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Bill’s By The Number$

Posted by: Kim Vo | Posted on: April 24th, 2017 | 0 Comments

1. TIGHT RANGE – Through last Friday 4/21/17, the S&P 500 has just 2 trading days YTD that produced at least a 1% total return gain or loss, compared with 30 on the same date in 2016. 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. NOT THE BEST – The average US investor has produced an annualized rate of return over the last 30 years that is equal to just one-third of the average return produced by the S&P 500 over the same 3 decade time period due to bad timing on the part of the investor (e.g., investing at bull market tops or selling at bear market bottoms), diversifying with bonds, and the impact of fees (source: Dalbar).

3. SMALLER GROUP, BIGGER PIECE – People with disabilities make up 15% of the 72 million Americans who are Medicaid beneficiaries but they incur 40% of total Medicaid spending (source: Medicaid).

4. ONE LOW, ONE HIGH – Usually a low national unemployment rate is coupled with a higher inflation rate, i.e., more Americans working creates greater disposable income which leads to a higher demand for products which tends to move inflation upward. As of 4/30/07, the nation’s unemployment rate was 4.5% (considered low) and trailing 1-year inflation (using the Consumer Price Index) was +2.6% (considered high). As of 3/31/17, the nation’s unemployment rate was 4.5% and trailing 1-year inflation was +2.4% (source: Department of Labor).

5. FANCY DEGREE – 222 members of the 535 members of Congress (41%) hold law degrees including 55 of 100 senators (source: Congressional Research Service).

6. BETTER AFTER SEVEN YEARS – As of Friday 4/21/17, only 3 banks in the United States have failed YTD and required a bailout from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). As of 4/21/10, 50 banks had failed YTD. Just 5 banks failed during all of calendar year 2016 (source: FDIC).

7. MOSTLY SHORT-TERM BORROWING – Of the $1.83 trillion in bills, notes and bonds that the United States Treasury has issued YTD through Friday 4/21/17 (equal to $114 billion borrowed per week), only 9% of the debt is 10-year notes or 30 year bonds (source: Treasury Department).

8. FIVE THOUSAND A DAY – 1.7 million more Americans are employed as of 3/31/17 than were employed as of 3/31/16, an increase of +4,655 new jobs per day. There were 153.0 million employed Americans as of 3/31/17 compared to 151.3 million employed Americans as of 3/31/16 (source: Department of Labor).

9. NOT ENOUGH WORKERS – 73% of contractors surveyed in January 2017 said they had “a hard time filling salaried or hourly craft construction jobs” in 2016 (source: Associated General Contractors of America).

10. A LOT MORE RENTERS – As of the end of 2016, there were 118.6 million households in the United States, split 64/36 between homeowners (75.6 million) and renters (43.0 million). Since the end of 2011 (i.e., 5 years earlier), the number of homeowners (75.3 million as of 12/31/11) has increased by just +300,000 while the number of renters (38.8 million as of 12/31/11) has increased by +4.2 million (source: Census Bureau).

11. WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM – Property taxes represent 31.3% of the total tax revenue collected by states, greater than the 23.3% of tax revenue collected from sales taxes and the 22.9% of tax revenue that comes from individual state income taxes (source: Tax Foundation).

12. START SAVING NOW – The average cost of tuition, fees, room and board during the 2016-2017 school year at an average 4-year public college was $20,090, up +4.6% per year over the last decade. If that same rate of inflation continues over the next decade, 1-year of college (at an average in-state public college) will cost $31,441 during the school year of 2026-2027 (source: College Board).

13. ONE BAD, ONE DISMAL – The “debt-to-economy” ratio for Greece is 167%, i.e., $326 billion of debt stated as a percentage of the $195 billion Greek economy. The “debt-to-economy” ratio for the USA is 105%, i.e., $19.846 trillion of debt stated as a percentage of the $18.8694 trillion American economy (source: Commerce Department).

14. A REALLY LONG LIFE – 13% of American workers (i.e., 1 out of 8) with total household income of at least $100,000 believe they will live to age 100 (source: Transamerica Retirement Survey).

15. BIG BUCKS – 23 of 30 major league baseball teams are worth at least $1 billion, led by a $3.7 billon valuation for the New York Yankees. The Chicago Cubs may be the defending World Series champs, but are just # 4 on the valuation list, worth an estimated $2.7 billion (source: Forbes).

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