Chart of the Week

/Chart of the Week

Question: Will You Own A Car in the Future?

Interesting WSJ article (subscription) highlights how dramatically the concept of car ownership is changing in light of current ride-sharing trends and the potential for autonomous vehicles in the future. Here’s a graph that shows how new car buying has slowed dramatically among younger Americans:

Chart: Have You Bought Any Amazon Batteries Lately?

This chart below is striking fear into the hearts of branded packaged goods providers (think Pampers, Duracell, Kleenex). Why? In a short period of time, Amazon has become a leading online “private-label” supplier of common products like batteries (#1) and baby wipes (#3). Since Amazon owns the final click to the customer, collects oodles of customer data and controls the shopping experience, it is easy for them to work with a manufacturer, slap their name on the product and provide great placement for it on their website.

 Questions for students:

By |June 21st, 2017|Chart of the Week, Purchase Decisions, Question of the Day|

Interactive: What Are The Wages For Jobs In Your State?

Another great interactive from Flowing Data allows users to see top jobs and salaries by state (and for the entire U.S. of A. also). This static chart that I copied from the site displays job and salary information for the U.S. The green areas in the chart are jobs where the Median Annual Salary is $60,000 or more.

Do Your Weekly Lunches Cost You $90,000 in Retirement Savings?

“US households spent $3,008, or about $8.35 a day, on average, eating out in 2015… Investing $3,008 each year… would add up 30 years later to… more than $250,000.  Similarly, investing $3.50 a day for 30 years instead of buying a latte would add up to savings of nearly $107,000”. (USA Today, June 2017)


We all know that it is hard to save enough for retirement.  Financial education teachers also know that students sometimes struggle to relate decisions in their current, daily lives, with how much they will need when they retire much later in life.  This interesting article attempts to help close this inter-temporal gap by framing our current weekly spending choices in terms of equivalent dollar amount closer to retirement.  “Is eating lunch out two times a week worth losing out on a potential investment windfall of $88,000?”


Questions for Students:

Decision Tree: Active vs. Passive

Sometimes a simple model or flow chart elucidates a complex question. Here is one example of that principle (from Mr. Zepczynski’s blog):



Question: How Much Time Are Millennials Spending a Week On Their Finances?

From USA Today story about how millennials are stressing about their financial situation (and spending time at work on it):

The irony of course is that you would expect with all the fintech apps out there that millennials would be spending LESS time working on their financial matters. Raises a few interesting questions:

Econ Roundup: Latest Jobs Report Indicates a Healthy Economy, But Are There Warning Signs?

The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Summary report, commonly referred to as the “non-farm Payrolls report”, was released this past Friday, June 2.  138,000 new non-farm jobs were created in the month of May,  which was 47,000 jobs lower than the forecast for 185,000 new jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.3% from 4.4% the previous month (BLS, June 2017).  What indication does this data provide about the health of the US economy (MarketWatch, June 2017)?

Questions for Students

Question: How Long Did it Take for Social Media To Be Used By 1/4 of U.S. Population?

Answer (see chart below from Kleiner Perkins): 5 years.

Mary Meeker is out with her annual Internet trends slide deck (300+ slides), which makes for a fascinating read (do you read slides?). I will be interspersing her charts in the weeks ahead. Lots of interesting data and visualizations about the pace of technological change. Here is a chart showing adoption curves for new technologies, both old and new: