All posts by dianvujovich

POCKETBOOK: Week ending July 21, 2018

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We all know that President Trump sees things differently than most. The same is true when it comes to his math.
  • Trump Math

 By now we’ve all learned that President Trump isn’t well-versed in a number of things including American history, manners, telling the truth and yes, even math.

Last week he said that the stock market has gone up 40% since he was elected president. Better not take that to the bank never mind believe it.

According to CNBC.com, the S&P 500 is up 31% since Trump was elected president on Nov. 8, 2016. That’s a far distance from 40%. Additionally, the lion’s share of those gains were made last year in 2017. So far this year, the S&P has gained around 4%.

Math matters to every investor sophisticated or not,  Democrat, Republican, Independent or the Un-politically interested.

Bottom line: Betting on Trump’s math could be detrimental to one’s portfolio expectations.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A few ups and a few downs but what counts the most is how your portfolio is doing.

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, July 20, 2018.

DJIA 1.37% YTD up a tiny bit previous week’s return of 1.21%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 15.95% down from the previous week’s 16.08 %

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 4.80% YTD up a hair from last week’s 4.78%

  • 1 yr Rtn 13.28% down from last week’s 14.44%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 13.28% YTD down a bit from last week’s 13.36%

  • 1yr Rtn 22.38% down from last week’s 24.73%

Nasdaq reached a new 52-week high on July 17, 2018 of 7,867.15. The previous high was reached on July 13, 2018 of 7,843.53.

 

-Russell 2000 10.50% YTD up from last week’s 9.87%

  • 1yr Rtn 17.64% down from last week’s 18.34%

The Russell 2000 reached a new 52-week high on July 10, 2018 of 1,708.56. The previous high was reached on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1.

 

-Mutual funds

A y-t-d total return for the average equity fund has handsomely outperformed the year-to-date returns of the DJIA and S&P500 by a couple of percentage points.

And, at the close of business on Thursday, July 19, 2018, the total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had an average return was 6.49%, according to Lipper.

To compare, th DJIA on Friday had a y-t-d return of about 1.4% and the S&P 500, 4.8%.

Nonetheless, it’s first still a small cap world as the average cumulative total return for Small-Cap Growth Funds continue to be the out performers averaging 17.41% returns, followed by Mid-Cap Growth funds, 12.34% then Multi-Cap Growth, 12.32%.

The only other category of funds coming close to the Small-Cap performance was Science & Tech Funds with a y-t-d average return of 15.57%.

On the other hand, the average y-t-d Commodities Base Metals Funds performance stinks— it was -17.85%.

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.

 

  • Golden Cross

The price of gold can’t seem to get out of its own way.

Gold analysts are now saying that the price of this precious metal has entered into a death cross. My, that’s ugly. And, that  they don’t see anything but more bad news ahead.

A death cross is a bearish technical signal that happens when the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-day average. And that’s not happy news for those betting on the price of gold moving out of the woods anytime soon.

On the other hand, gold could be a buy for bottom buyers and those who consider themselves long-term optimistic  investors.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending July 14, 2018

Here

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And from the recent running of the bulls comes this: a fake bull. Kinda sorta made me wonder about our market.

 

  • Millennial Yikes!

There’s a different world coming if you’re a believer in survey results

According to a recent 2018 Retirement Preparedness Survey commissioned by PGIM Investments, 31% of millennials aren’t saving for retirement at all BECAUSE they don’t see the point in preparing for it. They responded that “anything can happen between now and then.”

Well, that’s true. But, anything– whatever is meant by it– takes money. And heaps of it–particularly during the decades spent in retirement.

Additionally, 62% of those responding said they plan on retiring when they have enough money (wonder where they expect to get it?) and 66% said that they think full-time jobs would be kaput and that 75% of the public would work as freelancers in the future. And one more thing,  that “people will no longer retire comfortably in the future.”

Oh my.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

More ups over the short term, but not so for 1-year return figures.

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, July 13, 2018.

