All posts by dianvujovich

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Oct. 13, 2017

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  • Inflation

 The wicked stepmother in the world of money is inflation. Like that hateful woman, should you know one, does all of her nasty business right in front of your very eyes without you noticing. Until it’s spending time and you find out the money you thought you had doesn’t nearly buy the same amount of goods and services it once did.

Like I said, it happens right in front of your very eyes.

Jack A. Ablin, BMOs chief investment officer, wrote about inflation in his most recent Current Market Update. Here’s history about inflation taken from that Update: “In an economic expansion spanning nearly 10 years, one missing ingredient has been inflation.  Year over year inflation has remained stubbornly below three percent consistently for more than six years.  Lackluster pricing power has vexed business leaders and the Federal Reserve who both would like to see incremental price growth.  Headline inflation has fallen short of the Fed’s two-percent target in 66 of the last 100 months.  Moreover, 2011 was the last calendar year when inflation hit three percent.  The trend has picked up marginally between 2014 and 2016, but last year’s inflation rate was a tepid 2.1 percent. ….”

If you’re wondering when inflation’s bite will get stronger, Ablin wasn’t specific. But he points out that if inflation flares up when there is no economic growth happening, that would represent a “bull markets financial threat.”

We shall see…

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Nothing spooky about Friday the 13th for three of the four indices followed below. All, with the exception of the Russell 2000, reached brand new highs.

All of this new high stuff is getting a little boring, if you ask me. And hard to figure if you’re looking for why’s from the talking heads. One of whom said that this market is going to continue upward as long as there are bundles of cash sitting on the sidelines.

Which– those in the know– say there is.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, October 13, 2017.

-DJIA +15.73% YTD up a tad from last week’s 15.24%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +26.37% up from last week’s 24.66%

And another new all-time high for the DJIA. This one of 22,905.33 was reached on October 13, 2017.

Its previous high was reached October 5, 2017 at 22,777.04.

On March 1, the Dow stood at 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +14.04% YTD up from last week’s 13.87%.

  • 1yr Rtn +19.72% up from last week’s +17.98%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,556,65 on October 13, 2017.

The previous high of 2,552.51 was reached on October 5, 2017.

On March 1, 2017, that index stood at 2,400.98.

 

-NASDAQ +22.71% YTD up a tiny bit from last week’s +22.42%.

  • 1yr Rtn +26.71% up from last week’s 24.18%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,,616.58 was reached on October 13, 2017.

Its previous high of 6,590.18 was reached on October 5, 2017.

On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +10.72% YTD down from last week’s +11.28%.

  • 1yr Rtn +23.60% up considerably from last week’s +21.18%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 5, 2017.

Its previous high of 1493.56 was reached on September 29, 2017.

On March 1, 2017 this index stood at 1,414,82.

 

-Mutual funds

Even with a week resulting in new highs for many indices, the year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds didn’t move much. It closed with a 13.54% average return on Thursday, October 12, 2017, according to Lipper. That’s down a tiny bit from the previous week’s figure of 13.65.

The average Sector Fund had a year-to-date total return of 9.83% with two fund types under that heading up over 30%: Global Science & Technology funds up on average 39.38% and your basic Science & Technology funds, +32.01.

World Equity Funds were up on average 24.54%. Four of them have year-to-date average returns up over 30%: China Region Funds, +39.04; Pacific Ex-Japan Funds, +33.61%; India Region Funds, +32.05; and Latin American Funds, +30.94.

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.

•Best and worst ETFs

 There’s no overlooking the popularity of Exchange Traded Funds, ETFs. Their popularity and investment choice numbers have grown faster than, I’m gonna guess here, even Wall Street wizards could have ever imagined.

Knowing that, below are the three best and three worst ETF performers year-to-date through October 10, 2017 from ETFTrends.com:

  • Best: Ark Inovation (ARKK) up 74.3%; WisdomTree China Ex State Owned Enterprises Fund (CXSE) up 70.8%; and Kraneshares CSI China Internet ETF, (KWEB) up 68.2%.
  • Worst: United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) down33.9%; PowerShares S&P Smallcap Eneegy Portfolio (PSCE), down 31.4%; and SPDR S&P Oil& Gas Equipment & Services Etf (XES), down 26.6%.

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Oct. 6, 2017

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•Well, look who is saving money.

If you thought that Millennials were just snotty nosed kids with no social graces and only focused on all things hand-held, you may be right. But you’d also be missing something: Turns out these 18-34 year-olds are good savers.

