ABC Newspapers http://abcnewspapers.com Local News from The Anoka County Union, Blaine Spring Lake Park Life and The Coon Rapids Herald Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:41:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 UnionHerald crime briefs for March 27, 2015 http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/unionherald-crime-briefs-for-march-27-2015/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/unionherald-crime-briefs-for-march-27-2015/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:30:22 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156198 Coon Rapids residence hit by burglary

Coon Rapids Police are investigating a burglary at a residence in the city reported the evening of March 17.

A 34-year-old man returned to his house on the 10200 block of Palm Street NW to find a Chevrolet Suburban taken from the driveway and multiple items stolen from a safe in a bedroom, according to the police report.

Entry was believed to have taken place through an unlocked bedroom window because there was no sign of forced entry, the police report states.

The resident told police that the vehicle stolen from the driveway had been locked.

~ Peter Bodley

Oak Grove man convicted of sexual abuse

Eric Thomas Butterfield, 43, of Oak Grove, was convicted of second-degree criminal sexual conduct March 18 after touching a child’s breasts and vaginal area.

A 12-year-old girl told law enforcement that Butterfield touched her under her pajamas and underwear when they were lying in bed together watching a Wild hockey game in May 2014, according to the criminal complaint.

When law enforcement told Butterfield the girl was with them May 7, he said he thought he knew why and that he had a shotgun and was going to kill himself. He said he made a mistake, the complaint states.

Law enforcement was able to get to Butterfield and get him to put down the gun, according to the complaint.

Anoka County District Court Judge Jenny Walker Jasper sentenced Butterfield to two months in jail with credit for three days served.

He was sentenced to 15 years probation with twenty-four conditions, including that he pay $250 in restitution and register as a predatory offender. He will not be able to hold a position of authority over minors or vulnerable adults while on probation.

~ Olivia Alveshere

Former Kmart employee charged with theft

A Fridley woman faces two felony theft charges for allegedly stealing more than $5,200 worth of merchandise from the Anoka Kmart while she was employed there.

Lisa Michelle Ferber, 26, was arraigned in Anoka County District Court March 2.

According to the criminal complaint, a loss prevention employee saw Ferber’s boyfriend leaving the store with Kenmore washers and dryers Nov. 1, 2014.

When confronted, Ferber allegedly said she purchased the washers and dryers, but she could not provide a receipt, the complaint states.

Later, loss prevention employees confirmed Ferber did not purchase the items and that she attempted to create a fake receipt after she was confronted, according to the complaint.

Loss prevention employees also uncovered evidence of “free bagging” and refund fraud. She charged her roommate $11.81 for hundreds of dollars of merchandise, including multiple paintball guns, voiding items to bring the total down, the complaint states.

Ferber told law enforcement she started “free bagging” and the refund fraud in March 2014 because she was moving into a townhouse and was falling behind on her bills, the complaint states.

Ferber faces up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines for each charge.

~ Olivia Alveshere

More than $11,000 stolen from child care center

A former director at Kids Are Really Special Child Care in Ham Lake is accused of stealing more than $11,000 from the business.

Jennifer Ann Buzzell, 33, of North Branch, was arraigned in Anoka County District Court March 3 on a felony theft charge.

In early 2014, soon after Buzzell quit, one of the child care center’s owners discovered the business could not account for $11,850 in cash received from two families whose children were enrolled there, according to the criminal complaint.

In a post-Miranda statement, Buzzell said she took $1,250 in cash and said she had taken $100 or $200 on several occasions to total a couple thousand dollars, the complaint states.

~ Olivia Alveshere

Anoka teen picked up at Savers in Coon Rapids

Jacob Tyler Shore, 19, of Anoka, was arrested at Savers Thrift Superstore in Coon Rapids March 12.

He was arraigned in Anoka County District Court March 13 on first-degree aggravated robbery and methamphetamine possession charges, both felonies.

The Coon Rapids Police Department responded to Savers around 3 p.m. March 12 to respond to a possible armed robbery attempt.

A store employee told police he overheard a man, later identified as Shore, tell another man that he was going to rob the store, the criminal complaint states.

A police officer headed to the manager’s office where he was able to watch Shore on a closed circuit security television monitor. Shore headed into a dressing room, according to the complaint.

At 3:15 p.m., officers confronted Shore in the dressing room, seizing a loaded handgun from his pants pocket and plastic bag filled with a white crystal substance that tested positive for 1.1 grams of methamphetamine, the complaint states.

Before police arrived, the store employee who allegedly heard Shore say he was going to rob the store watched him closely. Whenever the employee moved toward the register, Shore would act like he was looking at a pair of pants, but was actually looking at the registers, the employee told police, according to the criminal complaint.

Though no robbery was committed, Shore’s surveillance of the store was a “substantial step” towards first-degree robbery, the complaint states.

Shore was also arrested in Anoka the evening of Jan. 9 when he was a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle stopped by an Anoka Police officer for an equipment violation at Lincoln Street and 9th Avenue.

He was allegedly found to be in possession of a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, for which he was charged with a felony fifth-degree controlled substance crime, as well as possession of a hypodermic syringe or needle and possession of brass knuckles, for which he was charged with misdemeanors.

According to court records, Shore was twice convicted on felony charges as a 17-year-old in Anoka County Juvenile Court, the first time for third-degree burglary April 8, 2013 and the second time for a fifth-degree controlled substance crime Oct. 14, 2013.

