401k and Personal Finance

American income and spending growth, saving rate

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Happened to see this from CBS evening news today. The story is titled “Credit Crunch Takes New Face”, and it talks about the credit card crunch for average consumer.

“The average American has nine credit cards and owes more than $16,000, not including mortgages…This decade, real wages went up 4 percent while credit card debt jumped more than 75 percent.”

Savings rate
I also saw this from NBR at PBS, regarding the savings rate:
US: 1%
France and Germany: around 12-13%
Japan: 20%
China: 24%

Gas price
Happened to see the regular unlead gas is $2.29 per gallon at Shell station today. Time to get SUV again?

Business China

Wedding Related Business

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I read a paper lately and found people in big cities like Shanghai spend a fortune in wedding (about same amount as people in developed countries). Here are some examples: limos and wedding dresses. I took these pictures last month.



Can We See $2 Gas Coming?

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It looks like it. The unusually warm Winter in the US. The continuing cut of OPEC’s crude production. The change of hands in US congress (oil companies’ friends are no longer in charge). The emerging of alternative energy: solar is reality now, just by looking at the solar Panel manufacturers’ IPOs on the Nasdaq lately. Not surprisingly, some of those are from China.

I am not going to speculating on the oil price for the near term or long term. That’s not my specialty. But on a related issue, I am going to predict consumers are continuing to spend, whether in US or China. They will continue to buy cars, dresses, electronics, music, shoes, and going out for movies, latte and dinners. My problem is trying to figure out which company will get sustainable growth/profit out of this 🙂