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The Relative Value of $100 in Every American State and County

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Money at Face Value

Not all money is equal. Even though the face value of money stays relatively constant, the purchasing power that is behind it can differ wildly.

We know this intuitively with our personal experiences with things like inflation, but it is also true depending on where you are spending it. In an expensive metropolitan area it may cost more for ordinary goods, while in a rural place it may buy more than you may expect. Today’s charts use information from the Bureau of Economic Analysis to look at data at the state and county level to see where money can get the most “bang for the buck” in purchasing most goods and services.

Hawaii and D.C. are Money Pits

Looking at the cost of living by state level (and including the District of Columbia), the most expensive places to live are: Hawaii, Washington D.C., New York, and New Jersey. California and Maryland are close behind.

In all of these places, on average, spending $100 will only get you about $85 of goods and services relative to the rest of the country.

Here it is mapped:

The Value of $100 by State
The best places to get bang for your buck? Each dollar goes further in the Midwest and the South. Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, and South Dakota are among the cheapest states to live.

More Granularity by County

The data becomes much more interesting as it becomes more granular. It also makes sense because most people in Washington State know that money goes further in Spokane in comparison to Seattle. In the big metropolitan areas, or parts of remote states such as Alaska or Hawaii, the cost of living goes up significantly.

Here’s the data by county mapped:

The Value of $100 by County
Here’s the five most expensive places in America:

1. Honolulu ($81.37)
2. New York-Newark-Jersey City ($81.83)
3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($81.97)
4. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk ($82.31)
5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward ($82.44)

The cheapest place? It looks like it is rural Mississippi where $100 can buy you more than $125 of goods.

Original graphics from: Tax Foundation

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Here’s How Much the Top CEOs of S&P 500 Companies Get Paid

Does high pay for CEOs translate into company performance? See for yourself in this visualization featuring the top CEOs of companies on the S&P 500.

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How Much the Top CEOs of S&P 500 Companies Get Paid

How much do the CEOs from some of the world’s most important companies get paid, and do these top CEOs deliver commensurate returns to shareholders?

Today’s infographic comes to us from HowMuch.net and it visualizes data on S&P 500 companies to see if there is any relationship between CEO pay and stock performance.

For Richer or Poorer

To begin, let’s look at the highest and lowest paid CEOs on the S&P 500, and their associated performance levels. Data here comes from a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Below are the five CEOs with the most pay in 2018:

RankCEOCompanyPay (2018)Shareholder Return
#1David ZaslavDiscovery, Inc.$129.4 million10.5%
#2Stephen AngelLinde$66.1 million3.1%
#3Bob IgerDisney$65.6 million20.4%
#4Richard HandlerJefferies$44.7 million-14.9%
#5Stephen MacMillanHologic$42.0 million11.7%

Last year, David Zaslav led top CEOs by taking home $129.4 million from Discovery, Inc., the parent company of various TV properties such as the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, HGTV, Food Network, and other non-fiction focused programming. He delivered a 10.4% shareholder return, when the S&P 500 itself finished in negative territory in 2018.

Of the mix of highest-paid CEOs, Bob Iger of Disney may be able to claim the biggest impact. He helped close a $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, while also leading Disney’s efforts to launch a streaming service to compete with Netflix. The market rewarded Disney with a 20.4% shareholder return, while Iger received a paycheck of $65.6 million.

Now, let’s look at the lowest paid CEOs in 2018:

RankCEOCompanyPay (2018)Shareholder Return
#1Larry PageAlphabet$1-0.8%
#2Jack DorseyTwitter$119.7%
#3A. Jayson AdairCopart$203,00082.2%
#4Warren BuffettBerkshire Hathaway$398,0003.0%
#5Valentin GapontsevIPG Photonics$1.7 million-47.1%

On the list of lowest paid CEOs, we see two tech titans (Larry Page and Jack Dorsey) that have each opted for $1 salaries. Of course, they are both billionaires that own large amounts of shares in their respective companies, so they are not particularly worried about annual paychecks.

Also appearing here is Warren Buffett, who is technically paid $100,000 per year by Berkshire Hathaway plus an amount of “other compensation” that fluctuates annually. While this is indeed a modest salary, the Warren Buffett Empire is anything but modest in size – and the legendary value investor currently holds a net worth of $84.3 billion.

Finally, it’s worth noting that while J. Jayson Adair of Copart was one of the lowest paid CEOs at $203,000 in 2018, the company had the best return on the S&P 500 at 82.2%. Today, the company’s stock price still sits near all-time highs.

