Broker Check

Prior Week's Notable Numbers

Here are your Notable Numbers from the past 12 weeks.

Notable Numbers from the week of 11/20/17

  1. LATE IN THE YEAR - The S&P 500 index has closed at its calendar year high during the month of December in 18 of the last 32 years, i.e., 1985-2016.  The index’s high close (so far) during 2017 (a value of 2594) was achieved on Wednesday 11/08/17.  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. FIRST YEAR OF FOUR YEARS - 2017 is the 1st year of Donald Trump’s first 4-year presidential term.  The S&P 500 has been positive on a total return basis during just 11 of the last 20 “presidential 1st years.”  The S&P 500 is up +17.3% YTD (total return) through the close of trading on Friday 11/17/17 (source: BTN Research).

  3. GOOD RESULT - The trailing 1-year performance of the S&P 500 has been a gain of at least +16% (total return) at the end of every month this year through 10/31/17 (source: BTN Research).

  4. WE TEACH THE WORLD - 60% of the 1,078,822 foreign students studying at American colleges during last year’s school year (2016-17) are natives of China, India, South Korea or Saudi Arabia.  New York University (NYU) and the University of Southern California (USC) have the most foreign students in the United States (source: Institute of International Education).

  5. WE SELL, THEY BUY - US exports of goods and services to China have increased tenfold since 1999, rising from $17 billion in 1999 to $170 billion in 2016 (source: Commerce Department).

  6. SOME PAID, SOME DID NOT - Americans filed 5 million tax returns in tax year 2015.  66% of the returns (99.0 million) paid federal income tax while 34% of the returns (51.5 million) did not pay any federal income tax (source: Internal Revenue Service).

  7. NO FEDERAL INCOME TAXES - 54% of the American taxpayers (49.8 million out of 92.4 million returns) that reported adjusted gross income less than $50,000 during tax year 2015 legally did not pay any federal income tax (source: Internal Revenue Service).

  8. MADE A LOT AND PAID A LOT - The 6.75 million tax returns from tax year 2015 that reported at least $200,000 of adjusted gross income (AGI) represent 4% of all the tax returns filed, received 43% of all AGI nationwide and paid 59% of all the federal income tax that was paid nationally in 2015 (source: Internal Revenue Service).

  9.  STRONGER BANKING SYSTEM - Only 7 banks have failed in the United States YTD through 11/15/17, on pace to be the 3rd consecutive year of fewer than 10 failures.  Over the 7 years from 2008-14, 507 banks failed, an average of 72 per year.  157 banks failed in 2010 alone (source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).

  10. IMPACTS JUST A FEW - The House version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” would limit the deduction of mortgage interest expense to that created by debt of $500,000 or less.  Just 7% of the 7.7 million home mortgages originated in 2016 were for loans that exceeded $500,000 (source: Inside Mortgage Finance).

  11. NO CHANGE FOR MOST - The House version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” eliminates the state and local tax deduction on Form 1040, Schedule A, except for a maximum $10,000 deduction for property taxes.  Just 5% of homeowners nationwide (3.7 million out of 75.6 million homeowners) paid more than $10,000 of property taxes in 2016 (source: National Association of Home Builders).

  12. JOBS LOST - An analysis of 97,500 mergers and acquisitions that occurred across 68 countries around the world between 2004-2016 estimates that with a maximum 20% top corporate tax rate in place (instead of the current 35% top rate) that the United States would have retained 4,700 domestic companies that instead became foreign-owned over the 13-year period (source: Ernst & Young).

  13. GROWING ECONOMY - Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross estimates that a +1% increase in our nation’s GDP would equate to $3 trillion of additional tax revenue to our government over the next 10 years.  The United States collected $27 trillion of tax revenue over the last 10 fiscal years (source: Office of Management and Budget).

  14. LOTS OF BORROWING - Student loan debt nationwide has increased +7.3% annually over the last 5 years, i.e., from 9/30/12 to 9/30/17, rising from $956 billion to $1.36 trillion.  Outstanding auto loans ($1.213 trillion) are less than outstanding student loans (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).

  15.  PERFECT - Of the 130 Division 1 FBS football schools (using 85 scholarships per team), just 4 teams are undefeated as of 11/15/17 – Alabama, Miami, Wisconsin and the University of Central Florida (source: ESPN).

Notable Numbers from the week of 11/13/17

  1. WASHINGTON AND WALL STREET - 2017 has had a Republican in the White House and Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate.  Over the last 80 years, the S&P 500 has gained +10.7% per year (total return) when the White House and Congress were controlled by the same political party.  With only 7 trading weeks remaining in 2017, the S&P 500 is up +17.3% YTD (total return).  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. SINCE THE 2016 ELECTION - Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States on 11/08/16.  In the 12 months since the 2016 election, i.e., 11/08/16 to 11/08/17, the S&P 500 gained +23.7% (total return), more than twice the average annual +10.2% gain that the index has achieved over the last half century, i.e., 1967-2016 (source: BTN Research).

  3. DID I SAY THAT? - University of Pennsylvania finance professor Jeremy Siegel said he “wouldn’t be surprised to see a 1,000 point drop on the Dow” following Donald Trump’s victory on 11/08/16.  The Dow gained +5,231 points in the 1 year since the election through the close of trading on 11/08/17 (source: BTN Research).

  4. NEW PAPER - The US issued $15 billion of new 30-year debt last week.  The bond carries a 2.75% coupon with an 11/15/2047 maturity date.  30-year Treasury debt has been traded since 1977 (source: Treasury Department).

  5. INCREASE EVERYONE - Individual income taxes paid by American taxpayers would have to increase by +42% in order to eliminate our $666 billion deficit from fiscal year 2017 (source: Treasury Department).

  6. COMPLETE CYCLE - The jobless rate in the United States was 5.0% in October 2005, then doubled to 10.0% by October 2009, and now has come full circle to 4.1% in October 2017.  The last time we had an unemployment rate that was lower than 4.1% was in December 2000 or almost 17 years ago (source: Department of Labor).

  7. ONE YEAR - As of the end of October 2016, the USA was domestically producing 8.5 million barrels of crude oil per day while we were importing 9.0 million barrels.  As of the end of October 2017, the USA was domestically producing 9.6 million barrels of crude oil per day while we were importing 7.6 million barrels.  Thus, in the last year, our nation’s production of crude oil has increased +1.1 million barrels a day while our importing of crude oil has declined by 1.4 million barrels a day (source: Department of Energy).

