Category Archives: Uncategorized

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Dec. 15, 2018

 

IMG_6456
Folks  may be spending plenty this holiday season but according to a CNBC All-American Economic Survey our optimism about our economic  future has fallen.

 

  • It’s a Global World of Worry

As money continues to be the value that rules the world, it ought to come as no surprise that when our equity markets are in the tank, so are many of those around the globe. Or visa versa.

“The market tensions we saw during this quarter were not an isolated event,” said Claudio Borio, head of the monetary and economic department at the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). BIS is an umbrella group for the world’s central banks.

Combine the fear of our Fed increasing interest rates, our soaring debt, trade tensions at home and abroad, political worries at home and abroad and it’s no wonder that stocks aren’t performing so hap-hap-happly this holiday season.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

If the total value of your portfolio is positive so far this year, stand up and cheer. Then call your financial advisor, broker or whomever it is that’s managing your money and say thanks.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ — including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018.

DJIA -2.50% YTD down more from the previous week’s -1.34%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -1.67% way down from the previous week 0.73%

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 -2.76% YTD down more from last week’s -1.52%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -1.96%

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 0.11% YTD down from last week’s 0.95%

  • 1yr Rtn 0.79% way down from last week’s 2.30%

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 things keep getting ugly.

The average year-to-date total return for funds that fall under the heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds stood at -3.12% at the close of business on Thursday, December 13, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s down considerably from the previous week’s figure of -0.94%.

Of the 25 largest equity funds that Lipper tracks, total returns aren’t much sweeter. Even three of Vanguard’s funds have total returns deep in minus territory.

They include: Vanguard Tot I S: Investors, -12.15%; Vanguard Tot I S: Ins,-12.08; and Vanguard To IS :Adm, -12-13%.

The top two performing funds, y-t-d, among that list of 25 were the Fidelity Contrafund, 2.85% and American Funds Growth: A, 2.08%.

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.

 

  • Salt in a Wound

So you say you missed a chance to invest in Elon Musk’s Tesla?

Oh well, so did I.

But if either of us had plopped down  $1000 in TSLA eight years ago, in 2010, and had neither of us sold any portion of that investment, on  December 12, 2018, that 1000 bucks would  have turned into $21,000, according to CNBC.

-30-

 

 

Advertisements

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Dec. 8, 2018

FullSizeRender(69)

  • Looking Down Looking Back

There’s no ignoring the performance of equities these days and that’s a good thing. A correcting or bear or underwater market reminds every single investor—and non-investor—that: “Yes, Virginia, stock prices don’t always climb upward as they have for the past almost 10 years.”

So as you review your portfolio, consider that there are always investment opportunities no matter what’s happening on Wall Street. Bunches of investors have made their fortunes investing when equity news hasn’t been so hot.

Furthermore, taking a longer look back on your investment returns may show you things you’ve forgotten.

For instance, The Bespoke Investment Group publishes its “Bespoke 50” list of growth stocks in the Russell 3,000.

Bespoke began publishing the list in 2012 and since that time returns have beaten the S&P 500 by 80.5%.

Today, that list is up 176.8% since inception while the S&P 500’s gain (through 12/6/18) was 96.2%.

So Virginia, things might not be as bad as they appear.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Ed Clissold, a bear market official at Ned Davis Research, says that the bear market is officially here. At the same time, he’s optimistic about next year and expects to see a rally during the second half of 2019.

We shall see.

In case you’ve forgotten, it’s been nearly 10 years since the bear claws have shown up on Wall Street. And, a bear market is defined as a fall of 20% from an index’s recent high.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ — including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

DJIA -1.34% YTD big move down from the previous week’s 3.31%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 0.73% way down 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 -1.52% YTD a big move down from last week’s 3.24%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -0.15% way down from last week’s 4.25%

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 0.95% YTD big move down from last week’s 6.19%

  • 1yr Rtn 2.30% way down 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

The average year-to-date total return for funds that fall under the heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds stood at -0.94% at the close of business on Thursday, December 6, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s down from the previous week’s figure of 0.68%.

