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:

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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.

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Evaluating Historical Financial Asset Class Returns (Part 1 of 2): Cash, Bond, and Stock Market Returns With And Without Inflation

I’m off on a little camping trip, so I’m proud to allow Larry Russell, a fellow blogger, to contribute.  This is a long article (but with lots of great information), so it will be split into two parts.  Part 2 will publish early next week.

Introduction to evaluating historical financial asset class returns with and without inflation

Very often, long-term historical U.S. asset class returns for the primary stock, bond, and cash financial investment asset classes are presented as:

    • graphics with cumulative long-term returns,
    • simple historical averages, or
    • dense tables of numbers

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7 Ideas to Start a Fashion Business and Have Success with It

mb-2014-05fashionIf you would like to start a fashion business, most probably you’re not doing it only to prove a point, but you have a sense of style and you are good with people. Starting your own business is an important step in everybody’s life (especially if it means giving up your corporate job). The good news about this field is that there is always room for one more player. New outlet centers are opened every day so why couldn’t you find place for yourself in one of them? Usually these are small businesses run by one or two people.

Do you have any experience with the fashion business?

It is possible that you have been taking some classes in entrepreneurship or you saw your grandparents or parents run their store for years. As another option you may have been working in a store yourself for a while where you acquired the necessary skill sets. Regardless of what your story might be, besides a passion for fashion, you will also need a sense for business.

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Solving Common Small Business Problems with POS Systems

Small businesses usually face several problems in the very first years of conception. In fact, the U.S. Small Business website states that almost 60 percent of all small businesses fail in the first year of business due to simple but universal problems that involve inventory, purchasing, billing, credit lines, and taxation. The companies that do manage to streamline all of these functions into a single integrated system with warehouse inventory management and POS systems are more likely to survive and flourish. If you are a small business owner and are actively contemplating the purchase of a small business POS, here are a few common problems that the POS system will overcome.

Understanding Financials and Taxation

A recent study listed on Smallbusinessbc.ca showed that 83 percent of all small businesses in the country failed due to a serious financial ignorance about accounting and taxation. These problems could have been avoided easily with POS systems as the system automatically tracked payments for products at the billing counter. It also calculated any discounts applicable on sale or marked down products and listed it routinely for the cashier.

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A Simple Bank Account Is Out Of Reach For Most Egyptians

Expats from the United States, Europe or elsewhere should find little difficulty in opening a personal bank account in Egypt. It’s a matter of producing the required official documentation – passport, work visa and residence certificate. A letter from the bank back home should also help in the application process as will a couple of recent bank statements. And that’s about it. Of course, you’ll need to be earning a decent monthly salary; too, otherwise the application is likely to end up in the waste paper bin.

mb-201401egyptSadly, for the great majority of Egyptians, a simple bank account remains well out of reach. At first glance, that may seem surprising given the large number of bank branches and cash machines visible in the major cities, towns and major tourist attractions. Appearances, however, are a little bit deceptive. The truth is the handsome salary you may – or may not – be earning is likely to be unusual when compared to the earnings power of most of Egypt’s citizens, especially those living and working in the remoter rural communities.

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Trans Fats: When Zero Plus Zero Equals Heart Disease

Eliminating trans fats from food seemed to be the ‘big thing’ at the end of the 2000’s and the first part of the 2010’s.  And, if you look at most labels, you’d think that we were fairly successful at this.

Except you would be wrong.  Read on.

What Are Trans Fats?

mb-201311nutritionTrans fats are produced by hydrogenation, which is the process of adding hydrogen to vegetable oil.  The reason for doing this is to make the oil last longer.  Without hydrogenation, the oil would break down sooner, meaning the products in which it’s contained would not last as long.  So, the long and short is that hydrogenation was a pretty standard practice.

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A Solid Auto Industry Bodes Well For The Economy

It’s amazing what a difference five years can make.  Five years ago, the domestic auto industry was a mess.  General Motors and Chrysler were spiraling toward insolvency, resulting in the need for eventual assistance from the government.  Ford, the other member of the ‘Big Three’ had recently mortgaged all company assets to secure credit in an effort to turnaround and stay afloat.

mb-201309trucksBottom line, things were not well and there was a lot of doom and gloom.

Things hit bottom in 2009 when GM and Chrysler did take bailouts.  By this point, Ford had started to show signs of turning around, but their stuck was still mired in the low single digits.  Across the board, the auto industry was in shambles.

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The Most Surprising Thing About Detroit’s Bankruptcy

As I think about the city of Detroit and the recent decision to file for chapter 9 bankruptcy, my thoughts return to my grandparents.

I was born in 1974.  When I was young, I spent many weekends at my grandparents house.  They lived in Detroit, in the house where they’d lived since the 1950’s.  I spent a lot of time there.  I got to hear about the decline of Detroit, and how things were getting worse, not better.

I have these memories from the early 1980s.  That was thirty years ago.

For many, those times would likely be considered good days compared to where things stand today.

1950’s – The Decline Begins

mb-201307detroitThe city of Detroit started to decline in the 1950’s if many reports are to be believed.  That’s when population started to decline, as the suburbs started to rapidly expand, and the postwar boom saw many people leave the city for the ‘new’ suburbs.

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Why Higher Interest Rates Will Not Lead To Recession

It’s amazing all the panic I see when reading the news pertaining to higher interest rates.  Mortgage rates have gone up about 0.5% in the last few months, and stock markets have lately been hit by fears that the Fed will not only taper off Quantitative Easing, but will eventually raise the discount rate, which is pretty much the standard rate that many lending activities are based from.

The naysayers proclaim things like:

“Higher mortgage rates are going to kill the housing market recovery.”
“Higher interest rates will pop the housing bubble.”
“Higher lending costs will lead to recession.”

I’m sure you get the point.

Personally, I’m not buying it.

Demand fell.  Let’s look back to the reason that rates fell to the point where they did?  It was the economy.  Basically, companies and people stopped borrowing as the housing bubble popped, people were losing their jobs, and wealth was disappearing in the stock market crash.  All of that meant that credit was simply not in demand, which by the economic laws of supply and demand meant that rates had nowhere to go but down.

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