According to a recent NerdWallet survey of 2,000 folks, Millennial parents are contributing 10% of their income to—drum roll please—-retirement savings.

Compare that to Generation X people (aged 35 to 54) are saving 8% of their income for retirement and working Baby Boomers (55 and older) only 5%.

Maybe financial literacy does pay off.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Clearly the market hasn’t had enough of a running bull as it’s been another week of the closing at new high records on the indices followed below.

As was the case at the end of September, the Russell 2000 has been the index to play—up again rewarding believers in it more than they may have ever expected.

Where and when the bears will appear on Wall Street continues to be anybody’s guess. But what isn’t guess-related  is how the stocks, funds and investments in your portfolio have performed so far this year. It is going to be year-end before we know it and  one of the most rewarding gifts one can give to one, is profit taking.

On that note, below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, October 6, 2017.

-DJIA +15.24% YTD up a heap from last week’s 13.37%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +24.66% up from last week’s 23.49%

And a new all-time high for the DJIA was reached on October 5, 2017 of 22,777.04.

The previous high of 22,419.51 was reached on Sept. 21, 2017.

On March 1, the Dow stood at 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +13.87% YTD up from last week’s 12,53%.

  • 1yr Rtn +17.98% up from last week’s +17.12%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,552.51 on October 5, 2017.

The previous high of 2,519,44 was reached on September 29, 2017.

On March 1, 2017, that index stood at 2,400.98.

 

-NASDAQ +22.42% YTD up a heap from last week’s +20.67%.

  • 1yr Rtn +24.18% up from last week’s 23.28%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,590.18 on October 6, 2017.

Its previous high of 6,497.98 was reached on September 29, 2017.

On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.

 

 

-Russell 2000 +11.28% YTD up a heap from last week’s +9.85%.

  • 1yr Rtn +21.18% up considerably from last week’s +20.45%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 5, 2017.

Its previous high of 1493.56 was reached on September 29, 2017.

On March 1, 2017 this index stood at 1,414,82.

 

-Mutual funds

 And once again, mutual fund average performance figures continue upward.

For the week ending Thursday, October 5, 2017, the year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 13.65, according to Lipper. That’s up enough to notice from the previous week’s figure of 11.86%.

Briefly, it’s been a growth year for all types of growth funds including large-cap, large-cap core, all varieties of mid- and multi-cap growth funds and the same for small-cap funds.

That said, one of these weeks the tide will turn and value will wind up being the place to have some money invested. While that day isn’t today, value funds have way outperformed the kind of measly return folks have gotten on their money market funds, in their savings accounts and bond funds.

For instance, Large- and Multi-Cap Value funds were both up on average well over 10% year to date. Nothing to whine about there. Additionally, Mid-Cap Value funds were up on average 8.42% and Small-Cap Value funds up 6.58%.

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.

 

  • Airline fees sky-high

 Once upon a time, flying used to be a lot of fun. People dressed up to fly. Full meals were served in coach. Seats were comfy with plenty of leg room and the width to accommodate most butts. But, as we all know butt size has changed and so has everything else about air travel.

In addition to security measures all travelers have to endure before boarding flights, there are restrictions regarding luggage, etc.

All of which has made flying more uncomfortable for everyone and more profitable for the airline industry. I find that shameful as it represents a long-term trend in America that has put corporate profits way ahead of the quality of the products offered.

Worse yet, it’s costing all of us more to fly as the bundles of bucks the airline industry now brings in is coming from all of the ancillary fees charged. Like those for ticket fees, baggage fees, etc.

According to a piece on travel guru Peter Greenberg’s travel blog, PeterGreenberg.com, “ten years ago the airlines generated about $2.1 billion in ancillary fees….Today that airlines have racked up $28 billion in fees—-more than they profit from actually flying the planes or operating as airlines.”

Again, that’s shameful.

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pbTrumpBits#17: Moron defined

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Earlier this week, just hearing the word “moron” made me laugh out loud. I haven’t heard that word in decades. Like many decades. It was one of those words you heard a lot back in the 1950s and ‘60s and– if I remember correctly— was used to describe some goofball. Of which there have always been a number of no matter what the year,  decade or century.

Forgetting whom, if anybody, used that word to describe President Trump, one thing is certain: the meaning of the word and its synonyms do in fact fit some of our 45th President’s behavior.

Before defining the word, here’s a little bit of history: According the Wikipedia’s free encyclopedia, “Moron” was coined in 1910 by psychologist Henry H. Goddard from the Ancient Greek word moros, which meant “dull” and used to describe a person with a mental age in adulthood of between 8 and 12 ….”

