Income levels not so hot
If a picture is worth 1000 words, than a chart has got to be worth more. Right?
A recent Federal Reserve study revealed that the wealth gap is growing—but we already knew that; that unemployment has hit a 17-year low—we knew that too; and that the top 1% holds 38.6% of the nation’s wealth up from 33.7% in 2007—and we kinda sorta knew that as well.
But perhaps what we didn’t know was how the racial gap of low-income families had changed—-especially for white people.
From a CNNMoney.com story titled, “Included: Poor white Americans are getting poorer: what diversity numbers don’t say”, posted November 10, 2017, comes this: “The wealth of low-income white people was cut almost in half since the recession while the wealth of black and Hispanic families in the same bracket remained stable.”
Move levels up a notch and things change.
“The median white family is worth nearly ten times as much as the median black family and about 8 times as much as the median Hispanic family, “ says CNNMoney’s Lydia DePillis.
(Full story at: http://cnnmon.ie/2zLiluY )
Market Quick Glance
The CBOE Volatility Index, VIX, is worth looking at because of its performance: Although the indices followed below have had a heck of a positive performance year, the VIX’s year-to-date and 1-year returns are down around 20%. Or down at -19.59% and -20.32% respectively at the close of business on Friday, November 10, 2017.
As for the DJIA, S&P 500, Nasdaq and Russell 2000, last we they all lost ground.
That’s not to say there is a bear preparing to tear up Wall Street. But, when you combine market volatility, inflation, rising interests rates along with disappointing earnings and policy promises that don’t come true from Washington, that clawing creature can’t be far away.
Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, November 10, 2017.
–DJIA +18.52% YTD down from last week’s 19.11%.
- 1 yr Rtn +24.27% way down from last week’s 31.28%
Another new all-time high of 23,602.12 was reached on November 7, 2017.
The previous high of 23,557.06 was reached November 3, 2017. On March 1, the Dow stood at 21,169.11.
-S&P 500 +15.34% YTD down a bit from last week’s 15.59%.
- 1yr Rtn +19.31% down considerably from last week’s +23.90%
The S&P 500 reached another new high on November 7, 2017 of 2,597.02
The previous high of 2,588.42 was reached on November 3, 2017. On March 1, 2017, that index stood at 2,400.98.
-NASDAQ +25.66% YTD down from last week’s +25.66%.
- 1yr Rtn +28.91% down a lot from last week’s 33.73%
The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,795.52 on November 7, 2017.
A previous high of 6,765.14 was reached on November 3, 2017. On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.
-Russell 2000 +8.71%YTD down from last week’s +10.15%
1yr Rtn +15.04% down from last week’s +29.22%
The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 05, 2017. On March 1, 2017 this index stood at 1,414,82.
Investors are still lapping up shares of mutual funds and ETFs.
According to data from Thomson Reuters Lipper, in the week ending November 8, 2017, investors purchased $17.5 billion in fund assets.
Equity funds picked up$4.7 billion; taxable bond funds $1.6 billion, money market funds $10.8 billion and municipal bond funds $463 million.
Exchange Traded Funds, ETFs, saw inflows of more that $5.0 billion.
More specifically, the year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds moved downward as the close of business on Thursday, November 2, 2017, according to Lipper. The average return was +13.90%. That’s down from the previous week’s return of +14.24%.
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.
Great Gift Cards
Depending upon whom you ask, gift cards are either great gifts or aren’t worth purchasing because they aren’t used.
Most people like getting them with stats showing somewhere between 6 and 10% of them go unredeemed.
But the trick in getting someone to use their card is the same as the challenge of picking out a present you know they will love: You have to know what they like/don’t like or use/won’t use.
WalletHub recently conducted a survey asking about gift card use. Here are some of the results:
-Last year’s Most Popular Gift Cards—Amazon Gift Card and Visa Gift Card were each ranked #1; Walmart Gift Card ranked #3; iTunes Gift Card ranked #4 and American Express Gift Card ranked #5.
-Gift cards with the biggest increase in popularity over the past year was Trader Joe’s.
-Gift cards with the biggest drop in popularity were those from the Apple Store and H&M.