Tag Archives: CNNMoney

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Nov 10, 2017

From CNNMoney.com
  • Income levels not so hot

If a picture is worth 1000 words, than a chart has got to be worth more. Right?

A recent Federal Reserve study revealed that the wealth gap is growing—but we already knew that; that unemployment has hit a 17-year low—we knew that too; and that the top 1% holds 38.6% of the nation’s wealth up from 33.7% in 2007—and we kinda sorta knew that as well.

But perhaps what we didn’t know was how the racial gap of low-income families had changed—-especially for white people.

From a CNNMoney.com story titled, “Included: Poor white Americans are getting poorer: what diversity numbers don’t say”, posted November 10, 2017, comes this: “The wealth of low-income white people was cut almost in half since the recession while the wealth of black and Hispanic families in the same bracket  remained stable.”

Move levels up a notch and things change.

“The median white family is worth nearly ten times as much as the median black family and about 8 times as much as the median Hispanic family, “ says CNNMoney’s Lydia DePillis.

(Full story at: http://cnnmon.ie/2zLiluY )


  • Market Quick Glance

The CBOE Volatility Index, VIX, is worth looking at because of its  performance: Although the indices followed below have had a heck of a positive performance year, the VIX’s year-to-date and  1-year returns are down around 20%. Or down at -19.59% and -20.32% respectively at the close of business on Friday, November 10, 2017.

As for the DJIA, S&P 500, Nasdaq and Russell 2000, last we they  all lost ground.

That’s not to say there is a bear preparing to tear up Wall Street. But, when you combine market volatility, inflation, rising interests rates along with disappointing earnings and policy promises that don’t come true from Washington, that clawing creature can’t be far away.

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, November 10, 2017.

DJIA +18.52% YTD down from last week’s 19.11%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +24.27% way down from last week’s 31.28%

Another new all-time high of 23,602.12 was reached on November 7, 2017.

The previous high of 23,557.06 was reached November 3, 2017. On March 1, the Dow stood at 21,169.11.


-S&P 500 +15.34% YTD down a bit from last week’s 15.59%.

  • 1yr Rtn +19.31% down considerably from last week’s +23.90%

The S&P 500 reached another new high on November 7, 2017 of 2,597.02

The previous high of 2,588.42 was reached on November 3, 2017. On March 1, 2017, that index stood at 2,400.98.


-NASDAQ +25.66% YTD down from last week’s +25.66%.

  • 1yr Rtn +28.91% down a lot from last week’s 33.73%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,795.52 on November 7, 2017.

A previous high of 6,765.14 was reached on November 3, 2017. On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.


-Russell 2000 +8.71%YTD down from last week’s +10.15%

1yr Rtn +15.04% down from last week’s +29.22%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 05, 2017. On March 1, 2017 this index stood at 1,414,82.


-Mutual funds

Investors are still lapping up shares of mutual funds and ETFs.

According to data from Thomson Reuters Lipper, in the week ending November 8, 2017, investors purchased $17.5 billion in fund assets.

Equity funds picked up$4.7 billion; taxable bond funds $1.6 billion, money market funds $10.8 billion and municipal bond funds $463 million.

Exchange Traded Funds, ETFs, saw inflows of more that $5.0 billion.

More specifically, the year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds moved downward as the close of business on Thursday, November 2, 2017, according to Lipper. The average return was +13.90%. That’s down from the previous week’s return of +14.24%.

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.


  • Great Gift Cards

Depending upon whom you ask, gift cards are either great gifts or aren’t worth purchasing because they aren’t used.

Most people like getting them with stats showing somewhere between 6 and 10% of them go unredeemed.

But the  trick in getting someone to use their card is the same as the challenge of picking out a present you know they will love: You have to know what they like/don’t like or use/won’t use.

WalletHub recently conducted a survey asking about gift card use. Here are some of the results:

-Last year’s Most Popular Gift Cards—Amazon Gift Card and Visa Gift Card were each ranked #1; Walmart Gift Card ranked #3; iTunes Gift Card ranked #4 and American Express Gift Card ranked #5.

-Gift cards with the biggest increase in popularity over the past year was Trader Joe’s.

-Gift cards with the biggest drop in popularity were those from the Apple Store and H&M.

Happy shopping.

















POCKETBOOK: Week ending Dec.31, 2016


  • It’s all about the numbers

If you were in the stock market in 2016, odds are you made money.

According to CNNMoney, 77% of investors made money. How much? OpenFolio reported that the average investor enjoyed a 5% increase in the value of their investments.

