POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 16, 2017

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  • Inflation

About as sneaky as sneaky can get, inflation quietly reveals itself over time and steals our money in plain sight and right before our very eyes. Now that I think of it, it’s kind of like aging: One day we are young and then what seems like the next day our skin has sagged and wrinkles appear to have come out of nowhere. But they haven’t, day by day, year by year we have grown older and aged in plain site and right before our very eyes.

If I were smart, I’d use the rest of this entry to sell you an amazing stay-young-forever youth cream that comes with an instant bonus pack of how to fight inflation, but I haven’t created that cream just yet. As for inflation, it is something you can prepare for.

Recently, MyBudget360.com had a piece that addressed the four horsemen of inflation; college tuition, medical care, hosing and stagnant wages. I can think of a few others, but it’s there story.

Basically, what each of us needs to remember is that as time goes on, the reason our money doesn’t go as far as it used to is because of inflation’s sublte way of destroying the purchasing power of our dollars. The results—-it takes more dollars to buy goods and services. Anyone remember when a cup of coffee cost 25 cents and refills were free?

So if you’re a teachable moment kind of person, the very best thing an adult can teach a child, friend or loved one is to save, save, and save a portion of every dollar that comes their way for a future that’s guaranteed to cost more than the past.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

It’s a go-figure kind of market for equity enthusiasts.

While there is not much more to say on that score, readers here would b wise to remember these two things: One, don’t fight the trend. And two, trees don’t grow to the sky.

Below are weekly and 1-year performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, June 16, 2017.

-DJIA + 8.21% YTD up from last week’s +7.64%

  • 1 yr Rtn +20.59% up from last week’s 18.27%

The DJIA reached a new all-time high of 21,391.97 on June 14, 2017. (Previous highs include: 21,305.35 on June 9, 2017; 21,225.04 on June 2, 2017; and 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.)

-S&P 500 +8.68% YTD up a hair from last week’s 8.62%

  • 1yr Rtn +17.09% up from last week’s +14.95%

The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2,446.2 on June 9, 2017. (Previus highs include 2,440.23 reached on June 2, 2017; 2,418.71 reached on May 25, 2017; 2,405.77 reached on May 16, 2017; 2403.87 on May 9, 2017; 2,400.98 reached on March 1, 2017.)

-NASDAQ +14.28% YTD down from last week’s +15.32%

  • 1yr Rtn +26.97% up from last week’s 25.19%

The Nasdaq reached its most recent new all-time high of 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017. (Previous highs include: 6,308.76 on June 2; 6,217.34 reached on May 25; 6,170,16 on May 16; 6,133 on May 9, 2017; 6102.72 on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.)

–Russell 2000 +3.65% YTD down from last week’s +4.76%

  • 1yr Rtn +22.52% up from last week’s +20.36%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high of 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017. (Previous highs include 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

The average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund lost ground last week as at the close of business on Thursday, June 15, 2017 the average equity fund’s year-to-date return was 7.58%. The previous week’s figure was 7.90%.

Each week, Lipper provides performance figures for the 25 Largest Mutual Funds. Largest meaning funds with the most dollars invested in them as based on their total net assets.

Curiously, of the 25 funds on that list of biggies, 14 of them are from Vanguard. Seems as though the sales pitches from that family best known for its low-cost cost of ownership has worked.

The largest of the Vanguard funds in that list is the Vanguard 500 Index: Admiral fund with $203,021.6 million in assets as of May 31,2017. Although that fund is second in assets size—the SPDR S&P 500 ETF has more in assets at 235,791.8 million.

But, having a lot of assets in a fund doesn’t necessairly translate into top performance figures.

Big fat funds rewarding their shareholders the most, as of June 15, 2017, include the Fidelity Contrafund, up 17.05%; the Vanguard Total 1 Stock Fund; Inst, up 13.98%; and Vanguards Total 1 Stock fund; Inv, up 13.92%.

The three big funds with the lowest returns include Vanguard’s Total Bond 11 : Investor fund, up 2.715, the Vanguard Total Bond 11: Admiral fund, up 2.76% and the Dodge & Cox Stock fund up 6.06&.

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.

 

  • Millionaires love owning stocks.

Robert Frank writes about all things wealth-related for CNBC. In a recent piece titled, ” Millionaires own a record 45% of the world’s weath—and their share is growing, “ comes these little tidbits:

  • Research from that 45% piece was based on data from the Boston Consulting Group.
  • America has the most millionaires—over 7 millionaire households.
  • Multimillionaires are the biggest wealth winners of all and they expect that pot to get fatter—8.4% fatter by 2021.

 

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