Not so sure many would describe Trump as “dull” but know plenty of folks who would describe his behavior as childish and “with a mental age in adulthood of between 8 and 12.”

Now, its definition.

Merriam-Webster defines “moron” as “1: dated, now offensive: a person affected with mild mental retardation, and 2: a very stupid person.”

Synonyms include: fool, idiot, ass, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, imbecile, cretin, dullard, simpleton, clod and more.

Oh, one more thing. Lest you think the word is/was just popular and used in America, you’d be mistaken.

My ace researcher, CB, found that all around the world languages in countries from Albania to Uzbek either use the word “moron” or have one that, in their native language, translates to the same meaning as ours.

Morons. Clearly they are everywhere. How sad for everyone. Especially when their role is that of the head of a nation. Or a company. Or a club. Or…..and the list goes on.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 29, 2017

 

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  • “In God We Trust”, money and then there’s Florida.

I’m a big fan of God. Trust too. But that phrase on money? Not so much. Money, after all, is simply one convenient way of exchanging services for goods/services for goods. Or, paying for stuff we want. In other words, money isn’t a God thing it’s an economic one.

That said, October 1, 2017 marked the 60th anniversary of the inclusion of the phrase “In God We Trust” on our $1 paper currency. Prior to 1967, God wasn’t part of our paper bills. The phrase “E pluribus unum” was. Translated it means “out of one, many”.

I remember when that change occurred and wondered why the need for the change.  “E pluribus unum” seemed to be a perfectly good, reasonable, common sense political phrase and the other so religiously focused. Wasn’t there supposed to be a separation of state and church? At least that’s how it looked to me, then a young Minnesotan. That however wasn’t the mid-1950s thinking of a Florida politician.

Floridian Representative Charles Edward Bennet was the guy who had enough influence to get “E pluribus unum” erased from our paper currency and replaced with “In God We Trust”.

According to Wikipedia, Bennet’s “ staunch ethical stance appeared to be too much for his colleagues in the House of Representatives, who nicknamed him, “Mr. Clean”.

FYI, “In God We Trust” had been the accepted state motto for Florida since the 1800s but wasn’t officially adopted until 2006 when Gov. Jeb Bush signed a House Bill making it so.

From where I sit,  it looks as though we were a more common sense economically sound nation before God made his way on to our money.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

As of yet there’s been no stopping the bull running on Wall Street.

At the close of business on Friday, September 29, 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had posted its first 8-quarter win streak in 20 years, according to CNBC.com.

Additionally, all three of the other indices followed here were up for the week with the Russell 2000 scoring the most. On a tear for the past few weeks, that index closed locking in a new high.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, September 29, 2017.

 

-DJIA +13.37 YTD up a bit from last week’s 13.09%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +23.49% up from last week’s 21.51%

 

A new all-time high for the DJIA of 22,419.51 was reached on Sept. 21, 2017. The previous high of 22,275.02 was reached on September 15, 2017.

On March 1, the all-time high on that date for the year was 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +12.53 % YTD up from last week’s 11.76%.

  • 1yr Rtn +17.12% up a lot from last week’s +14.93%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,519,44 on September 29, 2017. The previous high of 2,508.85 was reached on September 20, 2017.

On March 1, 2017, that index closed at its then all-time high of 2,400.98.

 

•NASDAQ +20.67% YTD up from last week’s +19.39%.

  • 1yr Rtn +23.28% up from last week’s 20.37%

 

The Nasdaq reached its latest new all-time high of 6,497.98 on September 29, 2017. Its previous high of 6,477.77 was reached on September 18, 2017.

On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +9.85% YTD up a heap from last week’s +6.90%.

  • 1yr Rtn +20.45% up considerably from last week’s +14.83%

The Russell 2000 reached a brand new all-time high of 1493.56 on September 29, 2017.Its previous high was reached on July 25, 2017 of 1,452.09.

On March 1, 2017 the then high of this index was 1,414,82.

 

-Mutual funds

 Mutual fund average performance figures continue onward and upward.

The year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading ended the week at 11.86% on Thursday, September 28, 2017. That average is up from the previous week’s close of 10.7%, according to Lipper.

According to Bespoke, here are the year-to-date Asset Class Performance total returns, through 9/30/17, for various countries. Those with the greatest gains include Italy, up 31.89%, Hong Kong, up 28.90% and Spain, up 28.49%.

On the less-but-still-up side include: Russia, up 5.04%, Canada, up 11.58% and Japan, up 14.75%.

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.

