Tag Archives: allaboutfunds

POCKETBOOK: Week ending April 13, 2017

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• Pay me more

Sometimes I am totally baffled by the head-in-the-sand and sheer stupidity of many who make their  living on Wall Street, in Washington, the insurance industry, corporate America, etc.,  regarding wages.

Recently I read a headline in the financial section of an online source that hoped to draw readers in by listing the reasons why people don’t save enough money for their retirement.

The headline brought out a big Homer Simpson “D’oh” in me. Why? Because I see the answer as clear as the nose on my face.

If it isn’t clear to you, let me explain: The reason is because wages—for those with a job– still stink. And that translates into the simple reality that people aren’t bringing home a paycheck fat enough to cover monthly expenses never mind having enough to save for retirement. Many of whom, btw, live paycheck to paycheck, couldn’t handle a family emergency expense of 500 bucks and have no retirement account of any sort.

Thinking everybody has enough money to save for their retirement is just plain ignorant. About as ignorant as thinking that keeping healthy is a personal choice—no genetics involved there.

I’m not sure why the not-enough-money thing is so hard for those in corporate America, Congress, etc. to get. Unless, of course, keeping your company’s shareholders happy has become more important that paying a decent living wage to the individuals who keep your business in business. Or perhaps pure greed is behind it all. But we all know that greed has never made a country—or the citizens living in it— great.

It’s time for those who decide pay scales to wake up. Wages not keeping up with the cost of living isn’t a new story. It’s decades old. And unless serious changes are made, won’t be going away anytime soon.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Stock indices were all down at the close of this past 4-day week on Wall Street. Biggest hit was to the Russell 2000—its 1-year performance closed under water. We haven’t seen that kind of year-to-date return in more weeks than many would like to mention.

Re the markets, iIf you haven’t realized it by now, Americans don’t like wars. Or any worries or concerns about the likelihood of one anywhere in the world that the US might be involved or participate in.

And if you haven’t realized it by now, our current president has a bullying nature that some see as a positive while others find his  behavior as undermining our country’s security.

So, even though earnings reports may be strong in some sectors, nothing is stronger than fear. Realized. Unrealized. Made up. Or in-your-face.

These are delicate times. Invest carefully.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high, according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending  Thursday, April 13, 2017.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +3.49% YTD, down from last week’s 4.52%

  • 1yr Rtn +14.10% down from last week’s 17.75%

The DJIA reached an all-time high of 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.

 

-S&P 500 +4.03 YTD down from last week’s 5.21%

  • 1yr Rtn +11.82% down from last week’s +15.36%

The S&P 500 reached an all-time high of 2,400.98 on March 1, 2017.

 

-NASDAQ +7.84% YTD down from last week’s +9.19%

  • 1yr Rtn +17.37% down from last week’s 21.23%

The Nasdaq reached its all-time high of 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.

 

–Russell 2000 YTD  -0.88% way down from last week’s +0.55%%

  • 1yr Rtn +19.20% down  from last week’s +24.87 %

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of 1, 414.82 on March 1, 2017.

 

-Mutual funds

Ouch.

At the close of business on Thursday, April 13,2017, the average total return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds closed at 2.98%, down from last week’s 4.17% return, according to Lipper.

Of the 20 different fund types that fall under the broad U.S. Diversified Fund heading, for the first time this year there wasn’t one group reporting a double-digit year-to-date average return. Top and bottom fund types include Equity Leveraged Funds, up on average 8.95% and Dedicated Short Bias, -6.75%.

Even World Equity Funds lost ground. The average fund under this heading was +8.21% down from last week’s 8.59%.

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 cat is out of the bag

There are no words to  excuse the violent behavior that grown adults imposed on United Airlines passenger Dr. David Dao last week. Dr. Dao’s injuries include a broken nose, teeth knocked out, a concussion and the impossible to gage long-term trauma he will suffer.

One of the results of that horrible encounter is that airlines will pay.

No, I’m not speaking of the lawsuit Dr. Dao will likely bring but the pretty much kept-to-a-secret amount of money airlines would pay to passengers willing to give up their seat on overbooked flights.

