All posts by dianvujovich

POCKETBOOK Week Ending April 12, 2019

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(From Bespoke….I did not include the “Non-Dogs Performance” chart because I was just Dow Dogs hunting.)

  • The good Dogs of the Dow

Good news for fans of the Dogs of the Down investment strategy: Their total return is up 13.56% this year. Let’s hear a big “Good girl!” for that.

According to Bespoke, the two tech stocks that have performed the best are IBM, up over 28%, and Cisco, up over 32%. Matching that set, two of the 10 dogs were down as well: Pfizer, down -3.28% and Coca-Cola, off a hair at -0.18%.

 

  • Sage advice

From author and wise personal writerJonathan Clements’ recent Humble Dollar newsletter comes this: “But even with the risk of a large short-term market drop, I think stocks remain the best bet for long-term investors. U.S. shares may be richly priced. But those who diversify globally will also have cheaper markets in their portfolio. And let’s face it: With 10-year Treasury notes yielding less than 2.6%, is there any alternative to biting the bullet and buying stocks?”

 

  • Market Quick Glance

The performance gods appear to continue smiling on Wall Street as the three indices followed here were up double-digits when last week came to a close.

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, April 12, 2019.

DJIA 13.22% YTD off a hair from the previous week’s 13.28%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.88% up a hair from the previous week 7.83%

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   15.39% YTD up again from the previous week’s 13.07%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 8.63% up from the previous week’s 7.33%.

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 20.33% YTD up from last week’s 19.64%%

  • 1yr Rtn 11.82% down from last week’s 12.18%

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

At the close of business on Thursday, April 11, 2017, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 15.73%, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s close of 15.05%.

Those Equity Leverage Funds are still tearing it up as, on average, they have returned 30.99%. In fact, of all the dozens of types of mutual funds that Lipper tracks weekly, this group has rewarded shareholders the most so far this year.

Commodities Energy Funds also continue their upward performance with an average return of 24.63%.

And looking around the world China Region Funds have returned about the same at 23.15% while the average World Equity Funds return stood at 13.57% last Thursday.

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending April 5, 2019

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  • Oh so true

I’m forever looking for the simplest, the best and the most accurate way to help investors understand what’s going on in the world of making money on Wall Street.

To that end, CNBCs Josh Brown wrote a piece last week that’s worth reading titled, “Josh Brown: How I explain the stock market vs the economy”.

In a nutshell he writes: “One of the hardest things to do as an investsor is to entertain two opposing thought in our minds at once, and find a way to keep them despite the cognitive dissonance this can produce…..

“One of the most ironic aspects of investing is that the greatest gains lie ahead at time when things are bad, but not quite as bad as everyone suspects, and slowly, almost imperceptibly getting better. This is the moment when assets are selling at discounted values and the opportunities are laying at our feet, there for the taking…

“Conversely, the worst time to invest is once everyone agrees that the environment is teriffic and that the gains will continue as far as the eye can see. It is at this moment we find ourselves paying up for assets and competing with lots of other buyers…

“But most of the time, neither the economy nor the stock market is as good as it could get, or as bad as it could get.”

That pretty much says it all.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Holy moly….another up week for all three indices followed here with the biggest winner the NASDAQ index: It was up nearly 20% year-to-date as of Friday, April 5. That’s incredible and for some investors enough to sell their y-t-d short-term position on that index, go home and not play for the rest of the year. Then again, most folks aren’t day, week, or short-term investors.

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, April 5, 2019.

DJIA 13.28% YTD up again from the previous week’s 11.15%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.83% up a bit from the previous week 7.57%

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   15.39% YTD up again from the previous week’s 13.07%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 8.63% up from the previous week’s 7.33%.

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 19.64% YTD up lots from last week’s 16.49%%

  • 1yr Rtn 12.18% up plenty from last week’s 9.43%

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

And what a quarter it was with the total return of the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund ending the first quarter of 2019 at 13.27%. But wait, there’s more as time has passed.

