Wage Income: A Key Middle Class Marker

Excuse us while we channel Thomas Piketty for a second: the truly affluent, the highest earners... they receive the highest proportion of total income outside their wages: generally from business and investment income. And, turning off the Piketty channel: at the lower ends of the total income spectrum, there is also an increase in non-wage … [Read more...]

S&P 500 2014 Performance: Inflation Adjusted and Dividend Reinvested

We've mentioned it before, one or two (hundred) times... the best way to evaluate investment performance in a vacuum isn't by using the 'price level' of an index.  Instead, it is best to check the relative purchasing power increase an investment has brought to the table - and you can only do that by adjusting for inflation and finding a way to … [Read more...]

The DQYDJ Weekender 10/18/2014

So, my promising Saturday was rudely interrupted by the galvanized downpipe to my sprinkler system springing a leak last Sunday.  I've had this amazing piece of engineering you can see above (read: hack) stopping the flow brilliantly for a week, but I'll be replacing it with PVC today. And, yes, while gracefully navigating the attic to … [Read more...]

5.9% Unemployment – But Where’s Your Raise?

After taking a couple months off in the 'promising figures' category, the unemployment rate seems to have broken back in the direction we all want to see it going: down.  5.9% is the headline figure, and that 5.9% number came with a very promising increase in the nonfarm payroll employment number... 248,000. But... What About the Raises? That's … [Read more...]

The Sudden Collapse of Inflation Expectations

One situation we've been monitoring closely (even before the recent market activity) and has only just started to become a bit dramatic: the rapidly declining inflation expectations among market participants.  One way to follow this measure is to follow the 'breakevens'; by subtracting real yields on inflation protected securities from treasuries, … [Read more...]

Work Harder, Earn More: 2013 Incomes by Hours Worked

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson Back in 2011, we wrote a controversial article with a not-that-startling conclusion: breaking respondents to the 2010 CPS down by income brackets, we found that higher earners averaged many more hours of weekly work. Since we've recently … [Read more...]

The DQYDJ Weekender, 10/11/2014

Here's something funny: I upgraded my carry on luggage yesterday and today.  (Navali Boatswain for the laptop and an eBags "eTech 2.0 Weekender Convertible" in Olive for the carry on).  Here's another thing: I'm pretty excited about these things arriving. What would college me have to say about this?  Should present me review these things?  How … [Read more...]

A Collection of Peers: Younger Age Groups With Degrees and Full Time Jobs

In our last deep dive into 2013 Current Population Survey data, we examined the total incomes of a demographic group which closely approximated the readers of this site: folks with at least a Bachelor's degree and working a full time job (defined as 40+ hours reported). Well, to some degree that's a bit lazy... the majority of readers of this … [Read more...]

A Collection of Peers: How Work and School Choice Affects Total Income

If you read mainstream financial media, you've recently seen more and more sophisticated reporting on median income trends in the United States.  Instead of tossing a single median income number at you out of context, mainstream sources are getting better and better at providing context... specifically, articles are often presented with quantile … [Read more...]

The DQYDJ Weekender, 10/4/2014

That was really an excellent week of articles, was it not?  Sorry that I didn't have a calculator, but you've got to enjoy Real Estate breakdowns of Silicon Valley and, well, the art of lying.  Let me first link all the others who participated in the real estate series again: CANADA Save. Spend. Splurge.: Montreal Urban Departures: … [Read more...]