 

  • Gun power

 Like it or not, sad to say, are we crazy or what….history has shown us that gun manufacturers make out like bandits after a national killing.

Before the stock market opened today, Monday, October 2, 2017, the day of America’s most recent mass shooting, gun stocks ticked upward.

According to CNBC, there have been 32 instances of mass shootings since the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. Looking at two well-known gun companies, Sturm Ruger (RGR) and American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), in the past both closed higher one-month after the date of the killing event: RGR gained 2.89%; AOBC up 5.36%; and the S&P 500 up 1.66%.

Currently,  around 12 noon today, 10/2/17, the S&P 500 had gained 2% from its closing price since  on Friday,  RGR was up 3.58% and AOBC up 4.07%.

Setting any possible financial gains aside, isn’t it ironic that deadly mass shootings bring out both a fear and the need to kill in many.

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pbTrumpBits#16: Mar-a-Lago is hiring

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Hey…You. Yes, You: If you’ve ever wanted to work in one of the president’s houses or golf courses, here is your big chance.

On Sunday, September 24, 2017, in the Help Wanted section of The Palm Beach Post, I found the following advertisements for help wanted at three of Trump’s Florida properties: Mar-a-Lago,  his golf club in West Palm Beach and the one in Jupiter.

As recently as last year, before Mr. Trump became President Trump, the pre-POTUS preferred hiring people to work at Mar-a-Lago  who were not U.S. residents and working in America thanks to their H-2B visas. Why? Because he was quoted by various sources as saying, “getting help in Palm Beach during the season is almost impossible.”

I never really bought that story but hey, it appeared to work for him.

Anywho, I’m gonna guess that  finding folks who want to work in the Winter White House, aka Mar-a-Lago, might be a whole lot easier this year–and appeal to everyone U.S. and foreign-born. Even if the work is part-time and seasonal.

So if you’re interested and want to work at either Mar-a-Lago, the Trump Int’l Golf Club-WPB or Trump Nat’l Golf Club Jupiter, apply at the addresses given in the ads above and below. (Use the Mar-a-Lago ad address if interested in working at the WPB Golf Club.)

Good Luck.

And please let me know how it all works out…..good or bad or no reply.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 22, 2017

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•Closing shop

Lately  I’ve read more than one story about how U.S. workers are earning more than ever  which makes me scratch my head with wonder, “How, in fact, can that be when some of our favorite—and long-standing– stores are closing?”

No wise answer from me on that one. But below is a list of the various stores that have or will be closing some or all of their shops.

According to CNBC.com, here are some of the companies that have either filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection or Chapter 7 so far in 2017: The Limited; Wet Seal; Eastern Outfitters; BCBG Max Azria; Vanity; Hhgregg; RadioShack; Gordmans; Gander Mountain; Payless ShoeSource; Rue 21; Gymboree; Cornerstone Apparel, the owner of Papaya Clothing; True Religion Apparel; Alfred Angelo; Perfumania; Vitamin World; Aerosoles; and Toys R Us.

I already miss RadioShack. And Payless. And Hhgregg. And….

 

  • Market Quick Glance

It was a week of gains for two of the four indices followed below. Additionally, the DJIA and S&P 500 closed at new highs for the year. All according to data from CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs.

-DJIA +13.09 YTD up from last week’s 12.68%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +21.51% down from last week’s 22.27%

A new all-time high for the DJIA of 22,419.51 was reached on Sept. 21, 2017. The previous high of 22,275.02 was reached on September 15, 2017.

On March 1, the all-time high on that date for the year was 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +11.76 % YTD up a tad from last week’s 11.68%.

  • 1yr Rtn +14.93% down from last week’s +16.44%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,508.85 on September 20, 2017. The previous high of 2,500.23 was reached on September 15, 2017.

On March 1, 2017, that index closed at its then all-time high of 2,400.98.

 

-NASDAQ +19.39% YTD down from last week’s +19.79%.

  • 1yr Rtn +20.37% down from last week’s 22.84%

The Nasdaq reached its latest new all-time high on September 18, 2017 of 6,477.77. Its previous high was reached September 15, 2017 closing at 6,464.27.

On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +6.90% YTD up a heap from last week’s +5.50%.

  • 1yr Rtn +14.83% down from last week’s +16.68%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high of 1,452.09 on July 25, 2017.

On March 1, 2017 the then high of this index was 1,414,82.

 

-Mutual funds

Picking up a bit of steam, the year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading ended the week at 10.70% on Thursday, September 21, 2017. That’s up from the previous week’s close of 10.11%, according to Lipper.

