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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: November 30th, 2020 | 0 Comments

  1. NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER – With 1 trading day remaining in November, the S&P 500 has gained +11.4% month-to-date (total return) through 11/27/20, a performance better than 99.7% of the last 360 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).
  1. DURING COVID-19 – From its 3/23/20 bear market low of $23.4 trillion, the total capitalization of the US stock market has climbed $16.4 trillion to $39.8 trillion as of the close of trading last Friday 11/27/20 (source: Wilshire).
  1. IS THIS YOU? – 62% of the average net worth of an American household comes from just 2 assets – the equity they have built up in their home and the value of their retirement accounts (source: Census Bureau).
  1. MONEY NOT USED – The 3/27/20 CARES Act included $454 billion given to the Treasury Department to provide a backstop on up to $4.5 trillion of Fed loans made to big businesses. On 11/19/20 Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reported that only $25 billion of the $454 billion had been used by the Fed in making loans and that the unused $429 billion should be returned to the Treasury Department.  Mnuchin recommended that 5 emergency lending facilities that opened in March 2020 should be shut down as of 12/31/20, although he did concede that the 5 programs could be reopened in the future if needed (source: CARES Act, Treasury Department).
  1. ANOTHER FIRST FOR JANET – President-elect Joe Biden has selected Janet Yellen to be Treasury Secretary. Yellen, the first female to be Fed Chair (2014-2018) in its 107-year history, would become the first female to lead the Treasury Department in its 231-year history (source: Treasury Department).
  1. NOT YET – 5 of 8 Americans surveyed (62%) in late October 2020 describe their life as “not yet back to normal” in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic (source: Gallup).
  1. EXPIRES SOON – The US government extended federal unemployment benefits to as long as 99 weeks in some high-jobless states as a result of the 2007-2009 Great Depression. The 99 weeks kicked in after state jobless benefits were exhausted, with the state benefits typically paid over as much as 6 months (26 weeks).  During the 2020 pandemic, the federal government has so far approved federal unemployment benefits (called “Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation”) of just 13 weeks (source: Department of Labor).
  1. A MENU TO PICK FROM – Americans purchasing their 2021 health insurance through state exchanges established under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) will pick from health insurance plans offered by an average of 5 insurers. Delaware residents have just a single insurer operating in the Blue Hen state while Wisconsin residents will select policies offered from 13 different insurers (source: Kaiser Family Foundation).
  1. LESS TAXES$250,000 of taxable income on a joint return in 2020 creates $48,159 of federal income tax. $250,000 of taxable income on a joint return in 2010 created $60,281 of federal income tax (source: IRS).
  1. HONEST? – The government projects that an average US taxpayer pays 84% of his/her total federal income tax bill (mostly driven by unreported income), creating an estimated $441 billion annual “tax gap,” i.e., the difference between what all taxpayers should have paid compared to what they actually paid (source: IRS).
  1. SLOWING DOWN – Student loan debt was $1.55 trillion as of 9/30/20, but the total has increased just +3.3% over the last 12 months. Over the last 5 years, i.e., 9/30/15 to 9/30/20, student loan debt has increased +29.2% (from $1.20 trillion to $1.55 trillion), an average increase of +5.3% per year (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
  1. CHEAP GAS – The average price of gasoline was $2.12 a gallon as of last Friday 11/27/20. The average price of gasoline hasn’t closed a calendar year that low since finishing 2015 at $2.00 a gallon (source: AAA).
  1. NOT A SECOND TIME – There have been just 3 US presidents in the last 75 years who were elected to a first term in office but then failed to win their re-election bid for a 2nd term – Jimmy Carter in November 1980, George H.W. Bush in November 1992 and Donald Trump in November 2020 (source: BTN Research).
  1. THE SAME SCORE – Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 306-232 in the Electoral College in 2016, but then lost to Joe Biden 306-232 in the Electoral College in 2020 (source: Electoral College).
  1. HE STILL DIDN’T WIN – The 84th Masters golf tournament was postponed this year from its regular April time slot until mid-November due to the pandemic. Cameron Smith of Australia tied for 2nd in 2020 (5 shots behind winner Dustin Johnson) but became the first golfer in Masters history to shoot all 4 rounds in the 60s.  A total of 4,306 golfers have played in the Masters golf tournament going back to 1934 (source: Masters).

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