Tag Archives: allaboutfunds

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Oct. 6, 2017

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•Well, look who is saving money.

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

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

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

Maybe financial literacy does pay off.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

-Mutual funds

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

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

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

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

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

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

 

  • Airline fees sky-high

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

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

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

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

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

Again, that’s shameful.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 22, 2017

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•Closing shop

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

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

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

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

 

  • Market Quick Glance

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

-Mutual funds

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

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

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

 

  • Talking both sides

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

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

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

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

But wait, there’s more.

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

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

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending July 7, 2017

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•Losing money in the market?

There has never been any honest-to-God guarantees that come once you decide to invest some of your money into the stock markets. And there never will be.

That’s because, in the broadest sense, as stocks trade hands during every trading day of the year profits and loses are chalked up in all individual and professional account ledgers.

With that reality in mind, Barbara Friedberg penned a piece titled “Why People Lose Money in the Market” that appeared at TheBalance.com recently.

According to this former portfolio manager turned author, the three reasons people lose money are:

-Because they don’t understand economic and investment cycles.

-Because they let their emotions drive their investing.

-And because they think investing is a get-rich-quick scheme.

Got that?

 

  • Market Quick Glance

The major indices closed up during the past week. And that’s the good news.

What’s the bad? Who knows. The bull that has been running wild on Wall Street for the last eight years seems to be some kind of  anchored. And until the future provides us with a look at the past, we won’t know for sure what does this bully in.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each has reached  new highs. All  this according to data from CNBC.com. and based  upon market results at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, July 7,   2017.

-DJIA + 8.36% YTD up from last week’s +8.03%

  • 1 yr Rtn +19.66% up from last week’s 19.07%

The DJIA reached a new all-time high on July 3,2017 of 21,562.75.

(Previous highs include 21,535.03 on June 20, 2017; 21,391.97 reached on June 14, 2017; 21,305.35 on June 9, 2017; 21,225.04 on June 2, 2017; and 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +8.32% YTD up from last week’s 8.24%

  • 1yr Rtn +15.60% up from last week’s +15.46%

The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2,453.82 on June 19,2017.

(The previous high of 2,446.2 was reached on June 9, 2017. Before that 2,440.23 was reached on June 2, 2017; 2,418.71 reached on May 25, 2017; 2,405.77 reached on May 16, 2017; 2403.87 on May 9, 2017; 2,400.98 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-NASDAQ +14.307% YTD up from last week’s +14.07%

  • 1yr Rtn +26.17% down from last week’s 26.80%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017.

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

 

-Russell 2000 +4.33% YTD up from last week’s +4.29%

  • 1yr Rtn +23.14% up from last week’s +22.87%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high of 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017.

(Previous highs include 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

Equity funds lost ground last week as, at the close of business on Thursday, July 6, 2017, the year-to-date total return for the average U.S. Diversified Equity Funds stood at 6.95%. That’s down from the previous week’s close of 7.52%.

Looking back over the last 52 weeks (7/7/16 thru 7/6/17), the three fund types under this broad heading that have rewarded their shareholders the most include: Equity Leverage Funds +33.39%; Small-Cap Value Fund, ++21.06%; Small-Cap Growth Funds, +20.87%.

The three fund types experiencing the poorest returns over that same time period were: Dedicated Short-Bias Funds, -23.22%; Alternative Equity Market Neutral Funds, +0.90%; and Specialty Diversified Equity Funds, +4.30%.

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 stocks?

The market has been roaring this year but that doesn’t mean everyone has participated in the bounty. In fact, according to a 2016 Gallup Poll, just over half (52%) of American adults say that they had money invested in the stock market.

That’s down from a high of 65% in 2007.

It  ought to come as no surprise that those who make up the middle-class and who were in the market prior to the crash of 2007 have stayed away from it in recent years.

On another kinda sorta related subject, the American Bankers Association Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin has reported that in the first quarter of 2017 there was an increase in late payments for car, truck, home equity and credit card loans/debts.

Guess if you don’t have enough cash to meet your monthly expenses/commitments it’s not likely that you’ll have enough to invest in the market.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 16, 2017

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  • Income investors

Funny thing about investors—seasoned as well as  newbies. For some reason they imagine, hope for and quite often expect annual returns that just aren’t likely to happen. Call it dreaming. Call it denial. Call it believing a sales pitch. Call it whatever you’d like but it turns out believing less is more is better for your psyche that expecting more and getting less.

