100 Startling Facts About the Economy: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) and More

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In no particular order…

1. As of January 2013, there are 16 people left in the world who were born in the 1800s, according to the Gerontology Research Group. With dividends reinvested, U.S. stocks have increased 28,000-fold during their lifetimes.

2. If you divide their net worths by their age, Carlos Slim and Bill Gates have each accumulated more than $100,000 in net worth for every hour they’ve been alive.

3. According to Forbes, if a Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) employee passes away, “their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade.”

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

4. According to the Deutsche Bank Long-Term Asset Return Study, the last time interest rates were near current levels, in the 1950s, Treasury bonds lost 40% of their inflation-adjusted value over the following three decades.

5. According to a study by Harvard professor David Wise and two colleagues, 46.1% of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets.

6. There are 3.8 million fewer Americans aged 30 to 44 today than there were a decade ago.

7. Related: The population of Americans aged 30 to 44 is about to start increasing for the first time since 2000.

8. Since 1928, the Dow Jones has increased more than 10% in a single day eight times, declined more than 10% in a single day four times, and gone either up or down more than 5% in a single day 136 times.

9. “U.S. oil production grew more in 2012 than in any year in the history of the domestic industry, which began in 1859,” writes Tom Fowler of The Wall Street Journal.

10. “Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products,” writes The New York Times.

11. Start with a dollar. Double it every day. In 48 days you’ll own every financial asset that exists on the planet — about $200 trillion.

12. There were fewer state and local education jobs in 2012 than there were in 2005, even though the number of 5- to 18-year-olds has increased by 600,000.

13. Adjusting for inflation, Warren Buffet was a millionaire by age 25.

14. Including dividends, the S&P 500 gained 135% from March 2009 through January 2013, during what people remember as the “Great Recession.” It gained the exact same amount from 1996 to 2000, during what people remember as the “greatest bull market in history.”

15. “97% of the world’s population now lives in countries where the fertility rate is falling,” writes author Jonathan Last.

16. The U.K. economy is 3.3% smaller than it was in 2008. The U.S. economy is 2.9% larger (both adjusted for inflation).

17. In 1980, there were 15,099 Americans aged 100 years or more. By 1990, there were 36,486, and by 2012 there were 88,510, according to the Census Bureau.

18. Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) “has spent more money on share repurchases than it earned throughout its life as a public company,” writes Floyd Norris of The New York Times.

19. From 2006 to 2011, Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) spent $51 billion on share repurchases at an average price of $40.80 per share. Shares currently trade at $16.50.

20. The International Labour Organization estimates a record 200 million people will be unemployed around the world in 2013. If you gave them their own country, it would be the fifth-largest in the world.

21. Despite the overall population doubling, more babies were born in the U.S. in 1956 than were born in 2009, 2010, or 2011.

22. According to The Telegraph, “Four in 10 girls born today is expected to live to 100. … If trends continue, the majority of girls born in 2060 — some 60 per cent — will live to see 2160.”

23. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s cash and investments are now equal to the GDP of Hungary and more than those of Vietnam and Iraq.

24. Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) surged more than 50% on Jan. 24 from the previous day’s low. $1,000 invested in short-term call options would have been worth $2 million in less than 24 hours. (Please don’t try this at home.)

25. In December, a start-up called Contrail Systems was purchased for $176 million two days after it launched.

26. U.S. charitable giving was $298 billion in 2011, according to the Giving USA Foundation. That’s more than the GDP of all but 33 countries in the world.

27. According to Bloomberg, “The 50 stocks in the S&P 500 with the lowest analyst ratings at the end of 2011 posted an average return of 23 percent [in 2012], outperforming the index by 7 percentage points.”

28. “Globally, the production of a given quantity of crop requires 65% less land than it did in 1961,” writes author Matt Ridley.

29. Thanks in large part to cellphone cameras, “Ten percent of all of the photographs made in the entire history of photography were made last year,” according to Time.

30. Internal emails caught a team of Morgan Stanley employees sarcastically naming a subprime CDO in 2007. “Nuclear Holocaust,” “Mike Tyson’s Punchout,” “Hitman,” “Meltdown,” and “S***bag” were all considered.

31. Since 2008, Americans have donated $19.1 million to the U.S. Treasury to help pay down the national debt.

32. Fortune magazine published an article titled “10 Stocks To Last the Decade” in August, 2000. By December 2012, the portfolio had lost 74.3% of its value, according to analyst Barry Ritholtz.

33. From 2005 to 2012, total student loans outstanding increased by $539 billion, according to the Federal Reserve.

34. According to a study by Environics Analytics WealthScapes, the average Canadian household is now richer than an average American household for the first time ever.

35. The 100 largest public pension funds alone have $1.2 trillion of unfunded liabilities, according to actuarial firm Milliman.

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