DJIA 1.21% YTD back up into positive territory re previous week’s return of –1.06%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 16.08% up from the previous week’s 14.71 %

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

-S&P 500 4.78% YTD up from last week’s 3.22%

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.44% down a hair from last week’s 14.53%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

-NASDAQ 13.36% YTD a jump up from last week’s 11.37%

  • 1yr Rtn 24.73% down from last week’s 26.26%

Nasdaq reached a new 52-week high on July 13, 2018 of 7,843.53. The previous high was reached on June 20, 2018 of 7,806.6.

-Russell 2000 9.87% YTD down from last week’s 10.74%

  • 1yr Rtn 18.34% down from last week’s 20.93%

The Russell 2000 reached a new 52-week high on July 10, 2018 of 1,708.56. The previous high was reached on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1.

 

-Mutual funds

A repeat.

At the close of business on Thursday, July 5, 2018, the total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had an average return of 4.35%, according to Lipper.

Nonetheless, it’s first still a small cap world as the average cumulative total return for Small-Cap Growth Funds averaged 14.34%.

The category of funds with the closest average y-t-d- return was–surprise surprise–Large Cap  Growth funds at 9.73%.

Double digit y-t-d average returns were also found under the Sector Funds heading with Science & Tech Funds, 12.04%, followed by Global Science/ Tech Funds, 11.64% and then Health/Tech Funds, 10.43%.

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.

  • The cost of trade wars

So far, estimates are that this just beginning trade war is going to cost households about $60 more bucks a year. Another source estimates that figure to be more than double–$127 per household.

I’m guessing it’s going to be considerably more. Time will tell.

Till then, consider this from the blog of money manager Doug Kass:

“History has proven that one trade tariff begets another and another until you get a full blown trade war. And the consumer seems to always get screwed. Currency wars always lead to trade wars and vice versa and which in turn could lead to hot war. ”

Kass says that trade wars aren’t supposed to be easy.

I’ll add, not cheap either.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending July 7, 2018

 

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(Source: SeekingAlpha.com)
  • Making money in stocks? Where?

 No denying that lots of folks say that they are loving the economy believing in the super job growth and the sweet returns of the stock market. But before jumping on that  bandwagon, remember most of the praise comes from our president and those he has hired to praise him and praise all things Trump-related.

A look at the chart above, included in a recent SeekingAlpha.com article, shows how various types of stocks have fallen from their highs during the past 52 weeks.

Commentary in that same story pointed out that the telecom services sector stocks are down an average of nearly 19% from their highs and consumer discretionary stocks down 16%.

So how you doin?

 

  • Market Quick Glance

The DJIA was the only index that had a lower year-to-date return last week than it had the previous week.

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, July 7, 2018.

DJIA -1.06% YTD down even more than the previous week’s return of -056%

•1 yr Rtn 14.71% down from the previous week’s 14.88%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

-S&P 500 3.22% YTD  up from last week’s 1.67%

•1 yr Rtn 14.53% up from last week’s 12.34%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

-NASDAQ 11.37% YTD up a lot from last week’s 8.79%

  • 1yr Rtn 26.26% way up from last week’s 22.23%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 20, 2018 of 7,806.6. The previous highs was reached on June 14,2018 of 7,768.6.

-Russell 2000 10.74% YTD up a heap from last week’s 7.00%

  • 1yr Rtn 20.93% up a lot from last week’s 16.02%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1. The previous high was reached June 12, 2018 of 1,686.37.

 

-Mutual funds

Changes abound with some not exactly hot returns lately for your basic mutual fund. At the close of business on Thursday, July 5, 2018, the total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had an average return of 4.35%, according to Lipper.

Nonetheless, it’s  still a small cap world as the average cumulative total return for Small-Cap Growth Funds averaged 14.34%.

The category of funds with the closest average y-t-d- return behind it was–surprize surprize—Lare-Cap Growth funds at 9.73%.

Double digit y-t-d average returns were also found under the Sector Funds heading with Science & Tech Funds, 12.04%, followed by Global Science/ Tech Funds, 11.64% and then Health/Tech Funds, 10.43%.

