Philly Fed: Manufacturing Growth Is Up

After the New York Federal Reserve's dismal Tuesday report, these latest numbers bring some hope to manufacturing.

Apr 17, 2014 at 3:20PM

Manufacturing is up in parts of the Northeast and Philadelphia area, according to an April Philadelphia Federal Reserve report (link opens as PDF) released today. 

The "Philly Fed" publishes the results of a monthly survey asking regional (eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware) manufacturing stakeholders whether certain components of manufacturing have experienced growth (positive number), or contraction (negative number). Investors watch regional manufacturing reports as a possible signal of larger economic upswings or downturns.

After clocking in at 9.0 for March, analysts had expected manufacturing to edge up to 10.0. Actual results came in at 16.6. Coming on the heels of a slow New York economic growth report released Tuesday, analysts can perhaps breathe a bit easier with little evidence of a wider growth slowdown.


Source: Philadelphia Federal Reserve. 

Dissecting the index into components, the all-important new orders indicator jumped from 5.7 in March to 14.8 for April. Shipments also improved significantly, up 17 points to 22.7. Inventories continued to shrink, while employment indicators showed increasingly strong growth. 

Looking ahead, April's solid report doesn't mean fast growth forever. The survey's future conditions (six months from now) index registered an 8.8 point decline, to 26.6. While still strong, the future outlook for new orders also fell, down 2.5 points to 29.7. 


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A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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