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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Lisa Navarro | Posted on: February 1st, 2021 | 0 Comments

  1. ONE MONTH – The S&P 500 lost 1.01% (total return) in January 2021. Exactly one-third (33%) of the months over the last 30 years (the 360 months from 2/1991 through 1/2021) have produced a negative return.  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. INDEX MATH – The S&P 500 closed at an all-time high on Monday 1/25/21, finishing the day at 3855. Just 13 individual stocks in the index also closed at an all-time high on Monday 1/25/21 (source: BTN Research).
  1. END OF LIFE – 2,839,000 Americans died in 2018. 2,855,000 Americans died in 2019.  An estimated 3,271,000 Americans died in 2020 (source: Center for Disease Control).
  1. IN A UNION – 35% of workers in the public sector (i.e., local, state or federal government) were union members in 2020. 6% of workers in the private sector were union workers in 2020 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  1. PLANNING AHEAD – 6 out of every 7 full-time workers surveyed (86%) in October 2020 are investing money for their retirement, mostly through an employer-sponsored pre-tax plan. 2,069 workers participated in the survey (source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies).
  1. RELIEF DOLLARS – 36% of stimulus payment money received by Americans from the March 2020 CARES Act was put into savings, while 35% was used to pay down debt (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
  1. THEY VOTE THIS YEAR – Presidents of 4 of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks began their 1-year rotation as voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) last Tuesday 1/26/21. The 4 new voting members in 2021 are Charles Evans (Chicago), Mary Daly (San Francisco), Raphael Bostic (Atlanta) and Thomas Barkin (Richmond).  The New York Fed President (currently John Williams) is a permanent member of the FOMC (source: Federal Reserve).
  1. SELLERS’ MARKET – There were 1.07 million existing homes for sale nationwide as of 12/31/20. Two years ago (12/31/18), there were 1.53 million existing homes for sale nationwide.  Ten years ago (12/31/10), there were 3.02 million existing homes for sale nationwide (source: National Association of Realtors).
  1. AS LONG AS RATES STAY LOW – The average interest rate that the US government pays on its interest-bearing debt as of 12/31/20 was 1.695%, down from 2.331% as of 12/31/15. That means our government can borrow 37.5% more money today than it borrowed 5 years ago and still have the same out-of-pocket interest expense cost (source: Treasury Department).
  1. COMING BACK? – The number of operating oil rigs in the United States both on land and offshore have increased for 10 consecutive weeks through last Friday 1/29/21. The current total of 384 operating oil rigs nationwide is 57% higher than the low point of 244 from 8/14/20.  The pandemic forced 60 North American oilfield service companies into bankruptcy (source: Baker Hughes, Haynes and Boone).
  1. GLOBAL TRADE REBOUNDS – After declining for 10 months during the 2020 pandemic, the monetary value of goods shipped worldwide in November 2020 exceeded its previous high-water mark achieved in December 2019 (source: Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis).
  1. READY TO LEAVE?New York residents are currently subject to a top state marginal tax rate of 8.82% at taxable income levels of $1.08 million for an individual return and $2.16 million for a joint return. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed raising that top marginal rate to 10.86% for the 2022 fiscal year beginning 4/01/21.  NYC residents are also subject to a maximum city marginal tax rate of 3.876%, i.e., their total marginal rate could be as high as 14.736% during fiscal year 2022, the highest in the nation (source: IncomeTaxPro.net).
  1. GETTING ACCURATE INFORMATION – Over the 15 years from 2005 to 2020, 2,100 American newspapers went out of business (source: University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media).
  1. IT’S FREE – 17 US states offer free community college education, including Arkansas, California, Maryland, Oregon and New York. All 17 states do enforce different eligibility requirements to qualify for the free tuition, e.g., community service, or a minimum high school GPA (source: The College Post).
  1. BROKE?! – Evander Kane of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks is in the 3rd year of a 7-year contract that will pay him $7 million a year. However Kane filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on 1/09/21, listing in the bankruptcy filing $10 million of assets offset by $27 million of liabilities (source: San Jose Mercury News).

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