Crude oil prices fell Friday, and energy stocks led the market slightly lower. Stocks still posted gains for the week, and the S&P 500 had its seventh positive week out of the last nine. For the week, the Dow rose 1.85 percent to close at 17,897.46. The S&P gained 1.65 percent to finish at 2,080.73, and the NASDAQ climbed 1.80 percent to end the week at 4,938.22.
Saving Money –
During calendar year 2015, the nationwide average price of gasoline fell from $2.26 a gallon to $2.00 a gallon (gas closed at $2.04 a gallon last Friday, April 8, 2016). Cheaper gasoline prices saved American families $126 billion in 2015, an average of $1,084 per household (source: Financial Times, BTN Research).
Time Flies –
The S&P 500 bull market that began on March 9, 2009, is now in its 86th month. The average bull market for the stock index since 1950 (including the current bull) has lasted 60 months (source: BTN Research).
No Progress Made -
After adjusting past numerical data for the impact of inflation, the median household income today ($53,657) is lower than the median household income ($54,443) from 1997 (source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, BTN Research).
WEEKLY FOCUS – Tax Freedom Day Approaches
Taxpayers will have a reason to celebrate later this month. According to the Tax Foundation, this year’s Tax Freedom Day® falls on April 24. On that date, the nation as a whole will have earned enough to pay the total federal, state and local tax bills for the year.
“Arguments can be made that the tax bill is too high or too low, but in order to have an honest discussion, it’s important for taxpayers to understand the cost of government,” said Tax Foundation Analyst Scott Greenberg. “Tax Freedom Day helps people relate to that cost.”
Of the 114 “taxed” days, Americans will work 46 days to pay individual income taxes (federal, state and local) and 26 days to pay payroll taxes. Sales and excise taxes, corporate income taxes, property taxes, estate and inheritance taxes, customs duties and other taxes account for the remaining days.
Here are some additional, tax-related facts from the Tax Foundation’s website:
- Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of almost $5.0 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.
- Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will on food, clothing and housing combined.
- In calendar year 2016, the deficit will grow significantly, from $592 billion to $698 billion. If we include this annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur 16 days later on May 10.
Historically, the latest national Tax Freedom Day was May 1, 2000, when Americans paid 33 percent of their income in taxes. A hundred years earlier, Americans paid 5.9 percent in taxes, resulting in a Tax Freedom Day on Jan. 22. Because of our progressive federal tax system and varied state tax policies, residents in different states bear disparate tax burdens. Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana have the earliest state Tax Freedom Day (April 5 - 7); New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have the latest (May 11, 12 and 21).
Concerned about current or prospective tax bills? We’d be happy to work with your accountant to evaluate your present tax situation, analyze future scenarios and make recommendations to position your portfolio to reduce your tax liability.
The Dorion-Gray Team
Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. a Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Dorion-Gray Retirement Planning is a trade name of Dorion-Gray Financial Services, Inc. located at 2602 IL Route 176, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. Dorion-Gray and the Securities America companies are separate, unaffiliated entities.
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