Maxing Returns

Finally, let’s take a peek at the CEOs that received the highest shareholder returns, and if they seem to correlate with compensation at all.

RankCEOCompanyPay (2018)Shareholder Return
#1A. Jayson AdairCopart$203,00082.2%
#2Lisa SuAMD$13.4 million79.6%
#3Franรงois Locoh-DonouF5 Networks$6.9 million65.4%
#4Sanjay MehrotraMicron Technology$14.2 million64.3%
#5Ken XieFortinet$6.8 million61.2%

Interestingly, three of highest performing CEOs – in terms of shareholder returns – actually took home smaller amounts than the median S&P 500 annual paycheck of $12.4 million. This includes the aforementioned A. Jayson Adair, who raked in only $203,000 in 2018.

That said, there is a good counterpoint to this as well.

Of the five CEOs who had the worst returns, four of them made less than the median value of $12.4 million, while one remaining CEO took home slightly more. In other words, both the best and worst performing CEOs skew towards lower-than-average pay to some degree.

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Chart of the Week

Visualizing the Wealth of Nations

These 10 countries hold 74% of the world’s $204 trillion in private wealth. How will this wealth of nations change over the next decade?

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Visualizing the Wealth of Nations

Just as there exists a longstanding inequality in the distribution of household wealth, so exists a considerable differential in the amount of wealth held by countries on the international stage.

Simply put, some nations are “haves”, while many others are “have-nots”.

“Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.”

– Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Ranking Riches

We previously showed you how the ranking of the richest countries in the world has changed over the course of the last 10 years (2008-2018).

Today’s chart keys on a slightly different question.

What are the wealthiest nations today, both in absolute and per capita terms, and how is this list projected to change over the next decade? Let’s see how the wealth of nations stack up.

Private Wealth: Now and in the Future

Using data from the Global Wealth Migration Review, here are the 10 wealthiest nations both now and as forecasted in 2028.

RankCountryWealth (2018)Wealth (2028F)Approx. Growth
#1๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States$60.7 trillion$72.8 trillion20%
#2๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China$23.6 trillion$51.8 trillion120%
#3๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan$19.1 trillion$24.9 trillion30%
#4๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India$8.1 trillion$22.8 trillion180%
#5๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia$6.0 trillion$10.8 trillion80%
#6๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom$9.1 trillion$10.0 trillion10%
#7๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany$8.8 trillion$9.7 trillion10%
#8๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada$6.0 trillion$7.8 trillion30%
#9๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France$5.9 trillion$6.4 trillion10%
#10๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$3.8 trillion$4.2 trillion10%

It’s worth noting that these figures are meant to represent wealth, which is defined as the total amount of private wealth held by individuals in each country. It includes assets like property, cash, equities, and business interests, minus any liabilities.

China has been the best performing wealth market in the last decade, and these projections show the country as continuing on that track. In fact, both China and India are expected to see triple-digit growth in private wealth between now and 2028.

As far as developed countries go, it’s not surprising that growth rates are much more modest. In Europe, countries like Great Britain, Germany, France, and Italy are only expected to add 10% to private wealth in 10 years, while Canada (30%) and the U.S. (20%) do marginally better.

One notable exception here is Australia, which is expected to add 80% to private wealth over the timeframe – and it will leapfrog both Germany and the U.K. in the rankings in the process.

Wealth per Capita

Here’s a look at the wealth of nations in a different way, this time with numbers adjusted on a per capita basis.

RankCountryEst. PopulationWealth per capita (2018)
#1๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จ Monaco38,695$2,114,000
#2๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Liechtenstein37,810$786,000
#3๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland8,420,000$315,000
#4๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg590,667$300,000
#5๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia24,600,000$244,000
#6๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway5,258,000$198,000
#7๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States327,200,000$186,000
#8๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore5,612,000$177,000
#9๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong7,392,000$169,000
#10๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada36,540,000$163,000

When using per capita numbers, it’s absolutely no contest.

Monaco, the city-state on the French Riviera, is a money magnet with $2.1 million of private wealth per citizen. This means the average Monacan is at least 10 times richer than the average North American or European.

Liechtenstein, a microstate that sits in the Alps between Switzerland and Austria, also has a high average wealth of $786,000 per person. Like Monaco, its population is well under 50,000 people.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that three countries on the per capita list also made the overall list. Put another way, the countries of Australia, Canada, and the United States can all claim to be among the wealthiest of nations in both absolute and per capita terms.

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