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Friday Financial Five – May 20, 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016


June rate hike looks possible

As other countries trend toward negative interest rates, the Federal Reserve may still push toward another rate hike this year, according to recent minutes. It’s dependent on the labor market staying strong, inflation progressing, and Gross Domestic Product picking up in the second quarter. Another influencing factor might be the “Brexit”, or the possibility of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. There’s a British referendum taking place on June 23rd and it’s not entirely clear which way they’re headed.

People still in the dark on 529’s

A report by Edward Jones presents a startling disconnect between Americans and their knowledge of college savings vehicles. While the 529 plan remains the preferred method of saving, three out of four Americans still don’t know what a 529 plan is, including two thirds of the respondents with kids. This represents a downward trend in college savings awareness, as last year sixty-six percent of people could not correctly identify the plan in the same survey. This isn’t reflective of people’s attitude toward higher education, as ninety percent feel a college degree is important for future employment. 

White House establishes new overtime rules

Overtime pay has been expanded for workers who are paid hourly. Under the old rules, an employee who made over $23,660 could be denied extra pay when working additional hours. That threshold has been lifted to just under $47,476. The Department of Labor estimates that this will make approximately 4.2 million American workers eligible for overtime pay and raise income by over $1 billion over the next decade. The announcement drew harsh criticism from pro-business groups and Republican lawmakers.

Millennials also suffer financial abuse

While seniors suffer frequent and highly publicized financial abuse by family or advisors, a large number of millennials are reporting victimization by a spouse or partner according to Centsai. One third of the over 2000 respondents age 18 to 35 reported suffering abuse or “financial infidelity”. Infidelity, as it pertains to finances, involves lying about money, while abuse involves one person controlling accounts and blocking access by the spouse or partner. Men were much more likely to be perpetrators and also slightly more likely to be the victim.

Gates Foundation turns $5 Million into $87 Million

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation does its philanthropic best, handing out $4 billion in grants each year to various efforts. On top of that, the foundation puts over $1 billion into various private enterprises and one of those has paid off handsomely. In 2013, the Gates Foundation bought a two percent stake in Anacor for $5 million, a company that fights neglected diseases. That stake was sold last year for almost $87 million and represents a hugely successful connection between charity and private enterprise.

Dan Forbes, a CFP Board Ambassador, is a regular contributor on financial issues. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning, Inc in East Greenwich, RI and can be reached at [email protected]


Related Slideshow: Oregon Business Rankings in US

See how Oregon stacked up against the other states in the U.S.

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Oregon gets a C+ for small business friendliness from Thumbtack, in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation.

According to the ranking:

Overall friendliness C+

Ease of starting a business B
Ease of hiring D+
Regulations D
Health & safety D
Employment, labor & hiring D
Tax code D+
Licensing C-
Environmental D
Zoning D+
Training & networking programs B+

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CEO Magazine

CEO magazine was not kind to Oregon.

The state ranked in the bottom ten states at #42.

Oregon get lumped by CEO's as being California like - too much regulation.

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The 2015 rankings puts Oregon in the top 20. Oregon ranks #18 in the United States. 

NY ranks one spot ahead at #17 and Florida ranks after Oregon.

#1 in the United States: Utah

#50 in the United States: Mississippi

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Oregon has been ranked as the 2nd most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub

Oregon ranks eighth in environmental quality and first in Eco-Friendly Behaviors landing them in second overall. 

Oregon is behind Vermont and ahead of New York and Minnesota who land in the third and fourth spots respectively. 

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The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: C+

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate. Oregon is one of 4 states that earned a "C+"

Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America. 

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

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#22 CNBC

CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

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Wallet Hub

#28 Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

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#38 Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.

Read More About Kauffman Ranking Here

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#19 Forbes in 2014

Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects.

Read More About Forbes Rankings Here


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