  8. SUPPLY AND DEMAND - The price of oil closed at $57.35 a barrel on Monday 11/06/17, its highest close since oil finished at $59.01 a barrel on 6/30/15 or more than 28 months ago (source: NYMEX).

  9. A LOT TO MEXICO - American exports of natural gas will exceed its imports of natural gas in 2017, the first year in which that has happened since 1958 or 59 years ago (source: Energy Information Administration).

  10. HIGH-TAX STATES - The House’s “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” retains the deductibility of property taxes up to a maximum of $10,000 per year.  Of the 10 states with the highest average property taxes, President Trump carried none of the 10 states in the 2016 presidential election (source: Internal Revenue Service).

  11. LOOMING DEADLINE - Congress must pass a fiscal year 2018 budget by midnight on Friday 12/08/17, a deadline that is now less than 4 weeks away.  If Congress does not agree on a 2018 budget by that date and if they do not extend the “continuing funding resolution” that expires on 12/08/17, a shutdown of our government will occur.  Our nation’s last shutdown took place in early October 2013 when the government stopped business for 16 days (source: BTN Research).

  12. STANDARD OF LIVING - China’s economy is the 2nd largest in the world behind the United States, but China’s “GDP per person” is only $9,377 while the USA’s “GDP per person” is $61,687 (source: IMF).

  13. ON THE SAME PAGE - Janet Yellen took over as Fed Chair on 2/03/14, running the central bank for 30 meetings since then.  8 different Board of Governor members have cast 20 dissenting votes to Yellen’s interest rate recommendation made at the 30 meetings.  None of 20 dissenting votes were cast by Jerome Powell, a Board of Governors member since 5/25/12, and Yellen’s successor as of 2/03/18 (source: Federal Reserve).

  14. VOTING - The 2018 midterm elections will be held on 11/06/18.  Republicans control the House 241-194 and the Senate 52-48, the latter number counting 2 independents that caucus with the Democrats (source: BTN Research).

  15. LOST THEM ALL - Through week # 9 of the NFL season, the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers remain winless.  In the last 50 seasons, only 3 NFL teams finished their football season winless (source: NFL).

Notable Numbers from the week of 11/06/17

  1. FROM HERE TO THE END - The S&P 500 was up +16.9% YTD through 10/31/17 (total return).  The index has been up 19 of the last 25 Novembers and 20 of the last 25 Decembers.  The S&P 500 has averaged a gain of +1.7% in November and +1.4% in December over the last 25 years (1992-2016).  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. WORTH TWICE AS MUCH - 2 stocks within the S&P 500 doubled in value in 2014, then 2 different stocks doubled in 2015 and then 2 more stocks doubled in 2016, i.e., change of the stock price of at least +100% not counting the impact of dividends.  3 more stocks within the index, all different from the previous 6 stocks that doubled in 2014-2016, have doubled YTD through 10/31/17 (source: BTN Research).

  3. LONG TIME WITHOUT WORK - 8% of unemployed Americans have been out-of-work for at least 27 weeks as of 10/31/17, i.e., jobless for more than 6 months.  45.5% of unemployed Americans had been out-of-work for at least 27 weeks as of 4/30/10 or 7 ½ years ago (source: Department of Labor).

  4. MORE AND MORE RENTERS - The 111.4 million households that existed in the United States on 9/30/09 were split between 75.3 million owners and 1 million renters.  The 119.1 million households in the United States on 9/30/17 were split between 76.2 million owners and 42.9 million renters (source: Census Bureau).

  5. DEDUCTIONS - The House Ways and Means Committee released its initial design of tax reform last Thursday 11/02/17.  The bill, officially HR # 1 and called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA), eliminates the deductibility of state and local taxes and sales taxes, but retains the deductibility of property taxes up to a maximum of $10,000.  TCJA would maintain the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners, but limit the deduction for new mortgages on debt up to $500,000 for homes purchased after 11/02/17 (source: TCJA).

  6. PROPOSED BRACKETS - Under TCJA, a couple filing jointly would pay no tax up to the new $24,000 standard deduction, then pay a 12% rate up to $90,000 of earnings, then pay a 25% rate up to $260,000 of earnings, then a 35% rate up to $1 million of earnings and finally a 39.6% rate for earnings above $1 million (source: TCJA).

  7. FAMILY CREDIT - The proposed family tax credit increases the existing child tax credit to $1,600 (from $1,000), plus adds a $300 tax credit for each parent along with a $300 tax credit for a “non-child dependent,” e.g., a college student or an aging parent living within the household.  The family tax credit phases out from $110,000 to $230,000 of “modified adjusted gross income” on a joint return (source: TCJA).

  8. IMMEDIATE HELP - Businesses would be allowed to “fully expense,” i.e., deduct, the cost of qualifying property retroactive to purchases made as of Wednesday 9/27/17.  However this benefit expires in 2023 (source: TCJA).

  9. RESTRAINING EUROPE’S RECOVERY - The value of the Euro, the common currency of the 19-nation Eurozone, has risen from $1.0531 as of 12/31/16 to $1.1651 as of 10/31/17.  The Euro’s rise means that Americans paying one Euro for an export from the Eurozone have experienced a +10.6% price increase (source: BTN Research).

  10. LESS RUSH TO DRILL - Since peaking at 958 operating oil rigs nationwide as of Friday 7/28/17, the number of oil rigs in use in the United States has declined in 11 of the last 14 weeks (including the last 5 weeks in a row) to 898 operating rigs as of Friday 11/03/17 (source: Baker Hughes).

  11. FED JOBS - Janet Yellen’s 4-year term as Fed Chair expires on 2/03/18.  President Trump announced on 11/02/17 that Jerome Powell will replace Yellen as Fed Chair.  Yellen could, if she chooses, stay on as a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors for 6 more years through 1/31/2024 (source: Federal Reserve).

  12. MAKE IT EASY - 68% of plan sponsors of defined contribution retirement plans offer automatic enrollment for their new employees today (source: Alight Solutions).

  13. TIGHT BUDGET - 34% of American households headed by seniors at least age 65 receive 90% or more of their annual income from their Social Security retirement benefits (source: Government Accountability Office).

  14. NOT MUCH - The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamps program, provides support to 40 million low-income and disabled Americans.  An individual with no other income source can receive a maximum SNAP benefit today of $192 per month or $6.31 per day (source: SNAP).