In each case, the court placed him on juvenile probation which ended Oct. 21, 2014, and ordered him held in the secure facility at the Anoka County Juvenile Center, court records state.

In addition, the attempted robbery criminal complaint states that Shore was adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court Nov. 2, 2010, for possession of a dangerous weapon on school property.

~ Olivia Alveshere
and Peter Bodley

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/unionherald-crime-briefs-for-march-27-2015/feed/ 0
Answers to 4 Big $ Questions http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/answers-to-4-big-questions/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/answers-to-4-big-questions/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:00:02 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=1bb28ad231505ac09feb21c065b6c7b9 Costs of education and retirement are likely two of your biggest financial concerns. Just in time for tax season, here are answers to a couple of common questions on each important topic.

Education:

Are my student loans deductible? Student loans can be a heavy burden on many taxpayers. Luckily, the Internal Revenue Service allows you to deduct a portion of student loan interest, taken as an adjustment to your income.

This means you can claim the deduction even if you do not itemize deductions – that is, file a Schedule A on your IRS Form 1040 tax return. Unfortunately, the IRS also imposes many limitations on the deductibility of student loan interest: The maximum interest deduction is $2,500 for 2014.

To secure the deduction, you must have used the loan to pay for qualified education expenses and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for last year cannot exceed $160,000 if you file taxes under the status married filing jointly or $80,000 if you file using another status. If you’re like most taxpayers, your MAGI is your adjusted gross income as figured on your federal income tax return before you subtract any deduction for student loan interest. 

Can I transfer a Direct PLUS loan to my child after graduation? You usually take out a Direct PLUS loan to pay for your child’s college education; your child still completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The U.S. Department of Education sets the interest rate on Direct PLUS loans; the rate also depends on the date of disbursement. Some parents assume they can transfer the loan to the child once the latter graduates. Unfortunately, no: You the parent are responsible for repaying the loan.

Retirement:

How often can I make changes to my 401(k)? Generally, you can change your 401(k) employer-sponsored retirement plan as often as you want. I say “generally” because employers can impose their own restrictions to prevent employees from trading in 401(k) plans.

Our firm strongly advises against actively trading in your 401(k) or trying to time the markets to boost returns. Rather, rebalance your portfolio periodically to minimize risk.

For example, your original blend of assets – such as stocks, bonds and other holdings – probably changed in the wake of differing returns. Your allocated percentage of different asset classes probably also shifted. To rebalance, you might sell a portion of the asset class that increased above your optimum target.

Review your 401(k) at least quarterly to ensure that the allocations you initially selected don’t deviate from your intended percentages. If they do, rebalance your entire portfolio, including your 401(k), to bring it back in line with your goals.

Is there still time to contribute to my individual retirement account? Despite what the calendar shows, 2014 is not over yet. Whether you have a Roth, traditional or simplified employee pension (SEP) IRA, you can still count a contribution toward your total for last year.

For 2014 and 2015, according to the IRS, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs cannot be more than $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older) or your taxable compensation for the year if your compensation was less than this limit. If you’re self-employed, your contributions to a SEP-IRA cannot exceed the lesser of 25% of your compensation or $52,000 for 2014.

You must contribute funds to an existing or new IRA before the April 15 tax-filing deadline this year.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.
 
Ara Oghoorian, CFP, CFA, is the founder and president of ACap Asset Management in Los Angeles. A fee-only investment management firm, it specializes in helping doctors and physicians make sound financial decisions. Contact Ara at aoghoorian@acapam.com or on the Web at www.acapam.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
Costs of education and retirement are likely two of your biggest financial concerns. Just in time for tax season, here are answers to a couple of common questions on each important topic.

Education:

Are my student loans deductible? Student loans can be a heavy burden on many taxpayers. Luckily, the Internal Revenue Service allows you to deduct a portion of student loan interest, taken as an adjustment to your income.

This means you can claim the deduction even if you do not itemize deductions – that is, file a Schedule A on your IRS Form 1040 tax return. Unfortunately, the IRS also imposes many limitations on the deductibility of student loan interest: The maximum interest deduction is $2,500 for 2014.

To secure the deduction, you must have used the loan to pay for qualified education expenses and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) for last year cannot exceed $160,000 if you file taxes under the status married filing jointly or $80,000 if you file using another status. If you’re like most taxpayers, your MAGI is your adjusted gross income as figured on your federal income tax return before you subtract any deduction for student loan interest. 

Can I transfer a Direct PLUS loan to my child after graduation? You usually take out a Direct PLUS loan to pay for your child’s college education; your child still completes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The U.S. Department of Education sets the interest rate on Direct PLUS loans; the rate also depends on the date of disbursement. Some parents assume they can transfer the loan to the child once the latter graduates. Unfortunately, no: You the parent are responsible for repaying the loan.

Retirement:

How often can I make changes to my 401(k)? Generally, you can change your 401(k) employer-sponsored retirement plan as often as you want. I say “generally” because employers can impose their own restrictions to prevent employees from trading in 401(k) plans.

Our firm strongly advises against actively trading in your 401(k) or trying to time the markets to boost returns. Rather, rebalance your portfolio periodically to minimize risk.

For example, your original blend of assets – such as stocks, bonds and other holdings – probably changed in the wake of differing returns. Your allocated percentage of different asset classes probably also shifted. To rebalance, you might sell a portion of the asset class that increased above your optimum target.

