9 Money Stats That Will Blow You Away

By Selena Maranjian Markets Fool.com

"I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money."
-- Pablo Picasso

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Money is a fascinating topic. However much we have, we generally would like more of it: We want ample savings, income, and returns on our investments. We want a fat retirement nest egg to help us sleep better in the future. Money is fascinating in many ways, too. Here are nine-plus money stats that should leave you rather impressed.

Image source: Getty Images.

$1.5 trillion: That's how muchU.S. money is in circulation, as of January -- most of it in the form of Federal Reserve notes. If you're wondering what Federal Reserve notes are and where you might see some, check your wallet. That's a fancy term for our U.S. currency.

$81 trillion: How much money is there in the whole world? It's estimatedto be around $81 trillion, but that's just counting coins, bills, and bank deposits. It ignores other assets with value, such as gold, as well as investments such as derivatives.

$1.2 quadrillion: That's how much money is estimatedto be invested in derivatives, which are financial products that can be quite complicated. It's an immense number -- alternatively written out as $1,200,000,000,000,000. Here's a mind-blowing factoid: More money is invested in derivatives than all of the world's stock markets, combined.

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$70 trillion: All of the world's stock markets containabout $70 trillion worth of company shares, and roughly half of that is for U.S.-based companies. That's not so surprising when you remember that we have some immense companies. Check out the recent market values of some familiar names in the following table. Just the 12 of them total more than $4 trillion in value.

Company

Recent Market Capitalization

Apple

$720 billion

Microsoft

$494 billion

Berkshire Hathaway

$422 billion

Amazon.com

$405 billion

Facebook

$393 billion

ExxonMobil

$338 billion

Johnson & Johnson

$333 billion

Wells Fargo

$292 billion

General Electric

$260 billion

AT&T

$257 billion

Coca-Cola

$180 billion

Walt Disney

$174 billion

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

$199 trillion: If you think you owe a lot on your mortgage, imagine all the world's mortgages put together, along with all other debt. It's estimatedto total $199 trillion -- with nearly $58 trillion attributed to the United States.

25 years: That's how longcoins typically last -- which is a lot longer than our paper currency, which has a life span of about 18 months.

75% cotton: Our U.S. paper currency is madefrom cotton and linen -- about 75% and 25% each, respectively. Printing our money uses more than 10 million poundsof cotton!

$1 million: That's how much you may be able to accumulate for retirement -- and you may be able to exceed that, too. You just need to save aggressively and invest effectively -- ideally, for a long time. Check out the following table to see what annual investments of $10,000 can grow to:

Growing for

Growing at 8%

Growing at 10%

Growing at 12%

15 years

$293,243

$349,497

$417,533

20 years

$494,229

$630,025

$806,987

25 years

$789,544

$1.1 million

$1.5 million

30 years

$1.2 million

$1.8 million

$2.7 million

Data source: calculations by author.

3%: Of course, keep inflation in mind as you engage in financial planning for your future, as it will erode your purchasing power over time. Inflation in the U.S. has averaged about 3% annually over long periods, with some years featuring relatively steep growth and recent years featuring relatively slow growth. Steep is a relative term, though, because such a thing as "hyperinflation" exists. As an example, in late 2008, Zimbabwe experienced inflation of about 98% daily andended up issuing a $100 trillion bill. It later switched away from its own currency to the dollar for more stability, but it's notout of the financial woods yet.

The more you know about money -- especially about how it grows -- the more successfully you can plan for your financial future and amass enough of a war chest to take you through your retirement comfortably.

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Teresa Kersten is an employee of LinkedIn and is a member of The Motley Fool's Board of Directors. LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft. Selena Maranjian owns shares of Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Facebook, General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, Microsoft, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon, Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), Facebook, Johnson and Johnson, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of ExxonMobil and General Electric and has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.