14 Numbers that May Surprise You

This is a re-run of a TGIF 2 Minutes article that appeared in May 2018, with a few updates.

The following are from a recent article in the Journal of Financial Planning* – and they are not snoozers! In fact, several truly surprised me. Check ’em out. All from formal surveys.

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75 – Percentage of Americans who have at least one big financial regret. (Bankrate)

70 – Percentage of survey respondents who said they regret spending on restaurants. (Common Cents Lab)

62 – Percentage of Gen-Xers surveyed who said they waste too much money eating out. (Hloom)

51 – Percentage of clients who fired their adviser because they said he or she failed to understand their goals and objectives. (Financial Adviser)

1,175 – Number of points the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped in early February 2018, the largest percentage decline in 6½ years. (Forbes)

  • Update: The Dow Jones fell 608 points on Oct 24th after falling 126 points on Oct 23rd. The Dow Jones has recovered roughly 1602 points since then. Volatility is part of the growth process.

4.6 – Percentage loss that the 1,175-point drop [in February] in the DJIA translated into. (USA Today)

  • Update: The Dow Jones has recovered over 7% from the recent October lows.

22.6 – Percentage one-day drop in the Dow on Black Monday, October 19, 1987. (USA Today)

50 – Percentage of the cause for investor shortfall for equity and fixed income investors that is due to psychological factors. (Dalbar)

  • This means that psychological factors (like fear, rushing to buy/sell, or allowing media to influence decisions) are responsible for 50% of investor shortfall. “Investor shortfall” is the difference between the actual return on an investment (from Time A to Time B) and the return that an investor actually receives for trying to “outsmart” the timing of buying/selling an investment (“outsmarting” is typically far less).  Ask me about this: this factor may be the single most important in investing.

19.4 – Percentage the S&P rallied in 2017 [note, without dividends]. It is projected that the stock market gains in 2018 could be smaller. (IBD)

19 – Times the S&P 500 has returned more than 15 percent [in a calendar year] since 1962. (IBD)

~3 – Percentage higher [annual] performance in the portfolios of people who receive financial advice compared to those who do not receive financial advice. (Vanguard)

  • Translates into several – or more – years earlier that the investor who received advice can retire or retire at all. In dollars this translates into $15,000 to $30,000 additional PER YEAR on a $500,000 to $1,000,000 portfolio, respectively.

25 – Percentage chance you have of living past age 90 if you retire at age 65. (Forbes)

83 – Percentage of retirees who want to stay in their own homes as they age. (Forbes)

* Journal of Financial Planning, May 2018.


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