Fund types with the worst y-t-d returns include  precious and basic metals funds.

For instance: Precious Metals Equity Funds, -21.65% for the year, on average; Basic Metals Funds, -17.92%; and Global Natural Resources Funds, -14.97%

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.

 

  • Got Gas?

Diversifying your investment portfolio has always made sense. Case in point: Commodities.

According to Bespoke Investment Group, while silver, copper, coffee, platinum, oil, gold and corn are all down between -2.9% (corn) and 15.7% (silver), all commodity prices aren’t in the tank.

2018 winners, so far, include orange juice, up 5.4%, wheat, up 5.7% and natural gas, up 47.2%.

Yahoo for gas!

-30-

 

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Dec. 1, 2018

 

IMG_6391
Based upon this chart, waiting for a Santa Claus rally this December could mean waiting till next year. (Source: CNBC.)

 

  • Trump’s  Hands

If you don’t think President Trump has a hand in how our markets are performing, better think again. Two simple examples: Not only has he put pressure on Fed Chairman Powell not to increase interest rates in spite of the fact that data shows suggesting a move up would be appropriate. And he  hasalso delayed his big time increases re raising China tariffs 25% until after the New Year, that is, for 90 days.

Each move could make Wall Street investors hap-hap-happier this holiday season. Then again, maybe not: While wages may have increased a bit for some,  credit card debt is  also on the rise. And, while the cost of a gallon of regular gas is cheap, groceries aren’t.

Additionally, as  far as  Santa ho-ho-hoing his way into town, climate change could muck up that sleigh ride.

Then there’s  Trump’s great big corporate tax cut —other than impacting mega corporations, it’s going to come back and bite many  of us one way or another.

To make that point, consider the following from the Treasury Department’s budget report  from a PBS New Hour report dated Oct.19, 2018:

-The 2018 budget deficit: $779 billion

-The budget deficit compared to 2017: + $113 billion

-Government revenue compared to 2017: +$14 billion

-Government spending compared to 2017: +$127 billion

I remember when one of the primary tenets of the GOP was to limit government spending and be fiscally responsible.

What ever happened to that?

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Up.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

DJIA 3.31% YTD a big move up from the previous week’s return of -1.75%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 5.22% up from the previous week 3.23%

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 3.24% YTD a big move up from last week’s -1.54%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.25% way up from last week’s 1.37%

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 6.19% YTD jumping way up from last week’s 0.52%

  • 1yr Rtn 6.64% also a big jump up from last week’s 1.04%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 -0.15% YTD up but still down from last week’s -3.05%

  • 1yr Rtn -0.70% still in minus-land from last week’s -1.85%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

Two weeks ago, (11/15/18), the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 0.68%, according to Lipper. On Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, that average had increase a bit to 0.99%.

That figure happens to be way down from the 3.33% average return posted  three weeks ago on Nov. 18, 2018.

In an effort to put a positive spin on things—as in keeping fund investors thinking longer term rather that short term—2 years ago, (11/3/16-11/29/18) the average fund under this heading had a total return of 9.50%.

Then look back 3 and 5 years and the total return figure changes form 8.39% and 7.23% respectively.

East to see that clearly, things change.

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 New Year: A New Franchise Career

With a New Year right around the corner comes new opportunity for those with an eye to change and who want to be their own boss. One way to do that is by entering into a franchise agreement with an already established franchise brand.

I ran across this piece by Marco Carbaio, published in TheBalance.com, titled, “What’s the Best Franchise to Own?”

Here’s a quick directly-from-the-horses-mouth  look at a few of the picks from that piece that focused on the best 2017 franchises to own and selected by the pros at The Balance Small Business:

  • 7-Eleven Inc

This well-known brand can trace its origin back to 1927. In 2017, it had over 60,000 franchised location stores both within and outside the US. As a franchisee, the initial investment capital is as low as $37,200 and the highest is $1,635,200. The net worth requirement is between $100,000 and $250,000 while the liquid cash requirement  needed is between $50,000 and $150,000.

