POCKETBOOK Week Ending Dec. 28, 2018


  • The Best Investment Ever

Now that 2019 is hours away and every financial fortune-teller has begun sharing their maybe, could be and hopeful projections about what’s going to happen on Wall Street in the New Year, there really is only one investment that matters: You.

You are the one who is typically in control of what securities to purchase or liquidate and when to do so. You are the one who decides how much effort to put into making your investment selections. And you are the one who doles out the money to spend on the investments of your choosing.

While it’s all up to you to decide whether or not to invest, the one thing you have no control over is how the stocks, bonds or ETFs will perform over the course of a year. Or, during the investing lifetime you’ve given them.

Given that the power of you stops the minute you plop down your first buck in hopes of reaping some financial reward from doing so, and, that Wall Street comes with no promise of future returns, the only investment that can return any kind of cherished return is an investment in yourself.

So Happy New Year to You! And may 2019 be a rewarding year for you and yours.


  • Market Quick Glance

When down is up.

Goofy how it all works. Two weeks ago the year-to-date returns on the indices followed here were in serious minus territory. Then, at the close of business on Friday those minus returns weren’t eliminated but they were improved.

What the last day of trading in 2018 will bring us is anybody’s guess as is the performance of all things on Wall Street going forward in 2019.

If there is any sound guidance to give at this point in time it is simply to know where your money is invested and why it’s been placed there. After that, it’s a come- what-may life for all of us with fingers crossed our picks turn out to be rewarding.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ — including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.

DJIA -6.70% YTD up from the previous week’s -9.20%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -7.15% also up from the previous week -9.43%

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 -7.03% YTD up from last week’s -9.61%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -7.51% also up from last week’s -9.98%

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 -4.62% YTD hey up considerably from last week’s -8.26%

  • 1yr Rtn -5.26% also up from last week’s -9.08%

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.


-Mutual funds

Repeat from last week:

P U. There was only one U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading that ended last week with a positive average return. It was Dedicated Short Bias Funds with an average total return of 11.15%. That category of funds numbers 162 out of the 8,214 funds under the U.S. Diversified heading.

In other words, there is nothing pretty about the average returns on equity funds last week. Then again, how could their be with the stock prices fall, fall, falling.

The average year-to-date total return for funds that fall under the heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds stood at -9.18% at the close of business on Thursday, December 20, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s down a huge heap from the previous week’s figure of -3.12% %.

For a broader look, the average Sector Equity Funds’ return was -9.98%; World Equity Funds, -15.34%; Mixed Asset Funds, -6.95%; Domestic L-T Fixed Inc Funds, -1.15%; and World Income Funds, -4.09%.

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.


  • Raises

Calling all Floridian hourly workers: You’re getting a raise. A puny raise but a raise nonetheless.

While the minimum wage is heading up in 20 states around the country beginning in the New Year, in Florida the 21 cent an hour increase isn’t likely to get you that Mercedes but it will make a difference.

Florida’s current minimum wage through December 31, 2018 is $8.25 an hour. The new 2019 minimum wage in the Sunshine State will be $8.46.

Doing the math that translates to an additional $8.40 a week for those working a 40-hour week and $436.80 a year.

Other states with puny increases in their minimum wages include 21 cents in Minnesota, from $9.65 to $9,86 an hour; Montana, 20 cents, from $8.30 to $8.50 an hour; and Alaska, up 5 pennies, from $9.84 to $9.89.








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