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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: October 6th, 2014 | 0 Comments

  1. HERE WE ARE – The S&P 500 is up +8.1% YTD (total return) through Friday 10/03/14, having set 34 all-time record closing highs so far this year (the last occurred on 9/18/14).  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. MORE RISK, MORE REWARD – 54 individual stocks in the S&P 500 (i.e., 54 of 500 stocks or 11% of the stocks in the index) gained at least +25% during the first 9 months of 2014 (change of the stock price only not counting the impact of dividends) including 12 stocks that are up at least +50% YTD through 9/30/14.  160 stocks (32% of the stocks in the index) have dropped in value since the end of 2013 (source: BTN Research).
  3. SELECT FEW – Only 1 in 8 American workers (13%) has access to both a defined benefit pension plan and an employer-sponsored defined contribution plan, e.g., 401(k), half the percentage (26%) that had access to both types of plans 30 years ago (source: Survey of Consumer Finances).
  4. NOT MY CALL – 48% of current retirees exited the labor force earlier than they had planned to as a result of health issues, downsizing by an employer or the need to become a caregiver for an ailing family member (source: The Wharton School).
  5. WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE – The combined population of China and India (2.67 trillion) makes up 37% of the world’s population (7.26 trillion).  The USA’s population (323 million) makes up just 4% of the world’s population (source: Worldometers).
  6. JUST SURVIVING – 11.8% of China’s population and 32.7% of India’s population live on less than $1.25 per day (source: Kaiser Family Foundation).
  7. TRILLION DOLLAR ADDITION – The national debt as of 9/30/13 was $16.738 trillion.  The national debt as of 9/30/14 was $17.824 trillion.  Thus, the national debt has increased $1.086 trillion during fiscal year 2014 (source: Treasury Department).
  8. TEN TRILLION DOLLAR ADDITION – The national debt as of 9/30/04 was $7.379 trillion.  The national debt as of 9/30/14 was $17.824 trillion.  Thus, the national debt has increased $10.445 trillion over the last 10 fiscal years, i.e., fiscal years 2005-2014 (source: Treasury Department).
  9. OUT OF WORK – The national unemployment rate in the USA was 5.9% at the end of September 2014, the lowest unemployment rate reported by the government since July 2008.  The 9.3 million Americans who are out-of-work is also the lowest total reported since July 2008 and is down 1.1 million since the beginning of calendar year 2014 (source: Department of Labor).
  10. THANKS DAD – Bill Gates is ranked # 1 as the richest person in the world today ($81 billion), but the 6 living heirs of Sam Walton (who died in 1992) are worth a combined $153 billion (source: Forbes).
  11. TIME TO BE GREEDY – It was 6 years ago (10/16/08) that Warren Buffet wrote his “Buy America, I Am” op-ed article in the New York Times.  Buffett encouraged investors to “be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”  Since Buffett penned his letter, the S&P 500 has gained +137.3% on a total return basis through the close of trading last Friday 10/03/14 (source: BTN Research, New York Times).
  12. OUT OF BUSINESS1,350 banks closed in 1930 as a result of the Depression, 3 years before the FDIC was created.  Just 14 US banks have been taken over by the FDIC YTD through 9/30/14 (source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
  13. TEN AND DONE – The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program provides former college students that have made 120 qualifying monthly payments on student loans (i.e., 10 years worth) while employed full-time in public service jobs a total forgiveness of their remaining outstanding loan balances (source: PSLF).
  14. KILLER VIRUS – The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has killed 2,917 people as of 9/21/14, approximately equal to the 2,977 people that were killed in the terrorist attacks in NYC, Washington, DC and outside of Shanksville, PA on 9/11/01 (source: World Health Organization).
  15. MONEY BALL – The 3 major league baseball teams with the highest 2014 opening day payrolls that did not qualify for postseason play were the New York Yankees ($209 million), the Philadelphia Phillies ($180 million) and the Boston Red Sox ($154 million) (source: Major League Baseball).


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