Middle class illusion
If you’re at all like 70 percent of America’s adult population, you consider yourself middle class both in income and mindset. This, according to the results from Northwestern Mutual’s 2017 Planning and Progress study.
Too bad that’s not really the case.
Turns out the middle class has lost a serious amount of its heft over the past 45-ish years. According to Pew Research Center, in 1971, middle-income households totaled 61 percent of the household landscape. But by 2015, that percentage had slid to 50 percent.
While the middle class is shrinking, both the number of households in the upper- and lower-income levels has been on the rise.
So much for that 70 percent thinking.
Market Quick Glance
I get nervous when all the 30-some stocks that I follow close in the green. But, that’s what happened as of the close of market business Friday.
As for the four indices followed here, all four had a great week with year-to-date numbers higher than the week previous. Additionally, both the DJIA and S&P 500 reached new highs for the year.
That’s all hunky dorey but take notice of the 1-year returns and you will see that all four indices figures are lower than they were a week ago.
So, as Friends character Joey Tribbiani would say, “How YOU doin?”
And if you’re doin good, maybe it’s time to lock in some profits. Nobody has ever gone broke doin that.
Below are the weekly and 1-year index 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, July 14, 2017.
-DJIA + 9.49% YTD up handsomely from last week’s +8.36%
- 1 yr Rtn +16.92% down from last week’s 19.66%
The DJIA reached a new all-time high on July 14, 2017 of 21,681.53.
(Previous high was on July 3,2017 of 21,562.75. Prior to that high dates include: 21,535.03 on June 20, 2017; 21,391.97 reached on June 14, 2017; 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 +9.85% YTD up attractively from last week’s 8.32%
- 1yr Rtn +13.66% down from last week’s +15.60%
The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2,463.54 on July 14, 2017.
(Prior to that date new highs and dates include: 2,453.82 on June 19,2017; 2,446.2 reached on June 9, 2017; 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 +17.26% YTD up seriously from last week’s +14.30%
- 1yr Rtn +25.40% down from last week’s 26.17%
The Nasdaq reached a 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 +5.28% YTD up enough to notice from last week’s +4.33%
- 1yr Rtn +18.85% down seriously from last week’s +23.14%
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.)
Like the major indices showed their stuff, last week the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund gained ground too closing at 8.74% at the close of business on Thursday, July 13, 2017, according to Lipper. That’s up attractively from the previous week’s close of 6.95%.
That said, time is one of the most important factors to consider before dipping your toe into the ever-changing currents of the stock market. And just like every other thing associated with investing, there is no one guaranteed time frame that comes with the promise of making you money. All time frames can be rewarding or disappointing. That’s just the nature of this beast.
To make that point, here’s a relatively short-term look at the cumulative total reinvestment performance for the 8,549 funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds over seven time periods:
-1 week: up 1.62% (7/6/17 through 7/13/17)
-4 weeks: up 1.01% (6/15/17 through 7/13/17)
-13 weeks: up 5.50% (4/13/17 through /13/17)
-52 weeks: up 14.88% (7/14/16 through 7/13/17)
-2 years: up 7.47% (7/9/15 through 7/13/17)
-3 years: up 6.64% (7/10/14 through 7/13/17)
-5 years: up 12.65% (7/12/12 through 7/13/17)
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.
IPOs? Not so fast
Louis Navellier is no fan of investing in IPOs.
According to his recent Navellier Growth Fund newsletter, this well-established money manager pointed out that over 70 companies have already gone public so far this year. But, while that’s exciting news for some, Navellier warns everyday ordinary investors to stay away from these big-time hyped and often temping offers.
“The last thing you should do is buy into the hype,” he said. The reason? Because he said there is “ too much volatility early on.”
Instead, he suggests waiting. “If you want to get into these companies, I recommend that you come back in a year or two….And I say that for one specific reason—-earnings results.”