  • McDonald’s

McDonald’s has been franchised for the last 62 years and has over 30,000 locations. To get into this game prospective franchisees takes an initial franchising fee of $45,000 while the initial total investment capital is between $1,008,000 and $2,214,080. Also required is liquid cash of $500,000. Every year franchisees pay a 4 percent annual royalty fees on all the sales made.

  • The UPS Store

Founded in 1980. The UPS Store now has about 6,000 franchises.. The initial investment required to franchise is between $177,955 and $402,995. Your net worth requirement is $150,000 while the liquid cash requirement is $60,000. The initial franchising fee is $29,950 and the ongoing royalty fee is 5 percent.

  • Visiting Angels

The franchise fee for this home care franchise begins at $43,750. The royalty fees are 3.5 percent of the total revenues. If you make more money in terms of revenues, you get a discount and will then  pay 2.5 percent of the total revenues. You will also be involved in webinar teleconferences, annual conferences and trainings, being advertised online, TV ad over the radio and also receive home care leads on a monthly basis

The link for the piece is this: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/what-is-the-best-franchise-to-own-4150743

 

-30-

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Nov.24, 2018

IMG_8271

  • Historic sense

Here’s something to think about from  Wall Street journalist and author Jonathan Clements’ weekly news blog, HumbleDollar:The View From Here:

“History suggests that, five years from now, share prices will be no lower than they are today , and 10 years from now they’ll be handsomely higher. But at times like this, history can be scant comfort.”

So true, Jonathan.

But let me add to that: When I was in the broker biz, the historic data showed way back then that any risks to investing in equities were equalized after 20 years.

I like Jonathan’s data better.

One final reminder: No one has ever gone broke taking the profits their stocks had rewarded them with.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

P.U.

If you were looking for good news re the performance of the major indices, the one place you could look is at  1-year returns. With the exception of the Russell 2000, all three others have 1-year returns that closed the week in positive territory.

As for the Thanksgiving week historic returns….forgetabout’em. Turkeys every where on Wall Street.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018.

DJIA -1.75% YTD back down in minus-land from the previous week’s return of 2.81%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 3.23% way down from the previous week 8.33%

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 -1,54% YTD way down and in minus-land from last week’s 2.34%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 1.37% way down from last week’s 6.10%

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 0.52% YTD way down from last week’s 4.99%

  • 1yr Rtn 1.04% way down from last week’s 6.69%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 -3.05% YTD down more from last week’s -0.52%

  • 1yr Rtn -1.85%3% down into minus-land from last week’s 2.73%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

A Repeat from last week:

Slip sliding away…..

At the close of business on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 0.68%—- way down from the previous week’s figure of 3.33%, according to Lipper.

But, compare that to what the average year-to-date return was for World Equity Funds, down in minus-land almost 10% (-9.96% to be exact) and our home grown based equity fund returns don’t look so bad.

Most deeply hit among World Fund types were India Region Funds, -17.97%, China Region Funds, -15.48%, and Pacific Ex-Japan Funds, -14.85%.

And I remember when earlier this year and about this same time last year, talking heads were expecting world funds to way outperform our US markets. Ooops.

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.

 

  • Warren Buffett likes these dividend-paying stocks

Fans of this old man investor might enjoy learning that Warren Buffett likes dividend- paying stocks—particularly those with respectable dividend yields.

Last week, Investors’ Business Daily, published a piece about five stocks in Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio. Even though Berkshire Hathaway is down, good guess the prices on some, any or all of these companies may be too but the good news here means their dividend yields could be even sweeter.

The five stocks are:

-Kraft Heinz Stock (KHC), dividend yield 4.8%.