Unfortunately, men’s portfolios outperformed those owned by the ladies, reports that same source. Which, BTW, is nothing new. That trend has been going on for the past three years. Oh my.

  • Market Quick Glance

The chart at the top of this blog sums up the performance of the indices in 2016  very nicely with one exception: It’s missing the performance of the Russell 2000—- it  ended the year up a whopping 19.48%, according to CNNMoney.com

Here are a very few of the best and worst performing stocks in 2016:

  • The top performing stock in the DJIA was Caterpillar, up 36.46%, according to CNBC.com. The worst, Nike, down18.67%.
  • The best performing stock in the S&P 500 was Nvidia, up 224%, and the worst was  Endo International, down 73.1%, according to Salon.com.

Although no one knows how the markets will perform in the short-term, as in 2017, the  chart below, cockeyed as it is, shows how the DJIA has moved over the past 10 years, from 2007 through 2016.  (Source: It and the chart at the beginning of this blog are pictures  I took of charts  found at CNBC.com on Friday, December 30, 2016.)

A DJIA 10-year mountain chart:


-Mutual funds

All was shiny and bright for many stock fund investors as at the close of business on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, the performance of the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was up 11.23%, off a bit from the previous week’s clost of 11.53%, according to Lipper.

Under that broad heading, Small-Cap Value Funds’ scores were the highest with the average return up 27.25%. Dedicated Short Bias Funds were down the most, off 25.69%.

Under the Sector Equity Funds heading, where the highest gains (and losses) are likely to be found, Precious Metals EquityFunds were the winners—up on average 58.53%. Biggest losing group? Commodities Specialty Funds, down 15.13%.

And, the average General Domestic Taxable Fixed-Income Fund ended the year up 7.47%.

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.

•Hoping 2017 is a happy, healthy and rewarding one for all of us!




For the week ending Feb. 27, 2016

  • Good news for snail-mailers

Yahoo! Come April 10, a first-class stamp will only cost 47 cents instead of its current 49-cent price, according to CNNMoney.com.

When that happens it will be the first time in 97 years that the price of a stamp will have been decreased. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is the 2-cent savings per stamp is estimated to cost the Post Office $2 billion a year.

So why do it?

According to the Feb. 26th CNNMoney story, “The reduction is part of a pre-arranged agreement with Congress. The Post Office got to increase the price of stamps by 3 cents in 2014 to help it raise $4.6 billion in revenue. But the price hike was only set to last two years. (It gets to keep one cent of the increase to keep up with inflation)….”

How’s that for not making a lot of cents.


  • Market Quick Glance


Below are year-to-date performance figures for the major indices through February 26, 2016 according to Bloomberg. To provide a longer performance perspective, 1-year returns have been added.

Dow Jones -3.97% YTD

1yr Rtn -5.85 %

-S&P 500 -4.31% YTD

1yr Rtn -5.43%


1yr Rtn -6.34%

-Russell 2000 -8.52% YTD

1yr Rtn -14.71%

If year-to-date performances are any indication of a trend, all four market indices are doing better. For how long, however,  remains to be seen.


-Mutual funds

Through Thursday, February 25, 2016 the average U.S.Diversified Equity fund was down 6.03 percent, year-to-date, according to Lipper.

Without sounding like a broken record, Dedicated Short Bias funds continue to be the top performing fund type under the General Equity Funds heading. They were up on average 8.18 percent. And, Diversified Leveraged funds down the most, off 12.11percent on average. In both instances the high return isn’t as high as it was last week and the down group not off as much.

Precious Metal funds also continue to be top performers under the World Equity Funds heading—up on average almost 33.38 percent. That figure is about 4 percent higher than last week’s.

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.


-Vizualization pays off

Having a war chest fat enough to cover the cost of the decades many will live in retirement is no easy task. And often unattainable.

But not to worry, there’s hope in imagining.

Results from a recent TDBank survey found that people who visualize stuff—either through imaginations or via photos and vision boards—have an easier time succeeding at meeting their goals. Even financial ones.

Of the 1,100 people in the study, 38 percent reported better financial health when they visualized things.

From the CBSNEWS.com story: “Financial advisors may tell you to keep your emotions out of money, but the psychologists will tell you that’s impossible,” said Dr. Barbara Nusbaum, a psychologist who partnered with TD Bank to analyze the study. “You’re better off bringing emotions in positively to help your financial planning.”


So why not give picturing a try. It won’t cost you anything and who knows, it could be rewarding.