Friday, December 18, 2015

Certified Financial Planner & Bloomingdale resident Chuck Donalies: "The Frugal Planner's Weekly Dispatch, Issue 13"

From: Chuck Donalies, CFP®  On Behalf Of Chuck Donalies, CFP®
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2015 9:00 AM
The Frugal Planner's Weekly Dispatch, Issue 13

The Frugal Planner's Weekly Dispatch
Personal Finance, News, Ideas, and Things I Find Interesting

Issue 13, The Cautiously Optimistic Edition
December 18, 2015

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Busy Week: A Rate Increase and A Movie (Star...Something)
Two big events to report this week: First, the Fed raised interest rates for the first time in seven years. Second, a big movie was released. I think it's called Star Trek.

Things become awkward when poorly placed mistletoe remind Luke and Leia of that unfortunate kiss on Hoth.

The Fed Finally Begins Raising Rates

It would have been difficult to miss the week's biggest story: The Federal Reserve started raising interest rates for the first time in seven years. This is big news because rate increases will eventually affect borrowing costs for everything from auto loans to home loans.

On the bright side, the Fed indicated rate increases will likely be slow. That means there's no need to panic! However, if you are are considering a home or car purchase it's better to do it sooner rather than later.


Did you know the Star Wars movies can actually teach us lessons about finance and our economy?

For example, someone actually
wrote a paper detailing "the financial repercussions of the destruction of two fully armed and operational moon-sized battle stations ("Death Stars") in a 4-year period and the dissolution of the galactic government". And it's an interesting read if you have the time.

Want another example? The Economist recently featured an
article about the economics of Star Wars. That's right, The Economist.  That's pretty much the last place I would expect to find an article about Star Wars.

But again, it turns out to be an interesting read. The article focuses on three lessons we can learn from the series. Yes, it includes the prequels. I'm not happy about that either.

Here are the lessons suggested by The Economist:
  1. Free trade is extremely important because it allows inhabitants of all planets, from Coruscant to Tatooine, to enjoy higher levels of income than would normally be possible without the ability to trade.
  2. While globalization (or in this case, galacticization) has positive economic effects, it also causes political problems. The Empire strives to bring economic order to the galaxy through force (or the Force), while the Rebels try to undermine the Empire and restore democracy to the galaxy.
  3. Inequalities in the political system can have serious negative consequences. People living in poverty may lose hope and look to terrorism - the Dark Side - as the only way to affect change.
Star Wars may feature exciting space battles, strange creatures, and awesome lightsabers (I still want one!), but that doesn't mean it's mindless entertainment.

*I wish I could take credit for coining the word "Wookienomics". The same goes for
Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

Lord Vader finds your lack of cheer disturbing.

My Grandmother took me to see Star Wars (Episode IV) four times in the theater - even though she said she never understood what was going on. I assume she knew how much I loved watching the movie and was happy to be there with me.

Tonight I get to take my oldest daughter to see The Force Awakens. I'm excited to see the movie, but I'm more excited to share the experience with her.

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