On the day of the incident, United offered passengers $400 and a free night in a hotel if they chose to take a later flight, according to Graffiotech.com.

Turns out, the cap on dollars offered within the industry is $1,350.

Who knew?

I’m guessing not many passengers.  If they had  been offered a four-figure amount to get off that plane, perhaps that incident would not have happened. Perhaps.

As a result of this better-not-ever-happen-again incident, Delta Air Lines has just upped the please-take-another-flight-offer  ante: According to The Associated Press, Delta gate agents can now offer up to $2000 to passengers choosing to take another flight—that’s up from $800. And better yet, Delta supervisors can now offer up to $9,950—up from 1350.

Perhaps, sums like that will be attractive enough to passengers and make a change of plans more palatable for all concerned.

We shall see.

 

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POCKETBOOK:Week ending March 4, 2017

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  • A winning high in no time at all.

 It only took 24 days for the DJIA to gain 1000 points  when it closed for the first time over 2100.

The only other time that has happened in the history of the DJIA was in 1999 when the Dow rose from 10,000 to 11,000. And that was during the internet boom, according to CBSMoneyWatch.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

 More ups. More records. Even a birthday…..

Let’s begin with the birthday. On Saturday, March 4, 2017, the S&P 500—-the world’s biggest stock market index—-turned 60!

Investors turn to the S&P 500 index because it provides them with a better overall look at how large-cap stocks are doing than the snapshot the 30 stocks that make up the DJIA do.

Back to the mores….last week  still more highs for the major indices were reached as the  week  came to a close. Details below.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending March 3, 2017.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 6.29% YTD, up from last week’s 5.36%

  • 1yr Rtn +23.97% down from last week’s 26.31%

The DJIA reached a 52-week high of 21,169.11 on March 3, 2017. (Previous all-time high of 20,840.7 was reached on Feb. 23, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +6.44% YTD up from last week’s 5.74%

  • 1yr Rtn +19.55% down from last week’s +22.67 %

The S&P 500 reached a 52-week high of 2,400.98 on March 1, 2017. (Previous all-time high of 2,368.26 was reached on Feb. 23, 2017.)

 

-NASDAQ +9.06% YTD up from last week’s +8.59%

  • 1yr Rtn +24.71% down a lot from last week’s 28.68%

The Nasdaq reached a 52-week high and its all-time of 5,911,79 on March 1, 2017. (Previous all-time high of of 5,867.89 was reached on Feb. 21, 2017.)

 

–Russell 2000 +2,73 YTD% down a hair from last week’s +2.76 %

  • 1yr Rtn +29.56% down considerably from last week’s +36.44 %

The Russell 2000 reached its 52-week high and its all time high of 1, 414.82 on March 1, 2017.( Previous all-time high of 1,410.04 was reached on on Feb.21, 2107.)

 

-Mutual funds

Still on the upswing.

The average total return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds closed up at 5.22% at the close of business on Thursday, March 2, 2017, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s close of 4.82%.

World Equity Funds were up on average 6.16% with India Region and Latin American Funds continuing to lead the way— up 11.97% and 10.41% respectively, on average.

Looking at the 25 largest mutual funds around (based upon assets), PowerSharesQQQ Trust1 was up the most at 10.50% year-to-date, as of March 2, 2107. Next in performance line  iShares Russ 1000 Gr ETF, up 8.43% and then the American Funds Growth:A, up 7.68%.

The puniest returns out of this group were seen in funds with substantial fixed-income holdings: As in the iShares: Core US Agg Bond fund, up 0.18; the DoubleLine: Total Return; I shares, up 0.24%; and the Met West: Total Return up 0.33%.

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.

 

  • Like defense?

If you’re a believer that the new administration is going to increase defense spending big time in the near future, Morningstar covers a half-dozen defence contractor companies that you might to investigate as well.

The Chicago-based investment research group considers these companies as “fairly valued to overvalued” and include Lockheed Martin (LMT); Northrop Grumman (NOC); Raytheon (RTN); General Dynamics (GD); Boeing (BA) and L3 Technologies (LLL).

