Are you earning enough money?

When it comes down to living the best life you can, money matters! From the time kindergarten begins parental questions get underway: Will my child be a movie star or choose to work at Starbucks. Should they go the trade school route, or matriculate in college? Which career is best in today’s tech-centric era? Is this your passion? Oh yeah, and the elephant in the room question, how much money does it pay? From the top-down, there are two primary choices in making a career decision, either work in the , or for the . According to the BLS, hands-down government jobs on average pay more. #FinancialFitness

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#PositiveNews – What is the most important indicator of sustainable economic growth?

What is the most important indicator of sustainable economic growth? Jobs, jobs, and more jobs! The U.S. economy has been adding jobs in droves, which is good. The million dollar question is how much longer can it last? Since the unemployment low of Feb. 2010, U.S. payrolls have increased by 20 million! In this week’s JOLTs Report, after this enormous expansion to the workforce, there are still jobs available. Many jobs! During the recession low point there were just over 2 million job openings, now there are nearly 7 million. What does this indicate towards the future?

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Hurricane Florence

The East Coast is targeted for a potent storm with 130 mph sustained winds. The breadth and magnitude of Hurricane Florence is significant. For those in the path, it is the time to plan, prepare, and protect yourself. #SafetyFirst#NHC

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#PositiveNews Trump or Obama? 201,000 new hires joined the U.S. workforce in August, the 95th consecutive month of job gains.

#PositiveNews Trump or Obama?
201,000 new hires joined the U.S. workforce in August, the 95th consecutive month of job gains. From Septemeber 2010 until today the economy has added 18,914,000 workers; the labor force has grown from 130 million to 149 million. According to the BEA, per capita output is close to $60k per person, which equates to a whopping $1.1 trillion in economic activity. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has risen from $15 trillion to over $20 trillion. Employment expansion is the lifeblood of the economy; with employment growth comes increases in standards of living. Who deserves the most credit: President Obama or President Trump? I believe the American workers at large are the doers and mostly responsible for this herculean march forward in payrolls. So give yourself, a hardworking American, a pat on the back. And, have a super weekend knowing you are employed!
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CHECKLIST: Buy Tesla or Not?

In 2007, before the financial crises with real estate prices and stock values increasing, I purchased a new car. For fifteen years prior to this point, I had been a loyal, satisfied Lexus car owner and driver. As my Lexus sedan aged, it was time for a new vehicle, and I had the itch for something different. After test driving several high-end selections, I decided on the Mercedes S550. My friend was the manager of fleet sales and offered me a “fair deal” on the new Benz; I drove it off the lot.

Fast forward eleven years and I am still driving that car today – but at what expense? By 2017 my 130,000-mile vehicle had become convalescent. For a decade, I had all service work completed at the Mercedes dealership at a cost that would have put one of my children (maybe two) through college. Why? The answer is simple. I figured each time, erroneously, that once my car was fixed, it would stay that way for an indefinite period. Boy, was I wrong. In the past 18 months, I’ve had to take my vehicle in for repairs almost every other month. There was always something else malfunctioning: struts, motor mounts, sensors, other sensors, transmission, engine gunk, warning lights galore, trunk latch, and more.

A week ago Friday, I was back at the repair shop to have a headlight bulb replaced. As it turns out, the wiring was corroded, and the “bulb replacement” that would normally cost less than $100 was estimated at $1,600! That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, my back! It was time to get another car. Buying an automobile takes time. My hectic schedule limits any of my extra time, which was one of the reasons I kept the Benz for over a decade. To expedite my decision, I narrowed down my choices to a Lexus, another Mercedes, or a Tesla.

I contemplated my history; I ruled out another Benz, as I was fed up with the mysterious servicing costs. It was time to test drive the Lexus. Toyota has never let me down, and I have found the brand to be most reliable. So, there I was at the Lexus dealership and it just didn’t work for me. I didn’t get the warm, fuzzy feeling in my stomach that needs to be there when it comes to buying a new car. The Tesla was next. I did my homework on the Tesla Models: X, S, and 3. There is a marked difference between the styles and prices of the different makes. I ruled out the X, because I wanted a mid-size vehicle. I subsequently decided to test drive the Sport Series S, the Performance Model 3, and the Base Model 3.

My sales representative in the Boca Raton store was sharp and knew her product like a pro. She encouraged me to take as much time as I needed to get acquainted with the Tesla selections. After spending well over an hour discussing the vehicles, it was time to test drive my choices. In short, the S felt more like a powerful muscle car (hubba hubba), and larger than I desired for an all-around city driving vehicle. The Performance 3 was everything it had claimed to be: fast, quick, and tight; to me, it is a sports car. Lastly, I took the Base Model 3 out for a spin. I loved the car instantly! It too was quick, agile, and turned on a dime. It was comfortable, quiet, roomy, stylish, high-tech, sporty for a middle-ager, and fun. The car is badass! My new Tesla Model 3 is expected to be delivered within 2 to 4 months. I am excited about my new purchase and believe the Model 3 experience will add a wow factor to every day’s drive.

Mr. Elon Musk is this era’s, Henry Ford. His vision is unparalleled. The manner of his execution is off the charts. Mr. Musk lays it all on the line. He is a remarkable entrepreneur and a courageous warrior. His critics slight his moves at every turn and his loyalists see him as a liberator. Realists, those who measure his engineering works of art, buy his products. As a new member of the Tesla family, I hope to one day visit Tesla’s manufacturing facility and share a toast with Team Tesla and “The Man on a Mission,” Elon Musk.

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.

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#Inflation #Deflation

Consumer price changes, depending on which side you are on, buyer or seller, was both good and bad over the past year. Overall, U.S. inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose 2.9%. For energy producers, the 26% rise in gasoline prices was a boost, not so, for drivers. TV manufacturers cratered down a deflationary spiral as new prices plummet 18% year over year making it a crummy business to be in, and yet, a good time to buy a new tv for those in the market. Eggs, moving costs, lawn maintenance, and my pet peeve “automobile insurance” dented our pocketbooks. But for those purchasing music, computers, toys and the like, prices actually fell for the year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Index.
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Q2-2018 Productivity increased at a 2.9% annual rate, the highest growth rate since Q2-2015.

PositiveNews Q2-2018 Productivity increased at a 2.9% annual rate, the highest growth rate since Q2-2015. The two most important criteria for economic growth, in my opinion, are employment expansion and productivity. Productivity growth, at 2.9%, stands well above its 1.1% five-year average. Productivity growth measures the average worker’s economic contribution; the higher the productivity the better the output. Sustained productivity ultimately raises standards of living.

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Which industries are paying the most bucks? Healthcare is #1, and Software Engineering #2.

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Unemployment Claims On A Downward Slope

PositiveNews Since the great financial crises ended in June 2009, the U.S. economy has added 17,890,000 jobs. In today’s initial unemployment claims report,  218,000 workers filed for unemployment income, this is considerably lower than the >245,000 weekly filers at the beginning of the year.  And, the trend of folks claiming insurance benefits has been on a noticeable downward slope.

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Will this August be any different?

#August hasn’t been very hot for investors: since 1945, and 2000, the hashtag DJIA posted average price losses of -.26%, and -.79%, respectively and was down for the month 44% of the time. Since the ’09 bull market began the results have been uglier, -1.36% and down 5 out of 9 years.

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