And one week later the trend continued. At the close of business on Thursday, April 4, 2017, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 15.05%, according to Lipper.

The great big fat total return y-t-d winner under this huge umbrella category was Equity Leverage Funds, up on average over 30%. If I were a shareholder in an Equity Leverage Fund with a y-t-d return over 30%, I’d be tempted to take some money off the table. After all, we know the downside–performance of the high flyers could fall. Oh but then again,  how high can returns go after moving up 30%? As always, nobody knows.

Mid-Cap Growth Funds continue to outperform the overall average—they were up 20.68% with Small-Cap Growth Funds nipping at their heels at 19.45%.

Under the Sector Equity Funds heading, it’s a science and tech performance world. Of the 70 Global Science/Technology Funds that Lipper tracks, the average was up 23.32%. Behind it the performance of the 185 Science & Technology Funds, the average y-t-d return was 22.02%.

Commodities Energy Funds, there are 21 of the, were up 22.01% while Commodities Agriculture Funds, 26 around, were off at -1.31%.

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.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending March 29, 2019

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  • What a quarter

When 2018 came to a close, generally speaking, there wasn’t much enthusiasm for robust returns coming round by the end of  Q1 in 2019. But that was months ago thinking. Today, the proof in the pudding has been revealed and 2019’s first quarter was a whopper with all indices scoring big.

According to a recent piece at CNBC.com by Bob Pisani, the quarter’s gains were shared across the board with technology stocks leading the most, up 17 percent, oil rallying from $43 at year’s end to almost $60 at the end of March 2019, industrial stocks up 15 percent with 90 percent of  S&Ps stocks  up.

And that’s all happened with the worries about what an inverted yield curve could mean to equities going forward and investor thinking.

From where I sit, the only investor thinking that matters is how you—the individual investor—are thinking. Did you rethink your personal and retirement portfolio after seeing your 2018 returns? If you did, are you glad you did, sorry you fiddled with things and/or wished you had let things go on as they were.

Whatever. The only right answer with respect to assessing quarterly–or annual– market returns is how your investments are holding up and serving you.

As in life, everyone’s portfolio holdings are as different as is the size of each of our noses, ears, waistlines and our income, savings and retirement accounts.

May each grow respectfully over time.

 

  • Dividend paying stock ideas from Louie

 I’ve always been a big fan of dividend paying stocks. Once upon a time, and when I first became a stockbroker in the early 1980’s, word was stocks paying dividends were considered a good conservative play for widows and orphans. Forget the images that thought conjures up, dividend paying stocks have pretty much always been a good play for most types of investors—the married, widowed, young, old, single, divorced, the rich and underfunded.

In Louis Navellier’s Marketmail newsletter dated March 26, 2019, he suggested investors research and consider these big blue-chip dividend paying stock ideas:

  • PepsiCo Inc. (PEP). It pays a dividend yield of 3.07% and owns brands like Diet Pepsi, Aquafina, Doritos, Lays, Lipton, Gatorade, Fritos, and Mountain Dew.
  • Kimberley Clark (KMB) pays 3.38%
  • Dominion Energy (D) paying 4.86%
  • PPL Corp. (PPL) paying 5.13%
  • Verizon (VZ) paying 4.06%

 

  • Market Quick Glance

And what a week it was with all three of the indices bringing home the bacon deliciously in their year-to-date 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, March 29, 2019.

DJIA 11.15% YTD up a jump from the previous week’s 9.32%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.57% up from the previous week 6.45%

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   13.07% YTD a jump up from the previous week’s 11.72%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.33% up from the previous week’s 5.94%.

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 16.49% YTD up from last week’s 15.18%%

  • 1yr Rtn 9.43% a jump up from last week’s 6.64%

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 previous week ending March 21, 2019:

The year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 14.26% at the close of business on Thursday, March 21, 2019, according to Lipper.

Among the 408 Mid-Cap Growth Funds that fall under that huge Diversified category, the average year-to-date return was an impressive 20.17%. Small-Cap Growth Funds, however, performed better: 20.37% for the 592 funds that Lipper tracks in that group.

