Regardless of what the economic indicators are saying, these are tough times. Sure unemployment is back below 7%, but the labor participation rate is as low as it’s been in 3 decades. Not since the Carter administration was in office have such a large percentage of working aged Americans been unemployed. Not only unemployed, but not even looking for a job. But there are some industries that are still performing well in today’s economy, so let’s take a look at a few.
The social media business is difficult to assess from a standard earnings basis. Much like the dot com bubble of the late 90′s have we seen stocks perform in a similar manner. Most of the big names are making little to no money in terms of actual profits. Twitter and Facebook in particular are worth billions of dollars, while not having any real income to speak of.
But that hasn’t stopped them from hiring. Or from making big purchases. Facebook recently purchased Whatsapp for $16 billion dollars. Whatsapp is a company of 50 people. If that doesn’t sound a little crazy, then it’s hard to imagine what crazy means any more. Here’s more on that particular story.
Essentially Facebook paid $50 per user of Whatsapp services. Other players in the same industry have paid as little as $3 per user though.
The implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been a complete disaster. From the difficulties canceled insurance plans to the utter failure that is Healthcare.gov, it seems our governments attempts at taking over 1/6 of the U.S. economy has gone much like anything else the government takes over. Poorly. But the health care industry is still humming along.
There have been a surprising number of doctors that have opened concierge-style practices. These doctors are paid on retainer and are available to their clients hen needed. The clients pay the doctors in cash rather than through an insurance company. It reduces the overhead for the doctors office, and reduces the overall cost of care to their patients.
Some examples of savings can be seen in everyday procedures. Lab testing that would cost $500 if handled by an insurer can be done for as little as $79. An MRI that might have cost several thousand dollars can be had for as little as $250. This benefits not only doctors and patients, but the MRI technician as well. He or she receives a larger portion of the overall fee than when an insurance company is involved.
Banking and Finance
The banking and finance sector, while nearly becoming wiped out during the financial crisis of 2008 is back and better than ever. Banks in particular are doing extraordinarily well. Thanks to a flood of liquidity from the Federal Reserve, all of the major stock market indices are up. And the banks have positioned themselves to not only take advantage of these upwards moves, but to take advantage of them with taxpayer money.
It seems like only yesterday that we heard how so many of these ‘too big to fail’ banks had squandered their (clients) money on poor investments in the stock market and real estate. Not to worry though. The federal government quickly stepped in to make them whole again.
And as a result, the banking business is better than ever.
So while most of the economy may look like it’s faltering, there are bright spots out there if you know where to look.…