By The Number$
TIME IN THE MARKET - Since 1950 (i.e., 1950-2020), the S&P 500 index has been up 54% of 17,866 trading days, 60% of 852 months, 67% of 284 quarters and 73% of 71 years (source: BTN Research).
MISSING THE BEST - The total return for the S&P 500 over the last 30 years (1991-2020) was a gain of +10.7% per year (total return). If you missed the 24 best percentage gain days over the last 30 years (i.e., 24 days in total, not 24 days per year), the +10.7% annual gain falls in half to a +5.3% annual gain (source: BTN Research).
AVOID THE WORST - The total return for the S&P 500 over the last 30 years (1991-2020) was a gain of +10.7% per year (total return). If you avoided the 24 worst percentage days over the last 30 years (i.e., 24 days in total, not 24 days per year), the +10.7% annual gain rises to a +17.1% annual gain (source: BTN Research).
JOBLESS - The lowest (3.5%) and the highest (14.7%) unemployment rates in the United States in the last 50 years (since 1970) both occurred in 2020, and they took place just 2 months apart (source: Department of Labor).
BIRTHS, DEATHS AND IMMIGRATION - Between 7/01/19 and 7/01/20, the Census Bureau estimated that the US population grew by just +0.35%, i.e., approximately one third of 1% growth rate between 2019-2020. That’s the lowest year-over-year growth rate in the USA based upon records maintained since 1900 or 120 years of data (source: Census Bureau).
LIVING LONG - The life expectancy at birth of an American baby in 1971, i.e., 50 years ago, was 71.1 years. The life expectancy at birth of an American baby today is 78.7 years. Thus, life expectancy in the United States has increased 7.6 years over the last half century, i.e., American life expectancy at birth is increasing at the rate of 1 ½ years every decade (source: Center for Disease Control).
TEN-YEAR TREASURY NOTE - The yield on the 10-year Treasury note ended 2020 at 0.91%, its lowest calendar year close ever and down 1 percentage point from its 12/31/19 close of 1.91%. The 10-year Treasury note yield was 0.50% on Monday 3/09/20, its lowest closing yield ever. 10-year notes have been traded in the USA since 1790, i.e., 230 years of trading (source: Treasury Department).
HOUSING - The average interest rate nationwide on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 2.76% at the end of 2020. The all-time record low national average is 2.66%, set just 1 week earlier on 12/24/20 (source: Freddie Mac).
OIL PRICES - The price of oil ended 2020 at $48.52 a barrel, down 20.5% from its 2019 close of $61.06 a barrel. Oil’s all-time closing high price is $147.27 a barrel as of 7/11/08 (source: CME Group).
OVERSPENDING - The national debt of the United States was $27.56 trillion as of the close of business on Wednesday 12/30/20, an increase of $4.36 trillion during calendar year 2020 (source: Treasury Department).