By: Andrew Rosen, CFP®, CEP®

After an entire week of sleepless nights, I present to you the eagerly awaited answers.  Who knows, maybe the winner will even get one share of Berkshire Hathaway stock.  (Yeah, that’s not very likely.) 

The moment of truth awaits–how financially astute are you really? 

Question 1:

We are currently in one of the longest bull markets of all time. That said, what is the widely accepted definition of a bull market?A 10% rise in stock prices after a decline.

A. A 10% rise in stock prices after a decline.

B. A 15% rise in stock prices after a decline.

C. A 20% rise in stock prices after a decline.

D. When the markets go up for 3 consecutive months after the Running of the Bulls?

Answer: I would love for the answer to be D. Maybe if enough people chose it, we can start a movement.  However, the answer is actually C–a 20% rise in stock prices after a decline.  Conversely, a bear market is just the opposite–a 20% decline from market highs. This is the longest bull market of all time, spanning  from March 2009 until today. This meaning we haven’t had a bear market since the great recession!

Question 2:

The most expensive single share of stock on the U.S. stock exchange is Berkshire Hathaway (Warren Buffet’s conglomerate). What does one share of Berkshire Hathaway class A shares cost?

A.  Approximately $100,000.

B.  Approximately $315,000.

C.  Approximately $465,000.

D.  Approximately $1,000,000 (in my best Dr. Evil voice).

Answer: All of these answers are crazy, right?  Makes it quite hard to day-trade one of his stocks regardless of the answer, but that’s in line with his buy and hold philosophy. That said, all you would need is a cool $315,000 and you can afford one share of Warren Buffet’s prestigious Berkshire Hathaway.  

Question 3:

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, is currently the richest man in the world. How many weeks would you have to win the $100,000,000 Powerball to accumulate Jeff Bezos’s net worth?

A. A. 52 weeks or 1 year.

B. 125 weeks or 2.25 years.

C. 252 weeks or 5 years.

D. 1,310 weeks or 25.1 years.52 weeks or 1 year.

Answer: This one is D. Mind blowing, right?  Jeff Bezos has a net worth of 131 billion dollars. That would be the equivalent of hitting the $100,000,000 lottery for consecutive weeks for over 25 years. That is one hell of a hot streak. 

Question 4:

The Russell 2000 index is a measure of what?

A. The 2000 largest stocks in the U.S.

B. The 2000 largest stocks internationally.

C. The 2000 largest stocks globally.

D. The 2000 smallest stocks in the Russell 3000 index.

Answer: D the Russell 2000 index tracks the smallest 2000 stocks that comprise of the larger Russell index.  It is often referred to as the small cap index.

Question 5:

The average price of a home in the United States today is $400,000. What was the average price of a home in 1987?

A. $55, 000.

B. $77, 000.

C. $133, 000.

D. $184, 000.

Answer: Don’t you know when in doubt go with C, least that’s what got me through college.  Any way a house roughly 30 years ago cost 1/3 of what it does today. 

Question 6:

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is the entity responsible for printing money. It only has two facilities that print paper money in the United States. Where are they?

A. Washington D.C. & New York City.

B. New York City & Philadelphia.

C. Philadelphia & San Francisco.

D. Washington D.C. & Fort Worth, Texas.

Answer: Washington D.C. & Fort Worth, Texas.  All the paper money in our country comes from one of those two sites. Who knew?

Question 7:

Speaking of paper money, what is the main material all paper money is made of in the United States?

A. Paper.

B. Cotton.

C. Plastic.

D. Linen.

Answer: B. Paper money is actually not made with paper. If you guessed D you were 25% right, as paper money made in our country is comprised of 75% cotton and 25% linen. 

Question 8:

In 1980, Gold was trading at $800/ounce and The Dow Jones at 800 points. Today, the Dow is trading around 27,000 points. What is gold trading at? 

A. 1,500/ounce.

B. 2,500/ounce.

C. 10,000/ounce.

D. 27,000/ounce.

Answer: A gold is trading less than double at 1,500/ounce of where it was in 1980.  So much for that theory that gold is an excellent investment right? 

Question 9:

Today, the top marginal federal tax rate is at 37%. You pay this rate if you are married filing jointly and make over $612,350 of income. What was the highest ever top marginal tax rate?

A. 42%

B. 55%

C. 65%

D. 92%

Answer: It may astonish you but the answer here is D, or 92% top tax rate.  Can you imagine if we ever got back to that point?  Would be a mutiny on our hands, to say the least, and you’d have a lot of people moving over the border. 

Question 10:

In the United States, we have an estate tax. This is a federal tax on the value of your estate over a certain threshold. What is the current estate tax? Or in other words, how much could you leave to heirs and pay no federal estate or gift tax?


A. $1,000,000.

B. $2,400,000.

C. $11, 400,000.

D. $15,250,000.

Answer: What did I tell you, when in doubt guess C.  Currently, you could leave $11,400,000 to heirs without a federal tax.  There might be a state levied tax, but at the federal level this would be it.  Additionally, if it were your spouse, you could leave unlimited amount of funds estate tax free!


How did you end up doing?  More importantly, what was your favorite question or most astonishing answer?  I for one love that Jeff Bezos net worth question. Can you imagine winning the lottery for 100 million dollars every week for 25 years and still not equal his net worth?  Not that I should act surprised– half my life is consumed by Amazon– but still, holy cow!

What was your score?

1-3 correct = hopefully you are good with your hands.

4-6 correct = don’t quit your day job just yet.

7-9 correct = look at you Mr. / Mrs. Financial Guru!

10 correct= I’d like to introduce to you the newest partner at Diversified, LLC (insert your name here).

Regardless of how you scored, I hope you found this entertaining and had as much fun doing it as I had writing it.

Financial planning and Investment advisory services offered through Diversified, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Securities offered through Securities Service Network, LLC, Member FINRASIPC. Some associates of Diversified, LLC are registered representatives of Securities Service Network, LLC, a registered broker/dealer, 9729 Cogdill Road, Knoxville, TN 37932. (800) 264-5499.