In case you were wondering, the average y-t-d- return for the 4,501 funds that fall under the World Equity Funds heading was 22.69%; for the 5,887 funds that fall under the Mixed Asset Funds heading was 9.50l and for the 2,282 different Sector Equity Funds was 7.95%.

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.

 

  • Talking both sides

We all know that this bull market has gone on even longer that many had expected.

Although when and why its upward trend in index results will come to an end continues to be anybody’s guess. But that doesn’t stop financial talking heads from making predictions.

One such head reporting in last week came from TIAA Investments’s Brian Nick.

Nick is expecting to see a four percent decline in their firm’s target for the S&P 500 by year-end. That would put it at 2400.

But wait, there’s more.

Nick also thinks that this current bull market still has room to run. By the end of 2018—that’s next year—the target his firm has put on the S&P 500 is 2600.

Neither of which does little to make feeling comfortable or cozy about staying in the market or investing new money very easy.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 15, 2017

 

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  • Electric power

My power was out from Sunday thru late Wednesday afternoon. It’s a hot, sweaty and costly drag when that happens. In addition to no breezes, tossing out all refrigerated and frozen foods that warmed and thawed in my coolers, the one who suffered the most was my dog, Gracie. Now 13 and 3/4s years old, Tuesday night she barely slept panting the night away. I apologized to her which may have been humanly kind but don’t think those words mattered much to her. She was hot. And old. And suffering.

So, early the next morning I took her for an extended ride in my car, air conditioning blasting. And then with me to the 12:05 service at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach. We made it through the police check-points on the island after telling those guarding the town that I was going to church.

Grace is a good church-going dog. She’s been to this place for services a few times before for the Blessing of the Animals service and knew the drill: Go to the grass bathroom before entering the church, try not to bark and spread out as much as you’d like on the cool wooden pews.

For an hour she was much happier thanks to the generator powering the AC at Bethesda.

Speaking of power, I have a friend in Tavernier (one of the Florida Keys) whose home never lost its power during or after  Hurricane Irma.

Amazing.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

It had been about seven weeks since the DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ had reached new all-time highs. But at the close of business on Friday, September 15, 2017, all of that changed as each of those indices scored again.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, Sept 15, 2017.

-DJIA +12.68 YTD a big jump up from last week’s 10.30%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +22.27% down from last week’s 17.95%.

A new all-time high for the DJIA of 22,275.02 was reached on September 15, 2017.

Prior to that date, the DJIA most recent all-time high of 22,179.11 was reached on August 8, 2017 . Looking back six months, on March 1, the then all-time high on that date was 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +11.68 % YTD way up from last week’s 9.94%.

  • 1yr Rtn +16.44% up a lot from last week’s +12.84%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,500.23 on September 15, 2017.

Prior to that date, its most recent all-time high was on August 8, 2017 at 2,490.87. And six months earlier, on March 1, 2017, that index closed at a then all-time high of 2,400.98.

 

-NASDAQ +19.79% YTD up from last week’s +18.15%.

  • 1yr Rtn +22.84% down from last week’s 23.11%

The Nasdaq also reach a new all-time high on September 15, 2017 closing at 6,464.27.

Prior to that date, its most recent all-time high of 6,460.84 was reached on July 27, 2017. Looking back, on April 5, 2017 this index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +5.50% YTD up from last week’s +4.16%.

  • 1yr Rtn +16.68% up a heap from last week’s +11.21%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high on July 25, 2017 of 1,452.09.

(Previous highs include: 1,452.05 on July 21, 2017; 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017; 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

Good news with respect to the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested return performance for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading: On Thursday, September 14, 2017, equity funds y-t-d return average was 10.11%—that’s up from the previous week’s close of 8.60%, according to Lipper.

If you’re a fan or investor in the largest funds around some of the big ones have returned big  returns.

Four of them include: Vanguard FTSE Emg Mkt ETF, 25.98%; Fidelity Contrafund, 23.20%; Dodge & Cox Intl Stock, 21.97%; and the Vanguard Total 1 Stock, 21.26%.

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.

 

  • Hacked

You’ve heard me write this before and I’ll continue to mention it as there is some truth to it:  My now 102-year old Auntie Pat said– decades ago– that the internet was the devil’s work.

Recently her point  is proven to hold water  when it comes to the Dark Web and the hacking of  personal financial on-line accounts, including those of banks and credit rating agencies.

Personally, I’ve had my identity stolen and have been a victim of mail-fraud hacking. Both no fun to deal with or correct.

