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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: April 20th, 2015 | 0 Comments

  1. FIRST QUARTER AND FULL YEAR – The S&P 500 had a positive 1st quarter (on a total return basis) in 17 of the 25 years from 1990-2014.  In 15 of the 17 years (88% of the time), the entire calendar year went on to produce a gainOnly 2 years (2000 and 2002) had a positive first quarter and a negative calendar year.  The S&P 500 was up +1.0% for the 1st quarter 2015.  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. A SELECT FEW – Only 3 individual stocks in the USA hold a AAA-rating, the highest ranking given by the rating agency Standard & Poor’s (source: S&P).  
  3. THEIR LOSS – 52% of 1,001 adults surveyed in March 2015 do not have any money invested in the stock market.  21% of the 52% (i.e., 11% of the 1,001 adults) do not invest in stocks because they “don’t know (enough) about stocks” in order to feel comfortable about investing (source: Bankrate.com).    
  4. BIGGER BALANCE SHEET – The “securities held outright” by the Federal Reserve have increased 9 times since the beginning of the global financial crisis 6 ½ years ago in September 2008, increasing from $479.7 billion on 9/03/08 to $4.230 trillion on 4/15/15 (source: Federal Reserve).    
  5. PRINT-AND-PURCHASE IN EUROPE – “Quantitative Easing” in Europe began 6 weeks ago today (3/09/15) and is anticipated to continue until at least September 2016.  The European Central Bank is buying 60 billion Euros of European government bonds each month (source: BTN Research).  
  6. DON’T STOP NOW – A 40-year old employee that invests $1,000 at the beginning of every month in a tax-deferred 401(k) account will accumulate $510,406 by age 60 if the funds grow at +7% per year.  If that individual was forced to suspend his/her monthly deferral for just 5 years from ages 45-49, the account is worth just $369,561 at age 60.  This mathematical calculation ignores the ultimate impact of taxes on the account which are due upon withdrawal, is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to reflect any specific investment or performance.  Actual results will fluctuate with market conditions and will vary (source: BTN Research).  
  7. NEW LAW – Legislation passed by the Senate last week and by the House in late March 2015 that will end the annual “doc-fix” will cost taxpayers $141 billion over the next decade.  The new rules will provide physicians that service Medicare patients an increase of ½ of 1% in annual reimbursement rates for the next 5 years in addition to awarding monetary bonuses for meeting objectives that are based on “quality-of-care” (source: Congress).    
  8. EXCESS CASH TO SPENDVacation home sales in the United States have increased from 553,000 in 2012 to 717,000 in 2013 to 1.13 million in 2014, i.e., vacation home sales have doubled in the last 2 years (source: National Association of Realtors).  
  9. NOT DEBT FREE – 42% of US households headed by an individual between the ages of 65-74 are still paying off a home mortgage (source: Federal Reserve 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances).  
  10. YOUR OCCUPATION: US PRESIDENT – President Obama showed $477,383 of adjusted gross income on his 2014 joint tax return with his wife.  The Obamas paid $88,467 in federal income tax, an effective rate of 18.5% (source: White House).   
  11. NICE NEIGHBORHOOD – There were 122.46 million households in the USA in 2012.  2.3% of the 122.46 million households reported adjusted gross income of at least $250,000 (source: Congressional Research Service).  
  12. DON’T FORGET – A 65-year old couple retiring in 2014 will need an estimated $220,000 (present value amount stated in 2014 dollars) to pay out-of-pocket health care costs during their retirement years.  The $220,000 total assumes the couple qualifies for Medicare but does not require nursing home care (source: Fidelity).     
  13. ALMOST SEVEN YEARS – The nation’s unemployment rate of 5.5% in March 2015 was the lowest in the country since May 2008 (source: Department of Labor).  
  14. TWICE WHAT WE PRODUCE – The United States consumed an average of 19.05 million barrels of petroleum products a day in 2014 (source: Department of Energy).  
  15. DOUBLE TROUBLE – 12 professional athletes have played in both the NBA and in MLB.  The most recent athlete to pull off this feat was Mark Hendrickson who played in 114 games over 4 seasons in the NBA from 1996-2000 and then pitched in 328 games over 10 seasons in MLB from 2002-11 (source: MLB.com).   


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