-Store Capital (STOR), dividend yield 4.5%

-General Motors (GM), dividend yield 4.3%

-Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), dividend yield 4.3%

-Verizon (VZ), dividend yield 4%.

.-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Nov.17, 2018

scan0022                Thanksgiving at grandma’s 1976.

  • Thanksgiving

If there were only one day each year I could pick to celebrate, it would be Thanksgiving.

No matter what one’s race, income level, age, gender, faith affiliation, political point of view, height, weight, married, single, with or without children or immediate family, it’s the one day when each of us can take the time to slow down, breathe deeply and think about all the things we have to be thankful for.

Whether it’s simply the fact that we are giving thanks for being alive, or celebrating our various good or bad fortunes, the value in giving thanks is as intimate and personal a gesture as mindful prayer is: Giving thanks transcends the material and enriches our souls in incalculable almost inconceivable ways.

So be thankful.  It’s a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

  • Market Quick Glance

As you might expect, index returns weren’t so hot last week with both the DJIA and S&P 500 losing strength and returning to about half of what their year-to-date returns were two weeks ago.

For anyone curious about how past markets have performed during Thanksgiving week, the historic news is that typically it’s been  a good week for stocks with the S&P 500 gaining an average of 0.6% during the week, according to the Bespoke Investment Group. Here’s a chart from them showing the data:

IMG_6311

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018.

DJIA 2.81% YTD down from the previous week’s return of 5.14%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 8.33% from the previous week 10.77 %

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 2.34% YTD way up from last week’s 4.02%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 6.10% down from last week’s 7.60%

The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. The previous closing high was reached on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50.

 

-NASDAQ 4.99% YTD way down from last week’s 7.29%

  • 1yr Rtn 6.69% up a bit from last week’s 9.73%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 -0.52% YTD back to underwater from last week’s 0.91%

  • 1yr Rtn 2.73% down a lot from last week’s 5.05%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

Slip sliding away…..

At the close of business on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 0.68%—- way down from the previous week’s figure of 3.33%, according to Lipper.

But, compare that to what the average year-to-date return was for World Equity Funds, down in minus-land almost 10% (-9.96% to be exact) and our home grown based equity fund returns don’t look so bad.

Most deeply hit among World Fund types were India Region Funds, -17.97%, China Region Funds, -15.48%, and Pacific Ex-Japan Funds, -14.85%.

And I remember when earlier this year and about this same time last year, talking heads were expecting world funds to way outperform our US markets. Ooops.

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.

 

  • Predictions

It’s started.

Talking heads typically begin mouthing off about what their next year market predictions are right after Thanksgiving.

I’ve read a couple, so far. Some see the S&P 500 hitting 3,000. Others figure a recession is on the way. Still others say it’s gonna be a bad year for equities; a good year for fixed-income.

Personally, at this point in time, I don’t have an inkling of what’s to come in 2019.

But one thing I do know for sure—and can guarantee—it’s that tax time is right around the corner. Making sure your investment ducks are in a row and what’s been bought and sold is clearly documented.

Trump’s tax plan will no doubt disappoint  millions of individual investors and delight a few. To help plan your tax future, take a look at IRS Publication 5307, Tax Reform: Basics for individuals and Families.

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Nov.10, 2018

IMG_6241

  • Your kids’ tomorrow incomes

My parents, both long gone, were part of a generation that veteran news broadcaster and journalist Tom Brokaw referred to as The Greatest Generation in his book by that same title.

While today we honor the many millions who lost their lives in World War 1, the children born after that war that ened  100 years ago on November 11, 1918,  pretty much spawned The Greatest Generation—a generation that grew up to fight in another war, World War 11.

Those who came home after WW11 returned to a country filled with opportunity and promise— economic opportunity that rewarded anyone willing to work and to save for their futures. And, in many cases, to build an inheritance for their offspring.

You  didn’t have to be a Vet, or an Ivy League or Big 10 college graduate to partake in the majority of those economic opportunities. Pretty much all a person had to do was to show up for work,  work one job and to save for his or her future.