Speaking of correcting a hacking problem, I’m not 100% sure that once any of your accounts have been hacked that your Social Security Number, and various health-related accounts or credit or debt accounts in your name, will ever be free from harm.

So, while a hacking experience can cost us plenty and take months to correct our credit score after our cards have been stolen and used to rack up sales we never made, it’s the high-end no-limit credit cards that hackers really like getting their hands on. According to Bloomberg.com, on the Dark Web a Platinum American Express card will sell for $15 to $20 while a regular MasterCard without a large limit for around $9.

Not much given all the aggravation it costs the card owner.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 8, 2017

  • FullSizeRender(42)
    Hurricane preparation Florida style.  (Source Bruce R. Bennett/Palm Beach Post)
  • Hurricanes and me

Hurricane David. Remember him? Deadly. Cat 5. Hit West Palm Beach, Fl. as a Cat 2. Year: 1979.

David was my first. Very scary for someone from Minnesota who knew nothing about hurricanes. Today, barely anyone remembers his name. But ask me and I’ll tell you that you always remember your first.

Back then the preparation drill was to masking tape your windows, head to the liquor store and hit Kentucky Fried Chicken for supplies and nourishment.

Today, it’s make sure you’ve got water, food and have enough meds for me and the dog.

For everyone likely to experience any hurricane, including Florida’s approaching Hurricane Irma, take care, stay calm and know, as with everything else in the universe, this too shall pass.

Some hurricane trivia: While September has historically been a not-so-hot one for the stock market, it’s been a rip-roaring one for hurricanes.

According to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, from 1851 through 2015 within the United States there have been a total of 107 hurricanes during the month of September. That’s makes it the #1 month for U.S. hurricanes. Second in line is August with a total of 78 followed by October with 54.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

One downer of a week for all four of the indices below in both year-to-date and 1-yr performance returns.

It would be great if there were one of those great big sponge  fingers that you could hold up and use to point to a specific incident that caused equities to close lower but the political climate has been as unpredictable and goofy as the weather. So no help there.

Bottom line: Who knows what next week will bring.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, Sept 8, 2017.

-DJIA +10.30 YTD down from last week’s 11.26%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +17.95% down from last week’s 19.37%

 

The DJIA reached its most recent all-time high on August 8, 2017 of 22,179.11

(Most recent highs include: August 4, 2017 of 22,092.81; 21,841.18 on July 28, 2017; July 14, 2017 of 21,681.53; July 3,2017 of 21,562.75; 21,535.03 on June 20, 2017; 21,391.97 reached on June 14, 2017; 21,305.35 on June 9, 2017; 21,225.04 on June 2, 2017; and 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +9.94 % YTD down from last week’s 10.62%.

  • 1yr Rtn +12.84% down from last week’s +14.08%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on August 8, 2017 of 2,490.87.

(Previous high of 2,484.04 was reached on July 27, 2017 and 2,477.62 was reached on July 20, 2017. Prior to that date new highs and dates include: 2,463.54 on July 14, 2017; 2453.82 on June 19,2017; 2,446.2 reached on June 9, 2017; 2,440.23 reached on June 2, 2017; 2,418.71 reached on May 25, 2017; 2,405.77 reached on May 16, 2017; 2403.87 on May 9, 2017; 2,400.98 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-NASDAQ +18.15% YTD down from last week’s +18.55%.

  • 1yr Rtn +23.11% down from last week’s 23.11%

The Nasdaq reached its most recent all-time high of 6,460.84 on July 27, 2017.

(Previous highs include: July 20, 2017 of 6,398.26; 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017; 6,308.76 on June 2; 6,217.34 reached on May 25; 6,170,16 on May 16; 6,133 on May 9, 2017; 6102.72 on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.)

 

-Russell 2000 +4.16% YTD down from from last week’s +4.16%.

  • 1yr Rtn +11.21% down from last week’s +14.02%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high on July 25, 2017 of 1,452.09.

(Previous highs include: 1,452.05 on July 21, 2017; 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017; 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

The year-to-date cumulative total reinvested returns for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds closed at 8.60% on Thursday, September 7, 2017. That’s down from the previous week’s figure of 9.04%.

Sector Equity Funds have seen some top performances as Global Science/Technology Funds were up on average 32.01%. They were followed by Science & Technology Funds, up 26.90% and Commodities Base Metals Funds, up 23.85%.

Those performance figures make it a tight race for rewards when compared to World Equity Funds. Funds under that broad heading continue to climb and ended last week at 21.20%–that’s ahead of their previous week’s Thursday close of 20.41%.

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

People love their ETFs with one group especially taking to them.

