Millennials and Boomers Shape the Economy

If you review the 2009 to 2014 timeframe, the financial experts suggest a simple investment strategy. Find the stocks that performed horribly, lagging far behind the market leaders.

Stock Market Performance
“You want to buy stocks of the companies where that extra income is going to be spent. That could make technology, for one, a big beneficiary, as well as healthcare and entertainment.”

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part Three in a 3-Part Series.

Part One: Tomorrow

Part Two: What Lies Ahead?

Please remember.  Check in with your financial planner as the following trends and opinions change and may have before you read this.

Rules of Thumb

Is there a rule of thumb you can count on going forward?

You know like “buy low, sell high.”

As they say in my family, it’s all relative.

 

If stocks earn 4% a year, but cash in the bank earns just 1%, stocks still win by a long shot.

  • So Baby Boomers will have to stay in the stock market for a portion of their portfolio.
  • For Millennials who invest on a regular basis in an IRA or 401(k) plan, and who won’t need to tap into their funds for two decades or longer, just buy and hold.
  • Unlike the Baby Boomers who fear a significant loss over the next five years, don’t fret about bad financial news.

In fact, root for falling stocks, because you’ll be getting more shares for your money.

If you review the 2009 to 2014 timeframe, the financial experts suggest a simple investment strategy.

Find the stocks that performed horribly, lagging far behind the market leaders.

Tracking Winners and Losers

While the market leaders run out of steam, the laggards will probably …

beat U.S. returns over the next five years by buying low to  eventually sell high. But psychologically, it’s hard to buy losers.

 

Losers like:

  • Foreign stocks and bonds.
  • Emerging-market stock funds .

They’ve lost 5.8% a year.

“We’re expecting to raise our positions there in the back half of 2016.”

Understand the risks, though.

In a world where a stronger dollar and weaker currencies depress the returns for American investors in foreign markets it may be time to nibble here and there.

Bears vs. the Bulls

“It will never be obvious when the markets, or their currencies, have hit bottom. next five years.” 

  • In a reversal, financial advisors and economists expect China’s share of global growth to fall to 21%.
  • But, they expect emerging economies’ share to climb to 34%.
  • And, previously out of favor European and Japanese stocks will continue to benefit from their central bank policies aimed at keeping interest rates at rock bottom to support growth.

But there’s no getting around the fact that …

“the world will face a financial crisis rooted in mammoth debt levels.”

  • In 2016 a pivot in pay increases will be welcome news in the U.S. households.
  • But, maybe not for stockholders as promotions and bonuses usually come at the expense of corporate profit margins.

And, the grass is greener.

Getting Ready for Musical Chairs

The percentage of talented employees voluntarily quitting their jobs for better opportunities is the highest since early in the Great Recession.

Typically though …

“It takes a long time for people to realize they’re in a better bargaining position.”

That can change quickly thanks to the Internet and social media.

Once trading places begins, Millennials and savvy Gen Xs can take advantage of a powerful means to discover which companies are good ones to work for and which to avoid.

Consumer Behavior Influencing Stock Performance

It won’t take long for workers who feel under appreciated to make the jump.

And, that’s great, right?

“In a perfect world, rising wages would spark a ‘virtuous circle’ where workers would boost spending, driving up demand for goods and services. That would lift business sales and earnings, in turn allowing companies to continue raising wages.”

 

A virtuous circle takes time to develop in a less than perfect world like the one you and I live in.

But, here’s another simple rule of thumb.

Changing Tech Leaders
  • Where the real economy may influence the stock market.
  • Where consumer spending by Millennials and Baby Boomers may figure into gains in your portfolio.

As one expert put it.

“You want to buy stocks of the companies where that extra income is going to be spent. That could make technology, for one, a big beneficiary, as well as healthcare and entertainment.”

 

Steps:

(6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

(7) Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

(17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year time frames.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

What Lies Ahead?

So, the forecast remains turbulent with plenty of volatility

Market Cycles
Harry Dent years before even predicted the “Mother of all Depressions” lasting well into the decade beginning in 2010 and lasting until 2020.

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part Two in a 3-Part Series.

Part One: Tomorrow

Please remember.  Check in with your financial planner as the following trends and opinions change and may have before you read this.

What about the 25 year old Millennials?

Many, if not most of the college educated are burdened by student loans and high rents that eat up a huge share of income.

Good news for landlords, probably not so much for the starter home demand, yet.

But, for those who successfully found good employment with a fresh start on a career path, even if their pay rises they’re reluctant to  spend — or take a chance on a new job — so, don’t count on a broad positive impact on the economy just yet.

Their risk aversion may be one of the biggest overhangs from the Great Recession.

Look, they witnessed the financial woes their parents or friends endured after the 2008 crash.

While the demographic trends probably aren’t as negative for growth, you should account for them and prepare to adjust in any long-term scenarios you construct.

