Did You Know?
Taxes. The government is projected to collect tax receipts equal to 18.3% of GDP during fiscal year 2016, higher than any fiscal year since 2001. (source: Congressional Budget Office)
Upward Mobility. Just 16% of college graduates who were born into families in the bottom 20% of wage earners remain in the bottom 20% of wage earners during their adult lives. (source: Brookings Institute)
Taxes. 90% of American taxpayers pay more in payroll taxes (that support Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits) than they pay in federal income tax (source: Peter G. Peterson Foundation).
AAA Ratings. In 1980 there were 60 companies rated AAA by the rating agency S&P*. That number fell to 30 in 1995, to 6 in 2008, and down to just 2 in 2016. (source: S&P)
Bull Market. The current bull market of the S&P 500 is now the 2nd longest bull in history at 7.15 years in length. [Technically, if the current bull fails to reach a new closing high (above its 5/21/15 record close of 2131) before suffering a 20% tumble, the bull's length will be restated to 6.20 years (i.e., the level it ended on 5/21/15), the 3rd longest in history as opposed to the 2nd longest.] (Source: BTN Research).
Stock Market Investors. In 2007, 65% of Americans had money invested in the US stock market either through pre-tax accounts or post-tax accounts. Today (2016), just 52% of Americans have money invested in the US stock market. (source: Gallup)
The Magic of Compound Interest. $1 growing at 8% on a tax-deferred basis will accumulate to $10.06 over 30 years. $1 growing at 4% on a tax-deferred basis will accumulate to $3.24 over 30 years. Thus, achieving a return 2 times as great will produce a balance more than 3 times as large over 30 years. [This is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to reflect any specific investment or performance. Actual results will fluctuate with market conditions and will vary. There is no guarantee the selected rate of return can be achieved.] (source: BTN Research)
USSR. It has been 25 years since the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics dissolved in 1991 and split into 15 separate countries including Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
(source: BTN Research)
*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.