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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: June 15th, 2015 | 0 Comments

  1. HAVE GIVEN SOME BACK – The S&P 500 is up +2.7% YTD (total return) through the close of trading on Friday 6/12/15.  The highest point for the index in 2015 was a +4.3% YTD gain as of 5/21/15.  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. FUNDING A RETIREMENT – The S&P 500 has averaged +9.6% per year (total return) over the 25 years ending 12/31/14.  A lump-sum of $874,035 (in a pre-tax account) will sustain a 20-year payout of $100,000 per year (gross before taxes and paid at the end of the year) assuming the funds continue to earn +9.6% annually.  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).    
  3. STATUS QUO – If the Fed does not raise interest rates following this week’s 2-day meeting (June 16-17), it will be the 52nd consecutive meeting that the Fed has left short-term rates unchanged (source: Federal Reserve).  
  4. CONTAGION EFFECT – 18% of Greek debt is owned or underwritten by other Eurozone governments (source: Argonaut Capital).  
  5. LUNCH FOR FOUR? – The winning bid to have lunch this year with billionaire Warren Buffett, the world’s 3rd wealthiest person (worth $73 billion), was $2.3 million, down from 2012’s record of $3.46 million.  Buffett lives in a house in Omaha, NE that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500 (source: Forbes).  
  6. WHICH ARE YOU? – 46% of nearly 5,500 adults surveyed in January 2015 have “more savings than debt” compared to 31% of the group that have “more debt than savings.”  The remaining 23% of those surveyed have savings “roughly equal” to debt (source: Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress Study 2015).  
  7. BETTER START NOW – There are 116 million households in the USA as of 3/31/15, split between 89 million households headed by working-age individuals and 27 million households headed by non-working individuals.  40 million of the 89 million households headed by working-age individuals do not own any pre-tax retirement accounts, e.g., a 401(k) or IRA (source: National Institute on Retirement Security).    
  8. WHO RECEIVES BENEFITS? – 21% of the US population participates in 1 or more of the 6 different “means-tested assistance” programs in the country.  The 6 programs are 1) Medicaid, 2) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps, 3) Housing Assistance, 4) Supplemental Security Income (SSI), 5) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and 6) General Assistance (source: Census Bureau). 
  9. NOT SAFE – 20% of machine operators in the United States will ultimately received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments as a result of a work-related accident (source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis). 
  10. RAINDROPS – Average precipitation across the 48 contiguous US states during the month of May 2015 was 4.36 inches, the wettest month ever in recorded history dating back 120 ½ years, i.e., back to January 1895 (source: National Centers for Environmental Information).    
  11. HELP WANTED – There were 5.376 million job openings in the USA as of 4/30/15, the highest number recorded for this statistic going back to its December 2000 inception (source: Department of Labor). 
  12. SEQUESTRATION NUMBERS – Per the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) legislation, Congress is currently authorized to spend $1.016 trillion of discretionary spending for fiscal year 2016 (i.e., 12 months that begin 10/01/15), split between $523 billion for defense and $493 billion for non-defense programs (source: BCA). 
  13. NUMBER TRICKERY – The US debt ceiling was suspended by Congress 16 months ago on 2/10/14.  That deferral ran out on 3/15/15 (3 months ago today), at which time the debt ceiling was raised to the amount of outstanding obligations that the government had incurred up to 3/15/15, i.e., $18.152 trillion.  As a result, the US has reported a national debt of $18.152 trillion every day for the last 3 months, a numerical feat achieved only through accounting maneuvers utilized by the government (source: Treasury Department).
  14. OIL – If the USA was a member of OPEC, its daily crude oil production of 9.6 million barrels a day (as of 6/05/15) would rank # 2 behind Saudi Arabia’s production of 9.7 million barrels a day (source: Department of Energy).   
  15. TRIPLE CROWN WINNERS – The last time horse racing and major league baseball both had triple crown winners in the same year was in 1937 (source: BTN Research).

 

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