Monthly Archives: February 2017

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Feb. 25, 2017

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•Winning streak…and investment suggestion

Hard to believe, but last week the DJIA recorded its longest 11th straight record close and its longest winning streak since 1992, according to CNBC.com.

That said, D.H.Taylor of SeekingAlpha.com, wrote on Feb. 24th that the P/E ratio of the DJIA has only been over 25 on two other occasions: In 1929 and 2000. FYI, the P/E ratio for the past 135 years averages 15.

That news says to many that there’s a down coming. Who knows why, how large a decline or for how long it will last but the numbers suggest that there’s a market fall coming.

I’ll guess that the timing of which will be before the end of the year—if not way sooner. (How’s that for a not-sticking-my-neck-out-much prediction.)

Back to more of that said. If you’re wondering how to make a buck investing on Wall Street under whatever conditions, advice from Warren Buffett in his annual newsletter to shareholders might suit you just fine: “When trillions of dollars are managed by Wall Streeters charging high fees, it will usually be the managers who reap outsized profit, not the clients.”

He added: “Both large and small investors should stick with low-cost index funds.”

 

  • Market Quick Glance

 Still more….

More highs for the major indices as the week ending Feb. 24, 2017 came to a close. The upward year-to-date performance trend was realized in three of the four indices followed here.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending Feb. 24, 2017.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 5.36% YTD, up from last week’s 4.36%

  • 1yr Rtn +26.31% up from last week’s 25.34%

The DJIA reached a 52-week high of 20,840.7 on Feb. 23, 2017. (Previous all-time high was 20639.87 on Feb. 16, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +5.74% YTD up from last week’s 5.02%

  • 1yr Rtn +22.67 % down from last week’s 25.07%

The S&P 500 reached a 52-week high of 2,368.26 on Feb. 23, 2017. (Previous all-time high of 2,351.31 was reached on Feb. 16, 2017.)

 

-NASDAQ +8.59 YTD up from last week’s +8.46%

  • 1yr Rtn +28.68% down a tad from last week’s 28.77%

The Nasdaq reached a 52-week high and its all-time of 5,867.89 on Feb. 21, 2017.

 

–Russell 2000 +2.76 YTD% down from last week’s +3.15%

  • 1yr Rtn +36.44 % down from last week’s +38.44%

The Russell 2000 reached its 52-week high and its all time high of 1,410.04 on Feb.21, 2107.)

 

-Mutual funds

Continuing that upward trend.

The average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund enjoyed another good performance week as at the close of business on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, the year-to-date return on funds under this heading was up 4.82%, according to Lipper. That’s up from last week’s average of 4.59%.

The losing group under that big heading continued to be Equity Leverage Funds, down 12.78% on average—last week the average was down 12.37%. Winning group? Again it was Large-Cap Growth Funds, up 7.93%.

Changes under the Sector Equity Funds heading as only three fund types had year-to-date average returns of 10% or greater: Precious Metals Funds, up 18.64% —the week previous they averaged 22.50%; Global Science/Technology Funds, up 10.84% –last week 10.23%; and Commodities Precious Metals Funds, up 10.76%–last week it 10.34%.

Lost out were Commodities Base Metals Funds, up 8.16% that’s down from last week’s average of 10.36%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about 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.

 

  • FINRA and love and money

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority appears to be getting to the heart of things with its new publication about love and money.

Titled, “Love and Money: Talking about Finances With Your Significant Other”, the piece is worth a read reminding folks not to overlook this oh-so and vitally important subject.

Funny how money, like sex, used to be a forbidden subject not so very long ago. Not so today. Don’t know what’s going on with your partner’s finances could spell disaster for all parties concerned.

Get some good discussion tips at FINRA.org.

 

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pbTrumpBits #1

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This is it—the backside of Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s go-to White House in Palm Beach, FL. That’s the Intracoastal Waterway, aka Lake Worth. It separates Palm Beach Island from West Palm Beach and the rest of the world. I took the photo from the same vantage point all local, national and international reporters and journalists use—a spit of land right off Southern Blvd. Bridge. It’s one of three bridges that connects you to the island of PB.

 

Happy President’s Day and welcome to the first pbTrumpBits blog entry!

No matter how you feel about our new president, or which party you’re a party to, there is no denying that there always has been and always will be an interest in Palm Beach, Florida.

This slender little perfectly manicured island is and always has been home to America’s—and the world’s– rich and famous. And now with President Trump making his exclusive private club Mar-a-Lago his go-to White House, the appeal to learn more about the island is greater than ever.

With that in mind, pbTrumpBits will bring to its readers tidbits and stories about life on the island as it relates to our new Commander-in-Chief. Content in this blog won’t be a snarky—there are plenty of other sources where you can read that. My intent is to bring to you another view of the new and changing life Trump has brought to Palm Beach as this our 45th President who— even without revealing his tax returns—is said to be America’s richest President ever.

