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Bill’s By The Number$

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

  1. LATE IN THE YEAR – The S&P 500 index has closed at its calendar year high during the month of December in 17 of the last 30 years, i.e., 1985-2014.  The index’s high close (so far) during 2015 (2130.82) was achieved on Thursday 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. FOUR – Next year (2016) will be the 4th year of Barack Obama’s 2nd 4-year presidential term.  The S&P 500 has been positive on a total return basis during 17 of the last 20 “presidential 4th years” (source: BTN Research). 
  3. NOT BIG EARNERS – 85% of the 52.8 million tax returns filed in 2013 that did not pay any federal income tax reported less than $30,000 of adjusted gross income (source: Internal Revenue Service).  
  4. MAJORITY PAY NOTHING – 67% of the 67.8 million tax returns filed in 2013 that reported less than $30,000 of adjusted gross income did not pay any federal income tax (source: Internal Revenue Service).     
  5. TAX GAMEPLAN – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said on 11/15/15 that the 3 things he would like to change within the US tax code would be 1) simplify the tax code, 2) collapse the number of brackets to 2 or 3 from the current 7, and 3) change the way multinational firms are taxed so as to encourage them to bring $2.1 trillion of untaxed profits that are currently held overseas back to the United States (source: CBS News).  
  6. IMPACT ON HOMEOWNERSHIP? – Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has proposed the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction from the US tax code.  Only 26% of all US tax filers claim the mortgage interest deduction (source: Internal Revenue Service).  
  7. PENSION BACKSTOP – The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) was forced to take over an average of 10 failed pension plans per month over the last 12 fiscal years (2004-2015), a total of 1,454 pension plans taken over during the dozen years.  The PBGC protects defined benefit pension plans in the private (non-government) sector (source: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation). 
  8. ALMOST ALL SENIORS – 88% of Americans at least age 65 received a monthly Social Security benefit payment during fiscal year 2015 (i.e., the 12 months ending 9/30/15), either in the form of a monthly retirement benefit, a survivor benefit or a disability benefit (source: Social Security Administration).   
  9. OIL – The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted on 11/10/15 that the world’s crude oil market will continue to be oversupplied through the end of the decade, i.e., through 2020.  The IEA forecasts that the price of crude oil will not recover to $80 a barrel until 2020.  Crude oil closed at $40.59 a barrel on Thursday 11/19/15 (source: IEA).   
  10. STRONGER BANKING SYSTEM – Only 8 banks have failed in the United States YTD through 11/16/15, on pace to be the fewest number of bank failures in our country since 2007 when just 3 banks failed.  Over the 7 years from 2008-14, 507 banks failed, an average of 72 per year (source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).   
  11. HIGHER THIS YEAR – Through the first 10 months of 2015 (i.e., YTD through 10/31/15), lenders have foreclosed on 369,920 homes in the United States, an average of 1,217 per day.  The 10-month total is +33.2% higher than our nation’s 10-month YTD foreclosure total from calendar year 2014 (source: RealtyTrac).  
  12. IN THE WRONG DIRECTION – Japan has reported 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth, officially putting the country in a recession.  Japan’s economy contracted 0.8% in the 3rd quarter 2015 (i.e., quarter-over-quarter change expressed as an annualized result), a slump that followed a 0.7% contraction in the 2nd quarter 2015.  Japan exited its last recession in October 2014 (source: Financial Times).  
  13. TRAVEL TO PARIS – France attracts more tourists (83 million) each year than any other country in the world.  7.5% of France’s $2.3 trillion economy is generated through tourism (source: CNBC).     
  14. WE TEACH THE WORLD – 51.4% of the 974,926 foreign students studying at American colleges during last year’s school year (2014-15) are natives of China, India or South Korea.  New York University (NYU) has more foreign students than any college in the United States (source: Institute of International Education).    
  15. IT’S A TEAM GAME – Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays was voted the MVP of the American League last Thursday (11/19/15) for the 2015 regular season.  World Series champion Kansas City Royals surprisingly had only 1 player finish in the top 17 of the AL MVP vote.  Lorenzo Cain, the Royals’ center fielder, finished 3rd in the voting (source: Major League Baseball).  


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