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.

 

  • More of US not working

 Numbers show that not nearly as many of us are working today as there were 10 years ago.

MyBudget360.com reported that one-third of our work force—or 95.5 million Americans– are not working today. That’s a big jump up from the 80 million not working in 2009.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 30, 2018

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  • Making America Great Again. Really?

Funny how a slogan can get people all jazzed up and believing things that may or may not be true. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is one such slogan.

America from where I sit, even with its warts and all, was pretty much of a terrific nation before Donald Trump became president. Now, there are more warts.

That said, if individual voting citizens think that Trump is going to make America great again, they are fooling themselves if the greatness they are thinking of is money related.

The chart above shows how wealth gets distributed during times of economic expansions like the one we’ve been living in for a decade. As you can see, it’s not the bottom 90% of us who have gained economically, in fact we’re losing our economic strength—it’s the top 10%.

The way things  stand, there is no way an average person can accumulate enough money to live okay today and be able to save a bundle large enough to cover their 30-40 years in retirement if that gap between the top 10% and the lower 90 doesn’t change. And change dramatically in the working man’s and  working woman’s favor.

Until that happens, there can be no “great again”.

  • Market Quick Glance

Down. Down. Down. And down.

Not one of the four indices below had year-to-date or a 1-year return at the end of this week that was higher than that of the previous week.

On Thursday the week before last, a voice inside of my head was telling me to sell, sell, sell. And I didn’t, didn’t, didn’t.

Selling when your inside voice is telling you to act takes courage. Courage I didn’t happen to act upon. And it has cost me—on paper.

Deciding when to sell a stock is perhaps one of the two biggest challenges stock investors are faced with. The second is, deciding what to do with the proceeds after selling.

Look for more about this subject in an upcoming piece.

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, June 29, 2018.

DJIA -0.56% YTD down more from the previous week’s return of -056%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.88% down from the previous week’s 14.88%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 1.67% YTD down a lot  from last week’s 3.04%

  • 1 yr Rtn 12.34% down more from last week’s 13.16%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 8.79% YTD down plenty from last week’s 11.44%

  • 1yr Rtn 22.23% down from last week’s 23.35%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 20, 2018 of 7,806.6. The previous highs was reached on June 14,2018 of 7,768.6.

 

-Russell 2000 7.00% YTD down a big chunk from last week’s 9.77%

  • 1yr Rtn 16.02% wat down from last week’s 20.01%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1. The previous high was reached June 12, 2018 of 1,686.37.

 

-Mutual funds

Below is a repeat of data from the week ending June 21, 2018:

The total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had an average return of 5.04% at the close of business on Thursday, June 21, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s up from the June 7, 2018 average total return of 5.11%.

Yes, it’s still a small cap world and will likely continue to be for the near future with Small-Cap Growth Funds up on average 15.66% followed by Mid-Cap Growth (10.56%) and Multi-Cap Growth Funds (10.55%).

Of the 25 largest funds, based on asset size, the two big winners were the Fidelity Contra Fund, 11.77%, and the American Funds Growth A Fund, 10.52%. Both are large-cap growth funds.

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.

 

  • Global Investing gone South

 All the hoopla about investing overseas in 2018 has proven to not be such a hot idea.

According to CNBC, investors have taken $12.4 billion out from global stock funds in June.

That’s the most money withdrawn from global funds and ETFs since October 2008, according to TrimTabs data.

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TrumpBits #29: Mar-a-Lago’s mess

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Oh my. Just when you thought that spending hundreds of thousands of dollars joining the president’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm  Beach meant you’d be served cuisine prepared in the  most pristine of kitchens in America you learn this: The Winter White House doesn’t have the cleanest kitchen in town.

On a daily basis, President Trump relishes in criticizing everything under the sun forgetting, of course, that when you point a finger at someone or something else, your thumb points right back at you.