Thanks for reading and hope you will share this new blog with others.

Happy President’s Day.

Back soon.

Dian

POCKETBOOK:Week ending Feb. 18, 2017

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  • If it walks and talks like a bull…

Doug Kass is a stock trader, manages bundles of money,  lives in  Palm Beach  and  has recently changed his outlook on the market.

In his Doug Kass News and Commentary email, dated Feb 15, 2017, he wrote: “As traders, it’s our job to adjust to whatever environment the market presents.

“This is a bull market, the S&P 500 is trading at all-time highs, and corporate taxes are likely to be slashed in the near future. If the market (or an individual stock) wants to go higher, why fight it?”

Okay.

But stock prices are one thing and personal household debt is quite another.

According to a recent CNNMoney.com story, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that  total household debt was $12.58 trillion at the end of 2016.

From the same CNNMoney piece came this: “For the year, (2016), household debt ballooned by $460 billion—the largest increase in almost a decade.

“That means the debt loads of Americans are flirting with 2008 levels, when total consumer debt reached a record high of $12.68 trillion.”

That’s no bull.

Investors beware

 

  • Market Quick Glance

MORE….

More big time scores for the major indices as the week ending Feb. 17, 2017 came to a close. The upward trend was realized in all of the four indices followed below as each reached new all-time highs.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each  reached its high—for four popular stock indices, according to data from CNBC.com. Most are based on the close of business prices on Friday, Feb. 17, although a few represent closing prices data from Feb. 15 and Feb. 17. (I don’t know why the different dates but that’s how CNBC reported them.)

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 4.36% YTD way up from last week’s 2.56%

  • 1yr Rtn +25.34% down from last week’s 27.36%

The DJIA reached a 52-week high of 20639.87 on Feb. 16, 2017 (previous all-time high was 20,298.21 was reached on 2/10/17).

 

-S&P 500 +5.02% YTD way up from last week’s 3.45%

  • 1yr Rtn +22.02 % down bit last week’s 25.07%

The S&P 500 reached a 52-week high of 2,351.31 on Feb. 16, 2017 (its all-time high of 2,319.23 was reached on 2/10/17).

 

-NASDAQ +8.46% YTD way up from last week’s +5.27%

  • 1yr Rtn +28.77% down from last week’s 33.86%

The Nasdaq reached a 52-week high of 5,838.58 on Feb. 17, 2017 ( its all-time high of 5,743.43 was reached on 2/10/17).

 

-Russell 2000 +3.15% up from last week’s +2.34%

  • 1yr Rtn +38.44 % down from last week’s +44.15%

The Russell 2000 reached its all-time high of 1,405.21 on Feb.15, 2107 (its previous high of 1,392.71 was reached on 12/9/16).

 

-Mutual funds

Upward and onward.

The average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund had another good week as, at the close of business on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, the year-to-date return on funds under that  heading was +4.59%, according to Lipper. That’s a decent  jump from last week’s average of +3.11%.

The losing group under that big umbrella  heading was Equity Leverage Funds, at – 12.37% on average. Winning group:Large-Cap Growth Funds, + 7.41%.

Four fund  types under the Sector Equity Funds umbrella heading now have year-to-date average returns of +10% or greater. They include Precious Metals Funds, the  average + 22.50%; Basic Metals Funds, + 10.36%; Commodities Precious Metals Funds, + 10.34%; Global Science/Technology Funds, + 10.23%; and Commodities Base Metals Funds, + 10%.

Latin American Funds,  on average + 13.36%, and India Region Funds, + 10.77%, are the two  biggest YTD  winners so far this year under the World Equity Funds heading.

The average return of the 4,497 funds under the World Equity Funds umbrella is  + 6.40%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about 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.

 

  • For the love of our pets and animals

If you’re a dog, or a cat,  a pig, cow, snake or whatever lover, listen up: The global Animal Medication market is projected to reach $42.9 billion by 2018.

That’s according to a management story, “Animal health market to hit $43 billion in five years”, from WesternFarmPress.com.

That medication estimation, however, isn’t even close to the  figures from the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Their estimate for  2016 is $62.75 billion. In 2015, the U.S. Pet Industry Expenditures figures totaled  $60.28 billion, according to APPA.

While those figures are vastly different as the global Animal Medication and APPA represent two different  segments  of the huge pet industry/market, each show what many of us  already know: Every year we spend  a whole lot of money on our pets and animals.

For example, going back to figures from the APPA,  in 2006 U.S. pet industry expenditures totaled$38.5 tillion. In 1996, $21 trillion.

I mention this because the cost and care of our pets, animals and livestock  has been  a huge and growing industry for some time now. And, it might be one in which you’d like to invest.

