POCKETBOOK Week Ending Oct .6, 2018

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  • Numbers

Listen up, people. It’s time to start really looking at the numbers—your financial numbers– rather than listening to talking heads saying that all is rosy in America. And, that the economy is humming along just fine and that the unemployment rate is prof of that; that everyone’s retirement accounts are plumper than ever and that inflation is under control even though prices on our goods and services—like those on gas and health care–are going up while not so much for salaries.

For instance, of the roughly  50% of working folks who do have investments, how rewarding have they really been this year? A look back absolutely does show huge upwards gains in the market over the past nine-plus years. But in 2018, the returns haven’t been so hot year-to-date.

With the DJIA up about 7% and S&P500 up 8%, as of Friday’s close, those indices over the last couple of weeks have been falling. Along with that slide, their 1-year returns have fallen as well.

In this, our Great Money Game, the only thing that really matters is how well your investments are working for you. And from what I hear, most investors prefer listening to what the talking heads say rather than taking the time to look at the particulars of their own investments.

Turns out many of us really are quite lazy when it comes to keeping tabs on our holdings. Until, that is, a crash or correction comes along And then it’s a big , “What the heck happened?” What happened was you weren’t paying attention.

So if you’re an investor, please do me a favor: Take the time to open and then read the statements you’ve received from your various brokers and in you online accounts. That would include the statement for September’s performance and those reflecting that of the third quarter of 2018.

And if you don’t really understand how to read all of that information, or have a clear-cut idea of where your money is invested, please take the time to make the appropriate calls to find out.

It is after all, your money and not the markets.

Do that and I’ll guarantee you that  the performance numbers in your accounts will be different from those TV and online talkers talk about.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Even though a new high was reached for the DJIA on Oct. 3, 2018, that average lost y-t-d performance ground when compared to its previous week’s performance.

A lower performance for the y-t-d was also true for the S&P 500. And bigger chunk losses were tallied on both the NASDAQ and the Russell 2000.

Hum.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Sept. 29, 2018.

DJIA 6.99% YTD down again from previous week’s return of 7.04%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 16.12% down again from the previous week 18.22 %

Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Oct.3, 2018 of 26,951.81. The previous high was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16.

 

-S&P 500 7.93 % YTD down again from last week’s 8.99%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 13.07% way down from last week’s 16.09%

The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.

 

-NASDAQ 12.82% YTD way down from last week’s 16.56%

  • 1yr Rtn 18.27% way way down from last week’s 24.68%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.

 

-Russell 2000 6.29% YTD way down from last week’s 10.49%

  • 1yr Rtn 7.94% way way down from last week’s 13.96%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, Sept. 27,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 8.70%. That’s down a bit from two weeks ago when the average was week’s 8.96%, according to Lipper.

Taking a longer look back, the average return for the past 52 weeks was 14.83%. Look out two years—9/22/16 through 9/27/18—the total return for this entire group was 15.17%; for the past three years it was 13.29% and over the past five years, 10.10%.

In other words, the look back is a positive two-digit one.

The same can’t be said for funds that fall under the broad Sector Equity Funds heading. Average total returns there range from: y-t-d of 2.32%; 52 weeks, 6.56%; 2 years, 6.51%; three years, 8.44% and five years, 5.34%.

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.

 

  • Time for Gold?

Gold has been an unenthusiastic participant in the markets over the past oh-so many years. But maybe, just maybe, with Wall Street’s bull looking tired and inflation creeping up and not so hot reports from various world economies, maybe it’s time to take a look at gold.

In the old world,( that would be the one that ended in 1999), investment advisors  suggested a 5% position in gold for many of their clients’ portfolios to ward off all sort of possible market demons—like bears and inflation.

But like I said, that was in the old-world. In this not so new  millennial, I’m not sure what the investment advice is but for sure gold has had a rough go of it. Perhaps that’s about to change. We shall see.

That said, at 12:05 today, (10.8.18), the ask price for an ounce of gold was 1186.20, according to KITCO.com.

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