Obviously they’re the early adopters for companies including Airbnb and Uber..

And as another expert cautioned …

It’s impossible to know in advance how many business ideas will spring up to disrupt or even replace existing industries.

The period after the 2008 financial crash turned out to be pretty decent for the U.S. economy.

Many economists and financial news channel pundits peddled dire forecasts in 2009 and 2010.

Harry Dent years before even predicted the “Mother of all Depressions” lasting well into the decade beginning in 2010 and lasting until 2020.

Instead, by the end of 2015 …

  • The official unemployment rate is back to 5%. 
  • Corporate earnings reached record highs. 
  • And a venture capital boom has funded thousands of promising start-up companies.

But, what lies ahead?

Have we celebrated too soon?

  • The contrarian message appears more reasonable.
  • The economy and markets face challenges that could make the next five years very different.

Like what?

  • Don’t expect more than “low single digit returns on stocks and bonds.”
  • The annualized investment returns will be lousy as the January 2016 steep plunge foreshadowed.
  • Were talking 4% to 4.5% roughly half of what wealth managers plan for their clients.

And, that’s through the end of the decade

So, the forecast remains turbulent with plenty of volatility.

News at 11.

Will we ever return to tried and true savings vehicles for the Baby Boomers hitting retirements like their parents swore by?

One economist says don’t hold your breath,

“As for bonds, with yields so low it’s mathematically impossible for fixed-income securities to earn high returns.” 

How is that possible?

Five years ago a 10-year U.S. Treasury note was paying 3.5% in annual interest. 

Now, new notes pay 2.11%. The drop in yields means older, higher-yielding bonds have risen in value, boosting their “total return” — interest plus principal change.

Yeah, so?

But with the Federal Reserve’s decision in December to begin raising short-term interest rates from near zero, it becomes more difficult to imagine longer-term rates declining significantly, barring a new recession or global shock. 

Here’s what hurts my brain when wrapping my head around bonds.

  • If longer-term rates stay where they are, all you earn is the interest. 
  • And if market rates rise, older bonds will fall in value, offsetting some or all of your interest earnings.

Steps:

(6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

(7) Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

(17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year time frames.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

Tomorrow

“It’s impossible to know in advance how many business ideas will spring up to disrupt or even replace existing industries.”

Nest Egg
Seared into their brains is a haunting future in which they outlive their next egg, not having saved enough money for retirement.

 

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Part One in a 3-Part Series.

Please remember.  Check in with your financial planner as the following trends and opinions change and may have before you read this.

Aging Baby Boomers

Sometime in 2015 Millennials overtook Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation.

Most everyone older and younger than the Baby Boomer generation grew tired of living in its shadow.

Thanks, Baby Boomers

And hearing about its impact on the economy, real estate, and well, you name it.

The oldest Millennial was born in 1981 and the youngest  in 1997

So doing the math for you, it works out like this.

Millennials (ages 18 to 34 in 2015)  numbered 75.3 million while the Boomers (ages 51 to 69 in 2015) dropped slightly from the decades long, popular estimate of 75 million to 74.9 million.

One estimate projected  75.4 million Boomers lived in 2014.

The bottom line?

Ain’t No Spring Chickens

They aren’t babies any longer.

Fewer and fewer of them will be around each advancing year.

In between, as you recall, lies the Gen X population (ages 35 to 50 in 2015.)

Sandwiched Gen-X

They get no respect.

  • And they’re already sick and tired reading or hearing about the older and younger generations.
  • But, they’ll have to get used to it since the Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 81.1 million when the Millennials reach 56 years of age
  • By 2050 there will still be a projected 79.2 million Millennials.

Generation X became the “middle child” of generations.

Their ages spread out over 16 years compared to the 17 years of the Millennials

Knight Rider Kids

Though the oldest Gen Xer is now 50, they shouldn’t give up.

They can still become number two, if they try harder, or at least eat healthier and workout more often.

Actually, they can just wait until 2028 to outnumber the Boomers.

There will be 64.6 million Gen Xers and 63.7 million Boomers.

Gen X population will peak at 65.8 million in 2018.

Now back, to Baby Boomers.

They were all that.

The largest generation since the 1950s and 1960s having peaked at 78.8 million in 1999.

The Lone Ranger on Black and White TV

By mid-century, the Boomer population will dwindle to 16.6 million.

Talk about a boom, then a bust!

Let’s examine how the two huge generations will impact the rest of us.

Aging Boomers and coming-of-age Millennials will accelerate changes in the economy.

No question.

Housing Regrets

But, not everything is rosy or the same for both generations.

  • Both Baby Boomers and Millennials  will increasingly feel squeezed financially.
  • Roughly 150 million Americans feel squeezed, so they’re not alone.
  • But, chances are they both account for most of the 150 million citizens.