Review your 401(k) at least quarterly to ensure that the allocations you initially selected don’t deviate from your intended percentages. If they do, rebalance your entire portfolio, including your 401(k), to bring it back in line with your goals.

Is there still time to contribute to my individual retirement account? Despite what the calendar shows, 2014 is not over yet. Whether you have a Roth, traditional or simplified employee pension (SEP) IRA, you can still count a contribution toward your total for last year.

For 2014 and 2015, according to the IRS, your total contributions to all of your traditional and Roth IRAs cannot be more than $5,500 ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older) or your taxable compensation for the year if your compensation was less than this limit. If you’re self-employed, your contributions to a SEP-IRA cannot exceed the lesser of 25% of your compensation or $52,000 for 2014.

You must contribute funds to an existing or new IRA before the April 15 tax-filing deadline this year.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.
 
Ara Oghoorian, CFP, CFA, is the founder and president of ACap Asset Management in Los Angeles. A fee-only investment management firm, it specializes in helping doctors and physicians make sound financial decisions. Contact Ara at aoghoorian@acapam.com or on the Web at www.acapam.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/answers-to-4-big-questions/feed/ 0
‘His Amazing Love’ presented March 27, 29 http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/his-amazing-love-presented-march-27-29/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/his-amazing-love-presented-march-27-29/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:15:39 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156327 With a cast and crew of almost 200, the Church of the Epiphany presents “His Amazing Love.”

Epiphany Catholic Church presents its 2015 Easter cantata, “His Amazing Love.”

Epiphany Catholic Church presents its 2015 Easter cantata, “His Amazing Love.” Photo by Betty Bartlett

Epiphany’s eighth-annual cantata takes place 7 p.m. March 27 and 4 p.m March 29.

“We are excited to share our story of the journey of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection through scripture and song,” said Liz Grefsheim, associate director of music at Epiphany.

There is no cost to attend this presentation. A freewill offering will be accepted.

The March 27 event takes place at the Church of the Epiphany, 1900-111th Ave. NW, Coon Rapids.

The March 29 event takes place at the Church of St. Timothy, 707-89th Ave. NE, Blaine.

For more information visit EpiphanyMN.org/music_events.aspx.

Sue.Austreng@ecm-inc.com

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/his-amazing-love-presented-march-27-29/feed/ 0
Students from YMCA raise $1,018 for Hope 4 Youth http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/students-from-ymca-raise-1018-for-hope-4-youth/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/students-from-ymca-raise-1018-for-hope-4-youth/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:00:04 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156191 A small group of middle school students had an idea — raise awareness and money in order to help homeless youth.

Anoka Middle School for the Arts students Jonathan Vasquez, Erica Shaw, Kai VanBruggen and Drew Anderson led a homeless youth awareness and fundraising campaign that netted $1,016 for Hope 4 Youth. Photo by Eric Hagen

Anoka Middle School for the Arts students Jonathan Vasquez, Erica Shaw, Kai VanBruggen and Drew Anderson led a homeless youth awareness and fundraising campaign that netted $1,016 for Hope 4 Youth. Photo by Eric Hagen

“We raised $800,” said Erica Shaw, an eighth grade student.

“816,” chimed in sixth-grader Kai VanBruggen, making sure the extra $16 was not forgotten.

Jorden Carlson, a day camp and outreach program director for the Emma B. Howe YMCA, said Zion Lutheran Church also chipped in $200 so the total was $1,000.

“$1,016” VanBruggen said.

The money raised from donations by students and staff at Anoka Middle School for the Arts and from members of Zion Lutheran Church was donated to Hope 4 Youth, an Anoka-based drop-in center that services the homeless ages 16 to 24.

Throughout the school year, a couple dozen sixth- through eighth-graders from Anoka Middle Schools for the Arts walk across the street to Zion Lutheran Church for a Y Start program.

The YMCA offers many types of after-school activities for youth. The goal of Y Start is to encourage community service. The most typical community service is cleaning up trash and packing meals at Feed My Starving Children, Carlson said.

“The cool thing about the program is the youth have a big voice in what we do,” she said.

Shaw, VanBruggen along with Anoka Middle School seventh-graders Drew Anderson and Jonathan Vasquez, led what Carlson called “the biggest they’ve done” compared to the scope of previous other Y Start service projects since this after school activities program starting meeting at the church three years ago.

These students learned more about the problem of homelessness locally. According to the Anoka-Hennepin School District, 925 students had reported being homeless during the 2013-14 school year. During the 2008-09 school year, the number was 136.

Shaw believes youth homelessness is still an under-reported statistic.

“Most people don’t tell because they’re too ashamed. It could be your best friend and you wouldn’t know it,” Shaw said.

After her mother died four years ago, Shaw said she wanted to help others going through tough periods in their lives.

VanBruggen learned generosity from his parents. When he was with his father one time, they saw a homeless man holding a sign asking for help. They went to Subway to buy a sandwich and stopped by the ATM to get $20. VanBruggen said he felt sad, but good at the same time.

Vasquez said they made posters including facts about homelessness and educated other students while encouraging them to donate money. The sight of these middle school students and teachers emptying their pockets was a tremendous sight for them to see.

