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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: December 8th, 2014 | 0 Comments

  1. BETTER THAN AVERAGE – The bull market for the S&P 500 that started on 3/10/09 begins its 70th month this week, having gained +247% (total return) in the 69 months through last Friday 12/05/14, an average monthly gain of +1.82%.  The average bull market for the index since 1950 has lasted 59 months.  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. TWO HUNDRED PERCENT – The current stock bull market for the S&P 500 is the index’s 11th bull since 1950.  Only 3 of the previous 10 bulls have achieved at least +200% in total return gains (source: BTN Research).
  3. US vs. THEM – The international stock index EAFE is down 1.9% YTD (total return) through last Friday’s close (12/05/14), well below the S&P 500’s +14.5% YTD result.  The EAFE index is an unmanaged index that is generally considered representative of the international stock market.  These international securities involve additional risks including currency fluctuations, differing financial accounting standards and possible political and economic volatility (source: BTN Research).
  4. BEFORE THE BULL BEGAN – The 2 worst bear markets for the S&P 500 in the last 80 years took place in the last 15 years, i.e., since the beginning of 2000 (source: BTN Research).
  5. BIG BUSINESS – Beginning 1/01/15, companies that employ at least 100 individuals must offer “affordable health care coverage” to full-time employees (working at least 30 hours a week).  Affordability is measured by limiting the cost of the health insurance to no more than 9.5% of an individual’s pre-tax income (source: ACA).
  6. JANET AND THE GANG – The 8th and final meeting of 2014 for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is scheduled for December 16-17.  It was at the Fed’s December 2008 meeting (held on 12/16/08) that the FOMC voted unanimously to cut short-term interest rates to near zero from its then current level of 1%.  Since then, the FOMC has met 47 times and voted on each occasion to leave rates unchanged (source: FOMC).
  7. WHAT DID I STUDY? – 46% of 1,000 college graduates from 2012 and 2013 that are currently employed are working in jobs unrelated to the college degree that the student achieved (source: Accenture).
  8. OIL BUSINESS – US crude oil production has increased +51% in the last 4 years, rising from 5.48 million barrels a day in 2010 to 8.28 million barrels a day in 2014 (source: Energy Information Administration).
  9. PUTTING IT INTO PERSPECTIVE – The price of a barrel of oil fell from $145.31 on 7/03/08 to $30.28 on 12/23/08.  That’s a 79% drop in price over 173 days.  The price of a barrel of oil has fallen from $107.26 on 6/20/14 to $65.63 on 12/05/14 (last Friday).  That’s a 39% drop in price over 168 days (source: Energy Information Administration).
  10. SPLIT PROGRAM – An average US state spends 24% of its annual budget on Medicaid expenses.  The Medicaid program is jointly funded by states and the federal government.  The federal government on average funds 57% of total Medicaid expenses while states pick up the remaining 43% of expenditures (source: Medicaid).
  11. MAKING IT TOUGH TO BORROW – The total amount of new mortgage originations in 2014 (i.e., not counting refinancing transactions) is $1.1 trillion, down from $1.8 trillion in 2013 and less than half of the $2.7 trillion written in 2006 (source: Mortgage Bankers Association).
  12. BENDING THE CURVE – When a Social Security committee (chaired by Alan Greenspan) implemented changes in 1983 that gradually increased the age at which a retiree would receive full social security benefits from age 65 to age 67, only Americans that were 20 or more years from turning 65 were impacted.  Through 2012, the savings of the 1983 changes were $100 billion.  However, over the next 75 years, the 1983 reforms will save Social Security $4.6 trillion (source: Social Security).
  13. TWO PERCENT MORE EACH YEAR – The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased by +2.75% per year over the 30 years ending 10/31/14.  The CPI component for “Medical Care” has increased by +4.75% per year over the 30 years ending 10/31/14 (source: Department of Labor).
  14. TOO FEW CHILDREN – The birthrate in the United States has been cut in half since 1957.  1,000 American women (between the ages of 15-44) had 122.7 births per year in 1957.  That rate was just 62.5 births per 1,000 women in 2013 (source: Census Bureau).
  15. LONE STAR – Houston Texans football player J.J. Watt is first player in the history of the NFL to have 3 offensive TDs (all receiving) and 2 defensive TDs (fumble return and interception return) in a single season (source: NFL).


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