  15. GREAT OFFENSE - The 2017 World Series champs Houston Astros led all 30 teams in Major League Baseball in batting average, on-base percentage, runs, hits and doubles (source: Major League Baseball).

Notable Numbers from the week of 10/30/17

  1. END OF BULL - 20% of the point gain in the S&P 500 during the 9 ½ year bull market run that lasted from 10/11/90 to 3/24/00 occurred over the final 6 months of the bull market.  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. SEARCH FOR YIELD - Less than 5% of global fixed-income securities that are “investment-grade” have a current yield greater than +4% today.  Before the 2008 global real estate crisis began, 80% of “investment-grade” fixed-income securities worldwide had a current yield greater than +4% (source: International Monetary Fund).

  3. JOBS FOR JOBLESS - In August 2009, the United States had 4 out-of-work Americans per job opening.  In August 2017, the United States had 1.2 out-of-work Americans per job opening (source: Labor Department).

  4. START SAVING NOW - A child born in 2017 that begins kindergarten in the fall of 2022 would attend college between the years of 2035 and 2039.  If that child attended an average public in-state 4-year college and if the annual price increases for public colleges experienced over the last 30 years (+5.47% per year) continued into the future, the aggregate 4-year cost of the child’s college education (including tuition, fees, room & board) would be $235,264 or $58,816 per year (source: College Board).

  5. DISABILITY BENEFITS - Social Security initially approves just 36% of disability applications, i.e., they reject 64% of disability applications at first.  Once rejected, a disability applicant can appeal to 4 additional levels: a reconciliation appeal sent to the same state agency that made the original decision; to the Office of Disability Adjudication and Review; to the Appeals Council; to Federal Court (source: SS Disability SSI Resource Center).

  6. LOOKING TO BE AN OWNER - 62% of renters believe that today is a “good time to buy a home” (source: National Association of Realtors).

  7. EXTREMES - The state and local sales tax in Chicago is 10.25%, the highest rate of any major US city.  The state and local sales tax in Portland is 0% (source: Sales Tax Clearinghouse).

  8. LITTLE EXPERIENCE - Just 3 members of Congress, i.e., 3 out of 535 House and Senate members, had securities licenses (selling stock and bonds) before their election to Congress (source: CRS).

  9. TAXES PAID - Federal estate and gift taxes collected during fiscal year 2017 (i.e., the 12 months that ended 9/30/17) were just $22.8 billion, less than two-thirds of 1% of the $3.315 trillion of tax receipts collected during the period.  Total individual income taxes collected (1040s) were $1.587 trillion, its largest total ever and more than 5 times the size of the $297 billion of corporate taxes that was collected (source: Treasury Department).

  10. DEFICITS OVER TIME - Aggregate budget deficits for the US government over the last 10 fiscal years (i.e., 2008-2017) are $8.4 trillion, including $666 billion during fiscal year 2017.  Aggregate budget deficits for the US government over the 80 fiscal years from 1928-2007 are $4.8 trillion (source: OMB).

  11. DOUBLE-DOUBLE - From total government spending of $246 billion during fiscal year 1973, total government outlays doubled over 6 years (to $504 billion in fiscal year 1979), doubled again over 8 years (to $1.004 trillion in fiscal year 1987), doubled again over 15 years (to $2.011 trillion in fiscal year 2002), and then finally doubled once again over the next 15 years (to $3.980 trillion in fiscal year 2017) (source: OMB).

  12. AT RISK - 15 state governments are not financially prepared for the next US recession.  The modeling that was used in this study assumed that a state would need 10% of its annual budget set aside in cash to weather a “moderate” recession.  The 15 states include North Dakota, Illinois and New Jersey (source: Moody’s Analytics).

  13. SHIFT IN TYPE - In 1975, defined contribution plans outnumbered defined benefit plans 2-to-1, i.e., 207,700 to 103,300.  40 years later in 2015, defined contribution plans outnumbered defined benefit plans 14-to-1, i.e., 648,300 to 45,600 (source: Government Accountability Office).

  14. FAMILY MONEY - Jeff Bezos is ranked # 1 as the richest person in the world ($94 billion as of Friday 10/27/17), but the 6 living heirs of Sam Walton (who died in 1992) are worth a combined $140 billion (source: Forbes).

  15. OUT! - The 2017 World Series between the Astros and the Dodgers is the 113th edition of MLB’s championship series.  The only World Series that ended with a runner being caught stealing took place in 1926.  Babe Ruth drew a 2-out walk in the bottom of the 9th of game 7 with the Yankees down a run to the Cardinals but was thrown out attempting to steal 2nd base for the game’s and the season’s final out (source: BTN Research).

Notable Numbers from the week of 10/23/17

  1. BETTER THAN AVERAGE - The S&P 500 is up +16.9% YTD (total return) through Friday 10/20/17, more than half again larger than the index’s trailing 50-year (1967-2016) average annual return of +10.2%.  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. STREAKING - The S&P 500 has been up on a total return basis in each of the first 9 months of 2017, matching the 9-month start to a year last achieved in 1995.  With 7 trading days remaining in October 2017, the index is up +2.3% (total return) for the month-to-date (source: BTN Research).

  3. IF IT HAPPENED TODAY - When the S&P 500 fell 58 points on “Black Monday” (10/19/87), the tumble represented a fall of 20.5%.  A 20.5% decline on last Friday’s (10/20/17) closing index value of 2575 would equate to a fall of 528 points (source: BTN Research).

  4. LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE - Just 1 of 10 Wall Street equity strategists polled by Barron’s on 12/17/16 forecasted a year-end 2017 closing value for the S&P 500 above 2500.  The S&P 500 index closed last Friday (10/20/17) at 2575 (source: Barron’s).

  5. WE’VE TIGHTENED OUR BELTS - For the 5 years of 2003-07, total household liabilities in America increased by at least $1 trillion each year.  Total household liabilities declined by $157 billion in 2008 (from 2007) when the global real estate crisis Since the end of 2008 to the middle of 2017, total household liabilities have increased by $985 billion (not per year but in total) over the 8 ½ year period (source: Federal Reserve).

  6. EQUITY - The average loan-to-value ratio in the US housing market as of 6/30/08 was 55%, i.e., the average home mortgage had 45% of equity behind it.  The average loan-to-value ratio in the US housing market as of 6/30/17 was 42%, i.e., the average home mortgage had 58% of equity behind it (source: Federal Reserve).