When Shaw saw a $50 bill in the donation jug, she said she “started tearing up because I was thinking we were really doing something.”

eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/students-from-ymca-raise-1018-for-hope-4-youth/feed/ 0
Water rates to go up in Coon Rapids http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/water-rates-to-go-up-in-coon-rapids/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/water-rates-to-go-up-in-coon-rapids/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:30:03 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156189 Water rates in the city of Coon Rapids will increase 5 percent effective with the May 1 district billing cycle.

The Coon Rapids City Council March 17 voted 6-0 – Council Member Denise Klint was not at the meeting – to approve the rate increase recommended by staff.

The base or service charge will go up from $12 to $14 each quarter, while all the rates will increase by 10 cents a quarter per 1,000 gallons used for residential, commercial and industrial users and sprinkling meters.

According to Finance Director Sharon Legg, the base fee was last increased July 1, 2014, while the water rates have not gone up since June 1, 2012.

Reasons for the rate increase outlined by Legg in a memo to the council include:

-The number of frozen water services that were dug up for repairs in 2014, which cost some $270,000 plus related overtime of an estimated $40,000.

-Water main break repairs of $122,000 and curb stop repairs of $175,000 were significant costs in 2014.

-Water revenue was significantly lower than projected because of the wet summer; the amount of water pumped dropped by 8.6 percent in 2014.

“All of this led to a loss after interest expense of $900,000,” Legg wrote.

In addition, last year the council approved a water system master plan, which recommended water infrastructure improvements needed over the next few years, according to Legg.

This year the control systems at the city’s water treatment plants will be replaced at a cost of $950,000 and bonds were sold for that project at the end of last year, Legg wrote.

Another $4.5 million in improvements are anticipated in 2016, including a new 1.5 million gallon water tower to eventually replace the existing tower on Foley Boulevard, she wrote.

According to Legg, the base charge increase will cover the cost of billing as well as contributing to the fixed costs of maintaining the water system.

“The water fund is self-supporting whereby water revenues pay for water-related expenses,” Legg told the council.

Even with the rate and base charge increases, Coon Rapids will be in the middle of the pack when water rates impacts on property owners are compared with adjacent and comparable cities in the metro area, she said.

Rates often depend on how aggressive cities are in maintaining and replacing water system infrastructure, Legg said.

Under state mandate, water rates are structured using a tiered system; the more the water usage the higher the rate, according to Legg.

The new quarterly water rates in a resolution approved by the council are:

Residential (single and multiple units): tier one per 1,000 gallons (first 20,000 gallons) from $1.70 to $1.80; tier two per 1,000 gallons (20,001 to 80,000 gallons) from $2.10 to $2.20; and tier three per 1,000 gallons (80,001 gallons and above) from $2.30 to $2.40.

For commercial and industrial users, the per 1,000 gallons charge increases from $1.70 to $1.80, while the cost of sprinkling meters per 1,000 gallons jumps from $2.30 to $2.40.

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/water-rates-to-go-up-in-coon-rapids/feed/ 0
UnionHerald Looking Back for March 27, 2015 http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/unionherald-looking-back-for-march-27-2015/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/unionherald-looking-back-for-march-27-2015/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:30:53 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?p=156182 Easter flower show here  

The Anoka Greenhouse Company will have on display and for sale, a choice showing of cut flowers and potted plants suitable for Easter. Special pains have been taken to make this exhibition of great interest and value to our friends. Rare plants of unusual beauty will make your visit a pleasure. Spring opening and flower show includes ladies’ ready-to-wear apparel, suits, skirts, waists, neckwear, gloves, lingerie, hosiery and underwear. This is always an event of interest to the ladies of Anoka as at this time stocks are complete and you are assured of a comprehensive exposition of all that is newest and best of the centers of fashion.

-100 years ago, March 31, 1915
Anoka County Union

New swimming beach discussed   

At a meeting at the Jackson hotel last Wednesday evening, a group of citizens, representing various social and civic organizations of the city, held a lengthy discussion over the building of a swimming beach for the swimmers of the city, either at the Rice Street beach or at the Anoka County Fair grounds along the Rum river.

– 75 years ago, March 27, 1940
Anoka Herald

High accident toll follows blizzard   

Several traffic accidents have plagued Coon Rapids police following the March 17 snow storm. Police Chief Al Bombarger said that the unusual number of icy intersections has made driving hazardous in places. He urged motorists to be more alert with their driving habits.

– 50 years ago, March 26, 1965
Coon Rapids Herald

Kona to be placed in ‘good home’

Kona, the 7-year-old part collie and German shepherd, whose near fatal beating, allegedly by his owner, set off a wave of protest against animal abuse, will be “placed in the best home possible,” according to the Anoka County Humane Society. The adoption process is underway and will take two to three weeks.

– 25 years ago, March 30, 1990
Anoka County Union

• Compiled by Sue Austreng

Editor’s note: “Looking Back” is reprinted exactly as the items first appeared.

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/unionherald-looking-back-for-march-27-2015/feed/ 0
Oil Prices: Forget a Rebound http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/oil-prices-forget-a-rebound/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/oil-prices-forget-a-rebound/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:30:11 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=e44ae709a32f5d652106e9ef5204d5fa With the price of oil slashed in half since last summer, we keep hearing predictions that a reversal is waiting in the wings. Forget it. The showing of another energy product, natural gas, shows us why: Ever-improving technology keeps prices low, amid more efficient and cheaper production methods.

The price action of natural gas likely gives us clues about where oil prices are headed over the next several years. Natural gas prices used to be somewhat correlated with oil’s. After reaching peak levels in 2008, both natural gas and oil prices collapsed on weak demand in the recession. While oil prices rebounded over the next five years from about $40 to $110 per barrel, natural gas prices trended even lower.
 
