“Zeal is a volcano, the peak of which the grass of indecisiveness does not grow.” Kahlil Gibran, Poet 1883-1931
A University of Iowa study found that female professional leaders reach their peak performance at age 43, while men max out at age 47. They also state that women’s contributions in the work force start to diminish at age 59.7 while men begin to falter at age 61.3.
Okay, I know that men reach their sexual peak at age 18 and supposedly women hit their stride around 30-something, but this new information on the measurement of professional peaks is pretty intriguing. It took a few minutes to digest that and then I came across the following in an article someone sent me.
As a member of the baby-boomer generation (men and women born between 1946 and 1966) I recently read in an article by Rodrigue Tremblay where he states that I’m very close to my “age defined spending peak.“
Immigration-adjusted birth numbers show that “peak spending” occurs at age 50. Coincidentally this “peak spending” by baby-boomers as a group occurred during 2005 and 2006, which was the top of the housing market.
While we may have hit our peak in spending habits, physical prowess and business leadership we continue to march on and evolve because we have much more to accomplish. Innovation is occurring all around us and leading us forward.
Another modernism is in the way we shop, how this economic activity is reported and the resulting influence on current economic reports. In the past most of our shopping was done at the mall or in local stores. Today, depending on our age, approximately 75 percent of all women are in the workforce. As a result, many transactions now take place online through sites like Amazon, ebay, Overstock.com and BizRate to name just a few. Shopping as a recreational activity has lost some of its appeal as a response to increased time constraints.
The way retail spending is reported hasn’t changed though. Commerce Department numbers show that retail spending has shrunk, which is true, but there’s more behind the story. Reports are drawn from merchandisers and department stores whose sales have fallen. But there is actual retail spending revenue generated from online distribution (internet shopping) but it is classified as sales of consumer durables and technology goods, which have increased but don’t show up in retail spending figures. This can lead to confusion and misrepresentation.
Although it may not be intentional, there is truth in the old adage, “liars figure and figures lie.” We are bombarded with minute to minute economic reports of doom and gloom or euphoria and exuberance, but experience continues to show us that the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Consumer spending accounts for 71 percent of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and it’s a fact that consumers are more cautious today and spending less.
As I write this week’s article I’m listening to the latest unemployment numbers, which continue to concern me. When people lose their jobs, they can’t pay their bills, which leads to delinquencies. Until companies start hiring again we won’t see a significant turnaround in the economy. So if existing companies are reducing employees, it’s easy to surmise that new companies will need to replace them.
I came across the perfect example of a positive response to change. While having lunch yesterday, I was introduced to a woman from Washington D.C. who was here visiting family before launching a new business back home.
She had worked for The Washington Post and recently decided to shift gears and open a business of her own. How wonderful to see someone anticipate and adapt to change in the newspaper industry by pursuing their own entrepreneurial dreams to become a business owner. It’s this innovative and resilient spirit that will lead us through these times.
We will experience much slower economic growth than we have and are perhaps entering a period of stagflation. But by looking to the future, anticipating where the demand for goods and services will be and focusing on the horizon we’ll navigate through these changing seasons. Catastrophe or opportunity, peak or new beginning, it’s all how you look at it.
Darcie Guerin, Financial Advisor & Branch Manager, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. located at 606 Bald Eagle Drive, Suite 401, Marco Island, and FL 34145 provides this article. If you have questions please contact Darcie Guerin via e-mail at Darcie.Guerin@RaymondJames.com. Phone (239) 389-1041, toll free (866)-343-0882 or at RaymondJames.com/Darcie. Past performance may not be indicative of future results.