His latest finger-pointing? When Trump claimed a Red Hen restaurant was “filthy”, folks began looking into his own world of properties where food is served. And guess what they found?

According to The Associated Press, Mar-a-Lago was cited 78 times over three years of health code violations, including cooking staff not washing their hands, gook on the ice machine, and more.

Once again, Trump’s finger-pointing bites back.

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 23, 2018

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Passed on a money-related photo this week for something far more important than money.
  • 1% Wealth Money Lessons

 If you’ve got wealth envy, forgetaboutit. No matter where one falls on the how-much-money-do-you-have chart, everybody  has money worries/concerns to some degree or another.

The ultra rich have the “rice-paddy-to-rice-paddy” thing going on—that’s the same as the “from shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” concern. Both sayings point out that the delicacy and trickiness of a family keeping and maintaining its wealth through the generations ain’t easy. The paycheck to paycheck folks worry about where the bucks to keep a roof over their heads is going to come from before their next pay-day. And all the folks in the middle have money worries, too.

That said, teaching your kids about money is as important as teaching them to brush their teeth and wash their face every day.

CNBC recently published a piece titled, “What the 1 percent are teaching their children about money”. The story included four money lessons. I modified it to three. All of them are simple and worth talking with and to kids about whether you are a parent, teacher, friend, relative or someone who just likes helping kids. And, rich or just getting by.

They include:

-Have a money message and communicate those money values.

“We’re more than what’s in our bank account,” said Judy Spalthoff, executive director and head of family and philanthropy advisory at UBS. ”If what defines our family is just what’s in our bank account. It’s not productive. We’re sending the wrong message of who we are.”

In other words, I say don’t make a big deal out of teaching your kids how much money/wealth your family has or how little it has. Each of us is a unique individual with talents all our own that count and have value no matter how much money our family has or doesn’t have.

-Put your children to work.

-Give back. Teaching your kids to donate their time and talents to others might just be the most rewarding lesson you’ll ever teach them.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

It’s back to bumpy.

We are almost half way through this year and there isn’t much to crow about when comparing your year-to-date returns to that of the various indices—unless, of course, you’re a NASDAQ or Russell 2000 fan. They’re both up double digits while the  DJIA is underwater.

 

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, June 22, 2018.

DJIA -0.56% YTD underwater and down from the previous week’s return

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.88% up from the previous week’s 14.27%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 3.047% YTD down from last week’s 3.97%

  • 1 yr Rtn 13.16% down from last week’s 14.27%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 11.44% YTD down from last week’s 12.21%

  • 1yr Rtn 23.35% down from last week’s 25.63%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 20, 2018 of 7,806.6. The previous highs was reached on June 14,2018 of 7,768.6.

 

-Russell 2000 9.77% YTD up from last week’s 9.66%

  • 1yr Rtn 20.01% up from last week’s 19.42%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1. The previous high was reached June 12, 2018 of 1,686.37.

 

-Mutual funds

The total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had an average return of 5.04% at the close of business on Thursday, June 21, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s up from the June 7, 2018 average total return of 5.11%.

Yes, it’s still a small cap world and will likely continue to be for the near future with Small-Cap Growth Funds up on average 15.66% followed by Mid-Cap Growth (10.56%) and Multi-Cap Growth Funds (10.55%).

Of the 25 largest funds, based on asset size, the two big winners were the Fidelity Contra Fund, 11.77%, and the American Funds Growth A Fund, 10.52%. Both are large-cap growth funds.

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.

 

  • Banks got money and they’ll spent it on you if….

Seems as though banks are so flush with cash they’re dolling it out for free. Well, kinda sorta.

If you’ve got a few hundred or many hundreds of dollars that you don’t know what to do with, consider investigating the banks that offer cash bonuses for people willing to open a new account with their bank.

But, as with  all money-related things in life, there are a few catches. Which means, ya gotta read the small print and understand the deal before you fall for it.

For instance, there are always terms—such as the amount of money required to open a checking or savings account, the length of time required to qualify for the bonus, etc.

