U.S. equities closed higher on Friday, posting weekly gains, as investors monitored retailers during Black Friday as the post-election rally moved forward. The three major indexes were up more than 1 percent for the week ripping to new record highs on optimism that President-elect Donald Trump's proposed policies will stimulate economic growth.
U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar have also risen sharply since the election, with the benchmark 10-year note yield skyrocketing above 2 percent and the greenback trading around levels not seen since 2003, putting euro/dollar parity within reach. Gold prices, in turn, have turned sharply lower, hitting nine-and-a-half month lows.
Also of interest this week was consumer confidence, which rose more than previously reported to a six-month high in November, showing Americans became more optimistic about their finances and the economy after Donald Trump won the presidential election.
Despite this encouraging news, the U.S. is still home to a working class suffering from stagnant incomes and declining job prospects—widespread struggles that helped elect Republican Donald Trump. The relative wealth of Americans in all age groups keeps falling, compared with previous decades.
Nevertheless, 1700 millionaires are minted every day in the US of A…
In fact, today, more than 8 million households have financial assets of $1 million or more, not including homes or luxury goods, according to Boston Consulting Group. Yet before your faith in upward mobility is renewed, consider this: The very oldest Americans hold a disproportionate chunk of all those trillions, and they’re handing it off to their already well-off kids in what is the largest generational transfer of wealth in history.
Fundamentally inheritance is an increasingly significant driver of wealth in America. Be sure to check out this very interesting read in Bloomberg this week exploring the wealth picture in America.
Interestingly, the top 3 factors cited by the richest investors are encouraging:
1) Hard Work
3) Smart investing (Does Index Investing Really Count?)
Thought of the Week
"All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.” –Pope Paul VI
Stories and Ideas of Interest
- Self-control is a myth. "There’s a strong assumption still that exerting self-control is beneficial…and we’re showing in the long term, it’s not.” Interesting piece here in Vox suggesting that willpower can’t be strengthened, so we should try to avoid situations that call for it…
- The buybacks aren’t working. Here's a sign it's time for CEOs to stop spending on buybacks and start reinvesting in their business: an index tracking European share buybacks is underperforming the broader market. Time to think seriously about R&D…
- Working for a big company is the new chic. When he started thinking about leaving Apple Inc. this year, Darren Haas briefly contemplated Uber Technologies Inc., where many friends worked. Instead, the cloud-computing engineer pursued an opportunity he considered more exciting: General Electric Co. Workers are now flocking to older and larger tech firms…Go figure.
- Don’t just lower corporate tax rates. Abolish them. Enlightening piece in Bloomberg View arguing that corporate tax rates should be done away with altogether.
- Why immigrants are more entrepreneurial. In the U.S., immigrants are almost twice as likely to become entrepreneurs as native-born U.S. citizens. Immigrants represent 27.5% of the countries’ entrepreneurs but only around 13% of the population. Harvard biz review looks into why.
All the best for a productive week,