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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: August 3rd, 2015 | 0 Comments

  1. SINCE THE DOWNGRADE – Tomorrow (8/04/15) is the 1,000th trading day since the United States was downgraded by S&P from a top credit rating on 8/05/11.  Since 8/05/11, the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note has fallen from 2.57% to 2.19% and the S&P 500 has gained +77.7% on a total return basis.  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. DRY SPELL – When the S&P 500 closed at 1569 on 3/28/13, the index surpassed its previous closing high of 1565 set on 10/09/07.  Since 3/28/13, the S&P 500 has set an additional 107 record closes or 1 every 5 ½ trading days.  However the current stretch of 49 trading days since the most recent record close (set on 5/21/15) is the longest run without a new all-time closing high since 3/28/13 (source: BTN Research).       
  3. TIME IN THE STOCK MARKET – If you selected any single month at random to invest in the S&P 500 (at the close of the prior month) during the 25-years ending 6/30/15, you achieved a positive total return 65% of the time.  If you extend your investment time horizon to just 1 year, you achieved a positive total return 82% of the time.  If your time horizon was 2 years, you achieved a positive total return 80% of the time (source: BTN Research).  
  4. BEST THIS YEAR – The # 1 performing individual stock within the S&P 500 during the first 7 months of 2015 has gained +134.2%.  That same stock lost 7.2% in 2014, ranking # 430 of 500 stocks (source: BTN Research).   
  5. BEST LAST YEAR – The # 1 performing individual stock within the S&P 500 during calendar year 2014 gained +124.6% last year.  That same stock lost 14.5% in the first 7 months of 2015, ranking # 415 of 500 stocks so far this year (source: BTN Research).   
  6. MORE OUT THAN IN – The trust fund backing Social Security retirement benefits took in payroll tax contributions that exceeded retirement benefit payments made to retirees for the 26 consecutive years 1984-2009.  Since 2010, benefits paid have exceeded payroll taxes collected.  E.g., in 2014, covered workers paid in $646.2 billion of payroll taxes, but retirees received $706.8 billion in benefit payments (source: SS Trustees 2015 Report).      
  7. IMPACT OF BOOMERS – There are 2.8 workers (paying payroll taxes) for every one Social Security beneficiary in 2015, i.e., there are 36 Social Security beneficiaries for every 100 covered workers today.  There will be an estimated 2.2 workers (paying payroll taxes) for every one Social Security beneficiary in 2030, i.e., there will be 45 Social Security beneficiaries for every 100 covered workers in 2030 (source: SS Trustees 2015 Report).       
  8. TWEAK – The 6.2% that employees pay in payroll taxes is split 5.3% to OASI (retirement) and 0.9% to DI (disability).  The last time the DI fund was running out of money (1994), Congress transferred 0.34 percentage points of the employee payroll tax from the OASI program over to the disability program (source: Congress).      
  9. RISING GREENBACK – 7 years ago, the Euro peaked at $1.6038 (on 7/15/08).  Last Friday (7/31/15), the Euro closed at $1.0987.  A weaker Euro (i.e., stronger US dollar) has a negative impact on US exporters, critical to most major American companies since 46% of the revenues of the average S&P 500 company come from foreign sales (source: Standard & Poor’s).  
  10. BIG EXPOSURE – 49% of the 311 billion Euros of debt that Greece has incurred is owed to Germany or to France, including those 2 countries’ contribution to IMF and ECB loans made to Greece (source: Deutsche Bank).     
  11. KEYS PLEASE – Even though the number of homes repossessed by lenders during the first 6 months of 2015 (209,281) is an increase of +20% over the number of homes repossessed during the first half of 2014 (174,691), the 2015 total is 60% less than the number repossessed in the first half of 2010 (527,906) (source: RealtyTrac). 
  12. YOU CAN NOW SEE THE NURSE – In spite of 29,000 physicians that are completing their graduate medical education each year, the United States is anticipating that its demand for physicians in 2025 will exceed its supply by at least 46,100 doctors to as many as 90,400 doctors (source: Association of American Medical Colleges).   
  13. PLEASE WATCH THE ROAD – Only 14 US states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.  46 US states ban text messaging for all drivers (source: Governors Highway Safety Association). 
  14. SORRY – 91.4% of the 261,157 applications to the 8 Ivy League schools (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale) for the 2015-16 school year were rejected (source: Time Magazine).  
  15. HOF – MLB’s Hall of Fame has enshrined 215 former players.  John Smoltz, 2015 inductee, is the first Hall of Famer that had Tommy John surgery.  Smoltz has a 1.8 golf handicap (source: Hall of Fame). 


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