POCKETBOOK: Week ending August 18, 2017

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  • No, he’s not a brilliant money manager

I had lunch recently with a guy who was thanking the president for the wonderful stock market returns he has realized in his portfolios. He claimed the value of his investments had soared and all was due to President Trump.

To figure that the new president is what has caused this stock market to soar, dear readers, has a bit of poppycock in it. Why? Because we’ve been privy to a bull market for the past nine years thanks to an assortment of economic recovery conditions that have resulted in terrific returns for investors.

Here are the numbers: On March 6, 2009, the DJIA hit a new low of 6,443.27. On November 8, 2016, the date Trump was elected president, the DJIA closed at 18,332.74, according to BusinessInsider.com.

The DJIA closed last Friday at 21,674.51.

While there is no denying the roughly 3,340 point increase in that index, to give all of the credit for our current bull market returns to President Trump would be at best, not looking at the whole picture.


  • Market Quick Glance

Drip. Drip. Drip.

A skilled handyman, or handylady, will tell you that it’s a slow and steady drip that does the most damage to your drywall because until all hell breaks loose, no one notices what’s been going on or for how long it’s been happening.

Not saying that all hell breaking loose is gonna happen to the markets here, but I am pointing out that over the recent short-term, year-to-date returns and 1-year returns for the four indices followed here have been falling. Slowly. Drip by drip.

Perhaps the most noticeable is that of the Russell 2000—year-to-date that index is pretty much flat (0.05%).

Investors would be wise to take a look at all of the holdings in their portfolios—including those in retirement accounts. The purpose of doing so would be two-fold. First to reconnect with what you own. The second to consider if any changes ought be made, assets reallocated or money taken off the table and spent on something you’d really like to buy.

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, Aug. 18,  2017.


-DJIA + 9.67% YTD down from last week’s +10.60% and the previous week’s 11.79%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +16.54% down from last week’s 17.43% and the previous week’s down 20.38%.


The DJIA reached another new all-time high on August 8, 2017 of 22,179.11

(Previous highs since March include: August 4, 2017 of 22,092.81; 21,841.18 on July 28, 2017; July 14, 2017 of 21,681.53; July 3,2017 of 21,562.75; 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 +8.34% YTD down from last week’s 9.04% and the previous week’s 10.63%.

  • 1yr Rtn +10.91% down considerably from last week’s +11.69% snf the previous week’s 14.44%.

The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high on August 8, 2017 of 2,490.87.

(Previous high of 2,484.04 was reached on July 27, 2017 and 2,477.62 was reached on July 20, 2017. Prior to that date new highs and dates include: 2,463.54 on July 14, 2017; 2453.82 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 +15.48% YTD down from last week’s +16.23% and the previous week’s 17.99%.

  • 1yr Rtn +18.63% down considerably from last week’s 19.66% and the previous week’s 22.94%.


The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,460.84 on July 27, 2017.

(Previous highs include: July 20, 2017 of 6,398.26; 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017; 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 +0.05% YTD down considerably from last week’s +1.26% and the previous week’s 4.07%.

  • 1yr Rtn +9.78% down a lot from last week’s +11.81 and the previous week’s 16.36%.


The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high on July 25, 2017 of 1,452.09.

(Previous highs include: 1,452.05 on July 21, 2017; 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017; 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)


-Mutual funds

More drips.

The average cumulative total reinvested returns for equity funds on Thursday, August 17, 2017 was 6.73%. That’s lower than the previous week’s close of 7.05%, the close of the week previous to it of 8.93% and the one before it of 9.59% and the one before it of 9.84%.

See the trend? Could it be a long-lasting trend? Or the beginning of a correction? Or a bull market?

Time will tell.

In the whole wide world, World Equity Funds continue to reward their investors the most. They were up, on average, 18.07%—up from the previous week’s close of 17.76%. India Region Funds are still leading the way under that heading, up year-to-datw an average of 29.89%.

Even World Income Funds, up on average 7.58%, have returned more than the average U.S. Diversified Equity Funds.

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.


  • Thought for the week

“A prosperous fool is a grievous burden”

-Aeschylus, playwright




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