Showing posts from June, 2017

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Clearly, Not Everyone Is Getting Rich Off The Stock Market

Well, the NY Fed was out today with its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for Q4 2017. Clearly, Americans are in a lot of debt. Take a look.

Just a couple of quick hits from the report. Total U.S. household debt rose $193 billion in the 4th quarter, to a new all-time peak of $13.15 trillion. That's 17.9% above the most recent trough in Q2 2013. Broken down by segment, what do you suppose was the largest gain in percentage terms? Credit cards, with a 3.2% increase. In the picture above, the widening gap represented by the red arrows reflects the fact that non-housing debt is rising at a faster pace than housing debt.

Here's what's troubling about that. Below is a picture of the stock market, as represented by the S&P 500 index, over that same period; from the most recent credit trough in Q2 2013 to the end of 2017.

And thus, the title of this article. Over that period, the S&P 500 index rose by 75%; from roughly 1,600 to 2,800. Apparently, however, the r…

Synchrony Bank Raises Rates - A Great Day For Savers!

Great news for online savers! Synchrony Bank, which at 1.05% already sported one of the most competitive interest rates for an online savings account, announced today that, effective 6/1/17, the rate is being raised to 1.15%.

Now, this is nothing earthshaking. It's one-tenth of one percent. However, this is the first time in years that I have seen one of the online banks actually raise their interest rate. A little research appears to reveal that competitor Ally Bank has also raised their rates. Their website appears to show their rate as 1.05% effective 6/1/17, as opposed to the previous long-standing rate of 1.00%. Another major competitor, Capital One, appears to be falling further and further behind, with their rate remaining at a comparatively paltry .75%.

Since the financial meltdown of 2007-2009, one of the groups that has suffered the most are small savers. While the stock market has soared, benefiting those fortunate enough to have both the money to invest as well as the…