Friday, January 25, 2013

What Will \$100 be Worth in 10 - 20 Years?

This post estimates the future value of a dollar for the next 1-50 years, for inflation rates ranging from 1% to 10%. The chart works not just for \$100, but for any amount -- \$1, \$1,000, \$10,000, \$100,000....  And, it works for 5, 10, 20, 30 ... anything up to 50 years. (This is a companion to a previous post which compares today's dollar to earlier years.)

Inflation is one of the biggest risks that current and future retirees face. Given today's life expectancies, even relatively low rates of inflation can devastate the purchasing power of a pension or uninvested cash during your retirement years. How great could the impact be? See below.

Try my new interactive future inflation impact calculator.  It does the same calculations as the graph below, but for any number of years, and for any inflation rate. Then come back to this post; graphs are still better for seeing the big picture.

What Will \$100 be Worth in 5, 10, 20, 30... 50 Years?

 What Will \$100 be Worth in N Years?

The Impact of Inflation on the Future Purchasing Power of a Dollar

Over the last 100 years, U.S. inflation has averaged about 3%/year. As you can see from the graph above (click to expand), even at these apparently benign rates (the blue line), within 20 years the purchasing power of a fixed pension will be almost cut in half. Twenty years is not a long retirement these days; most advisors recommend that you plan for thirty. Some retirements last even longer.

Friday, January 18, 2013

How To Get Started With Windows 8: The Start Screen Guest post by "Techie Tim"

This is the first post in a series that could have been called "Windows 8 101," or "Introduction to Windows 8." The overall objective is to provide an overview of and introduction to the new Windows 8 operating system.  Before he's finished, new guest poster "Techie Tim" plans to cover all of the basics.

Windows 8 is different, but you will be rewarded with new features/functions and a common “feel” for all of your Microsoft supported devices. If you’ve watched TV recently you will have noticed the “Start” screen for Windows 8.  This new design is the "Metro" format, and the first "page" that you will see when you log onto your Windows platform.

 The Windows 8 "Start Screen"

A Consistent "Look & Feel" For All Devices

This screen with the multi-colored squares and rectangles (referred to as “tiles” within Windows 8), replaces the “Start Button” that was at the lower left corner of earlier versions of Windows. Microsoft’s objective for this redesign was

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's Football Time in Houston

Here we are in exactly the situation that I was hoping to avoid -- playing the Patriots on their home field in the playoffs (rather than at Reliant Stadium). Still, even though the Texans were embarrassed in their last visit to Foxborough, and even though the experts virtually unanimously favor the Pats, I'm optimistic. Here's why.

Texans - Patriots, Monday Night December 10, 2012 Remembered

Not a pretty sight! The young Texans lost their composure, got behind early (21-0 by halftime), and, as a result, could not play "Texans football."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Stock Market Total Returns through 2011

Continuing my practice of archiving the prior year's version of my "Stock Market Returns Through 19xx" post, following is my archive of market total returns through 2011.

Stock Market Total Return Results through 2011

• Since 1900 (end-of-year 1899), through 2011, I estimate the average total return/year of the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average)  was approximately 9.4%  -- 4.8% in price appreciation, plus approx

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kick The Can

Faced with the potentially catastrophic "fiscal cliff," our law-makers finally swung into action and rode to the rescue. Well, sort of. Congress continued to abide by their "We will solve no problem before its time" -- or, maybe a little after its time -- philosophy. So, an hour or two after the midnight, end-of-year deadline, the Senate finally passed legislation designed to avert the "fiscal cliff" disaster. Assuming the house agrees, and soon, we can all relax.

Well, sort of. Following the new global approach to solving problems, what the Senate really did was kick the can down the road. They raised taxes on those earning more than \$250,000. However, as far as cutting expenses goes, they took their cue from Scarlett O'Hara; they'll think about it later. (The draconian spending cuts were simply postponed for two months.)

As a result, 2013 promises to bring us a seemingly unending series of ____ing contests: on raising the debt ceiling again (which is where this all started), the federal budget, and, two months from now, renewed fighting over spending cuts.

2012 Monthly Stock Market Closes Through Year-End

 Dow Index Monthly Closes Through December, 2012

December, 4th Quarter, Year-To-Date & Recovery-To-Date Review

Two of the three major U.S. equity indexes posted double-digit gains in 2012.  The DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) brought up the rear, closing the year at 13,104.14. Here are some key market stats.

• From Prior Month Close of 13,026 The Dow is up 79 points (0.6%)
• From 52-Week High of 13,610 on October 5: we're down 506 points (3.7%)