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Our waistlines may be heftier but not necessarily our stock portfolios

By Dian Vujovich

Funny thing about Americans: We love to eat, hate to save and aren’t necessarily so hot at picking investments.

First, let’s start with the markets. As of yesterday’s close, June 9, 2015, the best year-to-date returns among the major indexes were NASDAQ’s with its 6.52 percent gain thus far. Behind it, the Russell 2000, up 4.27 percent, then the S&P 500, up just shy of 2 percent (1.96) and bringing up the rear was the DJIA, ahead 0.78 percent.

It looks like the little guys are rewarding investors far more that the big Dow fellas.

As for our waistlines, it has always amazed me how the airline industry can get by cutting the size of their seats, the space between seats and in the aisles while Americans continue to put on the pounds and get wider and broader.

Where is the common sense there? Clearly it’s in the airline industry seeing profits over reality—and winning by doing so at the cost of making us all uncomfortable at the same time.

One day I hope that comes back to bit them in their financial butts. But until it does, and passengers say no-way to flying in confined sausage-like casings, if yesterday’s trend is any indication of what’s to come, things are only going to become worse when it comes to passenger comfort. According to the Journal of Preventive Medicine, in 1980, a mere 15 percent of adults in the U.S. were obese. Stats for 2014 reveal that number has nearly doubled as 27.7 percent of adults age 20 and over are obese.

And then there is our savings rate. According to the Department of Commerce, at the end of the first quarter 2015, the personal savings rate in America was 5.3 percent. It has edged up a tiny bit since then.

Stats from Tradingeconomics.com reveal that’s better than it was at the end of 2014 when it stood at 4.4 percent, But not as high or as low as it once was: Between 1959 and 2015, our personal savings rate was as high as 17 percent in the mid- 1970s and as low as 1.9 percent 10 years ago (July 2005).

Our current rate is nothing to rave about given the savings rate of the average Chinese household is over 30 percent.

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