Tag Archives: China

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Feb.1, 2019

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  • Golden appeal

Turns out, central banks bought more gold in 2018 than any years since 1967, according to the World Gold Council. That’s good news for anyone loving this precious metal—just not always profitable news.

Surprisingly, that increase in what gold was being used for wasn’t in jewelry. Nope, counties such as China, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan have been adding it to their reserves. Jewelry demand, on the other hand, was pretty much unchanged.

We’ve been told that gold is generally thought of as a good bet during times of political or economic unrest and turbulence. And, it’s always been thought of as a kind of balancer, or hedge, to one’s existing equity portfolios during volatile markets even though making money from it hasn’t been a slam dunk.

That said, if you’ve an interest in the glittery stuff, here’s a brief look at how its per ounce price has performed over the years according to data from KITCO.com;

-10 year high 1900.30; low 868.70

-5 year high 1382.; low 1050.6

-1 year high 1353.30; low 1173,70

-Today, Monday, Feb.4, 2019 at 2:52 pm—1313.70

“Economic uncertainty, slowdown, (and the) U.S.-China trade conflict supported investment flows,” said the World Gold Council’s head of market intelligence, Alistair Hewitt who added. “This dynamic is likely to run through 2019.”

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Nice jump ups last week on the year-to-date returns for the three indices followed here. But can that trend, if it is a trend, continue? Time will tell.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the three major indices—DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ — including the dates each reached new highs. Data is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Feb.1, 2019.

DJIA 7.44% YTD up from the previous week’s 6.04%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -4.29% improved from the previous week -6.2%

Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Oct.3, 2018 of 26,951.81. The previous high was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16.

 

-S&P 500   7.97 % YTD down from last week’s 6.30%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -4.09% improved from last week’s -6.15%

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

 

-NASDAQ 9.47% YTD up from last week’s 7.98%

  • 1yr Rtn -1.65% improved from last week’s -3.32%

NASDAQ reached a BRAND NEW 52-week CLOSING HIGH on August 30, 2018 of 8,1333.30. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 7,949.71.

 

-Mutual funds

Repeat from early January:

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • Christian Investing

I remember learning that it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it was for a rich man to get into heaven. I’m going to guess that the folks who run the various portfolios of the Timothy Plan might see that differently.

The Timothy Plan group of funds was created 25 years ago to meet the needs of Christian investors who didn’t want their money invested in companies that support things such as pornography, abortion, wars, any anti-family causes or simply companies whose products run contrary to the teachings of Scripture.

To date that’s paid off for them as the family now has over $1 billion under management.

From their recent press release: “The impact of our investments affects more than the return column on our account statements, it enables companies of high moral character to establish a greater presence in our community at large—Kingdom Impact Investing.”

Believers in that style of investing can learn more about their funds, fund performances, etc.  at TimothyPlan.com.

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Remembering Decoration Day

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Long before it became known as Memorial Day and celebrated on the third Monday in  May –which,incidentally, allowed federal employees to enjoy a three-day holiday weekend giving marketing mavens the chance to turn a  day  honoring those who have died in service to our country into an occasion to shop—-it was simply called  Decoration Day.

First celebrated on the 30th day of May in 1868, Decoration Day was created to honor all of the 620,000 who died in military service  during the Civil War.  According to History.com, that war  “claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history”.

People across the country recognized the day by adorning the graves of those in their cities and towns who died on American soil during that war with flowers and decorations. Hence the name Decoration Day.

If you do nothing else this Memorial Day,  why not take a moment to remember the 100s of thousands of individuals who have been involved in any wars  that America has been involved in and  have died for our freedoms. We owe them that respect. We owe them that honor.

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending April 7, 2018

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Lots of worries over what could happen if Trump starts a trade war. This Op-Ed cartoon is from the Sunday, April 8, 2018, Palm Beach Post.
  • Trading places

Lots of talking heads have lots of things to say about the likelihood of trade wars developing should the mighty US of A decide to let President Trump rule and impose additional tariffs on goods and services from places where tariffs already are in place.

In general, many talking heads agree that there is an imbalance in our trade agreement with China. And many think that getting into a tariff war with that country could be very disruptive and costly to us, as in the average consumer.

What’s important to remember is that no new tariffs have been imposed on any country, anywhere,  yet.

It’s also important to remember that it’s really smart to remember to pick your battles.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Q: Dear Wise One:

Any perspective investors ought to keep in mind with respect to the markets’ recent volatility?

 
A: Yes.

Right now the stock market is as jumpy as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rockers. And that’s just how it is. Today.

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, April 6, 2018.