Shown below are natural gas spot prices overlaid on the gas rig count – the number of drilling rigs. These rigs drill vertically (down), horizontally (to the side) or directionally (at a slanted angle). The chart shows natural gas prices declining from $12.69 in June 2008 to about $3 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) lately.

Macintosh HD:Users:aiqinc:Desktop:unnamed.jpg

Since the 2008 peak through the end of February, the U.S. gas rig count fell from 1,606 to 280, almost an 83% decrease. Yet U.S. dry natural gas production has increased from 1,681,469 million cubic feet (mcf) in mid 2008 to 2,303,935mcf at the end of 2014, a 37% production increase. (Dry natural gas is after producers processed it for distribution to consumers.) Basically, innovation made U.S. energy producers better, faster and cheaper at extracting gas from shale formations.
 
That’s why what happened with gas may be the best predictor of what is likely to happen in the oil market. Gas and oil in the U.S. are often extracted from shale formations. Fracking and other technology improved dramatically in the gas fields, causing increased productivity to drive prices lower. The implication: U.S. petroleum engineers will adapt to $50 and $60 oil prices by continuing to improve extraction technology and efficiency.
 
Since last October, when the oil-rig count hit a record of 1,609, the tally dipped to 922, according to a survey from oil services company Baker Hughes. The price of oil a year ago was roughly $100 per barrel and today around $50.
 
The prolonged depressed pricing in the natural gas market is an enormous red flag to those who believe oil prices will “correct” to higher levels in the next couple of years. It is also a reminder of the importance of technology innovation in the United States – and how productivity enhancements can create growth in unlikely areas. Not too long ago, meaningful extraction from shale formations seemed improbable. Then came the fracking revolution.

If you knew in 2008 that the natural gas rig count was going to fall so drastically, a forecast of gas production rising by 37% and prices falling by 76% made no sense. In investing, considering what seems improbable often pays off. As Warren Buffett stated in his most recent letter to shareholders: “The dynamism embedded in our market economy will continue to work its magic.”

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your RiskAdditional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
With the price of oil slashed in half since last summer, we keep hearing predictions that a reversal is waiting in the wings. Forget it. The showing of another energy product, natural gas, shows us why: Ever-improving technology keeps prices low, amid more efficient and cheaper production methods.

The price action of natural gas likely gives us clues about where oil prices are headed over the next several years. Natural gas prices used to be somewhat correlated with oil’s. After reaching peak levels in 2008, both natural gas and oil prices collapsed on weak demand in the recession. While oil prices rebounded over the next five years from about $40 to $110 per barrel, natural gas prices trended even lower.
 
Shown below are natural gas spot prices overlaid on the gas rig count – the number of drilling rigs. These rigs drill vertically (down), horizontally (to the side) or directionally (at a slanted angle). The chart shows natural gas prices declining from $12.69 in June 2008 to about $3 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) lately.

Macintosh HD:Users:aiqinc:Desktop:unnamed.jpg

Since the 2008 peak through the end of February, the U.S. gas rig count fell from 1,606 to 280, almost an 83% decrease. Yet U.S. dry natural gas production has increased from 1,681,469 million cubic feet (mcf) in mid 2008 to 2,303,935mcf at the end of 2014, a 37% production increase. (Dry natural gas is after producers processed it for distribution to consumers.) Basically, innovation made U.S. energy producers better, faster and cheaper at extracting gas from shale formations.
 
That’s why what happened with gas may be the best predictor of what is likely to happen in the oil market. Gas and oil in the U.S. are often extracted from shale formations. Fracking and other technology improved dramatically in the gas fields, causing increased productivity to drive prices lower. The implication: U.S. petroleum engineers will adapt to $50 and $60 oil prices by continuing to improve extraction technology and efficiency.
 
Since last October, when the oil-rig count hit a record of 1,609, the tally dipped to 922, according to a survey from oil services company Baker Hughes. The price of oil a year ago was roughly $100 per barrel and today around $50.
 
The prolonged depressed pricing in the natural gas market is an enormous red flag to those who believe oil prices will “correct” to higher levels in the next couple of years. It is also a reminder of the importance of technology innovation in the United States – and how productivity enhancements can create growth in unlikely areas. Not too long ago, meaningful extraction from shale formations seemed improbable. Then came the fracking revolution.

If you knew in 2008 that the natural gas rig count was going to fall so drastically, a forecast of gas production rising by 37% and prices falling by 76% made no sense. In investing, considering what seems improbable often pays off. As Warren Buffett stated in his most recent letter to shareholders: “The dynamism embedded in our market economy will continue to work its magic.”

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your RiskAdditional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/oil-prices-forget-a-rebound/feed/ 0
Recognizing Tax-Scam Callers http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/recognizing-tax-scam-callers/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/recognizing-tax-scam-callers/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:30:08 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=7557ffca232e1b60eb94901a3344f399 While the Internal Revenue Service may not be your favorite federal agency, criminals posing as IRS representatives are unquestionably the much bigger problem. Here’s what to know to protect yourself.

Scammers set increasingly treacherous traps for swindling taxpayers’ assets, identities or both. Favorite targets are those most likely to fall for the trickery and least able to afford it:  older adults, immigrants and widows or widowers.

