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Making Sense of Statistical Confusion

October 20, 2011
Jay Armstrong - Financial Representative , The Maui Weekly

If you've ever taken a course in statistics, you know that facts can be represented in different ways. Certain facts expressed with certain biases produce different responses when presented to an audience.

These days we are inundated with statistics. Numbers fly across our television screens and appear in an instant on our Web browsers. Everyone from the politician seeking election to the weatherman on the news uses statistics. People speak in statistics when they pull a number out of thin air and use it for the point of emphasis. For example, when they tell you emphatically that "87.5 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot," this might be closer to the truth than we think.

There are some statistics that really don't seem to matter to most of us; for example, the percentage of teenagers who currently "like" a musical group on their Facebook page. But then again, there are some statistics that really do mean a great deal to us whether we understand them or not. For example, the "Real Cost of Living" or the "Impact of Inflation" on "Current Purchasing Power of the U.S. Dollar" or "Unemployment" and "Underemployment" numbers. In the new world we live in, these are numbers which impact our everyday lives.

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Planning For Success
Jay Armstrong
Financial Representative

At Sage Pacific Alliance, we know the difference between unemployment (the official U3 number) and underemployment (the U6 number), which includes many on Maui who are having a hard time finding sufficient employment. More importantly, we care!

You may never have asked yourself "What is the difference between the CPI, Core-CPI, PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditure Index) and Core-PCE?" but we have. If you hear the word "inflation" but don't understand how that calculation is determined, we do. And we know you feel its impact and worry about your tomorrows.

Let's face it, figures don't lie, but liars can figure. We've all heard how we're supposed to be doing better, how this government program or that bank initiative will make our lives better. The simple facts are that your financial future requires seeing the big picture and making sense of the little details. Numbers and statistics, facts and figures shouldn't cloud the really important things. How you're doing now and where you'll be tomorrow matter most to us.

It is still true today the truth shall set you free. Take some time to find the truth! Make an appointment today and let's talk about (as Paul Harvey used to say) "the rest of the story."

For true comprehensive planning, contact the Sage Pacific Alliance at (808) 856-8138. Our team is here to help you with all your financial planning needs. Visit us on the Web at



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