 

DJIA -3.18% YTD down more than the previous week’s -2.49%

  • 1 yr Rtn 15.82% down from the previous week’s 16.28%

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

 

-S&P 500 -2.59% YTD down more than last week’s -1.22%

  • 1 yr Rtn 10.48% down from last week’s 11.52%

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

 

-NASDAQ 0.17% YTD down from last week’s 2.32%

  • 1yr Rtn 17.62% down from last week’s 19.43%

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

 

-Russell 2000 -1.45% YTD down more than last week’s -0.40%

  • 1yr Rtn 10.91% up a tiny bit from last week’s 10.64%

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

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, April 4, 2018,  the average fund that falls under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had a year-to-date return of +0.32%. That’s up—yes up—from the previous week’s average of -0.37%.

Large-Cap Growth and Small-Cap Growth funds were up on average well over 3% last week. Science & Technology Funds and Global Science & Technology Funds both up at 4.92 and 5.08% respectively.

Latin American Funds, too, were up—averaging almost 6% y-t-d.

The biggest loser fund type of all were Energy MLP, down on average -10.02%.

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.

 

  • ETF returns

 I heard Jack Bogle, Vanguard’s founder, point out that mutual funds have had better returns than exchange-traded funds, ETFs, a point I found worth thinking about. Seems the big push to advertise big time by various ETF brand families is one thing. But, out performing various categories of index funds however, is another.

So, while some consider the ability to buy and sell ETFs throughout the day –as one can do with both stocks and ETFs– is appealing, it isn’t necessariy financially rewarding.

One reason  is that  Bogle thinks ETFs could encourage individuals to trade their holdings more often rather than  holding their investments  for the long term. Doing so, he said makes  it difficult for an investor/trader to outperform the market.

Good point.

Then again, Bogle loves index funds.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending March 24, 2018

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  • Remington’s got problems

Remington Outdoor, one of America’s oldest gun makers, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Why? Sales are off.

In business since 1816, it was a Remington rife that was used in 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. Since then, school and mass shootings haven’t stopped, fears of new gun regulations have increased all resulting in gun ownership losing a lot of its pow.

Chapter 11 doesn’t mean Remington is going bust. The move provides protection for a company and gives it time to reorganize its business and debt obligations.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Oh my…..last week’s stock prices grounded as three indices lost all of this year’s gains—one up 1.3%. Big woo!

What happened? Donald Trump’s trade war ideas.

Yale economist Robert Shiller, in an interview in Beijing on Saturday, called President Trump “ a showman” who “obviously relishes” in his celebrity, but behaves in a way that’s ”totally unbecoming for a president”, according to a CNBC.com report.

Addressing the China Development Forum, the Nobel-winner warned about the likelihood of an economic disaster if there is a trade war between the U.S. and China.

We shall see.

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, March 23, 2018.

DJIA -4.93% YTD down seriously from the previous week’s 0.92%

  • 1 yr Rtn 13.93% down from the previous week’s 19.161%

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

 

-S&P 500 -3.95% YTD down seriously from last week’s 2.93%

  • 1 yr Rtn 10.33 % down from last week’s 15.56%

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

 

-NASDAQ 1.29% YTD down seriously from last week’s 8.38%

  • 1yr Rtn 20.20% down from last week’s 26.80%

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

 

-Russell 2000 -1.66% YTD down a hunk from last week’s 3.29%

  • 1yr Rtn 11.57% down from last week’s 14.43%

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

 

-Mutual funds

And there go this year’s gains.

At the close of business on Thursday, March 22, 2018 the average fund that falls under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had a year-to-date return of -0.11%. That’s down from last week’s average of 2.70%.

Large-Cap Growth Funds lost about 5% and averaged 3.67%—down from the previous week’s average year-to-date return of 8.19%.

Small-Cap Growth funds provided shareholders with the week’s highest average year-to-date return of 4.32%–down from the previous week’s averge return of 6.38%.

But Science & Technology Funds were higher at 7.72%. And Global

Science/Technology Funds lead the way with average returns in each category of 8.51% —off from its previous return of over 12%, year-to-date.

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.

 

•How YOU doin?

Even with the stock market’s recent downward plunge, things aren’t as horrible as the tv talking heads might get you to believe.

For instance, Trump  supporters rave about Donald and what a great job he is doing as president, how great the economy is and how their investments have preformed.

I’m not so sure about the greatness of our economy, but, there is no arguing with the performance of the stock market: On the day that Donald J. Trump was inaugurated, January 20, 2017—which seems like 100 thousand years ago—the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 19,827.25.

While the ride since then has been bumpy and lumpy, these numbers  don’t lie.

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