  7. JUST FIVE SURPLUS YEARS The budget deficit for the United States in fiscal year 2017 (i.e., the 12 months that ended 9/30/17) was $666 billion.  The USA has run a budget deficit in 52 of the last 57 fiscal years, i.e., 1961-2017.  The only surplus years were 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 (source: Treasury Department).

  8. NATIONAL EXPENDITURES - 60% of the $3.981 trillion of total outlays for the US government during the recently completed fiscal year 2017 were in just 4 categories – Social Security ($945 billion), National Defense ($600 billion), Medicare ($597 billion) and Net Interest Expense ($263 billion).  Total outlays increased by +3.3% on a year-over-year basis, up $128 billion (source: Treasury Department).

  9. 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 15.1% in fiscal year 2017 (source: Treasury Department).

  10. NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE - Japan, a country that has strict immigration policies and a low birth rate, had a population of 128 million in 2010.  Japan’s population is projected to fall 34% to 85 million by the year 2100 (source: The Brookings Institute).

  11. GROWING EACH YEAR - The population of the USA reached 300 million on 10/17/06.  The population of the USA reached 326 million on 10/17/17.  Thus, over the last 11 years, the population of the USA has grown an average of 36 million citizens per year as a result of births, deaths and immigration (source: Census Bureau).

  12. LESS OIL DEPENDENT - Imports of crude oil into the USA for the week ending Friday 9/08/17 were 48 million barrels a day.  In the last 20 years, there has been only 1 week in which the USA imported less than 6.48 million barrels a day of crude oil (source: Department of Energy).

  13. SOME INFLATION - Over the 4 years from 2013-2016, the measurement of American inflation (using the Consumer Price Index) on a year-over-year basis reached the Federal Reserve’s target of +2% at the end of 3 months, i.e., 3 out of 48 months.  But after year-over-year inflation was reported to be +2.2% through 9/30/17, the +2% target threshold has now been achieved at the end of 5 of 9 months YTD in 2017 (source: Federal Reserve).

  14. MOTHER NATURE - The United States has suffered 218 weather and climate disasters since 1980 in which the cost of damages exceeded $1 billion (inflation adjusted value in 2017 dollars), an average of nearly 6 separate “billion-dollar or more” disasters per year (source: National Centers for Environmental Information).

  15. WORLD SERIES BOUND - The Los Angeles Dodgers are the first team in the 148-year history of Major League Baseball to win 15 of 16 games and lose 15 of 16 games in the same season (source: Elias Sports Bureau). 

Notable Numbers from the week of 10/16/17

  1. UP FOR THE YEAR - In spite of tumbling 20.5% on the single trading day of 10/19/87 (30 years ago this week), the S&P 500 gained +5.3% (total return) for the entire 1987 calendar year.  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 value (source: BTN Research).

  2. LUMP-SUM NEEDED - A present value (PV) amount of $1.96 million in a pre-tax retirement account is required today to fund a future payment stream for 30 years of $100,000 annually (with a 2.5% increase for maintenance of purchasing power) assuming that a 6% rate of return (ROR) can be maintained into the future.  If the ROR falls to 5% from 6%, the PV amount rises by 13% to $2.21 million.  If the ROR rises to 7% from 6%, the PV amount falls by 11% to $1.75 million.  These calculations do not account for the payment of federal income taxes which would be due as a result of withdrawals from any pre-tax retirement account (source: BTN Research).

  3. NATIONAL DEBT, ANNUAL DEFICIT - For fiscal year 2017 (the 12 months that ended 9/30/17) the United States increased its national debt by $671 billion to $20.245 trillion.  For fiscal year 2017, the United States is expecting a $668 billion budget deficit with a final deficit number to be released this week (source: Treasury Department).

  4. BE REAL CAREFUL - 54% of 1,006 adults surveyed in early August 2017 believe that the American stock market will suffer a correction of at least 10% before the end of 2017 (source: Gallup).

  5. GROWING - The US economy has been growing for the last 99 months (i.e., no recession), an expansion exceeded in length only 2 times since 1900 (source: National Bureau of Economic Research).

  6. CRUDE INTO FUEL - The United States has 141 operable oil refineries in 2017, 78 fewer than the 219 refineries that America had in operation in 1987 or 30 years ago (source: Energy Information Administration).

  7. MAKE IT EASY TO START Oregon’s state-run IRA retirement program where employees are automatically enrolled began yesterday (10/15/17) for employees at 2,100 of the state’s largest employers.  Only 23% of the employees in the state’s pilot program conducted before yesterday’s official launch opted out of the pre-tax plan, i.e., 77% of the employees continued to make pre-tax contributions once they started (source: OregonSaves).

  8. UP AND DOWN - Congress has raised the top individual marginal tax rate 4 times since 1950, most recently in 2013 when they raised the top rate from 35% to 39.6%.  Congress has lowered the top individual marginal tax rate 9 times since 1950, most recently in 2003 when they dropped the top rate from 38.6% to 35% (source: IRS).

  9. CANCELED - President Trump signed an executive order on 10/12/17 that cancels “cost-sharing reduction” (CSR) payments.  Created out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), CSR payments had been expected to provide an estimated $7 billion to health insurance companies in 2017 to reimburse them for lower deductibles and lower co-pays provided to low-income individuals.  The CSR payments are separate from the estimated $37 billion in “income-based” subsidies that remain in place for 2017 to help low-income individuals afford their monthly ACA health insurance premiums (source: Congressional Budget Office).

  10. TOO EXPENSIVE FOR ME - 5 out of every 6 Americans (84%) who purchased their 2017 health insurance through an ACA-mandated marketplace receive a premium subsidy that averages $375 per month.  Nationwide, the premium subsidies will total $37 billion for 8.26 million individuals in 2017 (source: Milliman, Inc.).

  11. MORE SKIN IN THE GAME - 81% of employees who purchase their health insurance through their employer are responsible for a deductible, the other 19% of employees pay no deductible.  The average deductible of the employees that have to pay a deductible is $1,505 per year in 2017 (source: Kaiser Family Foundation).

  12. LIVING LONGER - Life expectancy at birth for an American has increased 6.9 years over the last 40 years, i.e., life expectancy at birth is increasing by 1 year every 6 years (source: National Vital Statistics Report).

  13. SENIORS - 15% of the US population is at least age 65, ranging from 19% of Florida’s citizens to just 11% of Utah’s residents (source: Census Bureau).

  14. NOT A LOT OF WIGGLE ROOM - 74% of the projected spending of the US government over the next decade is “mandatory” spending (Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security) and interest on our debt (source: CBO).