And then there are Equity Leverage Funds—-the average YTD performance of the 228 funds under that heading was 28.36%.

On the other hand, Dedicated Short Bias Funds’ average YTD return was -20.61%.

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending March 22, 2019

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  • Recession coming?

The bond market is signaling a recession could be in our near future and if that is the case, word is recessions typically last around a year and during them stocks don’t always perform horribly during one. The bugaboo in it all, however, is inflation: It and recessions are first cousins and no one is a fan of it. Then again, we’re already seeing price increases on plenty of the items we purchase thanks to the tariffs Trump has imposed.

Oh well, another day in the upside down, topsy turvery pretzel-like who-is-on-first world we all are currently living in.

But I degress.

Back to the recession subject.

From CNBC MarketInsider.com comes this: “As far as recession goes, our economist feels quite optimistic that a recession will be avoided, at least this year. The market is focused not only on U.S. fundamentals but also on what’s happening in China, what’s happening in the rest of the world and how likely it is that political uncertainty, whether through trade policy or whatever, how likely is that to persist and beget a recession,” said Mark Cabana, head of short U.S.rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch…..
“As recession signals begin to flash and recession probabilities increase, I would expect market participants and people who deploy capital will become more cautious and there’s a risk that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Cabana said.”

Okay then.

 

  • Pew Research’s not-so-bright future study returns

A recent Pew research report has shed light on some not-so-happy or inspiring future outcomes. In other words, looking out 30 years, things aren’t looking very rosy.

Below are a few of results from the Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends report dated March 21, 2019:

  • 7 in 10 Americans were dissatisfied with the way things are going in this country.
  • 60% of those interviewed say the U.S. will be less important in the world by 2050.
  • 73% think that the gap between the rich and poor will continue to grow.
  • 65% say the country will be more politically devided over the next 30 years.
  • And, the majority of those responding expect the economy to be weaker, health care less affordable, the environment worse and  that older Americans will have a harder time makes ends meet than they do now.

Oh my.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A week of mixed year-to-date returns with 1-year returns up.

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, March 22, 2019.

DJIA 9.32% YTD up a tad from the previous week’s 9.10%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 6.45% way up from the previous week 2.23%

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   11.72% YTD down from the previous week’s 12.59%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.94% way up from the previous week’s 2.74%.

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 15.18% YTD down a hair from last week’s 15.87%%

  • 1yr Rtn 6.64% up from last week’s 2.76%

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

The year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance for equity funds that fall under the  U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 14.26% at the close of business on Thursday, March 21, 2019, according to Lipper.

Among the 408 Mid-Cap Growth Funds that fall under that huge Diversified category, the average year-to-date return was an impressive 20.17%. Small-Cap Growth Funds, however, performed better: 20.37% for the 592 funds that Lipper tracks in that group.

And then there are Equity Leverage Funds—-the average YTD performance of the 228 funds under that heading was 28.36%.

On the other hand, Dedicated Short Bias Funds’ average YTD return was -20.61%.

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending March 15, 2019

 

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Debts matter.

 

 

  • Surveys say….

J.D.Powers recently released data from two surveys and found, among other things, that boomers and pre-boomers  have concerns about their financial well-being, and, aren’t really that keen on mobile communications such as online/web and phone apps.

From the press release of the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study comes this about the performance from their full-service investment providers: ““Three-fourths (75%) of Boomers and Pre-Boomers indicate they are the same or worse off than last year…”

Clearly, nothin to crow about.

Of the 2,478 customers surveyed, the following three financial instituitons were ranked the highest by investors: Edward Jones (853) ranks highest in overall investor satisfaction, followed by RBC Wealth Management (848) and Advisor Group (846).

As for that mobile world, turns out not everyone is all that jazzed up about mobile whatevers with the wealthy (those with $1million or more in investable assets) being  the least thrilled.

