POCKETBOOK: Week ending Oct.22, 2016

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  • Time for a cocktail ETF?

Might be that the best way to handle the craziness surrounding this year’s election season is with a good strong cocktail. Then again,  perhaps a booze-based exchange-traded-fund will do.

If spirits are your thing, The Spirited Funds/ETFMG could be worth a snort. With the symbol WSKY, a few of the stocks in this brand new ETF include Diageo (DEO)—it owns Johnnie Walker and Bulleit; Pernod Ricard (PDRDF) the owner of Chivas Regal, Glenlivet and Jameson; and Brown-Forman (BRB) the parent company of Jack Daniels.

From a recent ZACKS report comes this: “The whiskey and spirits sector, a niche within the consumer discretionary space, has been seeing explosive growth. This is especially true as high end premium and super-premium bourbon and Tennessee whiskey brands saw revenues surge 50% and 155%, respectively, between 2010 and 2015 in the U.S. alone, as per the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Sales of distilled spirits climbed to a staggering $72 billion last year. Spirits have been seeing increased market share relative to beer over the past six years in the overall alcohol industry.”

But no matter how intoxicating The Spirited Funds may sound, all investors need to beware— niche investments like this ETF are best taken in small shots.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Last week was an up one for the major indices— provided you were only looking at year-to-date returns and not 1-year results.

That said, below are where the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices stood at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, according to Bloomberg. Plus, their respective P/E Ratios.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +6.38% YTD éfrom last week’s 6.28%

  • 1yr Rtn +5.61% ê from last week’s 8.21%

P/E Ratio 17.23 ê from last week’s 17.43

-S&P 500 +6.60% YTD é from last week’s 6.17%

  • 1yr Rtn +5.46% ê from last week’s 7.23%

P/E Ratio 20.11 é from week’s 17.23

NASDAQ +6.11% YTD é from last week’s 5.23%

  • 1yr Rtn +5.92% ê from last week’s 8.16%

P/E Ratio 31.30 é a bit from last week’s 31.17

Russell 2000 +8.51% YTD é from last week’s 8.%

  • 1yr Rtn +6.05 é from last week’s 5.9%

P/E Ratio 43.48 ê a tad from last week’s 43.56

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, the year-to-date average return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was up 4.90%, according to Lipper.

Taking a broader look, the average World Equity Fund was up 5.96% year-to-date. That’s about 1% higher return that the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund.

Staying with that world view, equity funds in Latin America continue to be winners, up on average 41.87%. Far behind, but still in double-digit land, were Emerging Markets Funds, up nearly 15% on average (12.92%), India Region Funds, up 12.43% and Pacific Ex Japan Funds, up 10.12%.

On the downside, there were only two losing World Equity Funds: European Region Funds, down 2.29% on average and International Large-Cap Value Funds, off less that one-half of 1% at 0.43%.

And the world ruled in the income arena too. Of the 802 funds under the World Income Funds heading, the average fund was up 10.22 %. Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, on the other hand returned, on average, 6.51%.

Make sure to check out the mutual fund performance figures Lipper publishes weekly and use their YTD returns as a guideline for how your individual fund(s) are performing.

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.

  • A dying profession

Once upon a time banks used to be the place wannabee robbers would dream about hitting. But today that kind of get-rich scheme is oh-so last century.

According to the FBI, over the past 25 years bank heists are down 60%. Worse yet, their potential take has fallen too. In the past decade it averaged under $6,500.

Not only is the reward not worth the risk, there are more security measures at banks then ever before. And, banks don’t keep the kind of cash on hand as they once did. At PNC, for instance, a teller told me if I wanted to take $9,000 in cash from my account, I’d have to call ahead, then probably wait a day or two until they could make the cash available.

So much for robbing banks.

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