9 July 2018 FT — Articles to Read

9 July 2018

Question: According to Insider on MSN:Money , what are 9 things that lose their value as soon as you buy them?

Italy’s migrant stand raises pension worries – Pg. 2

–          …further pension spending could make it harder for Italy to tackle high unemployment among young people, which has prompted many to look abroad for work

–          Seeking to be friendlier to older workers, the government’s collation agreement pledged to let people leave work if the sum of their age and years of contribution equal to 100 – allowing, for example, a 6-year-old to retire if they had paid into the system for 40 years

–          (Prof Note: I hope that everyone on this list-serve has retirement funding as a top concern.  How one finances retirement, in an age of less-and-less pensions is critical)

China backs away from homebuyer subsidies – Pg. 4

–          China is retreating form a policy that has channeled about $1tn in subsidies to homebuyers since 2016, a reversal that has sent tremors through the residential property market amid broader concerns about a housing bubble

–          Property investment and home sales have remained strong in recent months despite a broader growth slowdown, but analysts say the withdrawal of subsidies will damp property demand, leading to reduced construction activity

US economy – Pg. 7

–          If the US economy – growing at about 2% a year – is approaching maximum velocity, the trucking industry is a force governing its speed.  Trucks move 70% of goods in the country by tonnage, but fleets are nearing full capacity.  The constraint is not equipment; it is a lack of drivers

–          ….carriers report a shortfall of 51,000 drivers

–          The national average rate for hiring a “dry van” box trailer increased 30% in the year to June to $2.32 per mile, the highest on record

–          Wages are also pushing upward….median per-mile pay increased 8.2% to 39.8 cents…

–          The median salary for drivers hauling fully loaded trucks on irregular routes across the US was $53,000….relatively good pay for a job that does not require a university degree

–          …1.29m truck drivers

–          It is not the first time drivers have been scarce.  In 1999, at the height of dotcom bubble, the FT reported an “acute” shortage during the festive season rush.  The squeeze reappeared during the housing bubble of the early 2000s

–          Not just anyone can walk in to a job.  Big-rig drivers need to earn a Class A commercial driver’s license after a training course that can take six weeks and cost several thousand dollars.  To cross state lines a driver must be at least 21 years old, putting long-haul routes off limits to recent school graduates and dropouts as they start their careers

–          New drivers must also pass drub tests, a significant hurdle as companies dip deeper into the labour pool

–          Only 4% of drivers are aged under 25…

–          (Prof Note: One position I had early in my career was that of bus driver.  There were days I prayed for miles of open road and silence! J)

Answer: (1) Cars depreciate in value by about 11% the minute you drive them off the lot (Prof Note: Only purchase cars through businesses where the depreciation can be captured); (2) Phones can depreciate as much as 78% in a year; (3) Wedding dress, 50% off day after wearing; (4) Video game stores offer you close to nothing for used games, and then sell them at a significant markup (Prof Note: I just purchased the SNES and NEX classic systems!  If I do not pick up when you call, now you know why! J); (5) Books; (6) Timeshare; (7) Used diamonds’ (8) Electronics (Prof Note: My IT manager purchases all my audio equipment and each time I upgrade little to no value/price is lost.); (9) Secondhand clothing