From the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Wealth Management Mobile App Satisfaction Study the press release: “Mobile continues to be the channel with the lowest satisfaction among full-service investors across all generational segments, trailing both online/web and phone, and is especially low among Boomers (671) when compared with Gen X (787) and Millennials (853).

Why am I not surprised to learn this.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

An up week on both year-to-date returns and those representing a 1-year time frame.

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, March 15, 2019.

DJIA 9.10% YTD up from the previous week.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 2.23% up from the previous week 2.23%

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   12.59% YTD up from the previous week’s 11.84%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 2.74% up from the previous week’s 0.15%.

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 15.87% YTD up from last week’s 11.65% %

  • 1yr Rtn 2.76% up from last week’s -0.27%

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

A repeat from last week’s entry:

As one might expect, at the close of business on Thursday, March 7, 2019, the year-to-date total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was10.86%. That’s down a sum from last week’s figure of 12.98%, according to Lipper.

Of the 25 Largest Mutual Funds that Lipper tracks, iShares Russ 2000 ETF had the best y-t-d performance of 13.19%.

Behind it were the iShares: Core S&P Md-Cp at 12.46%. And behind it the Invesco QQQ Trust 1 at 11.22%.

The three worst y-t-d- performing funds were DoubleLine at 0.90%: the PIMCO TotRtnl at 1.34%; and iShares: Core US Agg Bd at 1.44%

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending March 8, 2019

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  • One old, fat ETF turns 20

On March 10, 1999, Invesco introduced their hugely popular and successful QQQ ETF. Now, 20 years later, the QQQ is the sixth largest U.S. listed ETF, has $66.4 billion in assets under management and was the second most traded ETF in 2018.

What’s  it’s appeal? The QQQ tries to reflect the performance of the Nasdaq-100 Index, and we all know how hot Nasdaq stocks can be.

According to INVESCO, “A lot of investors think it’s just technology, and actually, today, it’s about 40% technology and 60% other sectors, so we really look at it as large-cap growth and has a lot of the biggest innovators that we know in the economy today,” John Frank, QQQ Strategist for Invesco, said at the Inside ETFs Conference.

Since it’s original launch QQQ had an original weighting of 78% toward technology—a reflection of the dot.com world that was swinging in high form way back then.

Now the portfolio looks like this: 43.0% information technology, 23.3% communication services, 16.1% consumer discretionary, 8.5% health care, 6.0% consumer staples, 2.5% industrials, 0.4% utilities and 0.3% financials. Additionally its components include large-cap growth companies (60.8%), large-cap blended names (23.6% and large-cap value stocks (13.0%).

Top components include Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT) 9.9%, Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) 9.6%, Amazon.com (NasdaqGS: AMZN) 9.3% and Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB) 4.8%, among others.

As for performance, since inception the QQQs annual return is around 7.2%; over the last 15 years it was 13.7%; and during the past 10 years has returned almost 21.4%.

Kinda sorta impressive, isn’t it.

 

  • Believe what you want, but….

According to a recent Reuters piece, based on data from the Federal Reserve,
“U.S. household wealth fell by a record $3.8 trillion, or 3.5 percent, at the end of 2018..”

In other words, based on percentages, the 5.9% fall represented the biggest quarterly percentage stumble in household finances since 2008.

Oh my.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Not such a hot performance week for the three major indices followed here. In fact, year-to-date returns on each lost ground. Oh, dear.

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, March 8, 2019.

DJIA 9.10% YTD down from the previous week’s 11.57%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 2.23% down from the previous week 5.76%

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   11.84% YTD down from the previous week’s 11.84

  • 1 yr. Rtn 0.15% down from the previous week’s 4.71%.

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 11.65% YTD down from last week’s 14.47%

  • 1yr Rtn -0.27% way down from last week’s 5.78%

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

As one might expect, at the close of business on Thursday, March 7, 2019, the year-to-date total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was10.86%. That’s down a sum from last week’s figure of 12.98%, according to Lipper.

