Quality Of Life: How Low Can It Go? - InvestingChannel

Quality Of Life: How Low Can It Go?

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Rank Ticker Name Searches
#1 NVDA Nvidia 536,396
#2 TSLA Tesla 543,532
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Quality Of Life: How Low Can It Go?

Without a doubt, there are lots of people in the United States (and Canada) doing super well. They’re not experiencing sticker shock. They’re not impacted by the housing or cost of living crisis, which, in some cases, we presume, gives them a leg up on the retirement crisis

We wonder where subscribers to The Juice stand. Feel free to use the feedback link at the bottom of the page to relay your experience in this haves and have nots economy. 

But, first, digest some of the data that has us worried. 

Mind you we were among the first — and we’re talking like more than two years ago — to start beating the drum on worrisome areas such as credit card debt. All along, we said it was a story that would take time to develop.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s developing. And the news is not good. 

On credit card debt: 

  • According to the NY Fed, credit card balances hit $1.12 trillion in the first quarter. That’s up 13.1% from a year ago. 
  • According to Transuinion, the average credit card balance per consumer is $6,218. That’s up 8.5% year over year. 
  • And, the real not-so-good news, serious delinquencies — 90 days or more past due — are at their highest point since 2010. 
  • Just under 9% of credit card debt is delinquent. 

Why is this happening? 

The answer is the story we’ve been telling since 2022. 

As pandemic money ran out and personal savings dwindled with inflation taking hold, large numbers of people turned to credit cards to finance life. And we’re not talking about vacations and such. We’re talking about the necessities. 

Now, with inflation persisting or, at the very least, prices not coming down, especially on food at home and in restaurants and bars, using debt to make ends meet is starting to catch up with people who have been struggling to make ends meet

It’s tough out there:

  • According to a CNBC study, 54% of people between 18 and 34 say the high cost of food has hit them hardest. 
  • Supporting The Juice’s long standing narrative, between March 2022 and February 2024, the average credit card balance among millennials climbed 50%. It increased by 62% for Generation Z. 

Meanwhile, things aren’t much better in Canada. 

The Juice was watching the CBC the other night. People north of the border are going to dollar stores to find deals on food. According to an executive at one of Canada’s big dollar stores, shoppers are “supplementing” at actual grocery stores to buy healthier food and fresh produce. Canadian dollar stores, like many in the U.S., are working to expand their fresh grocery selection. 

According to a story in Canada’s Financial Post, the country’s standard of living, as measured by GDP per person, is set to experience its worst decline in 40 years. 

Sometimes we feel like we’re living in an alternate or, at least, amid two realities.  

First, this stuff is serious business. It’s a major problem at the national level in the United States and abroad. And no politician, for starters, seems to be taking it seriously enough to do anything meaningful about it. 

On issues such as the housing crisis, it sure seems like governments are just waiting for this purported generational wealth transfer to take hold. Young members of Gen X, millennials and Gen Z will be just fine once they receive their inheritances. Even better if they get it early. 

That’s not a plan. It’s a pipe dream. 

If we’re just normalizing the austerity measures people have to take to balance their personal budgets, that’s equally as scary. 

Second, if you bought a meaningful amount of any of the stocks in today’s Trackstar top five, say, as little as one year ago, you might be sitting pretty. Or, at least, prettier. If you bought and held from five years ago … just wow. 


One-year return

Five-year return

Nvidia (NVDA)



Tesla (TSLA)



Apple (AAPL)



Amazon.com (AMZN)



Microsoft (MSFT)



Wonderful. But you need disposable income to invest in the stock market. You have to be a have, not a have not. 

If you have some cash sitting in those names and ran into trouble, the last position you want to be in is treating that money like it’s an emergency fund. That said, it’s better than credit cards. 

However you slice it, the stock market isn’t the remedy to cure our quality of life ills. Dow 40,000 isn’t what Joe Biden will and definitely should not be campaigning on. 

The Bottom Line: What is the answer? We wish we had one. 

If you do, here again, use that feedback link at the bottom of the page. But also let us know if we’re barking up the right tree. The Juice wants to get to know and understand our readers. 

Are you young, “old” or otherwise and impacted by some or all of the above? Do you know people — family, friends, acquaintances — who are? 

If so, in addition to letting us know, forward them this email and suggest they sign up for The Juice. It’s one of the few things in life that’s free.

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Then we urge you to sign up for our newsletter here

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