  15. NICE RAISE - Stephen Curry, 2-time NBA MVP, signed a 5-year contract in July 2017 that will pay him a guaranteed $201 million through 2022.  Curry, who made $12.1 million last season, will make $34.7 million for his 2017 season that begins tomorrow 10/17/17 (source: Golden State Warriors).

Notable Numbers from the week of 10/09/17

  1. NOT THE LONGEST BULL YET - The bull market for the S&P 500 will reach 103 months in length as of the close of trading today (10/09/17).  That’s the 2nd longest bull market for the stock index since 1950, trailing only the 113 ½ month-long bull that ended in March 2000.  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. HIGH AFTER HIGH - During its 103 month-long bull market, the S&P 500 has set 169 all-time record closing highs including its most recent on Thursday 10/05/17, its 6th in the last 7 trading days (source: BTN Research).

  3. ROLLIN’ ON - The S&P 500 gained +4.5% (total return) during the 3Q 2017, its 8th consecutive “up” quarter.  It also marked the 18th of the last 19 quarters that have produced a total return gain (source: BTN Research).

  4. A DECADE AGO - It was 10 years ago today (Tuesday 10/09/07) that the S&P 500 peaked at a then all-time record closing high of 1565.  The very next day, the index began a painful 17 month tumble that resulted in a 57% drop of the raw index, its worst bear market loss in the last 80 years.  In the last 80 years (i.e., back to 1937), the S&P 500 has suffered through 4 bears, each with losses of at least 40% (source: BTN Research).

  5. SAGE ADVICE - It was 9 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).

  6. THE WORLD’S BIGGEST - The US economy is $19.25 trillion in size as of 6/30/17.  10 years ago (2007), the economy was worth $14.48 trillion.  20 years ago (1997), it was worth $8.61 trillion.  30 years ago (1987), it was worth $4.87 trillion (source: Commerce Department).

  7. ALL IN THE FAMILY A single political party has controlled the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives in 21 of the last 60 years, i.e., 1958-2017.  Republicans control all 3 this year (2017).  Democrats last controlled all 3 in 2010 (source: BTN Research).

  8. BANKING BUSINESS - The last bank to fail in the United States and require a financial bailout occurred on 5/26/17 or 136 days ago.  That’s the 2nd longest stretch between American bank failures in the last 10 years, a decade that has seen 526 bank failures or 1 failure per week (source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).

  9. MOST EVER - US oil producers exported 984 million barrels a day during the week ending Friday 9/29/17, the largest weekly total ever exported by American oil firms.  The total broke the old record, which had been set just a week earlier, by +33% (source: Energy Department).

  10. RUNNING A LITTLE SHORT - 43% of 6,389 Americans surveyed admit that they “have difficulty making ends meet” (source: National Financial Well-Being Survey, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).
         
  11. DEDUCTION GOING AWAY? - Among the numerous recommendations in the 9/27/17 Trump plan for tax reform was the elimination of the individual deduction for state and local taxes, including property taxes.  Taxpayers in just 2 states (California and New York) utilize 33% of the deduction (by dollar) and just 6 states get 51% of the deduction’s use.  Nationwide, just under 92% of the economic benefit of the state and local tax deduction flows to taxpayers with gross incomes in excess of $100,000 (source: Internal Revenue Service).

  12. NEIGHBORLY - Canada cut its top corporate tax rate to 15% as of 1/01/12.  The Trump White House proposed on 9/27/17 to cut the top US corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% (source: White House).

  13. ESTATE TAXES - The federal estate tax exemption is $5.49 million for 2017 deaths, i.e., a married couple would be able to shelter $10.98 million from federal estate and gift taxes.  Only an estimated 80 small farms and closely held businesses will leave estates that will be subject to the payment of federal estate taxes as a result of a 2017 death.  An estimated 6 million Americans will die in 2017 (source: Tax Policy Center).

  14. PROVIDES JOBS - The football stadium to be built in Inglewood, CA that will house the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers beginning with the 2020 season will provide jobs for 22,000 construction workers plus 12,000 full-time and part-time jobs once the stadium is completed (source: NFL).

  15. BIG FLY AND NO FLY - Major League Baseball set records for strikeouts in a season (40,104) and home runs in a season (6,105) during the 2017 regular season that ended on Sunday 10/01/17 (source: MLB).

Notable Numbers from the week of 10/02/17

  1. LAST QUARTER OF THE YEAR - Over the last 25 years (1992-2016), the S&P 500 stock index has gained an average of +4.9% (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 +14.2% YTD through Friday 9/29/17 on a total return basis.  The index has had only 1 down year (2008) in the last 14 years, i.e., 2003-16 (source: BTN Research).

  3. DOUBLED IN VALUE - The top performing individual stock within the S&P 500 for the first 9 months of 2017 is up +109% YTD through Friday 9/29/17 (source: BTN Research).

  4. NO DROPS - The S&P 500 has experienced 10 drops of at least 5% during its bull market run that will reach 103 months in length in just 1 week (10/09/17) but none since 2/11/16 or 19 ½ months ago (source: BTN Research).

  5. BIG PERCENTAGE - The market cap of the S&P 500 is 78% of the total market capitalization of all US stocks as of 8/31/17 (source: BTN Research).

  6. IVY LEAGUE MONEY - Harvard University’s $37.1 billion endowment fund, the largest university endowment in the world, gained just +8.1% during its 2017 fiscal year (i.e., the 12 months ending 6/30/17), a performance that the CEO of the university’s management company called “disappointing.”  The S&P 500 gained +17.9% (total return) over the 12 months ending 6/30/17 (source: Harvard Management Company).

  7. A TRILLION A YEAR The national debt as of 9/30/07 was $9.008 trillion.  The national debt as of Thursday 9/28/17 was $20.204 trillion.  Thus, the national debt has increased $11 trillion over the last 10 fiscal years, i.e., fiscal years 2008-2017 (source: Treasury Department).

  8. TAX REFORM TARGET - 28% of individual tax returns that were filed for tax year 2014 took an itemized deduction for state and local taxes (Form 1040, Schedule A, line 5).  22% of individual tax returns that were filed for tax year 2014 took an itemized deduction for home mortgage interest expense (Form 1040, Schedule A, line 10).  22% of individual tax returns that were filed for tax year 2014 took an itemized deduction for charitable gifts made by cash or check (Form 1040, Schedule A, line 16).  There were 6 million tax returns filed for tax year 2014 (source: Internal Revenue Service).