But that was then; this is now. And, over the last 50 years, the odds of Baby Boomer’s kids’ earning more than their Greatest Generation parents have has been losing ground.

According to a recent Bloomberg.com Opinion piece, “Only about half of 30-year-olds now make more money than their parents did at a similar age.”

Although it’s true that an individual’s highest earning years come later in their life, typically after age 50, the odds of your adult children and grandchildren having more money by the time they reach retirement age than you did/have is far from a given.

Today’s economy isn’t our parent’s economy. While there are many who boast about how great the economy is, it really isn’t. It’s a selective economy that rewards a few and not the majority.

Want your kids, grandkids and their kids to enjoy personal economic opportunities? Teach them to live  below their means—if that’s possible.

  • Market Quick Glance

For a change, it was an up week for index returns with gains in the year-to-date as well as the 1-year returns for all of the four major indices followed here.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Nov. 9, 2018.

DJIA 5.14% YTD way up from the previous week’s return of 2.23%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 10.77% up a lot from the previous week 7.46 %

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 4.02% YTD way up from last week’s 1.85%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.60% up from last week’s 5.55%

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 7.29% YTD up from last week’s 6.57%

  • 1yr Rtn 9.73% up a bit from last week’s 9.56%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 0.91% YTD up from last week’s 0.81%

  • 1yr Rtn 5.05% a jump up from last week’s 3.44%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

The good news is: At the close of business on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 3.33%. That’s up from last week’s 1.37%, according to Lipper.

So what’s up with the performances of the 25 largest equity funds around? Well, y-to-date 10 of the 25 were sporting returns within the 6% range; 7 had returns that fell into minus territory; and the only 1 had a double-digit return. That was the Investco QQ Trust 1—it’s return 12.70%.

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.

 

  • Salute A Veteran

Please take the time today to recall, re-read or re-educate yourself to what caused World War 1 and then World War 11.

Then, take a moment to think about —and salute–those in your family or circle of friends who lost their lives while serving their country and those serving today. It’s the right thing to do.

-30-

 

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Nov. 3, 2018

 

  • Our Economy

I know more than one investor who doesn’t believe the figures emphasizing how great our economy is, that the unemployment rate is as low as is  publicized and that all on Wall Street is hunky dory.

So in search of some easy to understand market commentary, I’ve turned to Cresset Wealth Advisors November 2018 Market Review.

Here is what Cresset’s CFA, Jack Ablin, wrote in it re the economy: “The US economy has been growing at a rate that is above potential. Its 2.5% potential GDP growth rate is derived from 0.7% labor force growth plus a 1.8% (generous) productivity rate. Current 3.5% annualized growth has been fueled by consumer demand. Government spending added 0.6% to growth, fixed investments flat-line.”

Re tariffs: “Tariff talk has had a deleterious impact on exports. This sector, which on average has added 0.5% to economic activity, dragged growth down 0.5% in Q2.”

The entire Cresset November Market Review is worth a read and available at cressetwealth.com. Check it out.

  • Market Quick Glance

It was a week that brought some year-to-date returns up from underwater for the DJIA, S&P 500 and the Russell 2000. Yahoo, for that. Whether that trend will continue, however, is still anybody’s guess.

But to cover our bases, lest we think the bull is back, here’s another look  at the following historic equity performance data from CNBC.com:

– Since World War II, the average correction for the S&P500 lasts 4 months and sees equities slide 13% before bottoming.

-Bear markets average a loss of 30.4% and last 13 months and takes stocks nearly 22 months, on average, to recover.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018.

 

DJIA 2.23% YTD up from the previous week’s return of -0.13%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 7.46% up from the previous week 5.50 %

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 1.85% YTD up from last week’s -0.56%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.55% up from last week’s 3.84%

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 6.57% YTD up a lot from last week’s 3.82%

  • 1yr Rtn 9.56% up a bit from last week’s 9.31%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 0.81% YTD up a lot from last week’s -3.37%

  • 1yr Rtn 3.44% also up a lot from last week’s -0.91%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

Equity funds have lost about half of their average year-to-date returns since October 18. And, at the close of business on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 1.37%, according to Lipper. That’s down from 2.36% reported on 10/18/18.

