribute to the financial services industry without receiving commensurate benefits. Larry helps investors pull the plug on excessive investment fees through his free and paid personal investing books and articles.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.