Charles Schwab & Co’s lastest ETF Investor Study revealed that investors on average have 27% of their portfolio invested in ETFs—that’s up from 16% in 2012.

As for who is buying, it’s the Millennials with 56% saying it’s their go-to investment. For Boomers, on the other hand, it’s 30%.

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 1, 2017

  • 3E5AC7C8-1190-4E03-8BE5-CB15A902098C•No Water

Sorry I’m late in getting this out but I’ve been out driving around looking for water in preparation of the looks-like-it’s-coming-here Hurricane Irma. Been to two of each of the following stores in the greater West Palm Beach area—-Walgreen’s, Lowes’, Aldi’s, and Home Depot’s. And one Costco, Publix and Wal-Mart. No water in any.

Spent about three hours looking, which translates to about 10 bucks in gas. Thought about stopping for it, but the lines at the pumps were too long.

Now I’m trying to figure out what the best time of day or night might be for me to venture out again in search of gas and, more importantly, the one thing our bodies must have to keep us going—water.

On that note, as horrible, tragic, devastating, etc. that these hurricanes are and can be, beyond the personal costs and losses come the other side of that coin: Businesses prosper.

A few stocks that may increase in per share value because of Mother Nature’s wrath include home builder and supply stores such as Home Depot and Lowes. Throw in stores that sell, food, gas and bottled water, like Costco and Wal-Mart and big blue chip companies such as those could wind up rewarding investors after the storms have passed.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A heck of a week with the Russell 2000 making the greatest gains both on YTD basis and 1-year return. But don’t expect this bull to run wild in September as it traditionally has been a horrible month for stocks.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, Sept 1,                                      2017.

-DJIA + 11.26YTD up from last week’s 10.38% and the previous week’s 11.79%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +19.37% up from last week’s 18.24%

The DJIA reached its most recent all-time high on August 8, 2017 of 22,179.11

(Previous highs since March include: August 4, 2017 of 22,092.81; 21,841.18 on July 28, 2017; July 14, 2017 of 21,681.53; July 3,2017 of 21,562.75; 21,535.03 on June 20, 2017; 21,391.97 reached on June 14, 2017; 21,305.35 on June 9, 2017; 21,225.04 on June 2, 2017; and 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +10.62% YTD up from last week’s 9.12% and the previous week’s 10.63%.

  • 1yr Rtn +14.08% up from last week’s +12.45%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on August 8, 2017 of 2,490.87.

(Previous high of 2,484.04 was reached on July 27, 2017 and 2,477.62 was reached on July 20, 2017. Prior to that date new highs and dates include: 2,463.54 on July 14, 2017; 2453.82 on June 19,2017; 2,446.2 reached on June 9, 2017; 2,440.23 reached on June 2, 2017; 2,418.71 reached on May 25, 2017; 2,405.77 reached on May 16, 2017; 2403.87 on May 9, 2017; 2,400.98 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-NASDAQ +18.55% YTD up from last week’s +16.39% and the previous week’s

+16.23%.

  • 1yr Rtn +23.11% up from last week’s 20.21%

The Nasdaq reached its most recent all-time high of 6,460.84 on July 27, 2017.

(Previous highs include: July 20, 2017 of 6,398.26; 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017; 6,308.76 on June 2; 6,217.34 reached on May 25; 6,170,16 on May 16; 6,133 on May 9, 2017; 6102.72 on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.)

-Russell 2000 +4.16% YTD up from  last week’s +1.50% and the previous week’s +1.26%.

  • 1yr Rtn +14.02% up from last week’s +11.08%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high on July 25, 2017 of 1,452.09.

(Previous highs include: 1,452.05 on July 21, 2017; 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017; 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, August 31, 2017, the average cumulative total reinvested return for funds under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading YTD was 9.04%. That’s up from the previous week’s 7.36%.

Sector Equity Funds ended the week up on average at 7.18% and World Income Funds at 8.57%. Both, however, pale in comparison to the performances of the average World Equity Fund—up for the year so far 20.41%.

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.

 

  • IMPORTANT: T+2 is here

Here’s news every investor needs to be mindful of: Settlement dates.

There are basically two dates that everyone who buys and sells securities, like stocks, bonds, municipal bonds, mutual funds, needs to remember: Starting today, September 5, 2017, the day your securities need to be paid for and the second is the day  you’ll receive the proceeds from the sale of securities. Both have  been shorted from 3 days down to 2.

That’s a big deal. And one that has changed over time. FYI, when I was a broker in the last century and early 1980s, folks had 5 days to pay for their security transaction and it took 5 days before the monies from a sale would show in their account or a check could be mailed to them.