Where you want to have been invested most recently is in that large broad category of funds and not in funds that fall under the Sector Equity Funds heading— they are down at  -2.90% on average. Or in World Equity Funds, these babies are on average down at -9.46%.

World Income Funds have fared better, – 4.80% and Mixed Asset Funds -2.14% on average.

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.

 

  • Got money? Maybe

The end of the third quarter—that would be the end of September 30— Fidelity delivered some sweet news for its investors. For instance:

  • The average 401(k) balance hit a new high of $106,500, up 2.4% from Q2.
  • The average individual retirement account averaged $111,000, up 3.8% from Q2.
  • The number of 401(k) millionaires was up 41 percent from last year at the same time.
  • And, the number of IRA millionaires was up 25 percent from last year.

Hope these account balances continue to flourish for Fidelityites.

-30-

 

 

 

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Oct. 27, 2018

IMG_6072

 

  • Another look

Trump’s tax break, that helped the very very wealthy in America and corporate America, is heading in the direction of something other than the very great things it was supposed to do for the country and all of its citizens.

A couple of examples: The U.S. economy slowed in the third quarter. Additionally, revenues aren’t going to come anywhere close to covering the huge cost of Trump’s had-to-have tax plan as the federal budget deficit has exploded to $779 billion, roughly $300 billion more than estimated, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

And then there’s the stock market.

With the bears in charge, here are a few bear number tidbits worth keeping in mind from CNBC.com:

– Since World War II, the average correction for the S&P500 lasts 4 months and sees equities slide 13% before bottoming.

-Bear markets average a loss of 30.4% and last 13 months and takes stocks nearly 22 months, on average, to recover.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Well, what a week it was. The only investors I can think of who may have been happy and rewarded for last week’s performance of the DJIA and S&P500 were those who shorted their positions in them.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.

DJIA -0.13% YTD underwater from the previous week’s return of 2.93%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 5.50% way down from the previous week 9.85 %

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 -0.56% YTD way underwater from last week’s 3.52%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 3.84% way down more than half from last week’s 8.03%

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 3.82% YTD down a lot from last week’s 7.90%

  • 1yr Rtn 9.31% down from last week’s 12.78%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 -3.37% YTD big way down from last week’s 0.42%

  • 1yr Rtn -0.91% big down from last week’s 2.65%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

A repeat from last week:

At the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 18,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 2.36%, according to Lipper. That’s higher than the 1.13% average return posted one week prior.

While the average performance of the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was above water, that’s not been the case for the other types of equity funds that Lipper tracks.

So even though y-t-d numbers have improved slightly, the following broad categories of funds have y-t-d average performances that are still underwater.

Below is a comparison of the 10/18 total returns from the previous week’s numbers:

-Sector Equity Funds, on 10/18 enjoyed an average return of -1.59, an improved from the previous week of -2.51%

-World Equity Funds, an average return of -9.30, a bit of an improvement from the prior week’s return of -9.73%

-Mixed Asset Funds, -1.61% is an improvement from the prior week’s return of -2.11%

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, now- 0.67% is an improvement from prior week’s average return of -0.80%

-World Income Funds, -4.41% is an improvement from the prior week’s average return of-4.86%.

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.

 

  • Up In Smoke

If you bought into the rush of last week’s move by Canada to legalize pot, hopefully you didn’t bet the farm expecting to make a quick bundle.

Here’s what I mean; Below are the 52-week highs and lows of a few popular pot stocks along with where they closed on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.

-Tilray ( TLRY), although it had gained 745% since its IPO in July, its 52-wk price range has gone from $20.10 to $300 per share. On Friday, the stock closed at $108.08.

