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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Kim Vo | Posted on: October 10th, 2016 | 0 Comments

1. WHEN THE FED TALKS – The daily market gain of the S&P 500 on the 54 “Fed decision days” since 1/01/10 (+0.2554%) is more than 5 times the size of the daily market gain of the index since 1/01/10 (+0.0471%). This total return calculation covers trading of the stock index from 1/01/10 through Friday 10/07/16. The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation. It is a market value weighted index with each stock’s weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research).

2. PENTHOUSE TO OUTHOUSE – The individual stock that was the # 1 performer within the S&P 500 in 2013 gained +298%. That same stock then dropped 7% in the following year, ranking # 430 of 500 stocks in 2014. The stock then bounced back last year and gained +134%, rising all the way to be the # 1 performing stock again in 2015 within the index. Continuing the “up/down” pattern through the end of last month (9/30/16), this stock has lost 14% YTD, falling to # 458 of 500 stocks within the index so far in 2016 (source: BTN Research).

3. LONG LASTING BULL – The S&P 500 has been rising since the index bottomed on 3/09/09. This bull market began its 92nd month as of today (Monday 10/10/16). Only the 1990-2000 bull market that was into its 114th month before it peaked on 3/24/00 has lasted longer among the 11 bulls that have occurred in the last 70 years (source: BTN Research).

4. STUCK IN A RUT – The nation’s unemployment rate has been 4.9%, 5.0% or 5.1% in 13 of the last 14 months through September 2016 (source: Department of Labor).

5. MEDICAL LOSS RATIO – The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance companies to spend at least 80% of the premiums they receive on health care services (e.g., doctors and hospital bills) and no more than 20% on administrative costs (e.g., sale commissions and advertising). If your monthly health insurance premium was $500 in 2015 and your health insurance company spent just 75% of premiums received on health care services (5% short of the required 80%), you were due a $300 refund by 9/30/16, i.e., $500 x 12 x 5% (source: ACA).

6. FOREIGN-BORN – 16% of the American labor force was born outside of the United States (source: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine).

7. ALL THE SAME – One political party has controlled the White House, the Senate and the House in 20 of the last 60 years, i.e., 1957-2016. E.g., Democrats controlled the White House (Obama), the Senate (58-40-2) and the House (257-178) in 2010, the last year that one political party controlled all 3 entities (source: BTN Research).

8. GETTING BETTER WITH AGE – Just 56.5% of Americans at least age 18 voted in the 2012 presidential election. For Americans aged 18-24, just 38.0% of them voted in the last presidential election. For older Americans who were at least age 65, 69.7% voted 4 years ago (source: Census Bureau).

9. THEY LOANED THE MONEY OUT – The $2.0615 trillion of excess reserves held by US banks at the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks as of 9/30/16 is down $482 billion in the last 12 months. Excess reserves are funds held that are above and beyond the federally mandated reserve requirement amounts (source: Federal Reserve).

10. MOST EVER – US retirement assets (DB plans, DC plans, IRAs) reached a record $24.5 trillion as of 6/30/16, up +76% from its $13.9 trillion total as of 12/31/08 (source: Investment Company Institute).

11. PAY IT OFF – 44% of US households had a credit card balance that they carried over month-to-month in 2007. By 2013, that percentage had fallen to 34% of households (source: Survey of Consumer Finances).

12. UP NINE TRILLION DOLLARS – The national debt on 1/20/09, the date that President Barack Obama was inaugurated following his November 2008 election, was $10.627 trillion. The national debt on 10/03/16, less than 4 months before his 8 years in the White House end, was $19.643 trillion (source: Treasury Department).

13. BIG COMMITMENT – 5 states (Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii and Kentucky) have required annual payments to finance their states’ long-term liabilities (e.g., state employee pensions and debt service obligations) that exceed 25% of state revenues (source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College).

14. CONCERNED ABOUT A BUBBLE? – As of 2/15/16, a purchase of a $1 million home in Canada requires a minimum down payment of 20% (source: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce).

15. MONEY BALL – The New York Yankees had the highest opening day payroll ($223 million) for the just completed 2016 season out of 30 baseball teams. The Cleveland Indians had the 27th highest opening day payroll ($74 million) this last season. The Indians made the playoffs while the Yankees did not (source: MLB).

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