Make sure to do your own research and homework before investing in these companies. Or anything, for that matter.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Feb. 4, 2017

  • img_1539REPEAT: Markets hate uncertainty

This was the opening piece in last week’s POCKETBOOK but it’s worth rereading particularly given the decisions, actions and tweets of President Trump over the past week.

Funny thing about the stock market: On the one hand it looks ahead, on the other it doesn’t like uncertainty. Or social unrest and there is plenty of that going on.

So, with a new President in town, and one who takes bold actions and is hard to figure, investors would be wise to expect a fair amount of market volatility going forward. Also, that life is going to be more expensive on a number of fronts for individuals and the country.

Re the country, expect more debt..

Even though the GOP is no fan of debt, President Trump has been called the King of Debt. Which is okay when your kingdom is a privately held corporation. But not so okay when you are a public servant.

  • Market Quick Glance

Once again the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over 20,000 and at 20,071.46 on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Nonetheless, the Dow lost ground over the week from its previous week’s close —and— for the past year.

Looking at just the 1-year returns, the Russell 2000 appears to have been the place to be: Up over 36% for the past year. But numbers can be deceiving—the Russell 2000 hit its all time high in December 2016 unlike the other three indices followed here. Each of them reached their new highs in January.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices at the close of business on Friday, Feb. 3, according to CNBC.com. (I’ve changed sources here because Bloomberg.com has changed its format and, in my opinion, the new site, its look and the changes for the free user are horrible.)

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 1.56% YTD, down a bit from last week’s 1.78%

  • 1yr Rtn +22.86% down from last week’s 25.32%

The DJIA reached its all time high of 20,125.58 on 1/26/17

 

-S&P 500 +2.62% YTD up a bit from last week’s 2.60% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +20.86% down bit last week’s 20.86%

The S&P 500 reached its all time high of 2,300.99 on 1/26/17

 

-NASDAQ +5.27% YTD up a bit from last week’s 5.20%

  • 1yr Rtn +25.81% way up from last week’s 24.36%

The Nasdaq reached its all time high of 5,669.61 on 1/26/17

 

–Russell 2000 +1.53% up from last week’s +1.05%

  • 1yr Rtn +36.38% up from last week’s 34.36%

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of1,392.71 on 12/9/16

 

-Mutual funds

A bit of a downer as far as the average goes for the 8,479 funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Fund umbrella. At the close of business on Thursday, Feb.2, 2017 the average year-to-date return for those funds was 1.81%, according to Lipper. That was down the previous week’s 2.61% average.

Under that broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading, Equity Leverage Funds which were hotsy totsy the week before lost ground from their up 7.52% average with  YTD returns now at  5.59%. Next in performance were Large-Cap Growth Funds up 4.27% followed by Multi-Cap Growth Funds, up 4.14%.

Precious Metals Equity Funds scored the highest under the Sector Fund heading, up 17.38% on average. The average YTD return for the 2,307 funds under the Sector Fund heading was up 2.48%.

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.

 

  • Let’s talk unemployment and say “Thank You, Obama.”

When it comes to the unemployed, there are fewer of them now (on record) than there were seven years ago.

Jon Erlichman, a journalist for Fortune, the Business News Network and a number of other outlets, posted the U.S Unemployment Rates based on end of January figures.

In a nutshell, they reveal that at the end of Jan. 2010 the unemployment rate was 9.8%—at the end of Jan. 2017, that rate stood at 4.8%.

Thank you, President Obama.

The bar has now been set for President Trump, who took office officially on Jan. 20, 2017.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Jan.28, 2017

  • 7be6974a-a70c-449c-b75f-92ef077bf8a2 Markets hate uncertainty

Funny thing about the stock market: On the one hand it looks ahead, on the other it doesn’t like uncertainty. Or, social unrest and there is plenty of that going on.

So, with a new President in town, and one who takes bold actions and is hard to figure, investors would be wise to expect a fair amount of market volatility going forward. Also, that life is going to be more expensive on a number of fronts for individuals and the country.