  9. UNION POWER - Effective 8/28/17, Missouri became the 28th “right-to-work” state, i.e., employees retain the right to decide whether or not to join or financially support a union.  6 years ago (2011), there were 22 “right-to-work” states (source: National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation).
  10. QUANTITATIVE SHRINKING - Fed Chair Janet Yellen outlined on 9/20/17 her plan to start in October 2017 to have $10 billion of bonds mature each month without reinvesting the principal.  That amount will increase by another $10 billion a quarter before peaking at $50 billion per month in October 2018.  By the end of 2019, the strategy would have the Fed walking away from reinvesting in $1.05 trillion of bonds (source: Federal Reserve).

  11. AT RISK OF FLOODING - A homeowner with a federally backed mortgage (e.g., a FHA insured loan) is required by law to purchase flood insurance if their home is located in a “FEMA-mapped 100-year flood plain,” i.e., there is at least a 1% annual probability of a flood based upon flood plain maps assembled by the Federal Emergency Management Association (source: FEMA).

  12. GOT YOUR BACK JACK - Employers paid on average 70% of the annual cost of family coverage for health insurance in 2017, an economic benefit not taxed back to the employee (source: Kaiser Family Foundation).

  13. CREDITWORTHINESS - The credit rating agency S&P downgraded China’s credit rating to A+ on 9/21/17, its 5th highest rating category.  There are just 3 US states rated A+ or lower by S&P, including Kentucky (A+), New Jersey (A-) and Illinois (BBB).  14 US states are rated AAA by S&P (source: S&P Global Ratings).

  14. BUILDING WEALTH - The personal savings rate in the United States was 3.5% in July 2017.  The personal savings rate in Germany was 9.7% in July 2017 (source: Trading Economics).

  15. REALLY FAST - Reigning Olympic marathon champ Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the Berlin Marathon on 9/24/17.  His time of 2:03.32 was just 35 seconds off of Dennis Kimetto’s 2014 world record.  Kipchoge’s pace equates to a 4:43 mile pace for a race that covers 26 miles, 385 yards (source: BTN Research).

Notable Numbers from the week of 9/25/17

  1. STILL MADE MONEY - The S&P 500 peaked on 10/09/07 before beginning a 17-month bear market that saw the raw index fall 57% before bottoming on 3/09/09.  An investment in the S&P 500 on 10/09/07 (i.e., at the market’s top and before the fall) is up +100% (total return) as of the close of trading on Friday 9/22/17 (i.e., nearly 10 years later), an annualized return of +7.2% per year.  The S&P 500 consists of 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. BEFORE AND AFTER - Before beginning a bull market run in March 2009 that has produced annual gains of +19.0% (total return) over each of the last 8 ½ years, the S&P 500 closed at a bear market low of 677 on 3/09/09.  The average return for the stock index for the 2 years ending 2/28/09 (just 9 days before the bear market bottom) was a loss of 26.1% per year on a total return basis (source: BTN Research).

  3. IN OR OUT? - Health insurance companies have until 9/27/17 (this upcoming Wednesday) to decide whether they will participate in the federal health insurance exchange in 2018.  Open enrollment for 2018 insurance coverage begins in 5 ½ weeks on 11/01/17 (source: BTN Research).

  4. MORE THAN KATRINA - Damage caused by Harvey and Irma is estimated to be $290 billion.  Harvey’s damage estimate of $190 billion would make it the costliest weather disaster in US history.  Harvey and Irma were the first Category 4 or higher hurricanes to strike the US mainland in the same year (source: AccuWeather).

  5. TOUGH CROWD - In a statistic tracked since 1971, only 28% of Americans today are “satisfied” with the way our country is being governed.  Remarkably, the high point for this statistic was 59% in September 2002, i.e., even the best polling outcome resulted in 2 out of 5 Americans “dissatisfied” with the government (source: Gallup).

  6. JUST ONE MONTH TO GO - With just the month of September remaining in fiscal year 2017, the budget deficit to date is $674 billion.  The last 5 Septembers have reported a budget surplus that has averaged $76 billion.  The deficit from fiscal year 2016 was $587 billion (source: Treasury Department).

  7. DIFFERENCE OF OPINION The Trump White House submitted a 10-year budget plan to Congress on 5/23/17 that forecasted a $16 billion surplus in fiscal year 2027.  The Congressional Budget Office released its analysis of the White House numbers and projected a $720 billion deficit in fiscal year 2027 (source: White House, CBO).

  8. IMPORTS - The USA imported an average of 51,500 shipping containers per day in 2016, an all-time record.  Each box is a 20-foot long cargo container.  The 2 busiest container ports in the USA are Los Angeles and Long Beach (source: National Retail Federation).

  9. MORE THAN JUST WAGES - For every $1 spent for wages and salaries in the private sector, employers spend an additional 44 cents on benefits.  Average compensation is $23.15 per hour while the cost of benefits averages an additional $10.11 per hour (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

  10. GONNA PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999 - After adjusting numerical data from the past for the impact of inflation, the median household income in 2016 ($59,039) is the highest ever recorded in the United States, surpassing the previous median income record high ($58,665) set in 1999 (source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).

  11. THEY EXTRAPOLATE - The government surveyed 95,000 American households to compile the “household income” statistic, or less than 0.1% of the nation’s 9 million households (source: Census Bureau).

  12. TOP ECHELON - It took $170,500 of household income to rank in the top 10% of earners in calendar year 2016 (source: Census Bureau).

  13. BEST CITY - The # 1 city in the United States for jobs is Pittsburgh.  The study was based upon job openings, median base salary, job satisfaction and the median cost of a home (source: Glassdoor).

  14. MORE THAN DOUBLE - The artificial constraints used by the Treasury Department for the last 6 months to hold our national debt at $19.8 trillion have been suspended through Friday 12/08/17.  This allowed our country’s debt to climb to $20.2 trillion as of last week.  10 years ago today (9/25/07), our national debt was only $9.0 trillion (source: Treasury Department).


  15. UNBEATABLE - The Cleveland Indians won 22 consecutive baseball games through 9/14/17, the 2nd longest winning streak in the 148-year history of major league baseball.  If the Indians had a 55% chance of winning each of the individual games, then the odds they would win 22 games in a row were 1 in 515,253 (source: MLB).

