POCKETBOOK Week Ending Feb.10, 2019

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•Tax Cuts.

If you’re expecting a big fat refund check from the IRS this year, don’t hold your breath. Turns out Trump’s big fat tax cuts haven’t turned out to reward  tax payers as generaosly as they have the wealthy and large corporations. But that comes as no surprise if you’ve been a follower of this site.

Basically, tax cuts work best when taxes are high—which makes sense. And the highest max tax rate has been high for corporations, sort of:That said, corporations have always had more ways to reduce their tax bills and reduce the tax rate paid thanks to a number of write-off’s companies can take vs. the puny few available to individuals.

Additionally, all the poppycock the Trump administration spewed about how his 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act would put more money into people’s pockets, bring about more jobs and pump up salaries along the way, really hasn’t happened.

Sadly, cutting the corporate tax rates wound up rewarding those very same corporations more than they have individuals. One of the results has been smaller refund checks for individuals as the average tax refund check is down 8 percent this year over last translating into about $170 less, according to the IRS.

To put your best tax foot forward, do yourself a favor and take another look at the number of dependents claimed on your withholding. Changing it could mean less in your take home paychecks but maybe possibly could be more in the size of next year’s refund check.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Positive strides upward on year-to-date returns for the three indices below and big jumps up on 1-year returns.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the three 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, Feb.8, 2019.

DJIA 7.63% YTD up a hair from previous week’s 7.44%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.22% huge jump from the previous week -4.29%

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   8.02 % YTD up from last week’s 7.97%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.92% hugely improved from last week’s -4.09%

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 9.99% YTD up a bit from last week’s 9.47%

  • 1yr Rtn 7.69% huge jump up from last week’s -1.65%

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 early January:

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • ETFs

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have come a long way over the past 20-some years. Not only have the number of them swelled right along with assets invested in them, advisors are using and suggesting them big time.

Cerulli Associates reports that 14.1% of financial advisors’ clients were allocated to ETFs at the end of 2018 compared with 5.4% in 2009.

With money pouring out of mutual funds the growing trend for ETFs shows no sign of stopping this year.

But buyer beware, ETFs do have their pluses but they also aren’t the appropriate vehicle for everyone. Make sure to do your homework and research what’s in an ETFs portfolio before investing.

 

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