-MedMen Enterprises, (MMNFF) has moved between a low of $2.61 a share to a high of $7.67 over the past 52 weeks. It closed on Friday at $4.67.

-Canopy Growth Corp (CGC) has a 52-week per share range of $16.74 to $59.25. On Friday it closed at $38.70 per share.

No new highs here.

 

-30-

 

 

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Oct. 20, 2018

IMG_1801

  • Caution Ahead

When it comes to taking our short term investing clues from talking heads, no matter what’s happening in the market for every one whose head nods up and down another shakes theirs side to side.

So in this world of nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen day-to-day, if you were to take a step back and look out over the past few months some basic clues do show their heads and ought not be overlooked.

For openers, don’t discount the fact that the major indices are and have been losing ground since reaching new all-time highs in August and September.  Or, that the Fed has increased interest rates three times thus far this year with one more increase expected in December. Both represent ouches of sorts for equities.

As a result, Jeremy Siegel, professor of finance at Wharton, who typically wears a bull’s cap, is now waving a yellow caution flag to investors with respect to  the markets performances through this year and in 2019.

Re a rising interest rate environment, Cresset Wealth Advisors Jack Ablin said: “ It is going to put some headwind on risk-taking which of course has enjoyed “only-child’ stature for the last 10 years.”

Through in the fact that America’s national debt has balooned,  things on Wall Street aren’t as rosey as some heads would like us to believe.

That said, with  caution in the wind, look out five or 10 years from now, and if we haven’t accidentially blown ourselves up or been invaded by aliens who don’t care about money or investing, interest rates and the major equity indices ought to be higher than they currently are. Perhaps.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Round and around and around she goes and where she stops nobody knows.

Depending upon the time of day or the day of the week you decide to check in on what’s happening in the markets, the performance results found could either be pleasing or confounding.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

DJIA 2.93% YTD up a tad from previous week’s return of 2.51%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 9.85% down again from the previous week 10.94 %

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 3.52 % YTD up a hair from last week’s 3.50%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 8.03% down from last week’s 8.48%

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 7.90% YTD down from last week’s 8.60%

  • 1yr Rtn 12.78% down from last week’s 13.74%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 0.43% YTD down from last week’s 0.73% (it was over 10% two weeks ago)

  • 1yr Rtn 2.65% down from last week’s 2.76%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

The market moved up a bit and that positive move was reflected within the mutual fund world.

At the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 18,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 2.36%, according to Lipper. That’s higher than the 1.13% average return posted one week prior.

While the average performance of the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was above water, that’s not been the case for the other types of equity funds that Lipper tracks.

So even though y-t-d numbers have improved slightly, the following broad categories of funds have y-t-d average performances that are still underwater.

Below is a comparison of the 10/18 total returns from the previous week’s numbers:

-Sector Equity Funds, on 10/18 enjoyed an average return of -1.59, and improved from the previous week of -2.51%

-World Equity Funds, an average return of -9.30, a bit of an improvement from the prior week’s return of -9.73%

-Mixed Asset Funds, -1.61% is an improvement from the prior week’s return of -2.11%

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, now- 0.67% is an improvement from prior week’s average return of -0.80%

-World Income Funds, -4.41% is an improvement from the prior week’s average return of-4.86%.

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.

 

  • City Opportunities

If San Francisco and New York City are your kind of cities, a report of Glassdoor shows they don’t necessarily offer the best prospects for jobs—and we all know that the cost of living in either can be astronomical.

On the other hand, Glassdoor results show that it’s the smaller cities where work can be found. Add to that the bonus of a lower cost of living it all the makes smaller cities worth looking into.

In case you’re interested, here are the top five cities in Glassdoor’s list of the 25 best cities for jobs in 2018:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Louis, MO
  3. Indianapolis, IN
  4. Cincinnati, OH
  5. Hartford, CT

-30-

 

 

POCKETBOOK: Week Ending Oct. 13, 2018

  • IMG_6113
    Worth a look and a reminder.
  • Time to get high?