Of the 25 Largest Mutual Funds that Lipper tracks, iShares Russ 2000 ETF had the best y-t-d performance of 13.19%.

Behind it were the iShares: Core S&P Md-Cp at 12.46%. And behind it the Invesco QQQ Trust 1 at 11.22%.

The three worst y-t-d- performing funds were DoubleLine at 0.90%: the PIMCO TotRtnl at 1.34%; and iShares: Core US Agg Bd at 1.44%

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.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending March 1, 2019

IMG_6850 Source: Zor Capital
  • 10 years ago

On March 6, 2019, it will be 10 years since the market bottomed that month in 2009. Time sure does fly. And with that flight has come changes to equity prices that few—looking forward back then–would likely  have imagined.

According to CNBC.com, the S&P 500 has delivered an annualized return of 17.8 percent since that March 2009 drop. Who knew? And pretty good, right?

Well, surprise surprise: That is the same kind of 10-years-after annualized returns experienced 10 years after the crash of 1987 and 10 years after the August 1982 bottom.

How about that!

Too bad past performance is no guarantee of what’s to come.

 

  • The high cost of an old life that needs care

I’m getting old and no one is more surprised by that than me. It’s not that I didn’t think I’d age. Nope. It’s just that I didn’t really believe that along with aging would come a reflection in the mirror that always semms to elicit a, “That can’t be me?” response.

And, a cost of living that’s literally staggering—if not impossible to comprehend. As for preparing for that cost. Well, I didn’t think much about that. Or, what  the cost of living into my senior years would be. Or,  imagined that assisted living care would run around 5 grand a month, for god knows how many years.

According to Genworth’s 2018 Beyond Dollars study, the median cost of a private room in a nursing home is $8,365 a month; the median cost of assisted living is $4,600 a month; and the median cost for home health aides is $4,195 a month.

Given that women live longer than men, on average, word is that the average lady will need long-term care services for 3.7 years and the average guy 2.2 years.

Doing the math, let’s just call it 4 years for the ladies at a monthly rate of 5Gs per month and one has to have a long-term care fund with something in the neighborhood of 240,000 bucks in it. Need private room nursing home care and the fee for that  care  comes to more than $400,000.

Got that?

 

  • Market Quick Glance

During the first two months of 2019 indices have reported year-to-date performances that really have been impressive —so far.

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, March 1, 2019.

DJIA 11.57% YTD down a breathe from the previous week’s 11.59%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.76% up a jump from the previous week 4.28%

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   11.84% YTD

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.71%

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 14.47% YTD up from last week’s 13.45%

  • 1yr Rtn 5.78% up from last week’s 4.40%

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

The move upward continued.

At the close of business on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, the year-to-date total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 12.98%. That’s up a bit from last week’s figure of 12.62%, according to Lipper.

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

Equity Leveraged Funds continue their march upward with an average return of 24.25%, y-t-d through 2/28/19, and Dedicated Short Bias Funds continue to rake in the poorest performance of -18.14%.

Of all of Lipper’s categories, those really are the best and worst year-to-date figures this year.

The Sector Equity Funds group averaged 11.30% and the World Equity Funds average was 10.12%.

So count yourself fortunate if your funds’ y-t-d performance figures are around 12%. And than, hope that average stays around the same or continues upwards.

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.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Feb.22, 2019

 

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The cost of stuff.

 

 

  • Sage advice

When asked about a 10-year investment horizon, Warren Buffett was asked where he’d plop his money—stocks or bonds?

Buffett’s answer, according to CNBC.com was this: “If I had a choice today for a 10-year purchase of a 10-year bond at whatever it is…or buying the S&P 500 and holding it for 10 years, I’d buy the S&P.”

What do you think?

 

  • Fidelity’s 401(k) balances

Having $100,000, or any six-figure sized 401(k), is a common goal for many who are saving for their retirement. And while it’s noble, truth is many of us are going to a seven-figure coffer to cover us for the 20, 30 or more years of retirement.