Re the country, expect more debt.

Even though the GOP is no fan of debt, President Trump has been called the King of Debt. Which is okay when your kingdom is a privately held corporation. But not so okay when you are a public servant.

  • Market Quick Glance

It was a week of ups and downs and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing over 20,000. How long the DJIA stays at the level—and continues upward– is anybody’s guess.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices at the close of business on Friday, Jan. 27, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 1.78% YTD up from last week’s 0.43%

  • 1yr Rtn +25.32% down from last week’s 26.53%

P/E Ratio 18.55 down from last week’s 18.66

 

-S&P 500 +2.60% YTD up from last week’s 1.55% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +20.86% down from last week’s 21.73%

P/E Ratio 21.28 down a tad from last week’s 21.22

 

-NASDAQ +5.20% YTD up from last week’s 3.23%

  • 1yr Rtn +24.36% up from last week’s 22.65%

P/E Ratio 34.91 up from last week’s 34.39

 

–Russell 2000 +1.05% way up from last week’s -0.35%

  • 1yr Rtn +34.36% down a bit from last week’s 34.44%

P/E Ratio 48.27 up from last week’s 49.19

 

-Mutual funds

The average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund ended the week up with a year-to-date return of 2.61% at the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, according to Lipper.

Under that broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading, it was Dedicated Short Bias Funds that lost the most, down on average 5.58%.They were followed by Alternative Equity Market Neutral funds, down 0.08%.

On the plus side, Equity Leverage Funds were up 7.52% nearly double the previous week return of 3.59%. Next in performance were Large-Cap Growth Funds up 4.81% followed by Multi-Cap Growth Funds, up 4.60%.

The average Sector Fund was up 2.73% up from 1.43%; World Equity Fund up 4.47% from 2.55%; and Mixed Asset Funds doubled their average return in a week to close at 2.10% from last Thursday’s close of 1%.

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.

  • Actions have consequences

If there is one thing that President Trump’s slew of executive orders signed during his first full week in office has shown everyone,  it is that actions have consequences. They always have. They always will. Unfortunately the consequences part of that equation never really shows its head until after an action has taken place.

Take the executive order signed on Friday to stop travelers from seven countries coming to America. BTW, none of those countries were places that Trump has business relationships.

Clearly that action had political, emotional and economic consequences felt around the globe. I’m not sure if the administration had anticipated any of those consequences but am certain travelers and the general public did not.

Or the order signed to build a wall along the U.S. and Mexican border. One of its many consequences will be its cost.

One of the curious things about executive orders—other than their extraordinary power– is that when you really begin to think about them as actions, the first question a reasoning person has to ask themselves is “Why was it put in place?” and the second, “What purpose will it/they actually serve?”

Word is President Trump has a bunch of executive orders he is prepared to present and sign. As for what the consequences of each of those actions will be, the answer is: We shall see.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Jan.21, 2017

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•Bookies bets and recession realities

Wall Streeters aren’t the only ones who consider odds. Turns out the gambling world does too. According to Paddy Power, an online betting site, the odds of Trump not completing a full term as President of the United States is 7 to 4.

Additionally, the odds of Trump being impeached or forced to resign are 4 to 2; to split from Melania in 2017, 16 to 1; and to paint the entire White House gold, 500 to 1.

On that last point, Trump has made quite a dent with that gold thing. Seems this golden-haired guy has already had gold curtains installed in the Oval Office along with a gold rug and who knows where else you’ll find his golden touch.

While gold may be his thing, color the entire economic picture of the United States of America gray as the likelihood of a Trump recession during his tenure in office is 100 %.

As I wrote a few weeks back, there has been a recession during every single Republican president’s administration since World War II.

  • Market Quick Glance

In case you’ve forgotten, there were only 4 trading days last week—Monday was the Martin Luther King holiday and markets were closed. Oh, and there was the inauguration of our 45th President–a holiday for some.