On Wednesday, October 17, Canada will legalize recreational marijuana. That’s big news for anyone who isn’t afraid of sin stocks, and, who is willing to take a chance on a growing, ever-changing, speculative and bottom line risky business.

According to a Bloomberg piece on Yahoo!Finance.com, there are 135 publicly traded pot companies in Canada. How many will be around in a year from now is anybody’s guess. My guess is that figure will be halved. And of that half, maybe 6-10 worth a look.

That said, here is a small sampling of some of the largest pot companies around in no particular order and without recommending: Tilray ( TLRY), it’s up 745% since it IPO in July; Canopy Growth Corp (CGC); Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACBFF); Aphria Inc.; Cronos Group Inc. (CRON); and Hexo Corp. (HYYDF).

These companies, and many more,  need to be seriously and thoroughly researched before investing even a nickel-bag’s worth of your hard-earned cash into as there is much much more to each of them than meets the eye.

Bottom line: Stoners would be wise not to participate in –what could be a huge rush into the cannabis market– until they are clear-headed.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Oh boy. If stocks continue in last week’s downward direction you can pretty much kiss this year’s profits goodbye. Particularly, if you’re an index investor.

So even though a new high was reached for the DJIA on Oct. 3, 2018, that average lost big time y-t-d performance ground when compared to its previous week’s performance.

Lower performance figures for the y-t-d figures were also true for the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ—both losing nearly half of their performance returns for 2018.

But it was the Russell 2000 that experienced the biggest hit–it’s y-t-d figure is nearly flat. Ouch.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.

DJIA 2.51% YTD way down again from previous week’s return of 6.99%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 10.94% way down again from the previous week 16.12 %

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 3.50 % YTD down and about ½ of what it was re last week’s 7.93%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 8.48% way down from last week’s 13.07%

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 8.60% YTD way down from last week’s 12.82% (1/2 of what it was in late September.)

  • 1yr Rtn 13.74% way way down from last week’s 18.27% (nearly ½ of what it was in late September.)

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.

 

-Russell 2000 0.73% YTD hugely down from last week’s 6.29% (it was over 10% two weeks ago)

  • 1yr Rtn 2.76% way way down from last week’s 7.94%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

As you no doubt expected, equity funds lost ground last week, too.

How much? Well, at the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 11,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 1.13%, according to Lipper.

That’s not much to crow about and makes fixed-income, such as short-term CD investing, look pretty attractive: Little risk and short-term money lockup time always looks attractive when equity markets dive.

Other broad Lipper headings ended last week like this:

-Sector Equity Funds, -2.51%

-World Equity Funds, -9.73%

-Mixed Asset Funds, -2.11%

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds, -0.80%

-World Income Funds, -4.86%.

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.

 

  • Save Your Self

According to a recent CNBC.com business news story relying on data from the FDIC, the top 1 percent of earners have $113 million in their banking and retirement accounts. Their average account balances translates to $2.5 million. Oh my.

On the other hand, the bottom 20 percent of earners have an average of $8,720 saved with a median amount saved of $0.

A more specific look at wage earner savings results looks like this:

-Top 10%–average household with savings, $989,430. Median households with savings, $173,860.

-60 to 79.9%—average household with savings, $148,600. Median households with savings, $96,800.

-40 to 59.9%—average household with savings, $82,730. Median households with savings, $54,930.

-20 to 39.9%—average household with savings,$46,950. Median households with savings, $26,450.

-Bottom 20%—average household with savings, $22,600. Median households with savings, $0.

Speaking from experience, it takes a yacht load of money to live life after you’ve passed age 70. Even with an average Social Security check in the neighborhood of $1,300 a month or a plump one of over $2,000 coming in—money flies out of one’s pocketbook, savings and investment accounts faster than you can imagine.

Believe me on that one.

 

-30-