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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: August 18th, 2014 | 0 Comments

  1. A YEAR LATER – The S&P 500 has fallen at least 5% in a single trading day 24 times since 1950, most recently on 8/08/11, i.e., 3 years ago.  In the 1 year following the 24 occurrences of “5% or more” tumbles, the S&P 500 gained an average of +18.8% (not counting the impact of reinvested dividends).  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. MONTHLY NUMBERS – Although the month of September is the 2nd worst performing month for the S&P 500 stock index since 1990 (down 0.5% on average on a total return basis), the 3 consecutive months of October-November-December rank 5-3-1 in terms of average monthly performance (i.e., October is the 5th best, November is 3rd best and December is the best).  The last 3 months of the year have collectively gained +5.0% (total return) on average since 1990, or 52% of the index’s return since 1990 (source: BTN Research).
  3. JUST AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER TO GO – The government is projecting a $525 billion deficit for fiscal year 2014 (there are 2 months to go in the 12-month period), a total that would represent the smallest national deficit since fiscal year 2008 (source: Office of Management and Budget).
  4. PEOPLE CHANGING JOBS – Of the 4.830 million hires nationwide during the month of June 2014, 94% were in the private sector and only 6% were in the public (government) sector (source: Department of Labor).
  5. WORK LESS, WORK LONGER – Carlos Slim of Mexico is the 2nd wealthiest person in the world today, worth $72 billion.  He made his money in the mobile phone business.  Slim has proposed that instead of the traditional 5-days a week work schedule until age 65, employees should work just 3 days a week, 11 hours a day, through age 70 (source: BusinessWeek).
  6. I HAVE TO REPAY? – More than 2 out of every 5 student loan borrowers (41%) miss at least 1 payment within the first 5 years of beginning their loan repayment (source: American Student Assistance).
  7. ABOUT THE SAME NUMBER – 70% of retirees surveyed in 2007 (i.e., 7 years ago) were “very” or “somewhat” confident that they would have a “comfortable” retirement.  67% of retirees feel that way in 2014 (source: Employee Benefit Research Institute).
  8. IT’S CHEAPER THERE – There are 613,650 Americans that currently have their Social Security retirement benefits sent abroad each month because these retirees live outside the United States (source: International Living).
  9. BEAST OF BURDEN – Of more than 1,000 American workers surveyed that are less than or equal to 35 years of age, 41% of them anticipate that during their own retirement years that they will be required to financially support their parents and/or their siblings (source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies).
  10. NOT IN THE BUDGET – 34% of Americans surveyed indicate that they have gone without some form of medical care in the prior 12 months (e.g., medication, surgery, therapy) because they could not afford to pay for the product or service (source: Federal Reserve Economic Well-Being Survey).
  11. AT TIME OF DEATH – Federal estate tax law allows a 2014 decedent to pass onto his/her heirs $5.34 million estate tax-free.  Under the “American Taxpayer Relief Act” signed by President Obama on 1/02/13, the amount that can be passed estate-tax free onto the heirs of a decedent in 2014 and beyond will be increased according to the rate of inflation.  The federal estate tax exemption was $1 million in 2003 (source: Treasury Department).
  12. WHEN IN ROME – The yield on the 10-year note issued by the Italian government closed at 2.61% as of 8/15/14 Friday, down from 7.02% as of 12/31/11 or approximately 2 ½ years ago (source: Thomson Reuters).
  13. LESS THAN THIRTY YEARS IN LENGTH – Until the 1930s, the average length of a home mortgage taken out by an American homebuyer was only 5-10 years (source: Penn Institute of Urban Research).
  14. BETTER AND BETTER – At the end of 2010, 9.0% of mortgages had at least 1-payment past due and another 4.6% of mortgages were in the foreclosure process.  At the end of 2012, 7.5% of mortgages were late and another 3.7% of mortgages were in foreclosure.  At the end of June 2014, 6.0% of mortgages were late and another 2.5% of mortgages were in foreclosure (source: Mortgage Bankers Association).
  15. SWING AND A MISS – Babe Ruth never struck out 100 times or more in a single season.  During the 2013 season (i.e., last year), 74 major leaguers struck out at least 100 times, including 1 ballplayer (Chris Carter of the Astros) that struck out 212 times (source: Major League Baseball).


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