Just as the years have passed and transactions have become more efficiently computerized the amount of time necessary for either of these transactions has shortened.

One date that has never changed, and can’t,  is the trade date. That’s the one that represents the date in which your securities were purchased and the date on which they were sold.

 

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POCKETBOOK:Week ending Aug. 25, 2017

3E5AC7C8-1190-4E03-8BE5-CB15A902098C

  • Golden rewards

All lovers of the golden stuff do have something to crow about—at last. According to CNBC.com, at the end of last week, gold futures were up 12.2% beating the year-to-date return for the S&P 500 of 9.3%.

If that spread for the glittering stuff continues to beat that index through year’s end, it would be the first year in six—since 2011—that gold has beaten the performance of the S&P 500.

On Friday, gold closed at 1,297.90.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A total turnaround  as all four indices followed here gained points in both their year-to-date and 1-year returns  last week.

That said, ya gotta love this finicky old bull. He just keeps on roaming the street with perhaps not as much zeal as he once had, but he’s still moving. Something that’s impressive for a bull market that’s basically an old cocker at 9 years of age.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, Aug. 24, 2017,                                         2017.

-DJIA + 10.38% YTD up from last week’s +9.67% and the previous week’s 11.79%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +18.244% up from last week’s 16.54%

No new all-time highs for the DJIA were registered during the business week ending 8/25/17.

The DJIA reached its most recent all-time high on August 8, 2017 of 22,179.11

(Previous highs since March include: August 4, 2017 of 22,092.81; 21,841.18 on July 28, 2017; July 14, 2017 of 21,681.53; July 3,2017 of 21,562.75; 21,535.03 on June 20, 2017; 21,391.97 reached on June 14, 2017; 21,305.35 on June 9, 2017; 21,225.04 on June 2, 2017; and 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +9.12% YTD up from last week’s 8.344% and the previous week’s 10.63%.

  • 1yr Rtn +12.45% up from last week’s +10.91%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on August 8, 2017 of 2,490.87.

(Previous high of 2,484.04 was reached on July 27, 2017 and 2,477.62 was reached on July 20, 2017. Prior to that date new highs and dates include: 2,463.54 on July 14, 2017; 2453.82 on June 19,2017; 2,446.2 reached on June 9, 2017; 2,440.23 reached on June 2, 2017; 2,418.71 reached on May 25, 2017; 2,405.77 reached on May 16, 2017; 2403.87 on May 9, 2017; 2,400.98 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-NASDAQ +16.39% YTD up from last week’s +15.48% and the previous week’s

+16.23%.

  • 1yr Rtn +20.21% up from last week’s 18.63%

The Nasdaq reached its most recent all-time high of 6,460.84 on July 27, 2017.

(Previous highss include: July 20, 2017 of 6,398.26; 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017; 6,308.76 on June 2; 6,217.34 reached on May 25; 6,170,16 on May 16; 6,133 on May 9, 2017; 6102.72 on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.)

 

-Russell 2000 +1.50% YTD up from from last week’s +0.05% and the previous week’s +1.26%.

  • 1yr Rtn +11.08% up from last week’s +9.78%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high on July 25, 2017 of 1,452.09.

(Previous highs include: 1,452.05 on July 21, 2017; 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017; 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

Just as the major indices closed higher last week than they had during the previous one, so too did the average U.S. Diversified Equity Funds y-t-d return.

The average cumulative total reinvested return for funds under that broad heading on Thursday, August 25, 2017 was 7.36%.That’s lower than the previous week’s close of 6.73 %. But not as high as it was at the close of the week previous to it of 8.93%. Or the one before it of 9.59%. And the one before it of 9.84%.

Gobs of money left the coffers of U.S. equity funds last week and moved into funds that invest their assets around the world. As once again, World Equity Funds continue to reward their investors as they closed the week up, on average, 19.29%. That’s up from the 18.07% of the previous week’s close.

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 million dollars ain’t enough

Turns out, having a goal of a retirement nest egg with $1 million in it won’t get you as far as you probably once thought.

With health care costs likely to take the biggest chunk out of that bounty—like 25% of it—in which state you live could also deplete it sooner than expected.

For instance, live in Hawaii and one million bucks will last 11.9 years in that Don Ho Tiny Bubbles state, according to Bloomberg.com. In California a retiree could eek out a few more years—16.4—before going bust.

Think states such as Alabama an Arkansaw if you’d like to get the most bang for your retirement living bucks.

 

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