Is it better to work for yourself or someone else?

Is it better to be an employee of a company, or is working for yourself the way to go? I think the answer depends on an individual’s preferences, inclinations, stress threshold, know-how, and capital resources. That said, according to the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances, it is the self-employed that earn the most money with a median income (excludes top earners) of $70,900, compared to $62,900 for those working for someone. Self-employed workers comprise the smallest segment of working families at 16%. Interestingly, the self-employed garner the largest percentage of savers at 62.2%, compared to an average of 48% for all others.

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Positive News! 213,000 Americans joined the workforce in June.

213,000 Americans joined the workforce in June. The economy has added 2,374,000 in total over the past year as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Considering GDP per capita (the amount of output per person in the U.S. population)  is $60,961 indicates that GDP has risen $145 billion from the productivity of these new entrants. The chart below shows the national employment rate (U3), has decreased from 10% to 4% since the recession. Unemployment by all measures is lower by 50% or more.

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#PositiveNews Personal income set an all-time high in May eclipsing the $17 trillion

#PositiveNews Personal income set an all-time high in May eclipsing the $17 trillion threshold, as reported by the BEA. Last month, personal incomes increased 0.4%, the 11th consecutive rise. Wages, representing the largest source of all personal income, grew 0.3%. Dividend and rental income saw the biggest percentage gains rising by 1.53% and .49% respectively.


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Congratulations to @ApexClearing for being awarded the “Best Wealth Management Company” at the 2018 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards. 1DB can vouch for their success and is proud to be a correspondent. @RobustWealth

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The state of Florida generates a whopping $1 trillion in economic output, ranking it 4th in the nation. Ironically, when it comes to educating our children, Florida teachers’ compensation ranks 36th, at $51,800, 12% below the national average. Why?

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Much has changed since the financial crises ended in June 2009. The table below juxtaposes ten important economic indicators. Each gauge brings its insights; collectively the list provides a snapshot of the overall economy. A significant gap exists between those who embrace the prospects of today’s economy and those that see dire straights. As American citizens, each of us is free to make up our own minds unencumbered by noise from others. As a professional money manager, my job is to put in the required hours and rigor necessary to distill logical assumptions from historical factual data.

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A Colossal Convergence:

Nearly a decade ago over 15 million Americans were seeking employment and trying to get back to work. Unfortunately, there were only 2 million jobs available. The tide has turned: now there are 6.5 million job openings and 6.5 million unemployed. The ratio of employment needed to jobs available has fallen from 7:1 to 1:1. On the one hand, this is super news for just about everyone; on the other hand, it stirs up questions about the future rate of inflation?

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Retirement Revelations

Remember the K.I.S.S. principle: Keep it Simple, Save!

Retirement is on its way; be prepared! As reported in the Fed’s consumer finance survey, in 2016 the median and mean average family income was $52,700 and $102,700, respectively. The study indicates that 52.1% of Americans have retirement accounts with median assets totaling $60,800 and average assets at $228,900. One-quarter of the population in the United States is made up of 45 to 64-year-olds. By comparing incomes to retirement accumulation, there appears to be a savings gap for working folks to be able to maintain their standard of living once they exit the workforce. In this article, I take a brief look at the big picture: Retirement Revelations.

What is retirement? Objectively, retirement is known as the period late in life when working individuals exit the jobs market. Subjectively, exiting the workplace represents different things to many people. For some, retirement is sought after as a time of leisure and enjoyment, absent the toil and struggle of full-time employment; for others, it is a time of new beginnings, do-overs, volunteering, and giving back. Most people work until they reach 67 years old, the age necessary for individuals born after 1959 to receive full Social Security benefits. Social Security is often derided because of its limitations and shortcomings, and yet, Social Security is far superior to what was previously available – nothing!

Pensions, retirement income, and Social Security benefits were non-existent until the late 19th century, the period known as The Gilded Age. Up to this time in history, America remained predominantly agrarian. Families encompassing three generations lived and worked on farms together; they relied on themselves to survive, strive, and thrive. Male life expectancy was 47 years; men would work until they could not, and then the stronger and younger took care of the infirmed. As the Industrial Revolution shifted labor from the farms to the factories, private enterprises flourished. Competition for skilled workers was the impetus that induced private businesses to offer benefits as incentives to retain employees’ loyalty and services.

In 1875, The American Express Company (AXP) established the first private pension plan in the United States. It was not until 1935 that President Roosevelt enacted the Social Security Act. Social Security then, as now, provided a minimum baseline retirement stream for every American worker. Social Security was always meant to be supplemental to workers’ savings and investments.

Is it too late to start implementing a retirement strategy from scratch? Nope! Now is the perfect time to take action. Whether you are just beginning or ratcheting up the pace of savings, the time is now. The world of everything digital is democratizing the investment mosaic. There are better solutions than ever before to put our money to work. Anyone who can save $1 or more on a regular basis can positively impact their financial situation over time. In fact, saving $1 a day over the course of one’s working career for the past 45 years and investing it into a low-cost stock index like the S&P 500 would have grown to $300,000 today. Of course, there is no guarantee that history will repeat itself; yet, it sure is worth going for it!

—William “Chip” Corley

Author of Financial Fitness: The Journey from Wall Street to Badwater 135

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The opinions made herein are for informational purposes and are not recommendations to any person to buy or sell any securities. The information is deemed to be reliable but its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. 1st Discount Brokerage does not accept any liability for the use of this column. Readers of this column who buy or sell securities based on the information in this column are solely responsible for their actions. Investors/traders are advised to satisfy themselves before making any investment. Nothing published on this site/ article should be considered as an investment advice. It’s not an offer to buy or sell any security. Readers are solely responsible for their profits or losses. 

DISCLOSUREThe views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:

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National unemployment has declined by 60% since the height of the great recession from 10.0% in Nov. 2009, to 3.9% today. All segments of the population have benefitted: workers without a high school diploma have seen the most significant decline in unemployment – falling from 14.9% to 5.9%. Workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher have the lowest unemployment rate by educational attainment at 2.1% (Source BLS).

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The current business cycle expansion is 106 months! Will it continue?

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