But hasn’t expecting less always been a sound route to take in everything life and money related?

On that money score, Lisa Abramowicz wrote a piece for Bloomberg.com titled, “Stop Fooling Yourself About 8% Easy Returns”. The piece focuses on the results of a Legg Mason, Inc. survey of fixed-income investors.

Most were expecting average annual returns of 8.6%. Those still working expected 9%.

Both are in-your-dreams like state of annual return hopes. Unless, of course, your dreams are risky and racy.

Want to maybe be kinda sorta happy with your annual and longer term investment returns—fixed income or otherwise? Then think somewhere in the neighborhood of 5%—give or take.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Any short-term investor and day trader looking for sound evidence that this market is headed in one direction or another probably understands better than most that each day is a new day. And as such, brings with it new opportunities and financial challenges and rewards.

Long-term investors would be wise to remember that as well.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, June 23, 2017.

-DJIA + 8.26% YTD up a hair from last week’s +8.21%

  • 1 yr Rtn +18.79% down from last week’s 20.59%

The DJIA reached a new all-time high of 21,535.03 on June 20, 2017. (Previous high of 21,391.97 reached on June 14, 2017; before it 21,305.35 on June 9, 2017; 21,225.04 on June 2, 2017; and 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +8.91% YTD up a hair from last week’s 8.68%

  • 1yr Rtn +15.38% down a chuck from last week’s +17.09%

The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2,453.82 on June 19,2017. (Previous high of 2,446.2 was reached on June 9, 2017. Before that 2,440.23 was reached on June 2, 2017; 2,418.71 reached on May 25, 2017; 2,405.77 reached on May 16, 2017; 2403.87 on May 9, 2017; 2,400.98 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-NASDAQ +16.39% YTD up attractively from last week’s +14.28%

  • 1yr Rtn +27.60% up from last week’s 26.97%

The Nasdaq reached its most recent new all-time high of 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017. (Previous highs include: 6,308.76 on June 2; 6,217.34 reached on May 25; 6,170,16 on May 16; 6,133 on May 9, 2017; 6102.72 on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.)

 

-Russell 2000 +4.25% YTD up a tidy amount from last week’s +3.65%

  • 1yr Rtn +20.69% down from last week’s +22.52%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high of 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017. (Previous highs include 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

No big change in the average total return for funds that fall under the broad heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund. At the close of business on Thursday, June 22, 2017 the average equity fund’s year-to-date return was 7.57%. The previous week’s figure was 7.58%.

Those looking for attractive returns found them in World Equity Funds. Year-to-date the average return for the 4,533 funds under this heading was 15.28%. Wouldn’t you just love to lock a return like that in for the year?

The biggest scorers were India Region Funds, up on average 26.84%; Pacific Ex Japan Funds, 21.83%; China Region Funds, 21.46%;; and International Small/Mid-Cap Growth Funds, at 18.52%.

There are 26 different fund categories under that heading and only three of them had average total returns of under 10%. They were Latin American Funds, 9.61%; Global Multi-Cap Funds, 9.11%; and Global Equity Income Funds, 9.00%.

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.

 

  • This could make you sick

Fingers crossed that the revised health-care plan the Senate has proposed will not get enough votes to pass. If it does, the poor, elderly and sick will become poorer and health care costs and premiums will continue to go up as they always have. Additionally, grandma will likely be asking you if she can move in as a number of those who need full-time care in nursing homes will get the boot.

And don’t believe the way too bleached blonde Kellyanne Conway who says those on Medicaid who lose health care coverage can always get a job with a company that has health insurance and will cover them. That’s just plain poppycock and simply not true. It’s also a perfect example of how out of touch this White House and its administration is with millions upon millions of people who make up our population in America.

So, if you’re looking for some startling data on where in the country and in which states a repeal of Obamacare would impact people the most, BusinessInsider.com can help. In a story titled, “MAP: Areas of the US where an Obamacare repeal would hit the heardest”, are two maps worth looking at.

In one map you will see the areas in the U.S. where a repeal of Obamacare would impact people the most. In the second is a state by state look. Do check out both.

The story and the maps can be found here: http://www.businessinsider.com/where-obamacare-repeal-would-hit-the-hardest-map-2017-6

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending June 9, 2017

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  • A correction on its way?

