By John Paul Valdez

Where are we now that it has been five years since the Great Recession? It was the most devastating economic event since the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Eight million jobs lost have been replaced. Unfortunately, they have been replaced with largely lower paying jobs. These jobs are mostly in retail and restaurants. Some are in temporary help firms.

The US economy is going to grow this year at about a three percent rate. The last couple of years it grew at half that rate. Also, three percent growth is better than Japan, France and Germany.

Sectors that are enjoying real growth include the healthcare industry. Once the economy recovers a bit more, manufacturing and construction will pick up and these are high paying jobs when they are available.


Living in California affords some benefits for the moment in the same way California shared more of the burden on the way down. Unemployment is lower suddenly, especially in areas like Silicon Valley. In fact the overall unemployment number is at a six year low. In this periodical we concern ourselves with the Inland Empire, specifically Riverside, and we can say that we are doing better than Central Valley in experiencing growth. That’s the good news.

Right now, being a college graduate is bad news for you when you seek employment because beginner jobs are fewer and pay less. The only thing worse is not being a college graduate in which case your employment prospects and your ability to access a middle class lifestyle become immediately more remote.

As the economy grows, college graduates stand to move into the robust cycle at the right time for a younger population. The smartest thing the small investor can do is remember to contribute to your 401K or IRA each season as that is likely put into mutual funds that contain stocks, and those who own stock in the corporations are doing the best in the economy in general.

There are two ways to make money. One is to work for wages, and the other is to enjoy the fruits of “passive” income like dividends from stocks and growth in stock prices when that occurs (like now). You don’t have to be rich to have some kind of tax differed account like the ones I’ve mentioned. Just set a plan for 50 dollars a week and you’d be surprised how that grows over the years, especially if you are young now. By the time you retire, you can pay off your mortgage with a single check if you plan this right! Saving doesn’t have to be something for rich people only. Make yourself rich.

We await the next inventor of a FaceBook, or UBER, or AirBnB. Until then, be glad we live in a tourist area that is in strong demand, and remember….It’s Your Nickel.

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