Just compare the median ages of both generations as of 2015.

Baby Boomers, age 60.

Millennials, age 25.

The 25-year-old Millennials, having lived through the Great Recession, find themselves either unable or unwilling to spend.

While the 60-year-old Boomers (parents or grandparents of Millennials) have been playing savings catch-up.

Seared into their brains is a haunting future in which they outlive their next egg, not having saved enough money for retirement.

Nest Egg

Which may last as long as 35 more years.

Or, as one financial expert tells them,

“You’re just going to have to live with lower rates of return.”

Steps:

(6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

(7) Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

(17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year time frames.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

Wireless Resorter or High Country Eagle?

The impact on rural and remote quality-of-life counties will be unevenly felt across the landscape posing different demands for local goods and services.

Enjoying Pristine Moments
The Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and Northwest (in that order) will have the highest population growth and the greatest potential real estate appreciation in the nation.

Final installment in a 4-Part Series evaluating real estate and consumer predictions as generations transition throughout successive life stages.

Part Three :  Who’s Free to Move About the Country?

Part Two: Demographic Lifestyles and Buying Power

Part One: Determinism

Here’s the case for leaving California, which many people already know.

California’s high cost of living and strict environmental standards discourage many businesses from locating there.

As a result, all of the states around California are experiencing explosive population growth.

Here’s the case for staying put in California for the Golden State’s residents.

Love Affair with California

Great weather, abundant recreational opportunities, and an innovative social and technological environment all contribute to this fact.

But, where will you find growth and equity appreciation?

The Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and Northwest (in that order) will have the highest population growth and the greatest potential real estate appreciation in the nation.

Southwest Region from Wikitravel

Like most North Americans, according to Dent, I prefer to live as near as I can to the coast.

Because of the vast natural beauty

Businesses have also benefited from access to shipping ports, he says.

This, in turn, means that coastal areas were the first to become congested and expensive.  

Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego are close to merging into one metropolis, as have Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Santa Rosa in northern California. 

Metropolitan Encroachment

Fortunately, the Central Coastal area between Santa Barbara County and Carmel in Monterey County doesn’t lend itself to mega development.

Big Sur in California’s Central Coast

In fact, those  coastal areas that still had underdeveloped land suitable for building have grown the fastest. 

These areas include Vancouver, Seattle and Portland in the Northwest. 

Pacific Northwest from Wikitravel

But areas in the Northwest – Vancouver and Seattle- are quickly approaching population saturation.

They are becoming increasingly expensive, which leaves only Portland to develop strongly in the coming decade.

As a result of the congestion and expense along the coastal areas, it is inevitable that people and businesses will begin looking at inland areas to find attractive towns and cities.

So it’s not just out-of-state migration from California contributing to Dent’s trend.

Rocky Mountain Region from Wikitravel

That’s why we’re seeing such remarkable growth in the southerly portions of the Rocky Mountain area and in desert states including Arizona, NewMexico, Utah and Nevada. 

As the Great Recession’s lingering effects dramatically decrease non employment-driven decisions to relocate can significantly play a greater role.

What’s the impact driven by a segment of our population not driven by employment-related criteria?

Employment drivers for 60-64 year olds is 25% as strong as that for 30-34 year olds.

Concentrations of 55-75 year olds in rural and small-town population of 55-75 year olds will increase two-thirds from 8.6 Million to 14.2 million between 2000 and 2020.

Back Road Magic

The impact on rural and remote quality-of-life counties will be unevenly felt across the landscape posing different demands for local goods and services.

Empty nesters will no longer need the living space they once enjoyed.

Especially after the last of the live-at-home 20-29 year old Millennials strike out on their own.

Some empty lifers with champagne tastes on “Budweiser” budgets are attracted to High Country Eagle communities filled mostly with

  • Rustic Eagles,
  • Rural Cowboys,
  • Small Town Borders, and
  • Satellite City-zens.

And, to those Wireless Resorters with resort amenities for their second homes:

  • Distant Exurbans,
  • Resort Suburbans,
  • Maturing Resorts, and
  • Premier Resorts.
Festive Resort Living

If you couple changing housing needs with the early retirement options available to the more affluent empty nesters, then you have newer early retirement options.

What both categories of empty nesters, the 45+ and 55+ age groups, have in common is that stage of life where they are no longer raising their children in their homes.

Steps:

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Demographic Lifestyles and Buying Power

As time marches on they’ll move the Baby Boomers aside as target real estate buyers of resort property …

Resort Vacation Home
Will the majority of retirement age baby boomers move to remote resort locations like Mammoth Lakes, Dillon, Colorado or in recreational areas like Lake Tahoe?

Part Two in a 4-part Series evaluating real estate and consumer predictions as generations transition throughout successive life stages.

Part One: Determinism

For each of the following predictions more current forces may delay and extend the age ranges for the Millennial generation.

