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


-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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