What in the world?
A lot happened last week. Some of the notable events included:
Trade talks between the United States and China. The talks were described as “frank, efficient, and constructive,” although significant issues have yet to be resolved.
A Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The Federal Reserve indicated it expects to raise rates during 2018, but did not do so last week.
Low unemployment in the United States. U.S. unemployment fell to 3.9 percent, which is the lowest it has been since 2000. Typically, low employment is a sign of a strong economy.
Sky-high rates in Argentina. In an effort to shore up the nation’s currency, Argentina’s central bank “hiked rates to 40 percent from 33.25 percent, a day after they were raised from 30.25 percent.”
What do asset managers and researchers make of the current state of world economies and markets? A portfolio manager cited by Barron’s said, “Until proved otherwise, we remain in a long bull market, and there is an absence of indicators outside of the equity market itself (most notably in credit markets or financial conditions) to suggest this has ended.”
Michael Wilson, chief U.S. equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, has a different opinion. “Even strong earnings results haven’t been able to boost most stocks into positive territory. Why? Because rising interest rates have reached a point at which they have become a constraint on valuations.”
Some researchers are concerned about growth outside the United States. Alvise Marino, an FX strategist for Credit Suisse told The Wall Street Journal, “This is really a Goldilocks [U.S. employment] report … but investors are worried that global growth is not as strong as some had thought.”
Sure, you’ve read stories about entrepreneurs who leave college to found companies that become behemoths. In fact, the Thiel Fellowship encourages young people to skip college and “pursue ideas that matter instead of mandatory tests. Take on big risks instead of big debt.”
While helping young people pursue new ideas is admirable, research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) suggest a different age group is more likely to found successful fast-growth companies:
“Our primary finding is that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young. Taking numerous measures to identify potentially high-growth firms as well as studying ex-post growth of each firm, we find no evidence to suggest that founders in their 20s are especially likely to succeed. Rather, all evidence points to founders being especially successful when starting businesses in middle age or beyond … Across the 2.7 million founders in the U.S. between 2007-2014 who started companies that go on to hire at least one employee, the mean age for the entrepreneurs at founding is 41.9. The mean founder age for the 1 in 1,000 highest growth new ventures is 45.0. The most successful entrepreneurs in high technology sectors are of similar ages. So, too, are the most successful founders in the entrepreneurial regions of the U.S.”
Almost one-fourth of new entrepreneurs are ages 55 to 64, reports Entrepreneur.com.
This article was provided by Peterson Wealth Management. For information, call 775-423-8007, or visit PetersonWM.com.