Notable Numbers from the week of 9/18/17

  1. GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS - Over a 30-day period beginning 9/07/08, the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in anticipation of as much as $200 billion of mortgage defaults, the largest bankruptcy in the history of the USA took place (Lehman Brothers), the $700 billion “Troubled Asset Relief Program” (TARP) was signed into law by President George W. Bush, and a bailout of the nation’s largest insurance company (AIG) gave the government 80% ownership of the firm (source: BTN Research).

  2. NEVER TRIED BEFORE - Fed Chair Ben Bernanke announced in November 2008 his revolutionary idea (“Quantitative Easing”) designed to keep the US economy from falling into a 1920s style depression.  The plan involved the creation of “bank reserves” that were used to purchase bonds from American banks, i.e., using “newly created money” to buy Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities from banks (source: Federal Reserve).

  3. SIX YEARS, THREE ROUNDS - Overall, “Quantitative Easing” (QE) ran for 6 years over 3 different programs.  QE # 1 began on 11/26/08 and QE # 3 ended on 10/29/14 (source: BTN Research).

  4. SIZE OF EACH - QE # 1 purchased $1.725 trillion of debt, QE # 2 purchased $600 billion of debt, and QE # 3 purchased $1.7 trillion of debt.  In total over 6 years, all 3 rounds of QE purchased $4 trillion of Treasury debt, mortgage-backed securities and Fannie and Freddie debt (source: BTN Research).

  5. BEFORE AND AFTER - As of 9/04/08 (before “Quantitative Easing” began), the Fed’s $480 billion balance sheet included $480 billion of Treasury bills, notes and bonds and not a single dollar in mortgage-backed securities.  As of 9/06/17, the Fed’s $4.2 trillion balance sheet included $2.4 trillion of Treasury bills, notes and bonds and $1.8 trillion of mortgage-backed securities (source: Federal Reserve).

  6. BUBBLE? - The historically low interest rates created by QE may have played a part in driving investors to higher yielding and higher risk investments, e.g., the S&P 500 began its 8 ½ year bull market run on 3/09/09, just 3 ½ months after QE # 1 began (source: BTN Research).

  7. DISCOURAGE CHEAP LOANS The $2.22 trillion of excess reserves held by US banks at the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks as of 8/30/17 is earning +1.25% from the Fed.  Excess reserves are funds held that are above and beyond the federally mandated reserve requirement amounts (source: Federal Reserve).

  8. EXIT PLAN - Just 8 months after QE # 1 began, Fed Chair Ben Bernanke authored a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece on 7/21/09 titled “The Fed’s Exit Strategy” that outlined 4 different options to exit QE (source: WSJ).

  9. TAPER TANTRUM - In testimony before Congress on 5/22/13, Fed Chair Bernanke indicated the Fed would likely start slowing the pace of its bond purchases in QE # 3 later in 2013.  In reaction to Bernanke’s words, the yield on the 10-year note rose from 2.03% to 2.90% over the subsequent 3 months (source: Treasury Department).

  10. SMALLER - The Fed remitted $92 billion to the Treasury in 2016, the interest return on its $4.2 trillion bond portfolio.  These payments would decline as the Fed shrinks its balance sheet (source: BTN Research).

  11. LONG AND UNWINDING ROAD - Federal Reserve Chair Yellen’s plan (released on 6/14/17) to shrink the central bank’s $4.2 trillion balance sheet will involve Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) maturing without having the proceeds reinvested in new debt.  The strategy will initially impact $6 billion of Treasuries per month (growing to $30 billion a month) and $4 billion of MBS (growing to $20 billion a month).  By reducing its role as a bond purchaser, long-term interest rates theoretically should rise (source: Federal Reserve).

  12. SOON - In a 7/26/17 statement, the Federal Reserve indicated it “expects to begin implementing its balance sheet normalization program relatively soon, provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated.”  A 2-day Fed meeting on September 19-20 will be its first meeting since that July 2017 statement (source: Federal Reserve).

  13. FROM BUYER TO SELLER - Once fully implemented, the Fed will be buying $50 billion less a month in Treasuries and MBS, i.e., $600 billion a year.  The real estate industry and mortgage interest rates could be impacted by the Fed’s action (source: BTN Research).

  14. WHO ELSE MIGHT BUY? - As the Federal Reserve shrinks its $4.2 trillion balance sheet, another buyer could step in to fill the void.  As of June 2017, China ($1.15 trillion) and Japan ($1.09 trillion) are the 2 largest foreign holders of US treasuries (source: Treasury Department).

  15. READY - 8 years after its first public discussion of exiting QE, the Fed is poised to begin that process, possibly as soon as 9/20/17.  The goal is to reduce its balance sheet without disrupting markets (source: BTN Research).

Notable Numbers from the week of 9/11/17

  1. AFTERWARDS - The 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on the USA that killed 2,977 people took place 16 years ago today.  The S&P 500 stock index closed for 6 days following the attacks and then reopened on Monday 9/17/01.  In the 1-year following 9/11/01, the S&P 500 lost 15.5% 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. TEN - The S&P 500 gained just +0.3% (total return) in August 2017, its 10th consecutive “up” month and 17th of its last 18 months that have been positive on a total return basis.  The last time the S&P 500 had a streak this long was the 10 consecutive months that ended in September 1995 or 22 years ago (source: BTN Research).

  3. MISSING OUT - Every income group reporting up to $200,000 of household income has a “participation percentage” in the stock market of 40% or less.  E.g., only 40% of American households reporting between $100,000-$199,999 of income invest in the stock market, while the percentage falls to just 20% for households reporting $50,000-$74,999 of income (source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).

  4. OUT OF BUSINESS - Lehman Brothers, a 158-year old company, was forced to file for bankruptcy protection on 9/15/08 (9 years ago) when no “white knight” emerged to rescue the company from its substantial investment in subprime mortgages.  It was (and still is) the largest US bankruptcy ever (source: BTN Research).

  5. LUMP-SUM NEEDED - A present value (PV) amount of $210,435 is required to fund a $1,000 per month payment for 25 years with a +3% annual increase for maintenance of purchasing power assuming that a +6% annual rate of return is maintained into the future.  The PV amount is $280,575 if the required payment period is 40 years.  The calculations ignore the impact of taxes and are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to reflect any specific investment alternative (source: BTN Research).

  6. BEFORE AND AFTER HARVEY - The national average price of gasoline had increased just 3 ½ cents per gallon YTD through Friday 8/25/17, the day Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas.  In the 2 weeks since then, average gas prices nationwide have gone up another 32 cents a gallon (source: AAA). 