So it was a four-day Wall Street week and as it turned out, not a great one for investors with the indices all  closing  lower than they had the week previous.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices  on Friday, Jan. 20, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 0.43% YTD down from last week’s 1.07%.

  • 1yr Rtn +26.53% up from last week’s 23.63%.

P/E Ratio 18.66 up from last week’s 18.80.

 

-S&P 500 +1.55% YTD down from last week’s 1.67%.

  • 1yr Rtn +21.73% down from last week’s +23.63%.

P/E Ratio 21.22 up from last week’s 20.36.

 

-NASDAQ +3.23 YTD down from last week’s3.57%.

  • 1yr Rtn +22.65% down from last week’s 25.87%.

P/E Ratio 34.39 down from last week’s 34.47.

 

-Russell 2000 -0.35%YTD way down from last week’s +1.13%

  • 1yr Rtn +34.44% down from last week’s +38.0%.

P/E Ratio 48.13 down from last week’s 49.19.

 

-Mutual funds

Average year-to-date returns were lower at the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, as the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund ended the week up 0.94%, according to Lipper ( it closed on 1/12/17 at 1.38%).

Even Equity Leverage Funds were off at 3.59% from the previous week’s  4.62% average return. Large-Cap Growth Funds were a tad off at 3.11% from their 1/12/17 showing of 3.13%.

The average year-to-date  Sector Fund was up 1.43%; World Equity Fund up 2.55%; and Mixed Asset Funds ahead by 1%.

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.

  • Fidelity stock fund managers and the stocks they like.

Ever now and then I get  an email from Jim Lowell, editor of Fidelity Investor, an investor advice newsletter.

In the one received on Jan. 22, he listed Fidelity’s Top 20 Favorite Stocks that he wrote were

“ the most owned, and hence most liked, by Fidelity’s top managers.”

While I can’t verify that. Or, don’t know the date when the list was compiled or when they were gleaned precisely from where, or if those holdings are still in portfolios, I did find the list interesting and thought you might too.

With that in mind, the list of 20 includes:

#1) Alphabet (GOOG)

#2)Apple(APPL)

#3) Facebook (FB)

#4) Amazon (AMZN)

#5) iShares ETFs

#6) Microsoft (MSFT)

#7) Berkshire Hathaway (BRK):

#8) Visa (V)

#9) UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

#10) Medtronic (MDT)

#11) Salesforce (CRM)

#12) Amgen Inc. (AMGN)

#13) NVIDIA Corp (NVDA)

#14) JP Morgan Chase (JPM)

#15) Wells Fargo (WFC)

#16) Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI)

#17) Home Depot (HD)

#18) Chevron (CVX)

#19) MasterCard Inc. (MA)

#20) QUALCOMM Inc. (QCOM)

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Nov. 4, 2016

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  • Vote! Even if it’s at the graveyard.

I’m a big believer in exercising my right as a U.S. citizen to vote.

Ya sure the idea that the Electoral College winds up with the biggest say when it comes to who actually becomes president adds a wrinkle of its own but even so, never forget that my vote –your vote—everyone’s vote— counts. No matter if it was sent in by mail or done in person during early voting days or on Election Day.

That said, last week I learned about a polling location  I would never would have believed was real until I researched it: Graveyards .

Okay, not really in the graveyard–although aren’t there bunches of jokes about the dead voting? But I digress.

Apparently in states like Alabama or Indiana it’s not all that unusual to have the living show up to vote at graveyards—I mean at cemeteries.

Polling spots located at a designated cemetery are, and have been, very real official spots where the upright, breathing, and those with the proper ID may go to place their votes provided that’s the voter’s designated voting location.

Really. And you thought polling locations were just schools, or community centers, or fire stations or libraries, etc.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Markets don’t like uncertainty. Never have. Never will. As a result, this contentious presidential campaign has shown an ugly side that has impacted stocks and bond prices all around the globe. The result? The indices have basically been on a downward slide for weeks now— and last week was no different.

At this point in time, it’s anybody’s guess as to how the markets will react to the Tuesday’s election results. Or, whether the indices will end the year in positive or negative territory. One thing we do know, however, is how they fared the last week.

