POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 11, 2016

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  • An email BEWARE

The other day I received a “Security Update Notification” email  from Citibank. It read in part: “It has come to our attention that your CitiBank account information needs to be updated as part of our continuing commitment to protect your account and to reduce the instance of fraud on our website. If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online banking experience and update your personal records you will not run into any future problems with the online service..”

Trouble is, I don’t bank with Citibank.

Worse yet, I had also received a similar email notice from Chase a few weeks before.  I don’t bank with them either.

I did call Chase to see what the email was all about and the bank  representative said she  knew nothing about the email. She suggested I delete the message. I did.

My suggestion is that you do the same with ANY emails you get that request account information or the updating of information. Particularly when they come from companies you don’t do business with, or, have an established relationship with. Even banks. Especially banks.

As we all have sadly learned, there are lots of talented online crooks around. So just because someone asks for information, doesn’t mean you have to give it.

 

•Market Quick Glance

-Indices:

 

Below are the year-to-date performance figures for the major indices through June 10, 2016, according to Bloomberg. To provide a longer performance perspective, 1-year returns have been added.

 

-Dow Jones +3.89% YTD

1yr Rtn +2.47% .

-S&P 500 +3.62%YTD

1yr Rtn +2.30%

NASDAQ -0.60% YTD

1yr Rtn -1.80 %

Russell 2000 +3.15% YTD

1yr Rtn -6.62%

 

-Mutual funds

 

Through Thursday, June 9, 2016 the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund jumped up more than 1/2 of 1 percent to end the week up + 3.26 percent, according to Lipper.

Again, Equity Leverage Funds ruled with a y-t-d average performance of 13 percent (last week that category had an average return of 7.40 percent). Behind it were Mid-Cap Value Funds with an average return of 7.80 percent followed by Small-Cap Value Funds at 7.68 percent.

 

Sector Funds have a history out outperforming various fund types—-particularly Index Funds—-when the stock markets aren’t really making sense. Now is one of those times. As a result, under the Sector Equity Funds heading you will find 10 various types of Sector Funds with year-to-date average performances of over 10 percent. The richest of them are Precious Metals Equity Funds. They gained more than 25 percent in five business days to end  the y-t-d performance up 88.89 percent.

 

 

Worth noting: Of the 25 largest equity funds, only 5 had y-t-d performance averages  over +5 percent.

 

Find out the details at www.allaboutfunds.com .

 

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.

 

  • They say it’s a stock pickers market

Lots of talks lately about which investment product performs best: Index fund(s) or individual stock picking.

 

Index funds come with lots of appeal including low costs, diversification and performance. And if you’ve been around for a while you will recall that there  have been a number of years when passively managed index funds have outperformed actively managed stock picker funds.

 

Now some experts think it’s funds managed by active stock picking managers that will outperform basic index funds. Two of them are Louis Navellier and Brad Zigler.

 

From last week’s Louis Navellier’s InvestorPlace.com email comes this: “Had you invested in an S&P 500 index fund at the beginning of 2000 when it was at 1,469 you’d be up a TOTAL of 32% as of the end of 2015. Put another way, if you put $100,000 in an S&P 500 index fund at the beginning of 2000, your account would have grown to just $132,000 fifteen years later……Now $32,000 is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s only a compounded annual gain of 1.75% over 15 long years.”

Navellier, who of course, is promoting his own investment style and management company  made mention of how $100,000 invested with him on January 1, 2002 would have grown to $546,657 by the end of 2015. That’s a 12.9% average gain per year.

Brad Zigler, author of Seeking Alpha’s “The Market’s Measure” column, wrote about the opportunities for skilled stock pickers that exist today. His thinking is based on two market indicators that are behaving in a fashion that are kinda sorta out of synch: Alpha and the CBOE S&P 500 Correlation Index (KCJ).

 

Zigler writes that the KCJ has been on a downward trend since February and that a low correlation between it and Alpha can mean investment opportunities for stock pickers who know what they are doing. He also pointed out there was no certainty in how long that correlation would last.

 

But no matter how the market looks,  smart guys like Zigler and Navellier will be the first to tell you that investing in the stock market always comes with risks. And, that there are no performance guarantees going forward  no matter what the score has been in the past.

 

 

 

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