But first, what about the Gen X generation?

They “occupy” several life stage demographic profiles.

Recall that the Gen X cohort accounts for roughly 51 million who were born between 1964 and 1980.

By 2015 they range from between age 35 and 50 years old which stretches across

Active Midlife Couples
  • 30-44 year old Singles and Midlife
  • 35-54 year old Families
  • 45+ year old Families and Empty Nest Couples.

They have or are just now reaching their “peak spending years,” between the ages 46 and 53. Dent correlates demographic age to real estate segments.

Spending on trade-up homes accelerates from age 35 and reaches a peak by around age 44.

As time marches on they’ll move the Baby Boomers aside as target real estate buyers of resort property …

Sales of vacation property begins to accelerate from age 46 and peaks around age 52 to 55.

The Baby Boom generation conformed except for those members caught by surprise during the Great Recession.

Investment in retirement property begins to accelerate from the late 50s and peaks in the mid-60s.

In 2014 the huge generation numbered 75.4 million.

Born after World War II between 1946 to 1964, their median age 60 years old anchored their range between 51 and 69 years old.

Having moved through all of the other life stage and age segments they now occupy

Retiring Baby Boomer Couples
  • 55+ Baby Boomer Couples,
  • Empty Nests, and
  • 65+ Couples and Seniors

In addition, Dent describes how broad geographical migration patterns significantly influence long-term real estate trends.

Certain areas of the country clearly and consistently have experienced faster growth than others. 

For example in 2002 …

The Northeast and the Upper Midwest Plains states have generally been losing population; the Midwest has seen flat or modest growth; and the Southeast, Southwest and Northwest have all been growing substantially.

Will the majority of retirement age baby boomers move to remote resort locations like Mammoth Lakes, Dillon, Colorado or in recreational areas like Lake Tahoe?

No.

Part Three: Who’s Free to Move About the Country?

Steps:

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.

Determinism

Psychologists have found that midlife is typically a time when many of us take stock of our values and goals. 

Resort Investments
Predictable Real Estate and Consumer Trends as Generations Change Aging through Life Stages.

Part One in a 4-part Series evaluating real estate and consumer predictions as generations transition throughout successive life stages.

Fifteen years ago in 2002, as Mammoth Lakes realtor Paul Oster reminded us, Harry Dent built several real estate scenarios on shifting demographics called “Age Demographics, Buying Cycles and Real Estate Appreciation”.

And years earlier management guru Peter Drucker wrote about how dismal most predictions turn out, except for one type.

Those based on fundamental demographics.

If I remember correctly he coined the phrase “Demographic Determinism”.

Dent said as a new generation enters the workforce around age 20, we can expect commercial real estate to boom.

20-Somethings in the Labor Force

But, why?

The influx of new workers stimulates demand for office space and manufacturing facilities. 

Since these new workers are also consumers, there is increased demand for new stores and shopping malls.

Of course Amazon, losing money quarter after quarter in 2002, had only just begun to exercise its disruptive influence over traditional retailing.

Why Go to the Mall?

And the older Millennials coming of age in high school may have remembered a time when Amazon didn’t exist, but their younger brothers and sisters act as if they didn’t.

But as a rule of thumb, when it comes to residential housing you can identify five age-specific buying cycles.

Over the life span of a generation, spending on each category accelerates to peak at predictable age intervals.

When an entire generation goes through such predictable property spending patterns, we get a macroeconomic view of the wave-like fluctuations in real estate demand.

As a result, investors can know years and even decades in advance what kinds of properties are going to be hot and when. 

For example, someone who is 52, a “youngish Baby Boomer” or “oldish Gen Xer,” and at the peak of his earnings doesn’t typically rent a one-or two-bedroom apartment for himself—though he might rent one for his 24-year old daughter.

Dream Vacation Home

Instead, he’s thinking about what kind of vacation home he wants or, if he’s already purchased it, how to transition to retirement in 10 years or so.

But, his daughter, just now transitioning from school-to-work, represents the median age for the Millennial generation.

In 2015 we already know her generation ranges in ages from 18 to 35.

They will be segmented into at least six life stage lifestyles.

  • 20-29 Year Old Singles
  • 20-44 Year Old Families
  • 25-54 Year Old Singles and Families
  • 30-44 Year Old Singles and Couples.

What’s their impact on apartments and retail shops?

The demand for rental apartments and retail space including shopping centers, begins to accelerate from 19 and peaks around age 26.

Here’s where the rules of thumb may need to hitch hike down the road for a few years.

Demand for Family Starter Homes

Starter home purchases begins accelerating at around age 26 and reaches a peak around age 33.

Oops.

Maybe, something else is going on, as we track Millennials through time.

Part Two: Demographic Lifestyles and Buying Power

Steps:

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

An excerpt from Book Five in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Sierra Mountain resorts.