Fidelity is home to more than 16.2 million 401(k) accounts. I’m guessing, no two of them with the same account balances.

That said and if you’re curious, at the end of September 2018 the average balance in those accounts was $106,500.

But wait there’s more: We all aren’t average and a better look at the numbers is represented by the median size of those retirement accounts. (The median represents the middle between the high and the low balance.)

In that case, the figure changes precipitously resulting in a median figure amounting to tens of thousands of dollars less than the average figure: The median amount at that time was $24,800.

Feeling better?

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Indices up last week….

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.22, 2019.

DJIA 11.59% YTD up from the previous week’s 10.96%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.28% up from the previous week 2.71%

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.

 

-NASDAQ 13.45% YTD up from last week’s 12.62%

  • 1yr Rtn 4.40% up from last week’s 2.98%

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

Funds have enjoyed a big jump up from their  January 10 performance figures.

At the close of business on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, the year-to-date total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 12.62%. That’s nearly 3x higher than the average return of 4.70% registered on Jan. 10, 2019, according to Lipper.

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

-The highest total return under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds umbrella was Equity Leveraged Funds, 23,76%; the lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -17.8%.

-The Sector Equity Funds group averaged 11.37%; the highest fund type under that category was Commodity Energy Funds, 17.21%; the lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -1.65%.

-World Equity Funds average 9.51%; the fund type with the highest ytd return was Global Small/Mid-Cap Funds, 12.97%; the lowest India Region Funds, -5.07%.

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.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Feb.15, 2019

 

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 Happy Presidents Day to you  from four of our most outstanding past presidents.

 

 

  • Got Debt? No Problem?

Way back in the last few decades of the last century when I first began selling municipal bonds, one of the roads to financial success for a new salesperson—-according to management—was to get yourself into debt. Big debt. You know, the kind of debt that gets you to buy that new BMW 5 series you’ve always wanted when what you really could afford was a used Toyota. The reasoning behind management’s thinking was that responsible salespeople with debt will work hard to pay off—or down—their debts. And while that really didn’t follow the Minnesota money logic I was raised with, I was in Florida after all and things, as we all have come to learn, can be very different on Florida’s Wall Street.

I tell you this because that kind of money management logic still exists today. And, still plays a big part in how many people manage their own personal finances as well as how our government manages its debts.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, our US annual budget deficit will  top $1 trillion in three years, by 2022. The key to managing that debt and seeing that its gets tended to is simple: America’s growth rate has to keep growing and wind up greater than what the cost of what carrying that debt is.

It’s a keep working kind of thing.

Trouble is, America’s growth rate, its GDP, changes year to year. Much like how one’s salary or annual income can.

Knowing that and the risks inherent in any changing environment, life has taught me that it’s best to live below one’s means than it is to hope for some future income that may or may not materialize.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Big time moves upward for year-to-date returns for the indices below. Big time slides backwards for 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.15, 2019.

DJIA 10.96% YTD up plenty from the previous week’s 7.63%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 2.71% down bigly from the previous week 5.22%

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   10.72 % YTD up lots from last week’s 8.02%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 1.63% down plenty from last week’s 4.92%

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 12.62% YTD up plenty from last week’s 9.99%

  • 1yr Rtn 2.98% way down from last week’s 7.69%

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 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.

 

  • Recession Ahead?

A recent Bloomberg.com story, noted that S&P 500 profits are expected to fall in Q1.

From that piece, pub date 2/16/19 by Titiana Darie, titled “Wall Street Is Split on Profits: Does an “Earnings Recession” Loom?” come these words worth considering:

“Based on the average of analysts estimates, U.S. firms are on the cusp of suffering two consecutive quarters of profit declines, the common definition of a recession. Earnings will contract in the first quarter, and while a small increase is currently projected for the following period, that is likely to evaporate. Analysts have been lowering forecasts since the start of the year as companies continue to slash outlooks, citing everything from a stronger dollar to weaker demand in China and rising costs.”

 

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