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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Kim Vo | Posted on: October 3rd, 2016 | 0 Comments

1. LAST QUARTER – Over the last 25 years (1991-2015), the S&P 500 index has gained an average of +5.1% (total return) over the final 3 months of the year (October-November-December). 20 of the last 25 fourth quarters (80%) have produced a positive total return gain. 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. YEAR-TO-DATE – The S&P 500 is up +7.8% YTD through Friday 9/30/16 on a total return basis. The index has had only 1 down year (2008) in the last 13 years, i.e., 2003-15 (source: BTN Research).

3. RISK/REWARD – 106 individual stocks in the S&P 500 (i.e., 106 of 500 stocks or 21% of the stocks in the index) gained at least +20% during the first 9 months of 2016 (change of the stock price without factoring in the impact of dividends) including 25 stocks that are up at least +40% YTD through 9/30/16. 161 stocks (32% of the stocks in the index) have dropped in value since the end of 2015 (source: BTN Research).

4. SAGE ADVICE – It was 8 years ago (10/16/08) that Warren Buffet wrote his “Buy America, I Am” op-ed article in the New York Times. Buffett encouraged investors to “be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” Buffett’s letter was released less than 5 months before the stock market bottomed on 3/09/09, ending a 57% decline of the S&P 500 (source: New York Times).

5. MORE THAN A TRILLION A YEAR – The national debt as of 9/30/06 was $8.507 trillion. The national debt as of Thursday 9/29/16 was $19.533 trillion. Thus, the national debt has increased just over $11 trillion over the last 10 fiscal years, i.e., fiscal years 2007-2016 (source: Treasury Department).

6. NO PENSION – 72% of “Baby Boomers” do not have a corporate pension plan, a total of 56 million “boomers.” “Baby Boomers” are traditionally defined as the 78 million Americans ages 52-70 in 2016, i.e., individuals born from 1946 to 1964 (source: Insured Retirement Institute).

7. VOTE – 48 of the 50 states allocate their Electoral College votes on a “winner-take-all” basis, with only Nebraska and Maine allocating their states’ votes using a different methodology. There are 538 Electoral College votes nationally, thus requiring 270 votes to win the presidency. 538 is the total of 435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 Senators and 3 electors given to the District of Columbia (source: BTN Research).

8. IS THAT FAIR? – The 410,298 tax returns from tax year 2014 that reported at least $1 million of adjusted gross income (AGI) represent 0.28% of all returns filed (i.e., slightly more than ¼ of 1% of returns filed), received 14.0% of all AGI nationwide and paid 27.6% of all the federal income tax that was paid nationally in 2014 (source: IRS).

9. GOOD TV – 114.4 million Americans watched Super Bowl # 49 on 2/01/15 between the Patriots and the Seahawks, the most watched telecast in US history. 84 million Americans watched presidential debate # 1 on Monday 9/26/16 between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (source: Nielsen).

10. BROKE AGAIN – The agreement reached between Greece and its creditors on 5/25/16 called for 10.3 billion Euros to be paid to Athens to prevent yet another financial collapse – 7.5 billion Euros that was released in June 2016 and 2.8 billion Euros to be released in September 2016. However as of 9/23/16, Greece has achieved only 2 of the 15 financial requirements for the release of the 2.8 billion Euros (source: International Monetary Fund).

11. MORE MONEY – 9 of the 10 highest paying bachelor degrees by salary potential for college graduates in 2016 were engineering degrees, including Petroleum Engineering and Systems Engineering (source: PayScale.com).

12. LOUSY MATH – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System projected that the investments backing state employees’ pensions would grow from $159.1 billion in 1999 to $613.5 billion in 2016 due to an +8.25% annual rate of return plus yearly contributions. Actual fund size in 2016 was just $295.1 billion (source: CalPERS).

13. BLAME IT ON LOW OIL PRICES – Saudi Arabia is projecting a sovereign budget deficit in 2016 that will be equal to 13% of the size of the Saudi economy (source: Financial Times).

14. HERE AT HOME – At the depths of the global housing crisis that began in 2008, the United States had a budget deficit in fiscal year 2009 that was equal to 9.8% of the size of the American economy (source: OMB).

15. THE KING – Arnold Palmer won $184,065 during the 1967 PGA golf season (winning 4 times), his best earnings year ever on the links. Rory McIlroy won $11.53 million on 9/25/16 (the day of Palmer’s death) by winning the PGA Tour Championship in sudden death and clinching the season-long FedEx Cup (source: PGA).

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