For the week ending March 5, 2016

  • 2015s best collectible? Think “Zoom”.

Classic cars were last year’s best performing collectible roaring up 17 percent, according to the Wealth Report.

In second and third place were coins, gaining 13 percent, and wine at 5 percent.

The collectible car brand enjoying the highest returns was Ferrari.

Furniture was last year’s worst-performing collectible.


  • Market Quick Glance


Below are year-to-date performance figures for the major indices through March 4, 2016 according to Bloomberg. To provide a longer performance perspective, 1-year returns have been added.

Dow Jones -1.84% YTD

1yr Rtn -2.30 %

-S&P 500 -1.72% YTD

1yr Rtn -1.36%


1yr Rtn -3.02%

-Russell 2000 -4.54% YTD

1yr Rtn -9.87%

Last week  I wrote if “ year-to-date performances are any indication of a trend, all four market indices are doing better. “

This past week that upward movement in stock indices continued. The index performance winner, however, changed from the DJIA to the S&P500.

But investors beware: Even though the jobs report brought cheers, according to Friday’s Wall Street Journal, “The “U.S. economy experienced one of its worst productivity drops in over two decades at the end of 2015.”

Productivity is really important. Without it…well, you know.

-Winning Stocks so far

According to the Bespoke Investment Group, here are the five top performing stocks in the Russell 1000 Index year-to-date (through February): Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) was the top performing stock in February, and it’s also the top performing stock year-to-date with a gain of 55.7%; J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) ranks second up 53.15%; followed by Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) ahead 43.58%; Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) up 41.41%; and Alere (NYSE:ALR), up 36.35%


-Mutual funds

Through Thursday, March 3, 2016 the average U.S.Diversified Equity Fund had gained ground and was down 3.41 percent year-to-date, according to Lipper. That’s a performance improvement of over 3 percent.

Although Dedicated Short Bias Funds continue to be the top performing fund type under the General Equity Funds heading, they  lost serious ground last week—-as one would expect when market directions change. They were up on average 1.29 percent vs. up 8.18 percent during the week ending Feb. 26.

Fund investors looking for action continued to find it in Precious Metal Funds— up on average  37 percent. That figure is about 4 percent higher than it was the previous  week.

Commodities Precious Metals Funds ended the week up 11.83 percent.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for weekly updates to see how equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

Lipper’s weekly performance figures for stock and fixed-income funds are at www.allaboutfunds.com in the left column on the home page.

-About those negative interest rates

From last week’s Jonathan Clements Money Guide Newsletter comes this: “TEN-YEAR TREASURY NOTES are currently yielding 1.9%. That means today’s buyers will likely lose money, once inflation and taxes are figured in—and yet demand remains robust, as evidenced by 2016’s rise in Treasury bond prices. The healthy appetite for Treasurys partly reflects the vast amount of excess capital sloshing around the global financial markets, as well as the tiny payouts on alternatives such as money-market funds and savings accounts. But it also reflects the current fear engendered by both stocks and lower-quality bonds.”

Then again,  there is an upside to negative interest rates: Borrowing money wins in a negative or low interest rate environment.

So don’t overlook the opportunities low rates can provide. I mean, who can hate the availability of cheap money if you’re purchasing a home, refinancing, financing a car, etc…





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