POCKETBOOK: Week ending May 7, 2016

IMG_0204      •How you doin?

According to Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, the average retirees nest egg  now totals $119,000; for those married, it is $224,000; and for singles, it is $40,000.

  • Market Quick Glance

-Indices:

Here are the year-to-date performance figures for the major indices through May 6, 2016, according to Bloomberg. To provide a longer performance perspective, 1-year returns have been added.

Stocks continued to have another tough week with all indices losing ground this first week of May, dragging their 1-year returns right down with them.

Warren Buffett told his groupies that if interest rates remained at 0 for 50 years the DJIA would hit 100,000. That’s a “Doh!” When fixed-income products yield nothing there is no other place for investors who believe in corporate America to go but to invest in stocks.

-Dow Jones +2.73% YTD

1yr Rtn + 0.04% (last week’s 1-yr return: + 1.21%)

-S&P 500 +1.40% YTD

1yr Rtn -0.67 % (last week’s 1-ry return: +0.10%

NASDAQ -4.94% YTD

1yr Rtn -4.09 (last week’s 1-yr return: -3.35%)

Russell 2000 -1.38 % YTD

1yr Rtn -8.40 % (last week’s 1-year return: -6.57%

-Mutual funds

Through Thursday, May 5, 2016 the average U.S.Diversified Equity Fund lost ground again and ended the first week of May down nearly 1 percent year-to-date, 0.80 to be exact, according to Lipper.

Equity Leveraged Funds, there are 202 of them, lost ground as well although still maintained plus-side returns, up 3.12 percent year-to-date on average. Behind them were Mid-Cap Value Funds up 3.01 percent.

Still rocking under the Sector Equity Funds heading were Precious Metals Funds, up on average 71.62 percent as of Thursday’s close. That’s a couple of percent less than the previous week’s close. Even gold is having a hard time shining in this market.

The average Sector Equity Fund was up 5.10 percent y-t-d. Also down from the previous week.

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.

 •Time to lower your expectations

While there’s no calling the market, there are indications that our US markets, right along with those in the developed nations around the globe, are in a world of economic hurt.

Last month the McKinsey Global Institute published a report “Why investors may need to lower their sights” pointing out past market performances.

They write: “Total returns on equities and bonds in the United States and Western Europe from 1985 to 2014 were significantly higher than the long-term average.”

Using that time frame, their report showed that during that 30-year period, US equities returned on average 7.9 percent—the average for the past 100 years was 6.5 percent. For European equities the 30-year average return was also 7.9 percent but 4.9 percent for the past 100 years.

US government bonds averaged 5 percent for the past 30 years and 1.7 percent over the past 100. And European government bonds averaged 1.6 percent returns over the past 100 years and 5.9 percent during the past 30 years.

Going forward, McKinsey’s report estimates annual returns for equities to be about 1.5 to 4 percent lower than the 30-year average and 3 to 5 percent lower for fixed-income.

Whether their past long-term returns are spot on or not, lowering your expectations for this year is worth doing.

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