Feature

One week from listing to offer

And more of the week's best financial insight

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

One week from listing to offer

If you're looking to buy a home today, you need to move fast, said Chris Morris at Fortune. That's the takeaway from a report by the National Association of Realtors last week, which found that the average listing between July 2020 and June 2021 found a buyer "in just one week." That rate was the quickest since 1989, and triple the speed at which homes were selling in the same period a year earlier. And sellers aren't settling; in fact, 35 percent got more than they asked for their properties. That has netted the average home seller $85,000 more than their purchase price. Though "the housing market is cooling down after its historic run," median prices were still up 16 percent in the third quarter.

Insurance premiums outpace inflation

Family health-care coverage now costs businesses on average more than $22,000 a year for each employee, said Sarah O'Brien at CNBC. That's a 47 percent increase in the cost of family premiums over the last decade, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "outpacing both wage growth (31 percent) and inflation (23 percent) over the same time period." Workers pay $5,969 of that amount, while employers foot the rest. But deductibles, or "the amount you pay out of pocket for services before your insurance starts paying, have also jumped 68.4 percent since 2011, to an average of $1,669." Roughly 155 million people rely on employer-sponsored health coverage, Kaiser said. About 59 percent of employers offer it, a share that has "remained largely unchanged since 2011."

Turning down professional advice

Wealthy young investors are increasingly spurning traditional financial advice for do-it-yourself digital platforms, said Rachel Louise Ensign and Peter Rudegeair at The Wall Street Journal. "About 70 percent of households with a net worth of $500,000 or more headed by a person under 45" did most if not all of their own investing in 2019, "up from 57 percent in 2010." The resistance isn't just about wealth management fees. Travis Chambers, 33, was discouraged when none of the advisers he interviewed "brought up crypto or real estate, the investments that most interested him." Startup founder Michael Martocci, 26, said that "most young people don't really care about the downside" when investing, which is what an adviser would consider. At this point, he said, "he prefers risky investments that could potentially double or triple."

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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