It’s 70 In Chicago (in Nov) and 8 Other Crazy Stats

Maybe it’s the 70 degree weather heat wave taking over the city of Chicago in November ???, but whatever it is – we’re in a better than usual mood today. Combine that with some interesting stats that came across our desk this morning, and we decided to take a quick look at some things that might just make you think twice about geography, history, retirement, wealth, lotteries, and technology (and Star Wars…of course).

The Lottery:

Against everyone’s better judgement, we still all think that buying a lotto ticket is a good idea, especially when the numbers get big. Our grandmas still put them in our stocking for Christmas every year, and we never win, questioning how much more money would we have if they just gave us that money instead. Still it was a little shocking to us when we recently read that Americans spend $70 Billion a year on state lotteries…

Last year, Americans spent more than $70 billion on state-run lotteries. To put that into context, that’s more money than Americans spent on sports tickets, books, video games, movie tickets and music plus all of the apps, games and programs bought from Apple’s iTunes App Store — combined. 

To put that into context, that’s about 0.4% of the America’s GDP. This shouldn’t be too much of a shock as 44 states currently have state lotteries. We’ve mentioned before how truly impossible it is to actually win these high number lottery games. What’s alarming is these state lotteries are supposed to be going towards funding education, but as John Oliver reports on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” those funds aren’t be allocated to the right place.

Geography:

If you’re into maps and geography as much we are, you’ll love BAML’s recent look at economics, tourism, and more using maps. Our favorite? All of the continents plus Greenland would fit inside of the Pacific Ocean.

Pacific OceanSource: Bank of Merrill Lynch

Star Wars is worth $28 Billion and Counting…

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, taking into effect movie ticket sales, DVD, VHS, toys, books, video games, and costume sales, the Star Wars total franchise revenue stream currently stands at $28 Billion. For those of you who don’t live in Chicago, there’s a George Lucas Museum approved to be built near Soldier Field, and we’re not sure if that will count as part of the revenue stream or not, but if the answer is yes, expect that number to grow exponentially.

P.S. – That $28 Billion does account for the $48 Million made during the First 48 Hour Ticket Presale for upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens. You can geek out to the trailer here:

Bill Gates Wealth:

For 16 of the past 21 years, the man that helped make Microsoft what it is today, Bill Gates, has been the richest person on the planet. According the Forbes, his current wealth is sitting at a humbling $79.2 Billion dollars. Is it just us or is it weird that Gates wealth is eerily similar to the amount of money Americans spend on the lottery each year? Gates’ wealth is more than Donald Trump’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s combined. Gates’ wealth is well outside the bell curve of standard deviation of wealth of the average person. We tried to pinpoint just how outlier his wealth status was back in 2012, when his wealth was a mere $54 Billion.

Take the distribution of wealth as compared to the distribution of human height as an example. Consider that the tallest human ever recorded was 8’ 11”, or about 1.6 times the average, and 10 standard deviations outside of the average.

Now consider Bill Gates and his net worth of about $54 Billion. How tall do you think a person would have to be so that they are as much over the average in height, as Bill Gates is over the average in wealth? 10ft tall? 50? 1000?  Would you believe 1.6 million feet, or 303 miles, tall… which is about the length of Lake Michigan.  That is how much greater Bill Gates’ wealth is than the average American. He should literally not exist in a world which is normally distributed, being thousands of standard deviations above the average. But he does exist, and those $54 Billion are really his, making it painfully obvious for those of us down there within a few standard deviations of the mean that we are in fact in extremistan.

The Top 100 CEOs

Regardless of your opinions of the wealth inequality in the United States, there’s no denying that the top 1% has a lot of money – otherwise they wouldn’t be in the 1%. Recently, Bloomberg reported that the top 100 CEOs in the U.S. retirement plans accounted for around 41% of the entire country’s retirement accounts (116 Million Americans).

In a report scheduled for release today, the Center for Effective Government and Institute for Policy Studies found that the 100 largest chief executive retirement funds are worth an average of about $49.3 million per executive, or a combined $4.9 billion. David C. Novak, the recently departed chief executive officer of Yum! Brands Inc., is at the top of the list, with total retirement savings of $234.2 million.

68 Million Workers without a Retirement Plan

For those that are a bit skeptical of those numbers, it might make more sense when you add context to the situation. We were personally astonished to read last week that half of U.S. workers are without company based retirement plans. Half??  Bloomberg estimates that totals to 68 Million without a plan and they say the problem lies in small businesses.

Some 58 percent of the 68 million wage-and-salary workers without a company-sponsored retirement plan in 2013 worked for a business with fewer than 100 employees, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

“The current 401(k) system was designed for a workplace that doesn’t exist for most people: lifetime careers at big corporations that offer benefits,” says Teresa Ghilarducci, an economist at the New School who researches retirement policies. “Saving consistently — which you need to do for just a modest retirement income — isn’t remotely likely.”

If you’re one of those 68 million without a plan, do yourselves a favor and give us a call at 312-870-1500. Our wealth management branch would be more than happy to help you create a plan for retirement.

14 Ghosts

No, this isn’t the name of the latest sci-fi horror flick, but a ratio of ghosts per person…. If ghosts are in fact a thing. According to toothpaste for dinner comic website, 100 Billion people have lived on this earth, ever, meaning there’s going to be a lot of ghosts hanging around.

Ghosts
Comic Courtesy: Toothpaste for Dinner

18 Million Auto Sales

We like to talk about the crude market quite a bit, but economists are now saying the implosion of crude prices are leading to record-breaking car sales. Today, Autodata released their car sales numbers in the U.S. at 18.2 Million in October, marking the first time since 2000 that sales have been above 18 million in back-to-back months.

A Reuters poll of 45 economists showed expectations for a seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate of 17.7 million vehicles for October.

According to the report, total industry unit deliveries increased 13.6 percent compared to last October.

There you have it, some crazy stats for a crazy weather day in Chicago!

 

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See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.

Disclaimer
The performance data displayed herein is compiled from various sources, including BarclayHedge, and reports directly from the advisors. These performance figures should not be relied on independent of the individual advisor's disclosure document, which has important information regarding the method of calculation used, whether or not the performance includes proprietary results, and other important footnotes on the advisor's track record.

Benchmark index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship, self reporting, and instant history.

Managed futures accounts can subject to substantial charges for management and advisory fees. The numbers within this website include all such fees, but it may be necessary for those accounts that are subject to these charges to make substantial trading profits in the future to avoid depletion or exhaustion of their assets.

Investors interested in investing with a managed futures program (excepting those programs which are offered exclusively to qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7) will be required to receive and sign off on a disclosure document in compliance with certain CFT rules The disclosure documents contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA, as well as the composite performance of accounts under the CTA's management over at least the most recent five years. Investor interested in investing in any of the programs on this website are urged to carefully read these disclosure documents, including, but not limited to the performance information, before investing in any such programs.

Those investors who are qualified eligible persons as that term is defined by CFTC regulation 4.7 and interested in investing in a program exempt from having to provide a disclosure document and considered by the regulations to be sophisticated enough to understand the risks and be able to interpret the accuracy and completeness of any performance information on their own.

RCM receives a portion of the commodity brokerage commissions you pay in connection with your futures trading and/or a portion of the interest income (if any) earned on an account's assets. The listed manager may also pay RCM a portion of the fees they receive from accounts introduced to them by RCM.

See the full terms of use and risk disclaimer here.