POCKETBOOK:Week ending Sept.10,2016


  • Well this ain’t pretty

Debt is something our nation is no stranger to. Neither are many of its citizens. And, like you, I know that debt isn’t always a horrible 4-letter word. It has its valid and good reasons for being. And then there is the other side.

On the not-so-hot side,  our nation debt it is getting close to $19.5 trillion. And, according to MyBudget360.com, “The U.S. nation debt is more than all the world’s physical cash, gold, silver and bitcoin combined.”

That’s a lot

  • Market Quick Glance

So, last week I wrote:” I don’t recall any talking heads who said they expected 1-year returns on equities to be in the mid- to high-double digits this year…”

And, “If stock indices are an indication of the state of our economy—there’s no room for any investors to complain about America not being great—-it has been for investors year-to-date and over the past year.”

And this week I get to eat some of those words thanks to market reversing its hotsy-totsy performance record with the year-to-date and 1-year return for Dow, S&P500, Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 all closing off from the prior week’s close.

At the close of business on Friday, Sept 9, 2016, all four indices closed lower than they had the previous week, according to Bloomberg. Below are the closing YTD performance numbers of four popular US indices along with their 1-year performance figures.


-Dow Jones +5.87% YTD (Down 3% from last week’s YTD close of 8.19%)

  • 1yr Rtn +13.00% (Down 4.94% in one week)

-S&P 500 +5.72% YTD (Down from last week’s 8.27% YTD figure)

  • 1yr Rtn +10.88% (Down over 5%)

NASDAQ +3.35% YTD (Down from last week’s 5.84 % YTD)

  • 1yr Rtn +7.74% (Clipped by more than 6% from last week’s 13.61%)

Russell 2000 +8.42% YTD (Down about 3%)

  • 1yr Rtn +6.90%(Off more than 5% from last week’s 11.86%)

-Mutual funds

In mutual fund land the picture is a bit different. But that’s because of the day fund returns are calculated.

If you’ve noticed, Lipper bases its performance figures on returns collected at the close of business on Thursday’s. (I think that calculation day all started because Lipper wanted to make sure the numbers made it into Friday’s papers.)

So, because Lipper’s figures missed  Friday’s big-time  down turn, their numbers are better than one might otherwise expect had they been based on the Sept.9 closing prices.

That said, at the close of business on Thursday, September 8, 2016, the average YTD return of U.S.Diversified Equity Funds was +7.01% according to Lipper. That’s up from last week’s 6.17%.

That figure represents the average YTD return on 8,390 different equity funds that fall under 20 different fund types  including  an assortment of large-cap, small-cap, mid-cap, speciality, alternative, S&P500 etc. funds.

Precious Metals Equity Funds picked up ground over the week with year-to-date average returns now standing at 109.43% —that’s up from last week’s average fund return of 95.70%.

Lipper’s Sector Equity Funds, where Precious Metals funds live, also gained ground. At the close of business on Thursday the average fund under this heading it was up 11.72%.

Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds were up on average a tad more at 6.23%. World Income Funds gained over 1% with an average YTD return of 11.06%.

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. Are your stock funds doing better or worse than that?

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.

  • One money guy’s point of view

Peter Schiff’s EuroPac International Value Fund (EPIVX) is up over 30% as of August 31, 2016, according to Morningstar. The reason for the handsome returns are in part due to gold’s gains. And, investments in places like New Zealand, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia, according to a CNBC.com recent story.

Schiff said he likes investing in countries in that part of the world because they don’t have much exposure to the United States.

From the CNBC.com story, “Why Peter Schiff’s international fund is up over 35% year-to-date” by Bryan Borzykowski, comes this: “The U.S. consumer…is living on credit, has no savings, and the whole economy is headed for collapse, and I want protection against that. I‘m tryin to invest in markets and companies that are best positioned to do well in an environment where the U.S. economy is not doing well.”


But before running out and investing in the fund keep in mind that —-whether you buy Schiff’s thinking or not— last year the fund was down 26.31%, according to Morningstar.

And so it goes…







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