Like I said, you’ve got to research and read the deal before committing to it.

If you don’t, all could be for naught and could wind up costing you.

Oh, and remember:  any bonus money is TAXABLE.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 17, 2018

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  • Not so subtle signs

The great divide between our two America’s — one in which the wealthy enjoy the fruits of their fortunes and the much larger group that finds making it harder and more challenging than ever—is not-so subtly showing signs of widening.

On the one hand, the Fed says the economy is roaring along just fine even guestimating GDP growth could hit something like 4% this year. On the other, the second rise in key short-term rates this year from 1.75 to 2% may add pennies to one’s saving accounts and money market fund accounts. But, it is also making a bigger dent  for those  who will see increases on the interest rates charged by credit card accounts,  rates on mortgages, variable line-of-credit accounts,  car loans. etc.

And everybody is noticing. Two examples: CNBC reported that half of Americans aren’t taking summer vacations this year and  real estate developers are offering super deals for new home buyers.

In my local paper on Friday (6/15/18), I saw  new home developers offering  mighty attractive discounts to entice  new home buyers to buy.

At On Top of the World, a 55+ community in Ocala, Florida where new homes are priced from the $160s to over $400s, ran a full-page read, “GET MORE FOR LESS” offering a 25% on all options.

Divosta, a developer with a huge and long-standing presence in Palm Beach County, was —get this— giving a free pool with screen enclosure—to new home buyers at their Sonoma Isles development in Jupiter through June 18th.

That said, my adult life’s experience in South Florida has shown me that whenever  real estate developers start discounting their prices and/or offering what’s typically costly upgrades, it’s been a sign that they’re concerned about sales.

The good news here is  anybody who can qualify and afford a new home at either of these developments has got to love getting any kind of discount or a new pool.

The bad news is  not everyone can either qualify for or afford to buy a new home these days. And even small interest rate hikes upward only exasperate that problem.

Now imagine what a number of interest rate hikes upward will do.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

LISTEN UP!!!! Two, yes, not one but two of the indices followed here scored big last week: Both the NASDAQ and the Russell 2000 hit new all-time record numbers last week. Yahoo for  them.

That’s something to crow about particularly since the rest of the investing arena is in a little bit of quandary with interest rates on the rise. As we all know, any move in any direction of interest impacts all sorts of things including equities.

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, June 15, 2018.

DJIA 1.50% YTD ouch as that index is down again from the previous week’s return of 2.42%

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.27% big downward move from the previous week’s 19.52%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 3.97% YTD up a hair from last week’s 3.94%.

•1 yr Rtn 14.27% up a bit from last week’s 14.19%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 12.21% YTD a whopping big move up from last week’s 10.75%

  • 1yr Rtn 25.64% also a big up from last week’s 20.94%

Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 14,2018 of 7,768.6. The previous highs was reached on March 13, 2018 of 7,637.27

 

-Russell 2000 9.66% YTD up from last week’s 8.92%

  • 1yr Rtn 19.42% up from last week’s 18.15%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW ALL-TIME HIGH on June 12, 2018 of 1,686.37. The previous high was reached on January 24, of 1,615.52.

 

-Mutual funds

Last week’s data not available yet. Data below is from previous week:

The total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading enjoyed an average return of 5.11% at the close of business on Thursday, June 7, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s up a lot from the previous week’s average total return of 2.84%.

In the big time skids this year are Latin American Funds. Of the 33 that Lipper tracks, the y-t-d average total return was underwater at -12.00%.

Other World Equity Funds that haven’t fared well so far this year was India Funds, -7.50%. And in third underwater place Emerging Markets Funds, -1.38%.

Overall, World Equity Funds are up 0.90%.

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.

 

  • Golden opportunities?

If you’re a believer in Morningstar data and research, the pros over at that Chicago-based firm aren’t expecting much in returns from that precious metal we call gold.

