Saturday, December 9, 2017


Hat Tip: George Hanifan Jr., Jim Coles

FACT:  The S&P 500 gained +3.1% (total return) in November, making it 20 of the last 21 months (including 13 months in a row ) in which the index has posted a positive result . 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.  (BTN Research, 12.4.2017)
FACT:  In the 70 years from 1947–2016, the S&P 500 had 27 declines of at least 10% but less than 20% or once every 2.6 years . A correction is defined as a stock market decline of at least 10% but less than 20%. In the 70 years from 1947-2016, the S&P 500 had 11 declines of at least 20% or once every 6.4 years . A bear is defined as a stock market decline of at least 20%.   (BTN Research, 11.27.2017)
FACT:  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.   (Federal Reserve, 11.6.2017)
FACT:  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.  (BTN Research, 11.13.2017)
SELF-TEST:  Do you factor political changes into your financial planning?  Yes or No?
FACT:  Only 7 banks have failed in the United States YTD through 11/15/17, on pace to be the third 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.  (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 11.20.2017)
FACT:  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.  (Internal Revenue Service, 11.20.2017)
FACT:  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.  (Ernst & Young, 11.20.2017)
SELF-TEST  Are you planning for this year’s taxes while you still have time to do something about them?  Yes or No?
FACT:  The U.S. issued $15 billion of new 30-year debt in the first week of November.  The bond carries a 2.75% coupon with an 11/15/2047 maturity date . Thirty-year Treasury debt has been traded since 1977 .  (Treasury Department, 11.13.2017)
FACT:  Our country’s 147.0 million employees are split 85/15 between the private sector (non-government workers) and the public sector (government workers).  (Department of Labor, 12.4.2017)
FACT:  An estimated 10,100 Americans  will turn 65 years old each day next year (2018). This group represents the 8th year of 19 years of baby boomers turning age 65. An estimated 11,500 Americans will turn 65 years old each day in the year 2029 .  (Government Accountability Office, 11.27.2017)
FACT:  12.2 million Americans signed up a year ago for their 2017 health insurance via the federal exchange or through a state-run exchange.   (Affordable Care Act, 12.4.2017)
FACT:  The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) was forced to take over an average of 10 failed pension plans per month over the last 15 fiscal years (2003–2017) or 1,767 pension plans over the 15 years. The PBGC protects defined benefit pension plans in the private (non-government) sector .  (PBGC, 11.27.2017)
SELF-TEST:  Do you know the two main reasons to own life insurance?  Yes or No?
FACT:  The total cost of Medicaid ($566 billion in calendar year 2016) is shared between the federal government and the 50 state governments . Nationally the split of Medicaid expenses is 57% paid by the federal government and 43% paid by state governments. On average, Medicaid represents 24% of state expenditures .  (National Association of State Budget Officers, 11.27.2017)
FACT:  68% of plan sponsors of defined contribution retirement plans offer automatic enrollment  today for their new employees . (Alight Solutions, 11.6.2017)
FACT:  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.   (Government Accountability Office, 11.6.2017)
SELF-TEST:  Have you identified the overall impact of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid into your retirement plan?     Yes or No?
FACT:  The U.S. Postal System last earned a profit in fiscal year 2006. Since then, the USPS has lost money for 11 consecutive years , including a $2.7 billion loss for the fiscal year that ended on 9/30/17, equal to a daily loss of $7.4 million . (USPS, 11.27.2017)
FACT:  In 1950,   Detroit was the 5 th largest city in the U.S. with 1.9 million people , and now it’s currently the 23 rd largest city with 673,000 people . Phoenix was the 99 th largest city with 107,000 people , and now it’s currently the 5 th largest city with 1.6 million people .  (Census Bureau, 12.4.2017)
Amaze your friends, family and yourself with these Fascinating Financial Facts!
Plus, the self-test questions can be a helpful indicator in areas where you may benefit from professional advice.

“No” answers may be a concern and you should call for an appointment .