Winter 2019 - Did you know?
Winter 2019 - Did you know?

Winter 2019 - Did you know?



J. Reed Murphy
J. Reed Murphy

Chief Investment Officer

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Winter 2019 - Did you know?

A quiz to test your market and economy knowledge.

Just how much did we spend this holiday season? How much has economic expansion grown from its prior peak? How many 1% moves did the S&P have in 2018 and what is the long-term average? Test your knowledge in the latest edition of "Did You Know?".


Question: Just how much did we spend during the holiday season this year?

  1. $242 Billion
  2. $578 Billion
  3. $720 Billion
  4. $900 Billion


  1. $720 Billion

According to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, Americans were expected to spend nearly $720.89 billion on gifts, decor, travel and more during the 2018 holiday season. Individually, total spending was expected to average $1,007 per person.



Question: Volatility is back. While we experienced 20 days in 2018 where the S&P 500 moved by at least 2% up or down, how many 1% moves did we experience in 2018 and what is the long-term average?

  1. 20 and 48
  2. 64 and 51
  3. 49 and 30
  4. 35 and 38


  1. 64 and 51

In 2018, we experienced 64 days where the S&P 500 moved by at least 1%. The long-term average for total 1% moves by the S&P 500 is 51 times. During the year we also experienced a total of six moves of at least 3% and two moves of at least 4%. The last time we experienced a move of at least 4% was in 2011.




Question: The U.S. economy should record its longest recovery ever this year. While the runway has been long, the two other longest recoveries experienced economic GDP growth of approximately 40% and 50% from their prior peaks. How much has this economic expansion grown from its prior peek?

  1. 60%
  2. 45%
  3. 30%
  4. 15%


  1. 15%

Since 4Q07, the economic expansion has grown by 15%.




Question: According to Dalbar, over the last 20 years the S&P 500 has gained 7.68%. What return has the average “equity” investor gained for the same time period?

  1. 8.2%
  2. 7.2%
  3. 4.7%
  4. 2.6%


  1. 4.7%

The 20-year annualized return for the average equity fund investors was only 4.79%, a gap of 2.89% with the S&P 500. An equity investor is unlikely to consistently beat an index over long time periods because indexes do not account for the effect of trading costs, taxes and fees. The underperformance directly relates to the psychological behavior of individual investors. If investors have patience and a long-term vision to stay invested, they are more likely to meet their financial goals.



Tags:  Did You Know?, Holiday Spending, Individual Investors, Long-term Investing, Market Quiz, Market Trends, Moves in the S&P, News and Markets, S&P, Volatility, Winter 2019

Note:  The content of this article is for guidance and information purposes only and is not intended to be construed as advice. Information provided is not intended to provide investment, tax, or legal advice.