Even if you’re not in any of these categories, don’t let down your guard. Tax scams can happen to anyone. In February, scammers even called the home of the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, the state’s head taxation official. As Forbes blogger Kelly Phillip Erb wrote while recommending that all taxpayers be on high alert: “It’s tax season. That, unfortunately, also means that it’s fraud season.”

The current popular scam goes something like this: Someone claiming to represent the IRS or the U.S. Treasury Department calls or emails claiming that you owe money, are in general tax-related trouble or must take some immediate action (usually send them money) – or else.

Callers may also know a lot about you: your name and those of family members, a portion of your Social Security number or additional contact information. Often, scammers stole such information via Internet phishing.

Differentiating a fake IRS representative from the real deal may at first seem hard. One of your key defenses: Know how the U.S. tax agency actually engages in legitimate queries and, just as important, how it does not.

If you defraud the U.S. government, you may indeed incur fines, penalties and, in extreme cases, even jail time. None of these happens in an out-of-the-blue instant, though. Here are five actions the IRS will never take at the initial stages of a tax problem:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement to arrest you.

If you or a loved one receives a call involving any of the above tactics, you can bet it’s a scam. Your best responses:

  • Hang up. Just as you never politely converse with a burglar in your home or a thug on the street, there’s absolutely no need to stand on formalities here.
  • Report the call. Notify the IRS to help prevent others from succumbing to the scam. If possible, note the caller’s number.

Unfortunately, for every tax scam averted, others pop up. The IRS list of top tax schemes spans phone and Internet fraud to fake documents and crooked tax return preparers. To stay on top of the latest news, regularly visit the IRS tax scam/consumer alert page or talk to your financial advisor with questions and concerns.

We all benefit when we stand together against tax scams.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, is a principal of SageBroadview Financial Planning with offices in Morristown, N.J., and Farmington, Conn. The SageBroadview blog covers a wide range of financial planning and life topics.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
While the Internal Revenue Service may not be your favorite federal agency, criminals posing as IRS representatives are unquestionably the much bigger problem. Here’s what to know to protect yourself.

Scammers set increasingly treacherous traps for swindling taxpayers’ assets, identities or both. Favorite targets are those most likely to fall for the trickery and least able to afford it:  older adults, immigrants and widows or widowers.

Even if you’re not in any of these categories, don’t let down your guard. Tax scams can happen to anyone. In February, scammers even called the home of the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, the state’s head taxation official. As Forbes blogger Kelly Phillip Erb wrote while recommending that all taxpayers be on high alert: “It’s tax season. That, unfortunately, also means that it’s fraud season.”

The current popular scam goes something like this: Someone claiming to represent the IRS or the U.S. Treasury Department calls or emails claiming that you owe money, are in general tax-related trouble or must take some immediate action (usually send them money) – or else.

Callers may also know a lot about you: your name and those of family members, a portion of your Social Security number or additional contact information. Often, scammers stole such information via Internet phishing.

Differentiating a fake IRS representative from the real deal may at first seem hard. One of your key defenses: Know how the U.S. tax agency actually engages in legitimate queries and, just as important, how it does not.

If you defraud the U.S. government, you may indeed incur fines, penalties and, in extreme cases, even jail time. None of these happens in an out-of-the-blue instant, though. Here are five actions the IRS will never take at the initial stages of a tax problem:

  1. Call to demand immediate payment or call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
  2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed.
  3. Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  4. Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement to arrest you.

If you or a loved one receives a call involving any of the above tactics, you can bet it’s a scam. Your best responses:

  • Hang up. Just as you never politely converse with a burglar in your home or a thug on the street, there’s absolutely no need to stand on formalities here.
  • Report the call. Notify the IRS to help prevent others from succumbing to the scam. If possible, note the caller’s number.

Unfortunately, for every tax scam averted, others pop up. The IRS list of top tax schemes spans phone and Internet fraud to fake documents and crooked tax return preparers. To stay on top of the latest news, regularly visit the IRS tax scam/consumer alert page or talk to your financial advisor with questions and concerns.

We all benefit when we stand together against tax scams.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, is a principal of SageBroadview Financial Planning with offices in Morristown, N.J., and Farmington, Conn. The SageBroadview blog covers a wide range of financial planning and life topics.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/recognizing-tax-scam-callers/feed/ 0
Basic Ways to Save http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/basic-ways-to-save/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/basic-ways-to-save/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:30:05 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=b1a166aa950bfcc75d7f2ae07073ccd1 For those who struggle to save, here’s a tip: keep the money out of your reach.

I recently watched “Living on One,” a documentary about four college students’ efforts to spend a summer in Guatemala living on a dollar a day, as half of the citizens of Guatemala in poverty. The film explores the personal finance habits of people who have a hard time earning enough money to live on, much less save.

My favorite segment of the film discusses the concept of savings clubs, a popular strategy in less-developed areas of the world. Typically, a group of 12 people each agree to save $12 every month. However, instead of putting it in their own piggy bank, they contribute their $12 of savings to the group.

Then, one of the members keeps the full sum of $144. The person taking the lump sum alternates each month, so that consequently, every member of the club receives $144 once per year. If someone fails to contribute $12 during any given month, the group kicks that member out. He or she can no longer collect the $144.

I find these savings clubs fascinating because they highlight the most important and basic strategies to successful saving: eliminate your access to the funds you set aside, and create a motivation to place savings ahead of spending.

