Household wealth:  Sure you saw a headline this week like this U.S. household wealth reaches record high. This “wealth” is driven off of the high performance of the stock market this year. But, how many people actually get most of their wealth from the stock market? Only rich people are in such a position. For a lot of people, wealth comes from their home. And home prices still haven’t recovered. But, in a timely bit of news, we may soon own more of our homes than we owe on them, something we haven’t seen since 2007. Said another way, our home equity is about to be worth more than total mortgage debt. That will drive household wealth for the middle class up.

Using behavioral economics to solve health issues: Many behavioral economics disciples (such as myself) believe their understanding of the world can lead to new solutions to old problems. Recently, some economists and like-minded people got together for an innovation tournament. Teams competed by pitching ideas on how we could improve health covering everything from texting and driving to how we can reduce caloric consumption at restaurants. It’s hard to tell how successful any of these ideas would be, but many are very simple solutions that could make our health that much better.

Unemployment insurance and job creation: The new federal budget doesn’t extend certain unemployment benefits that many were hoping to start receiving. This has led the pundit class to restart the old debate of whether unemployment insurance hurt job creation or not. John Carney at CNBC has a decent summary of the argument, and he also explains exactly how unemployment benefits destroy jobs. His argument is debatable, but it’s good to have an understanding of it.

Best of Ritholtz: If you haven’t seen Barry Ritholtz before it’s time you’re introduced. He’s a hero among rational investing champions and economics writers alike. He writes a blog called the Big Picture, in addition to appearing on TV all the time, and supposedly having time to run an asset management firm. Anyway, he’s always got gems of data or stories no one else is telling. Here’s a couple of my favorite things from him lately: Five Reasons Why Hedge Funds Underperform Stocks and Why Do Forecasters Keep Forecasting?. The former is a nice short video that explains that current state of hedge funds. That latter simply shows how far off market forecasters were in their projection for the stock market in 2013.

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