job numbers higher
stock market sets new record
Good news? Not for all
This close to Nashville did not trigger a hidden poetic muse. Several Garrett Planning Network members experimented with financial Haiku and as an advisory board member, I took the plunge. Invented by the Japanese centuries ago, Haiku has style limitations — 17 syllables, broken into five, seven and five phrases, but with a twist.
Good economic data on the nation’s birthday should be reason to cheer. Some people don’t believe the jobs numbers or as Jerry Garcia said, “… got two good eyes but still don’t see.” (Casey Jones) Almost 300,000 jobs were added during June; job growth has been over 200,000 for five months running. To the naysayers, especially on Facebook, an alternate measure of job growth is the number of people who give up looking for work hit a six year low.
Thirty years ago I farmed. In those days, illiterate folks could find a farm job but nowadays computers drive tractors. My high school best friend, Cary Dollar, aka Big Pig, lamented today I would be a better tractor driver than him because of my computer savvy. Agriculture employment numbers have always been low but they are indicative of a growing trend. Automation has replaced many jobs throughout America.
While computerization continues to expand, current job growth has been highest in low skill (and low paying) positions. Job growth has been particularly muted in the construction industry and this could be solved easily. The United States of America has a crumbling infrastructure and to those who say taxes are always bad, you are just wrong. The ½ cent sales tax Walton County approved is a prime example.
331 will have four lanes of asphalt, the sales tax will sunset and Walton County property values will continue to rise. Former FDIC head honcho Shelia Barr says we should use tolls to fix highways. Taxes or tolls are the same; it’s semantics. We could have tens of thousands of well-paying jobs if Congress put partisan differences aside and placed America first. If the highway trust fund runs out of money, jobs will be lost.
Some people don’t appreciate the new market highs because they are waiting on the right time to buy. Your investments should be tied to your goals, risk tolerance, risk capacity and time horizon. Is now a good time to invest? It depends. The best time to load the wagon was 2009 and the second best thing was not to empty it then. Active management doesn’t work whether you pick sectors, stocks or hidden values. It’s just marketing shtick.
In a sense we have two economies, one doing well and another still struggling. Many young people wrestle with putting money in a retirement plan versus paying off student loans. Further complicating matters, wages, adjusted for inflation, remain flat.
Even though Buz Livingston is a fee-only certified financial planner this should not be considered personal advice.For specific advice visit online at livingstonfinancial.netor at the new office in Redfish Village, 2050 Scenic 30A, M-1 Unit 230.