In the arena of personal finance, an occasional large sum is more valuable than several small ones. We spend smaller amounts of money more spontaneously, such as on nice dinners, but we are more likely to use a large lump sum to fund meaningful goals. In Guatemala, it can be a stove to cook food. Here, a car or a down payment on a home.

The savings club also forces members to prioritize savings by imposing a punishment. Most people earn a salary, pay bills, have fun and save the rest. Unfortunately, they have little, if any, left after all their expenses. A simple solution: You save first as soon as you receive your income and find a way to live off what is left.

Your employer-sponsored retirement plans, like 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457s, has the same features as a savings club. You contribute relatively small sums consistently, and you don’t have access to the funds. You face a 10% penalty if you withdraw the money early. Further, a 401(k) forces you to save by taking the contribution out of your paycheck before you even receive it, so that you are certain to reach your monthly savings goal.

Of course, employer-sponsored retirement plans are superior to the primitive savings clubs because they allow you to invest in stocks and bonds, so you can achieve not only savings but growth on those savings.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Lon Jefferies, CFP, MBA, is an investment advisor with the fee-only financial planning firm Net Worth Advisory Group in Sandy, Utah. You can find Lon on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Contact him at (801) 566-0740 or lon@networthadvice.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
For those who struggle to save, here’s a tip: keep the money out of your reach.

I recently watched “Living on One,” a documentary about four college students’ efforts to spend a summer in Guatemala living on a dollar a day, as half of the citizens of Guatemala in poverty. The film explores the personal finance habits of people who have a hard time earning enough money to live on, much less save.

My favorite segment of the film discusses the concept of savings clubs, a popular strategy in less-developed areas of the world. Typically, a group of 12 people each agree to save $12 every month. However, instead of putting it in their own piggy bank, they contribute their $12 of savings to the group.

Then, one of the members keeps the full sum of $144. The person taking the lump sum alternates each month, so that consequently, every member of the club receives $144 once per year. If someone fails to contribute $12 during any given month, the group kicks that member out. He or she can no longer collect the $144.

I find these savings clubs fascinating because they highlight the most important and basic strategies to successful saving: eliminate your access to the funds you set aside, and create a motivation to place savings ahead of spending.

In the arena of personal finance, an occasional large sum is more valuable than several small ones. We spend smaller amounts of money more spontaneously, such as on nice dinners, but we are more likely to use a large lump sum to fund meaningful goals. In Guatemala, it can be a stove to cook food. Here, a car or a down payment on a home.

The savings club also forces members to prioritize savings by imposing a punishment. Most people earn a salary, pay bills, have fun and save the rest. Unfortunately, they have little, if any, left after all their expenses. A simple solution: You save first as soon as you receive your income and find a way to live off what is left.

Your employer-sponsored retirement plans, like 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457s, has the same features as a savings club. You contribute relatively small sums consistently, and you don’t have access to the funds. You face a 10% penalty if you withdraw the money early. Further, a 401(k) forces you to save by taking the contribution out of your paycheck before you even receive it, so that you are certain to reach your monthly savings goal.

Of course, employer-sponsored retirement plans are superior to the primitive savings clubs because they allow you to invest in stocks and bonds, so you can achieve not only savings but growth on those savings.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Lon Jefferies, CFP, MBA, is an investment advisor with the fee-only financial planning firm Net Worth Advisory Group in Sandy, Utah. You can find Lon on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Contact him at (801) 566-0740 or lon@networthadvice.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/basic-ways-to-save/feed/ 0
Population Growth’s Elixir http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/population-growths-elixir/ http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/population-growths-elixir/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:30:02 +0000 http://abcnewspapers.com/?guid=9260dc14bd7e182618c467eee8a8559b Will the world’s economy keep growing? Despite the doomsters’ wails, the answer is: Yes, it will. Why? Largely because the world’s population is growing. Sure, some individual nations lag (particularly those with shrinking populations). But an examination of the demographic data shows that the overall global outlook is encouraging.

The other morning, I was listening to Bloomberg Radio as I took my second grader, to school. The radio news program discussed Islamic State terrorists’ killing a Japanese journalist. Then it moved on to Eric Garner, who died in New York from a police chokehold.

My son piped up from the backseat and asked me, “Dad, why do so many people die every day?”

I answered, “Lots of people die every day, but even more people are born.”

He then pointed out, “But dad, they never talk about that part on the news.”

This conversation got me thinking about one of my favorite Warren Buffett investment themes, the ever-growing economic pie.

I wrote about the economic pie in December, but I didn’t go into exactly why the pie continues to grow over time. One of the primary reasons, of course, is our expanding population.

My conversation with my son piqued my curiosity. Later that morning, I did some research. I learned that, according to the Ecology Global Network, there are about 131 million births per year on earth. That’s approximately 360,000 babies born every day.

The same study shows that there are 55 million deaths each year, or approximately 151,000 per day.

My son was worried that with so many people dying that the earth might run out of people. But clearly that’s not a problem.

Let’s put these numbers into context:

  • About three football stadiums (assuming a stadium holds 50,000) full of people die every day.
  • About seven football stadiums full of people are born every day.

This explains why we’ve seen our global population balloon from 1900, when there were about 1.6 billion people, to today’s approximately seven billion. By 2030, there should be over eight billion people on earth, according to the Ecology Global Network’s population estimates.

