POCKETBOOK: Week ending April 23, 2016

IMG_0874.JPG•Testa’s,  time and a financial literacy lesson.

I’ve substituted my usual Pocketbook photo for this yummy picture of Testa’s 95th birthday party cake.

In case you don’t know, Testa’s is a Palm Beach institution. The family-run restaurant has been serving tasty Italian food since 1921. More than half of those years at their location on Royal Poinciana Way where their outdoor patio and knotty pine booths inside, mixed with the aroma of home-made cooking, keep  customers coming back again and again.

While the restaurant’s look  hasn’t changed much over the decades, dining prices sure have —as is to be expected  given time.

At their party celebration earlier this month, Tom Testa told the crowd gathered in Via Testa that in 1949, a martini, daiquiri and Manhattan could be had for 50 cents,lamb chops and Italian spaghetti entrees started at $1.50.

Two bucks for a drink and dinner. Imagine that.

The financial literacy lesson here? Time and money go hand-in-hand—the more time that passes the more money you’ll need to enjoy the stuff you love.

  • Market Quick Glance

-Indices:

Here are the year-to-date performance figures for the major indices through April 22, 2016  according to Bloomberg. To provide a longer performance perspective, 1-year returns have been added.

Overall it was another winning week for many stocks as the 1-week performance figures were better for three of the four indices below than they were at the end of  the previous week— Nasdaq being the stinker:

Dow Jones +4.16% YTD

1yr Rtn +2.21%

-S&P 500 +3.02% YTD

1yr Rtn +0.93%

NASDAQ -1.62% YTD

1yr Rtn -2.38%

-Russell 2000 +1.41% YTD

1yr Rtn -8.20%

 -Mutual funds

Through Thursday, April 21, 2016 the average U.S.Diversified Equity Fund gained some strength — up on average 1.28 percent year-to-date, according to Lipper.

For the second week in a row Equity Income Funds had the highest returns posting gains double what they were during the previous week: up 3.91 percent, year-to-date.

Three fund categories sported average returns of more than 4 percent: Equity Income Funds up 4.28 percent; Mid-Cap Value Funds up the same at 4.28 percent; and Small-Cap Value Funds up 4.26 percent.

Dedicated Short-Bias Funds continued heading south, down 11.15 percent.

Sector Equity Funds performed well. The 2,275 included under that heading up, on average, 5.47 percent. Precious Metals Funds lead the way, up a whopping 66.82 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.

  • We are goofy about money

You know as well as I do that each of us has our own individual point of view about money. And all of it is pretty much nutty. How much we need, how much we spend, how much we lie about what we need, have, spend and save is different  for each of us.

Money, and its many uses,  winds up creating our own personal conundrum.

Proving that point, results from a recent Fifth Third Bank study found our money thinks and money acts are often two different things:

“Forty-eight percent of Americans consider themselves to be financially savvy. Based on survey questions examining financial savings and planning, many have the right to be confident.

  • 45% percent of respondents know 20% of income should be set aside for savings.
  • More than half1 of those surveyed know an emergency fund should hold six months of living expenses.
  • 46% percent of Americans agree retirement savings should begin in a person’s 20s.

But that knowledge isn’t reflected in real-life decisions.

With high marks for understanding financial concepts, Americans have the know-how to make informed decisions. Unfortunately, they aren’t applying the perceived understanding to their own finances.

  • 47% percent of respondents frequently live paycheck to paycheck.
  • 66% of Americans don’t have six months of savings in their emergency fund.
  • 30% percent don’t have an emergency fund at all.
  • Over 50% don’t contribute to a 401K, IRA or other retirement plan.”

 

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