Login


Contact Info

4400 MacArthur Blvd, Suite 850
Newport Beach, California 92660
888.277.1974

Contact Us


Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: May 23rd, 2016 | 0 Comments

  1. THE LAST YEAR – The S&P 500 achieved its all-time closing high on 5/21/15 (i.e., 1 year ago).  In the 12 months since peaking at 2131, the S&P 500 has fallen 1.6% 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. LOWER STILL – The yield on the 10-year Treasury note closed at 2.19% on 5/21/15.  The yield on the 10-year Treasury note closed last Friday 5/20/16 at 1.84% (source: Treasury Department).  
  3. ONE YEAR, ONE TRILLION – The national debt was $18.152 trillion as of 5/21/15.  The national debt was $19.212 trillion as of Thursday 5/19/16 (source: Treasury Department).
  4. EITHER MORE OR LONGER – A 30-year old individual investing $523 at the beginning of every month in a pre-tax account earning +8% annually would accumulate $1 million by age 60 assuming the monthly investment is increased +3% per year.  A 30-year old will need a monthly investment of $730 (assuming a +3% increase per year in the monthly investment) if the pre-tax account earns just +6% annually in order to accumulate $1 million by age 60.  A 30-year old individual investing $523 at the beginning of every month in a pre-tax account earning +6% annually would accumulate $1 million by age 64 and 4 months assuming the monthly investment is increased +3% per year (source: BTN Research).
  5. MANY YEARS, NO CHANGE – The Social Security payroll tax rate paid by employees has been 6.2% since 1990 except for a 2% reduction in the rate during the 2 years of 2011-12 (source: Social Security).
  6. HOW WE SPEND – Internet and catalog sales (aka “non-store retailers”) totaled $45.2 billion in April 2016, an increase of +10.2% over sales from April 2015.  Overall retail sales totaled $453.4 billion in April 2016, an increase of +3.0% over sales from April 2015.  Thus, internet sales are growing more than 3 times as fast as total sales but represent just 10% of total retail sales nationwide (source: Commerce Department).
  7. NO BIG SURPRISE – The top 3 problems facing our nation (based upon a survey of 1,025 adults in early May 2016) were 1) the economy, 2) dissatisfaction with the government, and 3) unemployment/jobs (source: Gallup).
  8. WHEN PRICES ARE LOWER – The price of oil closed at $107.26 a barrel on 6/20/14, but has since fallen 56% to $47.67 a barrel as of Friday 5/20/16.  Since that June 2014 high point, more than 40 US companies in the oil industry have filed for bankruptcy protection (source: Bloomberg Business Week).
  9. SIX MONTHS AWAY – In the last 6 presidential elections (i.e., 1992-2012), 18 states have gone for the Democratic candidate each time (e.g., California, New York, Michigan), 13 states have gone for the Republican candidate each time (e.g., Utah, Nebraska, South Carolina), and the remaining 19 states have gone “blue” some years and “red” in other years (e.g., Ohio, Florida, Colorado) (source: BTN Research).
  10. REALISTIC RETURN? – The average defined benefit pension plan in the public sector (i.e., government) uses a discount rate of 7.7%.  The discount rate is used to calculate the present value of pension liabilities and has historically been benchmarked to high-quality corporate bond yields.  A higher discount rate drives a lower present value amount of liabilities and would result in lower pension plan contributions by an employer (source: Illinois State Board of Investment).
  11. DOWNGRADED – Until last week, Saudi Arabia and the state of California had the same credit rating (Aa3) from Moody’s.  The rating agency downgraded Saudi Arabia one notch to A1 last Monday 5/16/16 (source: Moody’s).
  12. IT WAS NO BIG DEAL – Today (5/23/16) is the 1,200th trading day since S&P downgraded the United States from a top credit rating on Friday 8/05/11 (source: BTN Research).
  13. THE ANGRY MIDDLE CLASS – The median household income in 83% of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the United States (190 of 229 urban areas representing 75% of our nation’s population) declined between 1999 and 2014 after adjusting for inflation (source: Pew Research Center).
  14. NO ROOM AT THE INN – There are 54,600 migrants (many from Syria) currently stuck in Greek refugee camps who are not being allowed to travel north into other European countries (source: UN Refugee Agency).
  15. THEY BOOED SANTA CLAUS – The Philadelphia Eagles had the # 2 pick in the 2016 NFL draft that was held on 4/28/16.  The Philadelphia Phillies will pick # 1 in the 2016 MLB draft to be held 6/09/16.  The Philadelphia 76ers will pick # 1 in the 2016 NBA draft to be held 6/23/16 (source: BTN Research).

– Broker/Dealer Use Only, Reproduction Prohibited without Express Permission –

Copyright © 2016 Michael A. Higley.  All rights reserved.  Email mick.higley@mahbtn.com for subscription information.