On that note, below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices along with their respective P/E Ratios. Data according to Bloomberg and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Nov.4, 2016

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +4.91% YTD down from last week’s 6.47%

  • 1yr Rtn +2.28% down from last week’s 5.60%

P/E Ratio 17.05 down from last week’s 17.30

-S&P 500 +3.38% YTD down from last week’s 5.88%

  • 1yr Rtn +1.50% down from last week’s 4.51%

P/E Ratio 19.49 down from week’s 19.94

NASDAQ +1.93% YTD down from last week’s 4.76%

  • 1yr Rtn -0.61% down from last week’s 4.10%

P/E Ratio 29.43 down from last week’s 30.64

Russell 2000 +3.69% YTD down from last week’s 5.83%

  • 1yr Rtn -1.55% down from last week’s 3.77%

P/E Ratio 41.25 down from last week’s 41.84

 

-Mutual funds

Below is a quick look at the performance results of the top 5 Lipper Indices. Each index is composed of the top 15 to 30 funds within a Classification.

-Precious Metals Equity

85.84%

-Lipper Pr Metal Eq Fd IX

77.20%

-Latin American Funds

35.43%

-Lipper Glbl Nat Res IX

22.60%

-Commodities Precious Metals

21.64%

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.

•Cash rules

No matter how popular plastic has become, people still prefer using cash instead of credit or debit cards.

According to a recent Money.CNN.com report that focused on a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Cash Product Office, of the 150 billion transaction last year, “Cash was used in 32% of all transactions last year, the highest of any payment method. Spenders used debit cards for 27% of purchases and credit cards 21% of the time.”

Claire Wang, a policy analyst at the San Francisco Fed said, “We still see significant cash preference despite rumors that everyone is switching over to cards.”

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Oct.15, 2016

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  • Love those Dogs

I’m a big fan of the Dogs of the Dow investment strategy. Maybe it’s because I love dogs. Maybe it’s because the investment strategy is simple enough for everyone to understand; you simply buy the 10 highest yielding stocks in the DJIA at the beginning of the year and let that group run until  year’s end. It’s a one-year investment plan that offers both the opportunity for the prices on the 10 stocks to do their thing with a bit of income security tossed in –dividends.

 

I’m also a fan because the strategy can pay off and this year the Dogs are doing well.

 

According to Bespoke, the Dogs were up 12.82% as of October 12. That’s way ahead of any of the major market indices.

 

More Good Boy Good Girl doggie data from Bespoke:

-All 10 stocks are up so far this year.

-8 of the 10 are up by double-digits

-Caterpillar (CAT) is up the most: 28.78%.

-Only 1 of the 10 stocks increased its dividend so far this year: Cisco (CSCO).

 

That last point is worth remembering. Why?  Because it’s a reminder that nothing in the equity world is carved in granite and just as the price of a stock can go up and down, dividend payouts can change over time too.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

All four of the major indices followed here  eneded last week down continuing its downward slide.

 

That said,  even though they were down, they are still up year-to-date.

 

Below are where the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices stood at the close of business on Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, according to Bloomberg,

 

Before going there, if you like to play “Which Way Is the Market Headed” and look at market P/Es to help,  I’ve added where the P/E Ratios for the four popular stock indices stood at week’s end.  Basically, pros say the higher the P/E the riskier the market.

 

-Indices:

 

-Dow Jones +6.28%  YTD down from last week’s 6.88%

  • 1yr Rtn +8.21% down from last week’s 9.65%

P/E Ratio 17.43

 

-S&P 500 +6.17% YTD down about 1 percentage point from last week’s 7.19%

  • 1yr Rtn +7.23% down a lot from last week’s 10.30%

P/E Ratio 20.09

NASDAQ +5.23%  YTD off from last week’s 6.81%

  • 1yr Rtn +8.16% down a heap from last week’s 11.06%

P/E Ratio 31.17

 

Russell 2000 +8.00% YTD down a lot from last week’s 10.14%

  • 1yr Rtn +5.90%  down from last week’s 7.73%

P/E Ratio 43.56

 

-Mutual funds

Heading South.

