THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- APRIL 16, 2022
I've been watching the opening games of the Detroit Tigers baseball season and this has led me to thoughts of money. The commercials are dominated by ads for all the various sports book services. Quite frankly, these have left me scratching my head.
As I interpret it, there is no way any bettor can lose and the only mission of these services is to give away money. Now, I'm no financial guru. I am not even allowed to touch our family checkbook. Still, this strikes me as an odd business model.
So, as I thought about money, I wondered how people manage their money. WalletHub researched this issue and determined “...more people need to learn financial literacy.” What they found is detailed in an article titled: “2022's Most and Least Financially Literate States.”
The article noted: “We ended 2021 with close to one trillion dollars in total credit-card debt. Our mountain of debt is unsurprising, considering that less than half of adults actually have a budget. It’s clear that better financial education is necessary to try to turn this trend around. In order to find the states with the best financial literacy, WalletHub analyzed consumer habits in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia.” (https://wallethub.com/edu/most-and-least-financially-literate-states/3337)
The top five states with the most financially literate people were: Nebraska, Utah, Virginia, Colorado, and New Hampshire. The bottom five states were: Arkansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Alaska. Michigan residents finished a respectable fifteenth. Plus, we were second in the “Most Sustainable Spending Habits” category.
One of WalletHub's findings was not surprising. People with more education ranked higher on the financial literacy scale. That could be a result of simply having more money to manage. “It’s a great time to have a college degree, particularly a four-year sheepskin. A Georgetown University study last year found the median lifetime earnings of those with a bachelor’s degree were $2.8 million, forty percent more than those holding an associate degree and seventy-five percent more than those with a high school diploma.”
This factors in to Michigan's economy, according to Michigan Association of State Universities CEO Dan Hurley. “The top priority of Michigan employers is finding talent. If they fail, Michigan’s economy will suffer greatly. Talent is the new currency in today’s economy. Talent trumps tax policy every day of the week. I’m not hearing corporate leaders beg for tax cuts. What I’m hearing is talent, talent, talent.” (https://michiganadvance.com/2022/04/01/rick-haglund-changing-parents-attitudes-about-the-value-of-college-is-key-for-the-economy/)
The jobs are apparently out there for the taking, but if you're a woman more detective work may be in order. “Women in the United States continue to earn less than men, on average. Among full-time, year-round workers in 2019, women’s median annual earnings were eighty-two percent those of men.”
That is changing, however. “In twenty-two of two hundred fifty U.S. metropolitan areas, women under the age of thirty earn the same amount as or more than their male counterparts, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.”
For example: “In both the New York and Washington metro areas, young women earn 102 percent of what young men earn. To see the complete gender gap analysis, go to: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/03/28/young-women-are-out-earning-young-men-in-several-u-s-cities/.
Anyone looking for a good paying job might want to consider a career in technology. “The respected analyst firm Gartner Inc. said in its latest forecast that worldwide information technology is expected to top $4.4 trillion in 2022, rising by four percent from the year before. Purchasing and investing preference will be focused in areas including analytics, cloud computing, seamless customer experiences and security.” This tech explosion will require qualified workers and lots of them.
Of course, there may be ways other than work to generate financial stability. You may want to check out those items in your attic that are just collecting dust. “The year 2021 has seen wealthy collectors drop plenty of cash on physical objects. This included the usual items like paintings and cars, as well as some more obscure ones. The biggest auction sales of 2021 are spread across twelve different item categories.” (https://www.visualcapitalist.com/objects-of-desire-record-breaking-auction-sales-in-2021/)
You probably will want to search through Grandpa's jar of saved coins. “A 1933 Double Eagle is one of the last twenty dollar gold coins ever produced in the United States. Only thirteen examples are known to exist today. After selling for $18.9 million, this Double Eagle holds the title as the most valuable rare coin in the world.”
Uncle Zelmo's gun cabinet could also contain a treasure. “The Colt single-action revolver that was used to kill Billy the Kid is now the most expensive firearm ever sold at an auction. It belonged to Sheriff Pat Garrett, who killed Billy in 1881.” It went at auction for a cool six million dollars.
Finally, if you want to gamble a bit, a futuristic stock investment may be your ticket. “Lab-grown meat company Primeval Foods is planning to bring a whole host of exotic meats to the market, including zebra, lion, elephant, and tiger. The startup is hoping to replicate the gastronomical experience by cultivating cells inside a lab. There’s certainly a growing momentum behind lab-grown meat — but whether consumers will play along and be willing to sample elephant and giraffe meat remains to be seen.” (https://futurism.com/the-byte/startup-lab-grown-tiger-steaks-restaurants)
This product trend will be something to monitor. It will be interesting to see what odds those sports book services will place on the success or failure of tiger steaks and zebra burgers.
(Click on a state to see the Financial Literacy rating.)