  7. FUTURE CAR BUYERS - 1 in every 7 automobiles in the Houston area was destroyed by Hurricane Harvey (source: Evercore ISI).

  8. LESS FROM THERE - The USA imports 22% less oil than it did just a decade ago.  Oil imports averaged 7.9 million barrels a day in 2016, down from 10.1 million barrels a day in 2006 (source: Department of Energy).

  9. A LOT MORE - Total petroleum exports from the United States have quadrupled over the last decade, rising from 1.3 million barrels a day in 2006 to 5.2 million barrels a day in 2016 (source: Department of Energy).

  10. BORDER - There are 52 legal ports of entry on the US/Mexico border, running from San Diego, CA to Brownsville, TX (source: US Customs and Border Protection).

  11. EDUCATION - 3.3 million American students graduated from high school this year.  An estimated 18.7 million undergraduates are enrolled either full-time or part-time at colleges and universities across the USA this month.  30 years ago (1987), 2.7 million students graduated from high school and 11.0 million undergraduates were enrolled in college in the fall of 1987 (source: National Center for Education Statistics).

  12. HELP - First time claims by out-of-work Americans for unemployment benefits jumped by +62,000 to 298,000 for the week ending 9/02/17, its highest weekly total YTD.  83% of the increase in first-time claims (51,637 initial claims) was filed in the state of Texas due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey (source: Department of Labor).

  13. THREE MONTH DELAY - Legislation to fund fiscal year 2018 spending and to suspend the nation’s debt ceiling for 3 months passed the Senate and the House last week.  The bill, opposed by 107 lawmakers (out of 535 politicians), technically moves the deadline for both issues to midnight on Friday 12/08/17 (source: Congress).

  14. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? - With 57 people in a room, there is a 99% chance that 2 people in the group have the same birthday (source: BTN Research).

  15. VOTED MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED - Quarterback Matthew Stafford signed a 5-year contract on 8/28/17 that will pay him $27 million a year, making Stafford the highest paid NFL player ever.  Stafford was a high school baseball teammate of pitcher Clayton Kershaw, MLB’s top single-season money earner ever at $35.6 million in 2017.  Both athletes were 2006 graduates of Highland Park High School in Dallas (source: ESPN).

Notable Numbers from the week of 9/04/17

  1. ALMOST TWO-THIRDS - The total return of the S&P 500 stock index over the last 7 calendar years (2010-2016) is +132.8% (total return).  The best 18 trading days during the 7 years (i.e., 18 days out of 1,762 trading days) produced an +83.1% gain.  Thus, 1% of the trading days over the last 7 years were responsible for 63% of the index’s total return.  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. DEPENDS - An individual with $1 million invested 100% in the S&P 500 as of 1/01/73 withdrawing an inflation-adjusted $100,000 per year would be out of money in 9 years.  A second individual with $1 million invested in the S&P 500 as of 1/01/82 withdrawing an inflation-adjusted $100,000 per year would have $4.46 million remaining after 35 years, i.e., as of 12/31/16.  This calculation ignores the ultimate impact of taxes on the account which are due upon withdrawal, is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to reflect any specific investment or performance.  Actual results will fluctuate with market conditions and will vary (source: BTN Research).

  3. BETTING ON LAST YEAR’S WORST - An equal dollar investment made at the end of the day on 12/31/16 in the 10 worst performing individual stocks within the S&P 500 from calendar year 2016 is up +16.0% YTD through 8/31/17 (source: BTN Research).

  4. CHASING AFTER LAST YEAR’S WINNERS - An equal dollar investment made at the end of the day on 12/31/16 in the 10 best performing individual stocks within the S&P 500 from calendar year 2016 is up +8.4% YTD through 8/31/17 (source: BTN Research).

  5. OCTOBER, BEST AND WORST - The 3 best gain days (by percentage) for the S&P 500 in the last 67+ years (i.e., dating back to January 1950) all occurred during October.  5 of the 7 largest loss days (by percentage) for the S&P 500 over the same time period occurred during the month of October (source: BTN Research).

  6. POST-KATRINA - Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in US history, struck landfall on 8/29/05.  In the 1-year following 8/29/05, the S&P 500 gained +9.7% on a total return basis (source: BTN Research).

  7. FROM THE GULF - The Gulf of Mexico was the source of 18% of US oil production in calendar year 2016, approximately 6 million barrels a day (source: Department of Energy).

  8. YTD - The cost of crude oil has fallen 12.1% YTD through 8/31/17.  The price of gold has increased +14.5% YTD through 8/31/17.  The S&P 500 has gained +11.9% YTD (total return) through 8/31/17 (source: BTN Research).

  9. IMPACT ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS - Proposition 13 was passed by California voters in June 1978, resetting property taxes to 1% of market value and allowing for increases of no more than +2% annually, i.e., as home values have skyrocketed in the Golden State, property taxes have not.  Since the “assessed” value used for the property tax calculation is only reset upon sale of a home, a new California homeowner today could pay property taxes 4 times as large as the seller of that same property (source: Santa Clara County Assessor).

  10. SIXTEEN YEAR LOW - The nation’s 3% unemployment rate from July 2017 is the lowest that the United States has reported since February 2001.  The country’s jobless rate was 4.1% or lower during all 12 months of calendar year 2000.  The jobless rate increased to 4.4% in August 2017 (source: Department of Labor).

  11. INCOME SHOCK - 61% of American male workers age 25-70 have experienced at least 1 stretch of time that lasted as long as 12 months when they received no earnings (source: Nat’l Endowment for Financial Education).

  12. LONE STAR STATE - Texas is the # 2 state in the United States in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), trailing only the state of California (source: WorldAtlas.com).

  13. DRENCHED - Rainfall in Houston from Hurricane Harvey on Sunday 8/27/17 totaled 07 inches, nearly double the city’s previous record for a single day of 8.32 inches that was set in 1945 or 72 years ago (source: National Weather Service Houston).

  14. THREE TO TWO - An individual stock trade “settles” in 3 business days, i.e., the stock buyer must deliver cash and the stock seller must deliver the securities within 3 business days.  Beginning Tuesday 9/05/17, an individual stock trade will “settle” in just 2 business days (source: Securities and Exchange Commission).

  15. CRUSHED IT - Professional golfers have hit 29 drives of at least 400 yards during the wraparound PGA season through Sunday 8/27/17.  Dustin Johnson has the season’s longest drive at 439 yards (source: PGA).