 

At the close of business on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, the year-to-date average return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was up 4.40%, according to Lipper. That’s down from last week’s 6.15% average and the Oct.6 year-to-date average return of nearly 7% (6.94%).

 

Even gold has lost a lot of its luster. Nonetheless, its average return is nothing to stick your nose up at:  The average year-to-date return of Precious Metals Equity Funds is nothing to stick a nose up at– 77.04%.  That said, it’s wasn’t all that long ago when its average returns were up well over 100%.

 

Make sure to take advantage of the wonderful world of mutual fund performance figures Lipper makes publishes. Use their YTD returns as a guideline for how your individual fund(s) are performing. For instance, Lipper reports the average stock fund is up about 6.79 percent so far this year. Are your stock funds doing •

 

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for weekly updates to see 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.

 

Lipper’s weekly performance figures for stock and fixed-income funds are at www.allaboutfunds.com in the left column on the home page.

 

  • Inflation

Don’t forget…it’s real. Always has been. Always will be. Here’s what I mean:

From Alexander Green, chief investment strategist at The Oxford Club: “Sure, we no longer have the double-digit (inflation) rates of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. But inflation is still out there – like a slow leak in your pool or termites in an antebellum house – detracting from the value of what you own.”

But here’s the rub from Green’s Investment Wisdom #2906: “Even with the lower rates of the past couple decades, it takes $4,371 today to buy what $2,500 would have bought in 1991.”

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POCKETBOOK:Week ending April 2, 2016

  • IMG_0204
  • Play ball

It’s time to head out to the ball parks to watch another, and sometimes sleeper, baseball game. Like everything else, a couple of tickets and beers, hot dogs and parking will set you back what could amount to a high flyer into left field.

GOBankingRates.com compared the costs of four things—two tickets; two hot dogs; two beers; and parking—at all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums.

What they found was that the average cost of spending a day at the ballpark was $77.92 for two people. That total cost of averages  broke down like this:

  • Two tickets: $41.41
  • Two hot dogs: $8.73
  • Two beers: $11.89
  • Parking: $15.89

But since nobody ever seems to get an average price on anything, consider the following:

  • Fenway Park, where the Boston Red Sox call home, was the most expensive stadium with that combo costing an average of $157.
  • The cheapest is at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim, where the Los Angeles Angels call home and those exact items can be had for a fraction of the price— only $47.60.

Now that’s a deal.

See all 30 stadium prices, pictures and learn more at:

http://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/ranked-most-least-expensive-stadiums-mlb-fans-watch-baseball-game/

  • Market Quick Glance

-Indices:

Here are the year-to-date performance figures for the major indices through April 2, 2016, according to Bloomberg. To provide a longer performance perspective, 1-year returns have been added.

Dow Jones +2.85% YTD

1yr Rtn +2.79%

-S&P 500 +2.01% YTD

1yr Rtn +2.47%

NASDAQ -1.47%YTD—through 4/1/16

1yr Rtn +1.90%

-Russell 2000 -1.20% YTD—through 4/1/16

1yr Rtn -9.68%

-Mutual funds

Through Thursday, March 31, 2016 the average U.S.Diversified Equity Fund was down 0.39 percent year-to-date, according to Lipper.

Dedicated Short Bias Funds were the week’s worst performing category down on average 6.13 percent.

Precious Metals Funds picked up steam and continue to be the high scorer under the Sector Equity Funds heading. They were up on average 42.21percent y-t-d.

Another bummer week for Health and Biotech funds as they continue to be that category’s worst performers. Of the 96 Health/Biotechnology Funds that Lipper now tracks, the average y-t-d performance is off nearly 14 percent. The y-t-d average performance of the 42 Global Health/Biotechnology Funds improved a tad, now at -11.75 percent.

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for weekly updates to see how 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.

Lipper’s weekly performance figures for stock and fixed-income funds are at www.allaboutfunds.com in the left column on the home page.

•April outlook

Don’t expect much from a month that begins with celebrating fools.

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