Why do people save – 1989 and 2013

By | March 6, 2017

Today we’ll compare the reason that respondents to the Survey of Consumer Finances gave as most important for their families’ saving, between 1989 and 2013. What was the largest change over the years? Retirement. (Liquidity actually remains the overall most popular reason for families’ saving.)In 1989, there were far more employer sponsored pension plans available to workers than there… Read More »

What’s going on with education debt?

By | March 5, 2017

Reading the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances published by the Fed, something really worrisome starts to emerge from the results. Education debt has grown at a remarkable pace over the last 27 years. Lets start by looking at the average amount of education debt for years 1989, 2001, and 2013 (all values are in 2013 dollars). The rise of education related… Read More »

Share of the homeowners market continues to slide for the young

By | March 3, 2017

Perhaps not unexpected given the ever falling homeownership rates, this only serves to highlight the steeper decline experienced by the younger population when compared to their older counterparts. Consider that in the year 2000, people over the age of 55 made up 40% of the overall homeowners population. Over the past 16 years, this number has ballooned to over… Read More »

Japanese and South Korean automakers through the years

By | March 1, 2017

I’ve recently posted an article showing the vehicle model trend for US automakers since 1980 along with another article looking back at all US auto manufacturers prior to 1960. But today we will be looking at data tracking the rise of Japanese and South Korean automakers through the years. I am using the same graph as in my earlier post (source: Asif… Read More »

US automakers: The early days

By | February 27, 2017

In an earlier post, we looked at the production pattern for US automakers since the 1980’s. But it would be wrong not to show the incredibly rich US automotive history which dates back to the 1800’s. According to Wikipedia, the first US automobile manufacturer was Roper, founded in 1860. However, today I’ve chosen to start the timeline a bit… Read More »

US automakers through the years

By | February 25, 2017

I was recently browsing the D3 charting library and saw a great example of a graph that made data come to life (source: Asif Rahman). And so I’ve decided to pull together a simple dataset of US automakers (from Wiki) and see what comes out of it. First up, we have the total number of vehicle models… Read More »

Has “Dieselgate” affected used VW prices?

By | February 24, 2017

Not too long ago VW was caught using cheating software on their diesel vehicles to pass emission tests. This resulted in a very sizable payout to the VW diesel owners, some environmental agencies, and of course the lawyers. What we’ll try to determine today is whether the scandal (dubbed dieselgate) caused monetary damages to non-diesel owners… Read More »

How does your net worth compare?

By | February 21, 2017

I’ve put together a quick visual in which net worth is plotted against age for 208 survey participants. (The size of each circle represents the current income for that individual.) How is the net worth calculated? I take into account the opening balances on 401k, 403b, IRA (Traditional and Roth), HSA, other investments, home equity, as well as… Read More »

When is the best time to buy a car?

By | February 20, 2017

The short answer is right now. The slightly longer answer is that car prices are cyclical. The folks over at CarGurus have compiled a great historical dataset on car list prices. What becomes quite obvious when looking at the prior six years?  (courtesy: CarGurus)That’s right, prices tend to bottom out around the end of winter before… Read More »

Retirement account growth across time

By | February 18, 2017

Today we have a very small update on a chart posted two days ago. With more data and some simple smoothing techniques, I was able to create a more sensible presentation of account growth across time (age 55 includes everyone 55 and older). The data remains incredibly thin, so the results should be taken with a grain… Read More »