News & Insights
March 6th, 2019

By The Numbers March 2019

1. ALMOST TEN YEARS – In the first 3-years following its 3/09/09 bear market closing low, the S&P 500 gained +114% through 3/09/12 (i.e., total return result including the impact of reinvested dividends). In years 4-10 (i.e., the next 7 years) from 3/09/12 to last Friday 3/01/19, the S&P 500 has gained an additional +139%. 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 ALWAYS UP – The nearly 10-year bull market run for the S&P 500 that began on the morning of 3/10/09 has gained +411% (total return) through last Friday 3/01/19, an annualized return of +17.8% per year. During the entire 10 years, the index has had 6 separate “corrections” of at least 10% but less than 20%. The ending dates of the 6 “corrections” are 7/02/10, 10/03/11, 8/25/15, 2/11/16, 2/08/18 and 12/24/18 (source: BTN Research).

3. WHAT DO THEY KNOW? – 6 days before the start of the current 10-year bull market for the S&P 500 that began on 3/10/09, 70% of stock investors surveyed were “bearish.” Last week, just 20% of stock investors surveyed were “bearish” (source: American Association of Individual Investors).

4. WORST TO FIRST – The worst performing stock in the S&P 500 in 2018 lost 67.1% last year. That same stock is ranked #1 among all stocks in the index this year through 2/28/19, up +67.7% YTD (source: BTN Research).

5. PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE – Only 16% of 1,013 adults surveyed believe that stock market performance “during the decades before I was born” is a “very or extremely important” factor to be considered in making financial decisions (source: J. Choi and A. Robertson’s study “What Matters to Individual Investors?”).

6. GIVE ME THREE – Unless the government revises the nation’s GDP growth for 2018 on 3/28/19 to show at least +3% year-over-year growth (the 2018 result was initially reported at +2.9% on Thursday 2/28/19), it will be the 13th consecutive year of “sub +3%” growth (2006-2018). The next longest streak in US history of “sub +3%” growth is the 4 years from 1930-1933. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the annual market value of all goods and services produced domestically by the United States (source: Commerce Department).

7. DEMAND EXCEEDS SUPPLY – 4.1 million Brits were waiting to be admitted to a hospital in England to have non-urgent surgery as of 9/30/18 (e.g., cataract surgery, hip replacement surgery), the highest number of citizens waiting for surgery since August 2007 (source: National Health Service England).

8. BABY BONDS – Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker has proposed a government-funded savings account for newborn children. The “American Opportunity Accounts” would be established with $1,000 for every child born in the country, augmented annually by $0 – $2,000 depending upon the size of a family’s income. The accounts, managed by the Treasury Department, would seek a target return of approximately +3% per year and could not be accessed until the child is age 18 (source: American Opportunity Accounts Act).

9. OWNERS AND RENTERS – The 110.7 million households that existed in the United States on 12/31/08 were split 68/32 between 74.7 million owners and 36.0 million renters. The 122.5 million households in the United States on 12/31/18 were split 65/35 between 79.4 million owners and 43.1 million renters (source: Census Bureau).

10. IT’S GETTNG BETTER ALL THE TIME – American banks repossessed 230,000 homes in 2018, 292,000 homes in 2017, 379,000 homes in 2016 and 450,000 homes in 2015 (source: ATTOM Data Solutions).

11. MAESTRO – Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan turns 93 years old this Wednesday (3/06/19). Greenspan was the Fed’s Chairman for 18 ½ years beginning 8/11/87 through 1/31/06 (source: Federal Reserve).

12. 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).

13. BACK AND FORTH – In national elections going back to 1928, the United States has elected 7 Republican presidents (beginning with Hoover and ending with Trump) and 7 Democratic presidents (beginning with FDR and ending with Obama) (source: BTN Research).

14. SHRINKING INDUSTRY – There were 457,800 workers in the newspaper industry in June 1990, a total that has fallen to 139,900 by December 2018 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

15. BACK-TO-BACK – The 2000 New York Yankees professional baseball team was the last major league team to repeat as World Series champs, a feat the Boston Red Sox will attempt to duplicate in 2019 (source: MLB).


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: The information contained in this material has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. Any mention of particular stocks or companies does not constitute and should not be considered an investment recommendation. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Any forward-looking statements presented in this material are inherently uncertain and cannot be relied upon as statements of actual performance.
Reproduction Prohibited without Express Permission – Copyright © 2019 Michael A. Higley. All rights reserved.