Iowa Futures

Is Iowa typical?

Artist: Grant Wood. Source: Wikipedia

Iowa enjoys a funny place in American culture. Home to the first-in-the-nation political caucus, the state is often derided as quirky and out of touch—unlike big-city dominated states like Minnesota and Illinois to the north and east.

It’s true that the Des Moines metro area only contains about 20% of Iowa’s population, versus Minneapolis and Chicago that have over 2/3rds of their States’ people. It’s also true that the state has a small minority population, and fewer than 4% are recent immigrants. But Iowa has a diversified economy, dominated by manufacturing, biotech, and finance. Maytag had its headquarters in Newton, Iowa, as does Winnebago—the RV maker.

Actors John Wayne and Johnny Carson came from Iowa. So did Norman Borlaug, the father of the green revolution in plant genetics, whose scientific research may have saved over a billion lives, worldwide. The Iowa Writer’s Workshop is a literary treasure. Demographically and geographically, Iowa is in the middle of the country—ranked 30th in population and 26th in area. It’s in the middle economically, too, with a median income ranked 24th.

It’s easy to deride rural Midwestern states as “flyover country.” But that’s a mistake. Ethanol subsidies may be a foolish and wasteful economic policy—and something that politicians unfortunately kowtow to—but Iowa is more than corn and hogs. Dear Abby and Ann Landers were born in Iowa. It’s no wonder that the state leaves us with so many questions.

Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

By | 2017-07-17T12:22:10+00:00 February 1st, 2016|Global Market Update|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Tengdin is the Chief Investment Officer at Charter Trust Company and author of “The Global Market Update”. The audio version of each post can be heard on radio stations throughout New England every weekday. Mr. Tengdin graduated from Dartmouth College, Magna Cum Laude. He received his Master of Arts from Trinity Divinity School, Magna Cum Laude and received his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 1992. Mr. Tengdin has been managing investment portfolios for over 30 years, working for Bank of Boston, State Street Global Advisors, Citibank – Tunisia, and Banknorth Group. Throughout his career, Mr. Tengdin has emphasized helping clients manage their financial risks in difficult environments where they can profit from investing in diverse assets in diverse settings. - Leave a comment if you have any questions—I read them all! - And Follow me on Twitter @GlobalMarketUpd

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