POCKETBOOK:Week ending Aug.19,2016

  • IMG_0204Class distinctions

How much the top 1%ers are really worth is difficult to nail down. Depending up the source, time frame considered and what you’re counting—family wealth or income—the figures change. Nonetheless, that very tiny elite sliver of our society known as the 1%ers owns pretty much everything. Like an abundance of shares of stock, megamillion dollar homes, super yachts, watches worth what most of us would consider a comfortable retirement nest egg etc., etc.

With so much focus on them you’d think the other 99% of us were chopped liver. (If “chopped liver” is too politically incorrect for your taste, think “worthless” instead.) But we are not. Without us this nation wouldn’t be worth nearly what it is today.

Sticking only to dollar values—and not to what’s inside our hearts where our true and real wealth lies— below is a look at the incomes levels of the various income classes in America based on 2014 income levels from the Urban Institute, according to CNN Money.com:

-Rich, incomes, $350,000+

-Upper Middle, $100,000 to $350,000

-Middle, $50,000 to$100,000

-Lower Middle, $30,000 to $50,000

-Poor, <$30,000


  • Market Quick Glance

Funny thing about the indices: Sure, the year-to-date performances over the past week was good, although not much improved from the previous week. But it was the 1-year total returns when all four indices really shined. Make sure to check them out.

Below are the closing YTD performance numbers of four popular US indices as of Friday, August 19, 2016, according to Bloomberg. One-year performance figures are also included.


-Dow Jones +8.45% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +15.77 ( A BIG increase here from last week’s +9.14%)

-S&P 500 + 8.39% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +13.27 (Also a big jump up from last week +6.75%)


  • 1yr Rtn +12.98(Yuge increase from +4.92%)

Russell 2000 +9.90 % YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +8.56 (A sweet jump up from last week’s number of +3.59%)

Here’s a little bit of performance trivia from the Bespoke Investment Group about Nasdaq: “Since the two-day 6.5% decline following the Brexit vote in late June, the Nasdaq has gone 37 trading days now without posting back to back daily declines.  In the Nasdaq’s history dating back to 1971, there have only been seven other periods where the Nasdaq went longer than 35 trading days without back to back declines and the current streak of 37 ranks as the longest since December 2004!  If the Nasdaq can go three more trading days without a two-day losing streak, it will be the longest streak since 1978!”

Bespoke published that on August 18. So we shall see….

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, August 18, 2016, U.S.Diversified Equity Funds ended the week up a bit with the average YTD performance of +6.56% for the 8,429 funds under this heading, according to Lipper.

Here’s a look at the YTD average total return for various umbrella fund headings along with the number of funds included under each of Lipper’s headings:

-Sector Equity Funds up 14.40% (2,294 funds)

-World Income Funds up 11.18% (807 funds)

-World Equity Funds (4,445 funds)

-Mixed Asset Funds up 6.23% (5,782 funds)

-Domestic Long-Term Fixed Income Funds up 6.10% (4,027)

Wondering how best to use Lipper’s fund performance figures? Use their ytd returns as a guideline for how your individual fund(s) are performing. For instance, the average stock fund is up about 6.5 percent so far this year.

That’s pretty good especially when you compare it to the barely above 0% returns on your bank’s money market fund.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for weekly updates to see how various 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.

  • Presidents and job creation

Without jobs Americans suffer and so does our nation.

But there’s more to building a strong economy than jobs. Our national debts, recessions, depressions etc., all play a part

TheBalance.com recently ran an interesting article titled “Which President Created the Most Jobs?”. Not only does it address the number of jobs our presidents have created, it includes tidbits such as the debt the jobs created along with other economic and historical data.

Back to the presidents, here’s a look at our presidents, the years they were in office and the number of jobs each created:

-Bill Clinton (1993-2000) created the most number of jobs, 21.5 million jobs.

-Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) 15.9 million jobs.

-Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1968) added 11.9 million jobs.

-Jimmy Carter added 10.5 million jobs

-Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1944) created 10.3 million jobs.

-Barack Obama (2009-2016) at the end of 2015 had created 8.3 million jobs. A somewhat skewed picture as it does not include his entire presidency or that 8.7 million jobs were lost due to the 2008 Financial Crisis.

-Richard Nixon (1969-1974) added 8.8 million jobs.

-Harry Truman (1944-1952), 8.3 million jobs.

-Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1960), 3.6 million jobs.

-John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), 3.6 million jobs.

-George H.W. Bush (1989-1992) added 2.6 million jobs.

-George W. Bush (2001-2008) added 2.1 million jobs. He also lost the most jobs– “ 3.6 million between January and December 2008.

-Gerald Ford (1976-1979) added 2.4 million jobs.

There is much more to this story  that’s  worth a read. You will find the entire piece at:






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