POCKETBOOK Week Ending Dec. 1, 2018


Based upon this chart, waiting for a Santa Claus rally this December could mean waiting till next year. (Source: CNBC.)


  • Trump’s  Hands

If you don’t think President Trump has a hand in how our markets are performing, better think again. Two simple examples: Not only has he put pressure on Fed Chairman Powell not to increase interest rates in spite of the fact that data shows suggesting a move up would be appropriate. And he  hasalso delayed his big time increases re raising China tariffs 25% until after the New Year, that is, for 90 days.

Each move could make Wall Street investors hap-hap-happier this holiday season. Then again, maybe not: While wages may have increased a bit for some,  credit card debt is  also on the rise. And, while the cost of a gallon of regular gas is cheap, groceries aren’t.

Additionally, as  far as  Santa ho-ho-hoing his way into town, climate change could muck up that sleigh ride.

Then there’s  Trump’s great big corporate tax cut —other than impacting mega corporations, it’s going to come back and bite many  of us one way or another.

To make that point, consider the following from the Treasury Department’s budget report  from a PBS New Hour report dated Oct.19, 2018:

-The 2018 budget deficit: $779 billion

-The budget deficit compared to 2017: + $113 billion

-Government revenue compared to 2017: +$14 billion

-Government spending compared to 2017: +$127 billion

I remember when one of the primary tenets of the GOP was to limit government spending and be fiscally responsible.

What ever happened to that?


  • Market Quick Glance


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, Nov. 30, 2018.

DJIA 3.31% YTD a big move up from the previous week’s return of -1.75%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 5.22% up from the previous week 3.23%

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 3.24% YTD a big move up from last week’s -1.54%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.25% way up from last week’s 1.37%

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 6.19% YTD jumping way up from last week’s 0.52%

  • 1yr Rtn 6.64% also a big jump up from last week’s 1.04%

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 -0.15% YTD up but still down from last week’s -3.05%

  • 1yr Rtn -0.70% still in minus-land from last week’s -1.85%

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

Two weeks ago, (11/15/18), the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 0.68%, according to Lipper. On Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, that average had increase a bit to 0.99%.

That figure happens to be way down from the 3.33% average return posted  three weeks ago on Nov. 18, 2018.

In an effort to put a positive spin on things—as in keeping fund investors thinking longer term rather that short term—2 years ago, (11/3/16-11/29/18) the average fund under this heading had a total return of 9.50%.

Then look back 3 and 5 years and the total return figure changes form 8.39% and 7.23% respectively.

East to see that clearly, things change.

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.


  • A New Year: A New Franchise Career

With a New Year right around the corner comes new opportunity for those with an eye to change and who want to be their own boss. One way to do that is by entering into a franchise agreement with an already established franchise brand.

I ran across this piece by Marco Carbaio, published in TheBalance.com, titled, “What’s the Best Franchise to Own?”

Here’s a quick directly-from-the-horses-mouth  look at a few of the picks from that piece that focused on the best 2017 franchises to own and selected by the pros at The Balance Small Business:

  • 7-Eleven Inc

This well-known brand can trace its origin back to 1927. In 2017, it had over 60,000 franchised location stores both within and outside the US. As a franchisee, the initial investment capital is as low as $37,200 and the highest is $1,635,200. The net worth requirement is between $100,000 and $250,000 while the liquid cash requirement  needed is between $50,000 and $150,000.

  • McDonald’s

McDonald’s has been franchised for the last 62 years and has over 30,000 locations. To get into this game prospective franchisees takes an initial franchising fee of $45,000 while the initial total investment capital is between $1,008,000 and $2,214,080. Also required is liquid cash of $500,000. Every year franchisees pay a 4 percent annual royalty fees on all the sales made.

  • The UPS Store

Founded in 1980. The UPS Store now has about 6,000 franchises.. The initial investment required to franchise is between $177,955 and $402,995. Your net worth requirement is $150,000 while the liquid cash requirement is $60,000. The initial franchising fee is $29,950 and the ongoing royalty fee is 5 percent.

  • Visiting Angels

The franchise fee for this home care franchise begins at $43,750. The royalty fees are 3.5 percent of the total revenues. If you make more money in terms of revenues, you get a discount and will then  pay 2.5 percent of the total revenues. You will also be involved in webinar teleconferences, annual conferences and trainings, being advertised online, TV ad over the radio and also receive home care leads on a monthly basis

The link for the piece is this: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-is-the-best-franchise-to-own-4150743




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