In a recent column by Kristoffer Inton, “Gold Steady in Face of Rate Hikes”, had this to write about the recent the impact of interest rates on gold: “This rate doesn’t change our view…. We continue to expect the gold price to fall to $1,225 per ounce by then end of 2018…. “

He continued:  “Additionally, although the recent rise in inflation bodes well for gold, we think that higher inflation will only spur a more rapid pace of rate hikes.”

And then there is this from a recent ETFTrends.com story: “China is the world’s largest consumer of many commodities, including precious metals.

“Tariffs on China could be a game changer for metals markets, ” George Gero, managing director at RBC Capital Markets, told the WSJ.”

The ETFTrends.com story points out that one area precious metals are making positive strides is in inverse or bearish ETFs.

If you’re a fan of gold, that’s an area worth investigating.

Sometimes down pays up.

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 9, 2018

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Telling lines.
  • Fickle trickle

Funny how the average guy and gal have to use a magnifying glass to see the effect of Trump’s trickle down economic policies in their day-to-day lives.

Yes, businesses are expanding, the unemployment rate is down and the stock market has yet to stumble and fall. But unless you’re in the top 10 percent of wage earners, odds are your salary hasn’t increased much over the past couple of years.

Wealth equality in the U.S. is and has been a rising problem for decades. Statistica.com reported that in 2017, the lower-income 50 percent of the population owned about 1.1% of total wealth while that sliver of the top 1% owned 35% of it.

That spread doesn’t bode well for the majority of Americans who hope and believe that their hard work will come with huge financial rewards for them and their families in the coming years. But while hard work is a virtue in itself, it comes with no guarantees of everyone becoming a multi-millionaire.

That said, every working person can build a nest egg. How big that nest egg grows to depends more on goal-setting, focus and perseverance than it does most everything else—including market conditions and government policies.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Last week, NASDAQ made the greatest gains, now up over 10% for the year, behind it was the Russell 2000 with a year-to-date return of nearly 9%.

So it continues to be a kinda sorta small-cap world.

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, June 8, 2018.

DJIA 2.42% YTD  up again and a lot from the previous minus week’s close of -0.34%

  • 1 yr Rtn 19.52% down from the previous week’s 16.51%

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 3.94% YTD up from last week’s 2.28%

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.19% up from last week’s 12.53%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 10.75% YTD up from last week’s 9.43%

  • 1yr Rtn 20.94% up a hair from last week’s 20.93%

NASDAQ reached a brand new all-time high on March 13, 2018 of 7,637.27. The previous high was reached on March 9, 2018 of 7,560.81.

 

-Russell 2000 8.92% YTD up from last week’s 7.32%

  • 1yr Rtn 18.15% up from last week’s 18.05%

The Russell 2000 reached an all-time high on January 24, of 1,615.52. The previous high was reached on January 16, 2018 of 1,604.02.

 

-Mutual funds

Following the indices returns, the total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading enjoyed an improved average y-t-d return–it was  5.11% at the close of business on Thursday, June 7, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s up a lot from the previous week’s average total return of 2.84%.

In the big time skids arena this year are Latin American Funds. Of the 33 that Lipper tracks, the y-t-d average total return was underwater at -12.00%.

Another of the  World Equity Funds that haven’t fared well so far this year was India Funds, -7.50%. And in third underwater place Emerging Markets Funds, -1.38%.

Overall, World Equity Funds are up 0.90%.

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? Yes. Sometime.

Lots of chatting about an upcoming recession. Comedian and political commentator Bill Maher even put his two cents worth in the other night with respect to it.

Not in favor of his words. Then again, his point is well taken as American voters have a historic tendency to vote with respect to how fat their pocketbooks are. So a recession happening prior to voting time could have a big impact in taking Trump out of office.

That said, recessions happen. They are a natural part of our economic world. Always have been. Always will be.

That means, it should come as no surprise at all to read that economists at the National Association of Business Economics are foreseeing a recession beginning next year or in early 2020.

And why do they think that? Well, after a steaming economy and a bull market running something like 9,10,11 years or so means it’s a sooner-or-later, for sure, natural event that’s gonna happen. Sometime.

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