Random Facts For The New Year

Here are 14 random facts to start the New Year, cherry-picked from our friends on the street.  Keep an eye out for our own investment outlook later this month.

  1. The S&P 500 added $3.7 trillion of market cap in 2013. The market did not go negative at any point this year – something that’s only happened ten times since 1928.
  2. In the past five decades, only 1995 exceeded 2013’s Sharpe Ratio.  This is not sustainable. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the turn of the calendar represent an inflection point.
  3. Chinese stocks are up about 50% from the 1992 highs.  US stocks are up about 380% – a tad bit more. Over the same time period, Chinese GDP has grown 17 fold, while US GDP has grown 1.7 fold. Still think there is a tight correlation between economic growth and equity returns?
  4. US companies will earn close to $2 trillion this year, up 250% since 2000. The total return of the S&P 500 since the Mar ’09 lows is now over 200%!!  Care to wager which way from here?
  5. Twenty years ago, only 200 S&P companies repurchased stock. Today, that number is 425. Keep up the good work Carl, Bill, et al.
  6. Ex-financials, US corporate cash balances are up 70% since 2007. On a related note, global private equity dry powder: $404 billion. Now read point five again.
  7. Approximately $1.3 trillion flowed into bond funds with ten year notes yielding less than three percent. Wonder how much will flow into them with yields over three percent?
  8. Texas is now producing more oil than we import from the Middle East.  Peak what?
  9. Meanwhile, the average value of farm real estate in the US has nearly doubled since 2005. And this does not even consider increased demand from new crops in Colorado!
  10. Warren Buffett’s overall gain from 1964 – 2012: 586,817%. S&P: 7,433%. Ever wonder why more investors don’t follow this example?  Countless talk the talk.  Few walk the walk.
  11. EBAY sells nearly 10,000 cars a week on their mobile app. And over 400 million cups of coffee are consumed each day in the US. Allegedly, a number of these caffeinated coffee consumers are car shopping at Starbucks.
  12. Americans work 8.5 more hours per week than they did in 1979.  Hard work never hurt anyone, yet I can’t help but wonder how the growing long-term unemployed enter into this calculation.
  13. Over 50% of start-up companies in Silicon Valley were founded by immigrants. Simply incredible.  Despite relentless negative sentiment towards the US economy, the American Dream remains.
  14. Most all-time playoff wins by an NFL quarterback: Tom Brady (17). Most all-time playoff losses by an NFL quarterback: Peyton Manning (11).

Happy New Year!