In the WesternFarmPress.com story the names of the “major players” in the global medication market included companies that most of us  have heard of as they are the makers of many of the meds we two-legged folk take.

If  you’re interested in catching this  pet medication market– hope-it’s-not-too-late– trend by the tail and  would like to research some of the companies  included in the WesternFarmPress piece, they  included: Abbott Animal Health, Bayer HealthCare AG, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Ceva Santé Animale S.A., Dechra Pharmaceuticals PLC, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck Animal Health, Merial Limited, Novartis Animal Health, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., Vetericyn, Inc., Vétoquinol SA, and Virbac SA.

 

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Feb. 11, 2017

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  • It’s golden

Don’t know if it’s just because of Valentine’s Day but gold has regained popularity once again. Any why not? Who doesn’t love a golden bobble and wouldn’t covet a closet full of gold bars.

The ask price of an ounce of gold was $1226.30 at 9:24 this morning, 2/13/17, according to Kitco.com where you can follow live prices of it and other precious metals. For a point of reference, between August 15,2016 through Feb. 10, 2017, gold traded as high as $1352.10 an ounce in August to its December low of $1128.20, according to the site.

Word is, the rally in it is supposed to continue. If you are a believer, you can buy the stuff in various easy, or not-so-easy, ways to handle. Or, consider individual mining stocks, mutual funds or ETFs.

To begin your research make sure to read the Feb. 6, 2017, CNBC.com pieced titled, “Look out:Gold and bonds are sending a signal reminiscent of 1987 and 1973 market crashes”.

That warned, a very few of the ETFs you might want to research include SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), iShares Gold Trust (IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (SGOL) . Gold mners ETFs such as Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and Sprott Gold Miners ETF (SGDM). Or triple leveraged ones like Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NUGT) and Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3x Shares.

Don’t forget, gold is touchy and as such can be a very fickle investment. Handle with care inside and outside of your portfolio.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Big time scores on the major indices for the week ending Feb. 10, 2017 with new all time highs reached on three of the four indices followed below.

A few changes in the Market Quick Glance figures: Gone is the P/E ratio and added is the date each index  reached it all time high. And, I’ve also changed sources for the data because Bloomberg.com has changed its format. As a result, the new site, its look and changes for the free user aren’t as complete as they previously were.

So…below are the weekly and 1-year performance results— including the dates each has reached it high—for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices at the close of business on Friday, Feb. 10, according to CNBC.com

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 2.56% YTD, up from last week’s 1.56%

  • 1yr Rtn +27.36% up from last week’s 22.86%

The DJIA reached its all time high of 20,298.21 on 2/10/17 (previous high was 20,125.58 on 1/26/17).

 

-S&P 500 +3.45% YTD up from last week’s 2.62% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +25.07% up bit last week’s 20.86%

The S&P 500 reached its all time high of 2,319.23 on 2/10/17 (previous high was 2,300.99 on 1/26/17).

 

-NASDAQ +5.27% YTD up a bit from last week’s 5.20%

  • 1yr Rtn +33.86% way up from last week’s 25.81%

The Nasdaq reached its all time high of 5,743.43 on 2/10/17 ( previous high was 5,669.61 on 1/26/17).

 

–Russell 2000 +2.34% up from last week’s +1.53%

  • 1yr Rtn +44.158% up from last week’s 36.38%

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of 1,392.71 on 12/9/16.

 

-Mutual funds

A good week for mutual funds! Turns out the year-to-date return for the average fund was 3.11% at the close of biz on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2011, according to Lipper. That’s a big jump from the previous week’s close of 1.81% for funds included under the U.S. Diversified Equity Fund umbrella.

Under the Sector Equity Funds heading, biggest scores went to Precious Metals Funds, up on average 21.19% and biggest losers were Commodities Equity Funds, down 5.73%.

BTW, the average Sector Equity Fund was up 3.49%. That’s more than the return for the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund and way less than that of the average World Equity Fund. It’s up 5% thanks in part to the average India Region Funds’ return of 11.68%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about 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.

 

  • Dear Valentine

With all of the commercial hoopla about Valentine’s Day going on, its easy to forget—or simply overlook—the fact that this day may not be the greatest for everyone. In fact, I’d say that having a sad, sour or disappointing Valentine’s Day is a reality for many, if not most, of us.

That said, last week I received an email about this Feb.14th day, that’s worth a read. It’s about making the most of this day no matter what your circumstances are.

Written by author Susan Alpert, I’m going to guess that if you follow any one or number of her suggestions that your Valentine’s Day this year will have more meaning to it than you ever could have imagined.

