So, how are Americans spending their money both today and into the near future?

Mar 10, 2010

1. Nearly 34 percent of the average household income goes toward housing. Expect this trend to continue as people downsize into affordable housing options.

2. Just over 19 percent goes toward entertainment and/or miscellaneous items...however, as a discretionary item this is subject to volatility.

3. Roughly 17 percent goes toward transportation - a number experts expect to hold steady as people opt for more affordable options.

4. Just under 13 percent goes toward food; a necessity to be sure but one that is subject to "replacement" purchases as people opt for hamburger instead of steak during tough times.

5. Approximately 11 percent on retirement and personal insurance.

6. Nearly 6 percent on healthcare.Even a precursory look at where Americans spend their money tells the average investor where to spend theirs...housing, entertainment, transportation, food, financial products and healthcare. Those are the big six that run the American economy. Now stop and consider which are available to the average "little guy" investor...stocks and bonds for healthcare, insurance and finance have been decimated in recent years. The auto industry? Please!

Now that's it's been nationalized you can count on the same efficiency that brought you the driver license office to run the auto industry. Food is notoriously volatile and forget direct intervention unless you have an unusual level of gardening know how.

No, the answer remains the same today as it did 100 years ago...real estate. It's not easily outsourced, it's not subject to the market manipulations of stocks and bonds nor is it entirely dependent upon your ability to work yourself into an early grave. It simply requires a willingness to adapt to the new economic environment like all other species that learn to thrive or barely survive.

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