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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: October 12th, 2015 | 0 Comments

  1. IN THE NEXT QUARTER – The S&P 500 was down 6.4% (total return) in the 3rd quarter 2015, the 8th time since 1990 that the stock index was down at least 5% in the 3rd quarter of a calendar year.  The S&P 500 was up in the subsequent 4th quarter in 6 of 7 years, only failing to rebound in the 4th quarter of 2008.  The average return for the index in the 6 positive 4th quarters was a 3-month gain of +12.7% (total 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). 
  2. MOSTLY UP – The S&P 500 has produced a negative total return in only 5 of the last 25 fourth quarters, i.e., the months of October-November-December over the years 1990-2014.  The 5 down 4th quarters took place in 1994, 2000, 2007, 2008 and 2012 (source: BTN Research).   
  3. WHO KNEW? – The # 1 individual stock within the S&P 500 YTD through 9/30/15 (up +112%) was ranked # 430 (out of 500 stocks) during calendar year 2014 while losing 7% last year (source: BTN Research).    
  4. GETTING THAT JOB – 57% of job recruiters believe that an applicant’s grade point average (GPA) is “unimportant” when evaluating a candidate, but 87% of recruiters judge prior job experience as a key factor in hiring (source: Jobvite Recruiter Nation Survey).   
  5. THE GRASS IS GREENER – The average American worker will hold 9.9 jobs between the ages of 25 to 48 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).  
  6. PONZI UPDATE – Less than 2 weeks before Bernie Madoff was arrested on 12/11/08, his investors were told they held assets worth $65 billion on $17.5 billion of money actually invested.  The court-appointed trustee to the case has since recovered $11 billion of the $17.5 billion, returning $7.25 billion to victims in the Ponzi scheme.  An additional disbursement of $800 million has been made to victims as a result of SIPC insurance (source: CNN).   
  7. NEXT THREE MEETINGS – As of last Friday 10/09/15, the bond market is priced to reflect a 8% chance of a Fed rate hike at its 10/28/15 meeting, a 37% chance of a Fed rate hike at its 12/16/15 meeting, and a 47% chance of a Fed rate hike at its 1/27/16 meeting (source: CME Group).  
  8. THE ORIGINAL PLAN – President Barack Obama sent to Congress his budget plan for fiscal year 2015 (i.e., the 12 months that ended 9/30/15) on 3/04/14, i.e., 19 months ago.  His plan called for $3.34 trillion of tax receipts, $3.90 trillion of government outlays and a $561 billion budget deficit (source: White House).  
  9. THE REALITY – The latest estimates for fiscal year 2015 (i.e., the 12 months ending 9/30/15) are $3.25 trillion of tax receipts and $3.70 trillion of spending, producing a $455 billion deficit (source: Treasury Department).  
  10. DEADLINE – According to a Treasury Department letter sent to Congress on 10/01/15 regarding our nation’s debt ceiling, the government “is likely to exhaust its extraordinary measures on or about 11/05/15” to keep our outstanding debt below its current $18.152 trillion limit.  The letter warns that “without sufficient cash, it would be impossible for the USA to meet all of its obligations for the 1st time in our history” (source: Treasury Department). 
  11. PUT IT ON THE CARD – Total credit card debt in the USA as of 8/31/15 was $918.5 billion, an average of $8,004 of credit card debt for every household in the nation (source: Federal Reserve).   
  12. WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT – The number of federal government workers has decreased by 402,000 over the last 25 years (i.e., 9/30/90 to 9/30/15), but the number of state and local workers (excluding teachers) has increased by +2.1 million over the same period (source: Department of Labor).       
  13. BIG BALANCE SHEET – “Quantitative Easing” in the United States ended on 10/29/14, i.e., a year ago.  The Fed’s balance sheet had $4.219 trillion of “securities held outright” on 10/29/14.  The Fed’s balance sheet had $4.238 trillion of “securities held outright” on 10/07/15 (source: Federal Reserve). 
  14. JUST LEND IT OUT – The ¼ of 1% that the Fed currently pays to US banks on the $2.543 trillion of excess reserves the banks hold at the 12 regional Fed banks (as of 9/30/15) is equal to $17.4 million in daily interest (source: Federal Reserve).        
  15. MONEY BALL – The major league baseball teams with the 3rd (Nationals), 4th (Tigers), 5th (Red Sox), 6th (Giants) and 7th (Angels) highest 2015 opening day payrolls did not qualify for postseason play.  But the teams with 25th (Pirates) and the 29th (Astros) highest 2015 opening day payrolls did make the playoffs (source: Major League Baseball).     


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