Here is it: “Surviving Loss During Valentine’s Day

February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is almost here.  Everywhere you go you see colorful and enticing ads for flowers, jewelry, and photos of blissfully happy couples. Does it make you smile or make you want to crawl up into a ball and hide? There are millions of people who are without that special love, through death, divorce, separation or personal situations.  Are you one of them?

If that iconic Valentine’s red heart is broken in your eyes, there are steps you can take to put a patch on it, even for just this one dreaded day.  You’ll find there can be pleasure, joy and smiles; even if it’s not in the form you envisioned. Happiness comes in the most surprising ways:

  • First acknowledge that you’re feeling alone and in pain, it’s natural.
    Give yourself permission to feel down and even depressed, it’s your right.
    Make certain to get dressed, get out of your house and socialize.  It’s a temporary fix, but it helps.
    Reach out to someone else who needs love.
    Give a valentine card or heart to a little child. Sometimes they get left out in school. Watch the smile on their face.
    Buy yourself a present.  You deserve it. Repeat to yourself that you are loved by others.
    Help a stranger; volunteer at a charity, a shelter.  It will automatically make you feel better.
    Take yourself, or better yet, go with a friend, to a movie (not a romantic, mushy one), exercise; another positive diversion.
    Thank someone who has loved you; a parent, relative, friend, children, grandchildren).  Wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day.
    Remember the good times and remind yourself that there will be more to come. Then, believe it and it will happen.”

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Feb. 4, 2017

  • img_1539REPEAT: Markets hate uncertainty

This was the opening piece in last week’s POCKETBOOK but it’s worth rereading particularly given the decisions, actions and tweets of President Trump over the past week.

Funny thing about the stock market: On the one hand it looks ahead, on the other it doesn’t like uncertainty. Or social unrest and there is plenty of that going on.

So, with a new President in town, and one who takes bold actions and is hard to figure, investors would be wise to expect a fair amount of market volatility going forward. Also, that life is going to be more expensive on a number of fronts for individuals and the country.

Re the country, expect more debt..

Even though the GOP is no fan of debt, President Trump has been called the King of Debt. Which is okay when your kingdom is a privately held corporation. But not so okay when you are a public servant.

  • Market Quick Glance

Once again the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over 20,000 and at 20,071.46 on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Nonetheless, the Dow lost ground over the week from its previous week’s close —and— for the past year.

Looking at just the 1-year returns, the Russell 2000 appears to have been the place to be: Up over 36% for the past year. But numbers can be deceiving—the Russell 2000 hit its all time high in December 2016 unlike the other three indices followed here. Each of them reached their new highs in January.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices at the close of business on Friday, Feb. 3, according to CNBC.com. (I’ve changed sources here because Bloomberg.com has changed its format and, in my opinion, the new site, its look and the changes for the free user are horrible.)

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 1.56% YTD, down a bit from last week’s 1.78%

  • 1yr Rtn +22.86% down from last week’s 25.32%

The DJIA reached its all time high of 20,125.58 on 1/26/17

 

-S&P 500 +2.62% YTD up a bit from last week’s 2.60% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +20.86% down bit last week’s 20.86%

The S&P 500 reached its all time high of 2,300.99 on 1/26/17

 

-NASDAQ +5.27% YTD up a bit from last week’s 5.20%

  • 1yr Rtn +25.81% way up from last week’s 24.36%

The Nasdaq reached its all time high of 5,669.61 on 1/26/17

 

–Russell 2000 +1.53% up from last week’s +1.05%

  • 1yr Rtn +36.38% up from last week’s 34.36%

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of1,392.71 on 12/9/16

 

-Mutual funds

A bit of a downer as far as the average goes for the 8,479 funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Fund umbrella. At the close of business on Thursday, Feb.2, 2017 the average year-to-date return for those funds was 1.81%, according to Lipper. That was down the previous week’s 2.61% average.

Under that broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading, Equity Leverage Funds which were hotsy totsy the week before lost ground from their up 7.52% average with  YTD returns now at  5.59%. Next in performance were Large-Cap Growth Funds up 4.27% followed by Multi-Cap Growth Funds, up 4.14%.

Precious Metals Equity Funds scored the highest under the Sector Fund heading, up 17.38% on average. The average YTD return for the 2,307 funds under the Sector Fund heading was up 2.48%.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about 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.

 

  • Let’s talk unemployment and say “Thank You, Obama.”

When it comes to the unemployed, there are fewer of them now (on record) than there were seven years ago.

Jon Erlichman, a journalist for Fortune, the Business News Network and a number of other outlets, posted the U.S Unemployment Rates based on end of January figures.

In a nutshell, they reveal that at the end of Jan. 2010 the unemployment rate was 9.8%—at the end of Jan. 2017, that rate stood at 4.8%.

Thank you, President Obama.

The bar has now been set for President Trump, who took office officially on Jan. 20, 2017.

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