Will Record Profit Margins Upend The Bull Market?
Ultimately, what drives stock prices is profits. Profit margins in recent years expanded beyond historic norms, leading to speculation lately about what might happen if margins were to revert to their long-term mean. It almost certainly would be a disaster for stocks. When you look at the facts, however, it seems unlikely profit margins will come under pressure anytime soon. To the contrary, economic fundamentals indicate that profit margins could continue to expand.Profit margins have expanded by three percentage points since the 1970s, according to Fritz Meyer Economic Research. The share of gross domestic income that goes to compensation of employees, or labor costs, declined by 6½-percentage points. Meanwhile, the share of domestic income going to pay for fixed capital increased by 3%. The difference—3.5...more >
7 Retirement Hurdles You May Be Forced To Overcome
It’s a marathon, not a sprint, to reach retirement, and you may find you still need to clear some formidable hurdles. Positioning yourself for the long haul could mean building flexibility into your retirement plan to accommodate emergency expenditures or adjustments in income or expenses. You’ll need to take into account likely fluctuations in housing costs, taxes, health-care outlays, investments, and other items in your budget. Consider these seven obstacles and figure out how to get past each of them:1. Market uncertainty. Stock market volatility always will be a wild card, whether retirement is still far in the future or has become your everyday life. more >
5 Tips That Can Help Get Your Kids Into College
Saving money for college is a daunting proposition. But there's another big challenge—making sure your high school sophomore or junior is doing the right things to improve the odds of being admitted to college. Here are five tips for helping bolster your children's academic standing:1. Selecting the right classes. The courses your child chooses do make a difference, particularly if the goal is to get into a top-flight college or a particular field of study. For instance, if your child wants to enter one of the top U.S. engineering programs—at Georgia Tech, Purdue, MIT, or another leading school—he or she will need to have taken at least trigonometry and pre-calculus.more >