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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Vanessa Guadiana | Posted on: April 28th, 2014 | 0 Comments

  1. MAY DAY – The average total return for the S&P 500 during the month of May since 1990 has been a gain of +1.12%, the 6th best performing month over the 24-year period.  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. EITHER ONE OR THE OTHER – Based upon the last 80 years (1934-2013), the S&P 500 is as likely to gain at least +26.5% (total return) in any single calendar year as it is to have a negative total return for the year.  Both events have occurred 20 times over the 80-year period (source: BTN Research).
  3. POLITICS – The second year of the 4-year presidential cycle (e.g., calendar year 2014) has produced an average annual gain of +8.6% (total return) for the S&P 500 over the last 80 years (source: BTN Research).
  4. TARP – “The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008,” the bill that established the $700 billion “Troubled Asset Relief Program” (TARP), was signed into law by President George Bush on 10/03/08 or 5 ½ years ago.  The total cost of TARP was revised on 4/17/14 to $27 billion or just 3.9% of the original $700 billion estimated cost.  Note that $438 billion of the $700 billion was actually disbursed (source: Congressional Budget Office).
  5. MARGIN DEBT – The use of margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has increased by $100 billion in the last 12 months.  Margin debt totaled $366 billion as of 2/28/13 but has grown to $466 billion as of 2/28/14, an all-time record amount (source: New York Stock Exchange).
  6. GAINS IN GREEK BONDS – The current yield on 2% coupon 10-year government paper issued by Greece was 8.52% on 12/31/13.  The current yield on the same debt was 6.67% on 4/25/14.  Thus the market value of the bond has increased +27.7% in less than 4 months since the beginning of 2014 (source: Financial Times).
  7. DEBT FREE – Households in the USA are split 68%/32% between homeowners and renters.  1 of every 3 homeowners (32%) owns their home free of any debt.  Thus, 22% of all US households are homeowners with no debt, i.e., 68% (homeowner percentage) x 32% (percentage debt free) = 22% (source: 2012 Statistical Abstract).
  8. HOME SALES – After reaching 5.38 million sales in July 2013, there have been fewer existing homes sold on a month-over-month basis in 7 of the last 8 months through March 2014 (source: National Association of Realtors).
  9. BRAND NEW HOME – The highest median price ($290,000) and highest average price ($334,200) ever recorded for new homes sold in the USA occurred in March 2014.  The previous median record ($271,600) was set in April 2013.  The previous average record ($331,000) was set in February 2007 (source: Census Bureau).
  10. EVERY FIVE YEARS – There have been 33 recessions in the USA since 1854 (i.e., last 160 years), an average of 1 recession every 58 months (source: National Bureau of Economic Research).
  11. MEDICAID – There are 26 states that have accepted Federal funding to expand Medicaid, 19 states have refused the Federal funding and have not expanded Medicaid (as allowed by a 6/28/12 Supreme Court ruling) and another 5 states (Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia) are still debating their decision.  The 100% Federal funding of the expansion of Medicaid will decline after 12/31/16 (source: Affordable Care Act).
  12. NEW MATH – The Census Bureau announced on 4/16/14 changes to the wording of survey questions used to determine the number of Americans that are lacking health insurance.  The Census Bureau estimates that the previous methodology may have overstated the number of uninsured Americans by 1.9%, i.e., 1.9% of 318 million (the US population) or 6 million.  The revisions are designed to establish an accurate 2013 baseline number that will be used in the evaluation of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (source: Census Bureau).
  13. HEALTH CARE – The average premium in 2013 for an employer-sponsored health plan covering a family of 4 was $1,363 per month.  On average, an employee pays 28% of the total premium (i.e., $381 per month) and the employer pays the remaining 72% (i.e., $982 per month) (source: Kaiser Family Foundation).
  14. IT’S IN THE NUMBERS – 3 of the top 4 jobs in the USA in 2014 are math-oriented.  The # 1 ranked-job is a mathematician, # 3 is a statistician and # 4 is an actuary.  200 jobs were evaluated based upon the 4 categories of environment, income, outlook and stress (source: CareerCast).      
  15. 15.   OPEN YOUR EYES BLUE – More than 2 of every 5 challenges (46 of 113 or 41%) using Major League Baseball’s new instant replay system have overturned incorrect calls for baseball games played through 4/19/14 (source: Major League Baseball).  


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