Tag Archives: Bespoke

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Dec. 8, 2017

 

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My Bitcoin story at bottom of this blog. (Photo from Reuters)
  • Bulls

Last week’s AAII sentiment survey reflected that bull-o-mania continued to be alive and well in investors’ minds.

And, that that sentiment continued to break records: For 153 weeks straight that positive, making-money thinking has been going on, according to Bespoke.

That’s kinda scary as most investors know first-hand that bull markets don’t last forever—-even the most fertile of bulls need to take a rest every now and then.

Time to place your bets on when this one will.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A few cracks in year-to-date and 1-year returns with all of the 1-year returns lower than they were the previous week.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, December 8, 2017.

DJIA +23.11% YTD up from last week’s 22.61%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +24.03% down from last week’s 26.26%

Another new high for the DJIA was reached on December 4, 2017 of 24,534.04. The previous high was hit on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 of  24,327.82.

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

 

-S&P 500 +18.43% YTD up a bit from last week’s 18.02%.

  • 1yr Rtn +18.04% down from last week’s +20.59%

The S&P 500 reached another new high on December 4, 2017 of 2,665.19. Its previous high was reached on November 30, 2017 of 2,657.74.

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

 

-NASDAQ +27.07% YTD down a bit from last week’s +27.20%.

  • 1yr Rtn +26.26% down a lot from last week’s 30.40%

 

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,914.19 oon Nov. 28, 2017. The previous high of 6,890.02 was reached on November 24, 2017.

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

 

-Russell 2000 +12.13%YTD down from last week’s +13.26%

•1yr Rtn +9.76% way down from last week’s +16.99%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high on December 4, 2017 of 1,559.61. The previous high was reached on November 30, 2017 of 1,551.69.

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

 

-Mutual funds

Cracks here, too.

Last week the year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds that fall under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading, was +16.59% at the close of business on Thursday, December 7, 2017, according to Lipper. That’s down from the previous week’s return of +17.37%.

Fourteen of the 25 largest (most assets) funds around had year-to-date returns of over 20%. The most rewarding? The Fidelity Contrafund at +31.06%.

The least rewarding? Two of Vanguard’s bond funds: The Vanguard Total Bond II:Investors and the Vanguard Total Bond: Admiral. Both up +3.43% and +3.53% respectively.

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.

 

 

  • Betting on Bitcoin

I’ve been watching the per share prices on the Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) for the past couple of years. Over the past year I’ve seen its share price go from a low of around $60 to a high of$1,905.55. And through it all I’ve thought about kicking  myself for not buying at least a couple of shares.

The reason I didn’t pull the trigger was because of its so hugely volatile stock price. One day GBTC would spike up and a few days later fall dramatically.

But more important than deciding to buy into that trust was coming up with an answer about when to sell the  shares.

I know myself well enough to know that if I had actually purchased shares at say 100 or even 300 bucks a share, I probably would have sold those shares when/if they doubled or tripled in price.

I believe in taking profits.

Oldsters might remember Fidelity’s super-duper fund manager Peter Lynch. Stocks that doubled in share price after he’d purhased them he refered to as a double-bagger. Those that tripled, a triple-bagger. And so on.

It’s not every day of the year, or week, or month that a stock’s price moves up by two-, three-, ten-fold or more. I know that.

I also know that it would have been real easy to have purchased GTBC at $100 a share, sell it at say $300 and then wish I had held on longer.

But the name of the Wall Street game isn’t about kicking yourself for what you didn’t do: It’s about making money for what you did do re your investment choices.  Then moving on.

So not knowing how high–or low–a stock price will move over time  is what makes investing such a seductive and mysterious game. And one not everyone is equiped to handle.

That said, as  I wrote earlier, I believe in taking profits.

And then  being glad they were there to be had–no matter how big or little the reward.

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 29, 2017

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

  • Market Quick Glance

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

-Mutual funds

 Mutual fund average performance figures continue onward and upward.

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

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

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

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

 

  • Gun power

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

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

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

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

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

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