While all this information answers my second grader’s original question, it happens to be an integral component of why the world’s economic pie continues to grow. More people demanding more goods (i.e., houses, cars, food, technology, medicine, fuel, etc.) creates and ever-increasing demand to supply those goods. That means companies will continue to meet that expanding demand, hence their earning have the opportunity to grow over time. Thus, the pie gets bigger.

Indeed, there are clearly more variables to a growing economic pie than just population increases, such as innovation, the education system, improving worker productivity, more intelligent use of data, and the list goes on. However, as a tailwind to economic growth, nothing beats the growth of a population.   

Take a look at some stats, from 2010 to 2014, from WorldBank.org for the GDP growth and Trading Economics for the population growth:

  • United States of America
    • Average annual gross domestic product growth over five years: 2.25%
    • Average yearly population growth over five years: 0.75%
  • China
    • GDP: 8.5 %
    • Population: 0.4%
  • India
    • GDP: 6.5 %
    • Population: 1.25 %
  • Italy
    • GDP: minus 0.5%
    • Population: minus 0.1%

Notice, the only country with negative GDP growth was Italy, which is also the country with negative population growth. Coincidence?

With all the detailed minutia that hits us every day, remember that it’s very often the simplest concepts that are the most important. Ultimately, our children have nothing to worry about when it comes to the world running out of people, and the economic pie will continue to grow.  

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Wes Moss, CFP, is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela, both in Atlanta. He hosts “Money Matters,” a live financial advice show on Atlanta’s News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB Radio. In 2014 Barron’s Magazine named him as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. His newly released book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think published by McGraw Hill, is available on Amazon, iTunes and at your local bookstore.

Wes writes weekly about personal finance in the “Bargain Hunter Section” for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Personal Finance blog. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMoss365 and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. You can also visit his website, WesMoss.com to learn more about Wes, and take his complimentary Money and Happiness Quiz.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
Will the world’s economy keep growing? Despite the doomsters’ wails, the answer is: Yes, it will. Why? Largely because the world’s population is growing. Sure, some individual nations lag (particularly those with shrinking populations). But an examination of the demographic data shows that the overall global outlook is encouraging.

The other morning, I was listening to Bloomberg Radio as I took my second grader, to school. The radio news program discussed Islamic State terrorists’ killing a Japanese journalist. Then it moved on to Eric Garner, who died in New York from a police chokehold.

My son piped up from the backseat and asked me, “Dad, why do so many people die every day?”

I answered, “Lots of people die every day, but even more people are born.”

He then pointed out, “But dad, they never talk about that part on the news.”

This conversation got me thinking about one of my favorite Warren Buffett investment themes, the ever-growing economic pie.

I wrote about the economic pie in December, but I didn’t go into exactly why the pie continues to grow over time. One of the primary reasons, of course, is our expanding population.

My conversation with my son piqued my curiosity. Later that morning, I did some research. I learned that, according to the Ecology Global Network, there are about 131 million births per year on earth. That’s approximately 360,000 babies born every day.

The same study shows that there are 55 million deaths each year, or approximately 151,000 per day.

My son was worried that with so many people dying that the earth might run out of people. But clearly that’s not a problem.

Let’s put these numbers into context:

  • About three football stadiums (assuming a stadium holds 50,000) full of people die every day.
  • About seven football stadiums full of people are born every day.

This explains why we’ve seen our global population balloon from 1900, when there were about 1.6 billion people, to today’s approximately seven billion. By 2030, there should be over eight billion people on earth, according to the Ecology Global Network’s population estimates.

While all this information answers my second grader’s original question, it happens to be an integral component of why the world’s economic pie continues to grow. More people demanding more goods (i.e., houses, cars, food, technology, medicine, fuel, etc.) creates and ever-increasing demand to supply those goods. That means companies will continue to meet that expanding demand, hence their earning have the opportunity to grow over time. Thus, the pie gets bigger.

Indeed, there are clearly more variables to a growing economic pie than just population increases, such as innovation, the education system, improving worker productivity, more intelligent use of data, and the list goes on. However, as a tailwind to economic growth, nothing beats the growth of a population.   

Take a look at some stats, from 2010 to 2014, from WorldBank.org for the GDP growth and Trading Economics for the population growth:

  • United States of America
    • Average annual gross domestic product growth over five years: 2.25%
    • Average yearly population growth over five years: 0.75%
  • China
    • GDP: 8.5 %
    • Population: 0.4%
  • India
    • GDP: 6.5 %
    • Population: 1.25 %
  • Italy
    • GDP: minus 0.5%
    • Population: minus 0.1%

Notice, the only country with negative GDP growth was Italy, which is also the country with negative population growth. Coincidence?

With all the detailed minutia that hits us every day, remember that it’s very often the simplest concepts that are the most important. Ultimately, our children have nothing to worry about when it comes to the world running out of people, and the economic pie will continue to grow.  

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Wes Moss, CFP, is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela, both in Atlanta. He hosts “Money Matters,” a live financial advice show on Atlanta’s News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB Radio. In 2014 Barron’s Magazine named him as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. His newly released book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think published by McGraw Hill, is available on Amazon, iTunes and at your local bookstore.

Wes writes weekly about personal finance in the “Bargain Hunter Section” for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Personal Finance blog. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMoss365 and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. You can also visit his website, WesMoss.com to learn more about Wes, and take his complimentary Money and Happiness Quiz.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
http://abcnewspapers.com/2015/03/26/population-growths-elixir/feed/ 0