 The fine folks at the Bespoke Investment Group have a way of clarifying all things market related using historic facts and figures.

From them comes this bundle of S&P goodies that may or may not help you with your investing goals and expectations:

  • The S&P 500 hasn’t had a 10% correction in the last 16 months.
  • The current rally has lasted 477 calendar days making it the 11th longest run for that index without a 10% correction since 1928.
  • If you think that the S&P 500 is going to continue the rally and hope it becomes one of the longest running rallies around, it needs to run another 173 days.
  • To pull that off, this rally would have to go on past Thanksgiving.

Looks like enthusiastic S&P 500 bulls need to think “turkey trot”.

BTW, Bespoke also reported that when a correction does come along after rallies lasting  10 years or more, the decline has been  15.7% over 142 days. “Compared to all corrections since 1928 where the average decline was 19.5%,…”

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Believe it or not, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were both down from their previous week’s close and their 1-year returns were down as well. That means the star performing index turned out to be the Russell 2000—it was up on both scores.

Depending upon which money guru you read or take the advice of, the bull market in equities is getting a little long in the tooth or still has plenty of space to run.

Below are weekly and 1-year performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, June 9, 2017.

 

-DJIA +7.64% YTD up from last week’s +7.30%

  • 1 yr Rtn +18.27% down from last week’s 19.08%

The DJIA reached a new all-time high of 21,305.35 on June 9, 2017. That’s one week after the 21,225.04 high reached on June 2, 2017. (Previous high of 21,169.11 was reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +8.62% YTD down from last week’s 8.90%

  • 1yr Rtn +14.95% down from last week’s +16.15%

The S&P 500 reached a new all-time high of 2,446.2 on June 9, 2017. That’s one week after the 2,440.23 reached on June 2, 2017. (Previous highs of 2,418.71 was reached on May 25, 2017; the high of 2,405.77 was reached on May 16, 2017; the high of 2403.87 was reached on May 9, 2017; and the a high of 2,400.98 was reached on March 1, 2017. )

 

 

-NASDAQ +15.32% YTD down from last week’s +17.14%

  • 1yr Rtn +25.19% down from last week’s 26.84%

The NASDAQ reached another new all-time high of 6,341.7 on June 9, 2017. (Some of the other previous highs include:6,308.76 on June 2; 6,217.34 reached on May 25; 6,170,16 on May 16; 6,133 on May 9, 2017; 6102.72 on May 2, 2017; 6074.04 on April 28, 2017; and 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.)

 

–Russell 2000 +4.76% YTD up from last week’s +3.56%

  • 1yr Rtn +20.36 % upfrom last week’s +20.06%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017. (Previous high of 1,425.7 was reached on April 26, 2017 and before that a high of 1,414,82 was reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

The average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was up a tad from the previous week. So, at the close of business on Thursday, June 8, 2017 the average equity fund’s year-to-date return was 7.90%. The previous week’s figure was 7.56%.

Once again, the top performance categories under that heading are beginning to sound like a broken record—with one exception: the order has changed. The top performing group was Equity Leverage Funds, up 17.47 ahead of Large-Cap Growth Funds up 17.21% followed by Multi-Cap Growth Funds, up 15.77%

For a second week in a row the average Sector Fund return barely budged and ended the week up 4.79% a hair about the previous week’s close of 4.78%.

It is still a Global Science/Technology Funds world, up 27.58%. And Commodities Energy Funds continued to lose more ground with the average fund -19.37% ( previous week the figure was -16.07%).

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for more information about how various equity and fixed-income funds have rewarded investors over the short-and long-term, based upon Lipper data. Short-term meaning weekly and monthly performance returns; longer-term includes quarterly, year-to-date, 1-yr, 2-yr, 3-yr and 5-yr returns.

 

  • Rate hikes

The Fed is expected to raise rates by 25 basis points—that translates to one-quarter of one percent.

That means life has gotten more expensive for anyone with an adjustable mortgage or home equity line of credit, or who is applying for a new mortgage, car loan or has with credit card debt that isn’t paid off in full each month.

It also means banks will be getting more of your money should you have any of the relationships mentioned above in place.

Unfortunately, an interest rate increase like that won’t mean much for savers who earn interes on their savings accounts.

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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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