By Haddon Libby

Want to surprise your friends and family this holiday season with witty banter?

You need facts.  Fascinating facts.  The kind of facts that can take redirect a conversation about Aunt Mabel’s goiter or Uncle Joe’s enlarged prostate.  You also need to be ready to redirect a conversation away from an AOC-lover or QAnon-believer to a topic that won’t lead to fisticuffs.

The Big Picture


Publicly traded U.S. stocks are valued at roughly $50 trillion.  All homes in the United States are worth $35 trillion.  The Gross Domestic Product of the United States is $21 trillion while China’s is at $15 trillion.

Stocks that make up the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index represent 80% of that $50 trillion number.  Meanwhile, U.S. stocks represent 45% of value of publicly traded stocks globally.

As of November 22nd, Microsoft was the most valuable company in the United States (and world) at $2.5 trillion.  Stated differently, Microsoft represents 5% of the value of all publicly traded stocks in the United States and more than 2% in the world.  Apple is a close second at $2.4 trillion followed by Google at $1.9 trillion, Amazon at $1.78 trillion and Tesla at $1.2 trillion.  Facebook aka Meta looks to be the next company ready to join the trillion club as they are valued at $920 billion. Rounding out the top ten are Berkshire Hathaway ($650 billion), NVIDIA ($640 billion) and JP Morgan Chase ($500 billion).  These ten companies represent 28% of the S&P 500s value, $25% of US equities and 10% of world equities.

Here is a fun question to ask folks: As Tesla is valued at more than pretty much all other carmakers in the world, are all the other carmakers undervalued or has investor love for Tesla and Elon Musk trumped logic?  Those of us who value cashflow will say that Tesla is overvalued.  Those that value things on what they expect something to be worth in ten years will say Tesla.

World Statistics

China represents 18.5% of global population with roughly 1.44 billion people.  India is second at 17.7% or 1.38 billion.  The United States is third with 331 million (4.3%) followed by Indonesia (274 million), Pakistan (221 million), Brazil (213 million), Nigeria (206 million), Bangladesh (165 million), Russia (146 million) and Mexico (129 million).

Russia holds the largest land area at 16.6 billion kilometers.  For comparison, the United States is third at 9.4 billion kilometers.  China is second at 9.4 billion with Canada fourth at 9.1 billion.

Venezuela has had the greatest population exodus of all nations with 2.2% or 653,249 of their people leaving the country over the last decade.  India is second at 533K followed by Syria (427K), Bangladesh (370K) and China (348K).  The top destinations for immigrants are the United States (955K), Germany (544K), Turkey (284K), the U.K. (261K) and Canada (242K).

French Kisses

People seem to think that a French kiss is called an English Kiss in France.  That is just wrong.  The French would never consider such and intimate act to remind them of the Brits.  The French use terms like ‘baiser amoureux’ which translates to lover’s kiss.


People love to discuss politics.  In most cases, people have their facts wrong as they parrot what they heard on Faux ‘News’, CNN or one of the other news-o-tainment networks.

To avoid conflict, tell people that you think both the Democratic and Republican parties suck.  No one can argue with that.  If they try to pull you in, tell them that the two parties are like Pepsi and Coke where the people want water.  If you run into someone who is bleeding-heart Blue or Seething Red, quickly introduce them to another person in the room and run for the bathroom.

Hope this helps.

Haddon Libby is Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer for Winslow Drake Investment Management.  Please visit to request a free consultation.