Week of October 4, 2021

1.      STOCKS & WHITE HOUSE – From 1936-2020, the S&P 500 has averaged +6.7% per year (total return) during the 1st year of a 4-year presidential term, +8.7% per year during the 2nd year+18.5% per year during the 3rd year, and +9.8% per year during the 4th year.  2022 will be year # 2 of a 1st-term Biden administration.  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.      JUST THREE MONTHS LEFT – Through 9 months of 2021, i.e., YTD through Thursday 9/30/21, the S&P 500 is up +15.9% YTD (total return).  The index was up +18.4% (total return) in 2020 (source: BTN Research).

3.      BONDS – The worst year for the taxable bond market in the last 45 years (1976-2020) was a loss of 2.92% (total return) in 1994.  The YTD performance (through 9/30/21) of the taxable bond market is a loss of 1.56% (total return).  The Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index (created in 1986 with backdated history calculated to 1976), calculated using publicly traded investment grade government bonds, corporate bonds and mortgage-related bonds with at least 1 year until final maturity, was used as the bond measurement (source: Bloomberg Barclays).

4.      GET ME OUT – 3 out of 4 American adults surveyed (74%) say they would sell out of the US stock market if equities suffered a “moderate or big decline.”  3,000 adults were surveyed in late summer 2021 (source: Vise).

5.      PANDEMIC DEATHS – In the 12 months from 9/30/20 to 9/30/21, 492,253 Americans died from the COVID-19 virus, including 56,532 deaths in just the last month.  As of 9/30/21, 699,485 Americans have died as a result of the pandemic going back to the initial US death in January 2020 (source: NBC News, Meet the Press, First Read).

6.      PAY FOR NEW PROGRAMS – 53% of consumers surveyed in August 2021 believe the “average income tax rate” paid by American taxpayers will increase in the next 12 months.  The 53% result is the highest level recorded in a monthly survey that has been conducted since 2015 (source: Survey of Consumer Expectations).

7.      JOBS – As of 8/31/21, the lowest unemployment rate of any US state was 2.2% in Nebraska, while the highest jobless rate was 7.7% in Nevada.  The national unemployment rate was 5.2% (source: Department of Labor).

8.      DID NOT GO TO COLLEGE – 64% of American adults at least age 25 do not have a bachelor’s degree from college (source: Census Bureau).

9.      SKILLS NEEDED – 75% of executives surveyed in December 2020 anticipate increased spending in “automation and technology” through December 2024 (source: McKinsey Global Economic Conditions survey).

10.   TRILLION? – In a 9/24/21 speech, President Biden said “I’m tired of trickle-down.  The trillionaires and billionaires are doing very, very well.”  The richest American today is Elon Musk, worth $199.7 billion (source: White House).

11.   BIG DEBT – Our national debt has grown from $14.790 trillion on 9/30/11 to $28.427 trillion on 9/30/21, an increase of $13.637 trillion.  That’s equivalent to adding $3.73 billion of new debt per day, or $156 million per hour, or $2.6 million per minute, or $43,207 per second over the past decade (source: Treasury Department).

12.   THE KIDS GOT IT – An IRA that is transferred at death to a non-spouse beneficiary, e.g., adult child or grandchild, would have to be fully distributed by December 31st of the calendar year 10 years after the death of IRA owner.  The non-spouse beneficiary is allowed but not required to take taxable distributions prior to the end of the 10 years.  Please consult a tax expert for details (source: Internal Revenue Service Publication 590-B).

13.   STUFF GOING NOWHERE – 73 vessels were anchored and awaiting entry into the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles on Sunday 9/19/21, an all-time record.  An additional 37 vessels were drifting in the ocean within 20 miles of Long Beach and Los Angeles, but far enough offshore to prevent them from successfully dropping an anchor (source: Marine Exchange of Southern California).

14.   ALL IN THE FAMILY – One political party has controlled the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives in 23 of the last 65 years (35%), i.e., 1957-2021.  Republicans last controlled the White House, the Senate and the House in 2018.  Democrats control all 3 this year (source: BTN Research).

15.   WHO WILL BE NEXT? – Through the first 4 weeks of the college football season, a total of 25 ranked teams in the AP (writers) weekly poll have been beaten, the greatest number of ranked teams to lose through the first 4 weeks of a college football season in polling that dates back 85 years.  The highest ranked football teams to lose were # 3 ranked Clemson in week # 1 and # 3 ranked Ohio State in week # 2 (source: ESPN).

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