Week of May 18, 2015

1. Income Volatility:  New research based on transaction data confirms findings from the US Financial Diaries (USFD) on income volatility - households' incomes vary from month to month and savings are inadequate to cover the mismatches in income and spending.  FAI's Jonathan Morduch notes that in the USFD sample, income volatility is greatest for poorer households but remains high even as households increase their incomes.  The Wall Street Journal

2. Entrepreneurship: Middle-class families account for 60 percent of new business ventures. But rising income and wealth inequality may be constraining the middle-class and preventing business expansion, economic growth, and job creation. Center for American Progress

3. Migration and Household Finances: Families working and/or living on both sides of the Mexican-American border must continuously navigate transactions in different currencies, both monetary and social.  New research focuses on these exchanges and their functions in various cultural contexts. IMTFI Part 1 and Part 2

4. Student Debt: The “new normal” of debt-financed college may impact other financial decisions in a student's life. A new analysis reports that at every level of education, households without student debt are more likely to own homes, have slightly lower mortgage rates, and have retirement assets that are considerably larger than those households with student debt. Demos

5. Impact Investing: A survey of 64 CEOs of US-based foundations reports many organizations are talking about impact investing but few are directing significant funds to the practice.  Forty-one percent of respondents report engaging in impact investing, but the median percentage of endowments funding it is only two percent. Center for Effective Philanthropy

Source: Center for Effective Philanthropy

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