By The Numbers - March 2019Submitted by S. F. Ehrlich Associates, Inc. on April 3rd, 2019
Source: Direxion Funds
March 31, 2019
- ALMOST ALWAYS - Since 1950, there have been 60 different 10-year periods (i.e., the 10-years from 1950-59, 1951-60, 1952-61, . . . 2009-18). The S&P 500 has produced a positive total return result in 58 of the 60 decade-long periods, i.e., 97% of the time. 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).
- ECONOMIC DOWNTURN - 9 of the last 10 recessions in the United States began under a Republican president going back 66 years to 1953. The only recession over this time span that began with a Democratic president in the White House was a 6-month recession that began in January 1980 during Jimmy Carter’s last year as president (source: National Bureau of Economic Research).
- LESS FOREIGN BUYERS - Foreign investors, led by China and Japan, held $6.2 trillion of US Treasury securities as of November 2018, just under 40% of total US Treasury debt. That’s the lowest percentage held by foreign investors in the last 15 years (source: Treasury Department).
- EVERY DAY - An estimated 10,400 Americans will turn 65 years old each day this year (2019). This group represents the 9th 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 (source: Government Accountability Office).
- EXPENSIVE EDUCATION - Outstanding student loan debt in the USA was $1.46 trillion as of 12/31/18, up +128% from $640 billion as of 12/31/08 (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
- MOVING FOR LOTS OF REASONS - Population data for the 12 months ending 6/30/18 showed that Florida added the largest number of Americans (+132,602) who relocated to its state, i.e., “net domestic migration,” while the state of New York was the largest population loser (a decline of 48,510) (source: Census Bureau).
- MORTGAGE DEBT - For the average American household, mortgage debt represents 67% of total household debt. Aggregate household debt (e.g., mortgages, credit cards, auto loans) as of 12/31/18 was $13.54 trillion. Aggregate mortgage debt as of 12/31/18 was $9.1 trillion (source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York).
- NO WORK - 37% of retired Americans report they retired earlier than planned as a result of health problems, buyout packages, layoffs, grandchildren, or caring for an aging parent (source: Health and Retirement Study).
- OUT OF BUSINESS - 5,524 brick-and-mortar retail stores closed nationwide in 2018, down from a record 8,139 closures in 2017. Another 2,187 retail stores have closed YTD through 2/09/19 (source: Coresight Research).
- UNION CARD - In the last 35 years, the percentage of American workers that are members of a union has been cut in half, dropping from 20.1% in 1983 to 10.5% in 2018. Hawaii had the highest percentage (23.1%) of union workers in 2018 while North Carolina (2.7%) had the lowest percentage (source: Department of Labor).
- BUYING AND SELLING - The United States exported $2.5 trillion of goods and services in 2018, the largest total in history and up +36% in the last 10 years. The United States imported $3.1 trillion of goods and services in 2018, also the largest total in history and up +22% in the last 10 years (source: Commerce Department).
- NO DOCTOR NEEDED - 25.5% of Americans had no claims for any health care service (i.e., they did not see a doctor or visit a clinic) or filled a drug prescription in 2017 (source: Health Care Cost Institute).
- US AND THEM - The Chinese economy grew by +6.6% in 2018, its lowest growth rate since 1990. The US economy grew by +2.9% in 2018, its best growth rate since 2005 (source: National Bureau of Statistics of China, Commerce Department).
- CONCENTRATED IN A FEW - The wealthiest 10% of the 122 million households nationwide own an estimated 84% of all domestic stock values (source: National Bureau of Economic Research).
- SNAIL MAIL - US Postal Service employment hit a peak level of 909,000 workers in April 1999 (20 years ago). As of January 2019, the number of postal workers had fallen 33% to 607,000 (source: USPS).
- WORTH IT? - The average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn $2.8 million over his/her lifetime. The average high school graduate with no additional higher education will earn $1.5 million over his/her lifetime (source: Center on Education and the Workforce).
- HONEST FOLKS - American taxpayers pay an estimated 84% of the federal income taxes that would be collected if all taxpayers were 100% honest in completing their returns, i.e., an 84% “voluntary compliance rate” (VCR). Germany’s VCR is 68% and Italy’s VCR is 62% (source: Internal Revenue Service, The Atlantic).
- CONSTANT PRESSURE - 23% of 3,462 American workers surveyed admit that they live “paycheck-to-paycheck” all the time (source: CareerBuilder).
- BOUNCE BACK – There have been 10 bear markets for the S&P 500 since 1946, i.e., at least a 20% drop from a previous closing high. It has taken 26 months on average for the S&P 500 to bounce back from the low point in the previous 10 bear markets and achieve a new closing high (source: BTN Research).
- WORK TO BE DONE - 3 of the top 4 occupations projected to create the greatest number of new jobs nationwide between 2016-2026 are in the health care industry – personal care aides (+777,600 new jobs), registered nurses (+438,100 new jobs) and home health aides (+431,200 new jobs) (source: Department of Labor).
- FOUR-TO-ONE - China had 15.2 million births in 2018, nearly 4 times the 3.9 million births in the United States last year (source: Census Bureau).