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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Kim Vo | Posted on: October 24th, 2016 | 0 Comments

1. NIFTY NOVEMBER – November has been the 4th best performing month for the S&P 500 since 1991. Over the last 25 years (1991-2015), the S&P 500 has gained an average total return of +1.38% during November. Over the entire period, 18 of 25 Novembers have been up. 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. CONTRARIAN THINKING – An equal investment at the end of 2015 in the 10 worst performing individual stocks within the S&P 500 from calendar year 2015 was up +36.3% YTD as of the close of trading last Friday 10/21/16. An equal investment at the end of 2015 in the 20 worst performing individual stocks within the S&P 500 from 2015 was up +28.9% YTD as of the close of trading last week (source: BTN Research).

3. WE’VE TIGHTENED OUR BELTS – For the 5 years 2003-07, total household liabilities in America increased by at least $1 trillion each year. When the global real estate crisis began 8 years ago, total household liabilities declined by $157 billion in 2008 (from 2007). Since the end of 2008 to the middle of 2016, total household liabilities have increased by just $453 billion (not per year but in total) over the 7 ½ year period (source: Federal Reserve).

4. HOME DEBT – The average loan-to-value ratio in the US housing market as of 6/30/08 was 55%, i.e., the average US home mortgage had 45% of equity behind it. The average loan-to-value ratio in the US housing market as of 6/30/16 was 43%, i.e., the average US home mortgage had 57% of equity behind it (source: Federal Reserve).

5. NO TAXES – 54.4% of the American taxpayers (50.4 million out of 92.7 million returns) that reported adjusted gross income less than $50,000 during tax year 2014 legally did not pay any federal income tax (source: Internal Revenue Service).

6. NOT A PENNY – 0.1% of the American taxpayers (443 out of 410,298 returns) that reported adjusted gross income of at least $1 million during tax year 2014 legally did not pay any federal income tax (source: Internal Revenue Service).

7. NATIONAL EXPENDITURES – 61% of the $3.854 trillion of total outlays for the US government during the recently completed fiscal year 2016 were in just 4 categories – Social Security ($916 billion), National Defense ($595 billion), Medicare (also $595 billion) and Net Interest Expense ($241 billion). Total outlays increased by +4.5% on a year-over-year basis, up $166 billion (source: Treasury Department).

8. DEFENSE DOLLARS – America’s spending on “National Defense” (stated as a percentage of total government outlays) has fallen from 43.2% in fiscal year 1966 to 15.5% in fiscal year 2016 (source: Treasury Department).

9. JUST FIVE SURPLUS YEARS – The budget deficit for the United States in fiscal year 2016 (i.e., the 12 months that ended 9/30/16) was $587 billion. The USA has run a budget deficit in 51 of the last 56 fiscal years, i.e., 1961-2016. The only surplus years were 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 (source: Treasury Department).

10. A SMALL RAISE – Beginning in 1975, adjustments to Social Security retirement benefits for the following year have been pegged to changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Limited national inflation has resulted in no “cost-of-living adjustment” (COLA) to retirement benefits just 3 times since 1975, i.e., in 2010, 2011 and 2016. The COLA boost for 2017 was announced last Tuesday (10/18/16) at +0.3% (source: Social Security).

11. WORK IS OVERRATED – 68% of American workers receive “paid sick leave,” 73% receive “paid vacation” and 75% receive “paid holidays” (source: Department of Labor).

12. CHILDREN AT RISK – 4.1 million children under the age of 18 that were born in the United States live with a parent or parents who are unauthorized immigrants in America (source: Migration Policy Institute).

13. ESTATE TAXES – The federal estate tax exemption is estimated to increase from $5.45 million (per decedent) in 2016 to $5.5 million as of 1/01/17, i.e., a married couple would be able to shelter $11 million from federal estate and gift taxes. The IRS announcement of the new limit is expected this week (source: BTN Research).

14. MAJOR ILLNESSES – 4 chronic diseases (cancer, strokes, diabetes and heart disease) are the cause of 67% of deaths in America each year (source: National Council on Aging).

15. BASEBALL – Babe Ruth is the only player in MLB history to have pitched a shutout and slugged multi-homer games in the World Series, i.e., 2 or more HRs in a single game. Ruth threw a shutout for the Red Sox in the 1918 Series plus hit 4 multi-homer games over 10 World Series between 1915-1932 (source: ESPN).

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