Tag Archives: DJIA

POCKETBOOK Week Ending May 17, 2019

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  • Happy Spenders and our Great(?) Economy

Whoa. I was at the brand new multi-thousand foot At Home décor store yesterday in North Palm Beach, FL. The hugely huge parking lot was jammed as were the too-many-to-count aisles. As you might imagine, the check-out line snaked around and you would have thought the joint was giving away stuff. They weren’t.

From there it was on to a Sunday stop at Costco and then Aldi’s. Jammola in both stores and their respective parking lots. I said something to the cashier at Costco about the crowd and he said, “It’s a great economy.”

Apparently it is.

Then again, Ford just announced it’s laying off about 10% of its 7,000 white collar work force with about 2,400 of the cuts coming to those in North America and 1,500 others to be eliminated via oluntary buyouts, according to CNN Business.

Then again, again, American households are now holding more debt than they did prior to the 2008 financial crisis. According to CNBC.com, 55% of U.S adults have credit card debt with 22% of them reporting the balances they carry range between $100 and $500 while10% have balances over $5,000.

But wait there’s more: Consumer sentiment is the highest it’s been in 15 years, according to a new University of Michigan survey.

“Consumers viewed prospect for the overall economy much more favorable, with the economic outlook for the near and longer term reaching their highest levels since 2004,” said Richard Curtin, chief economist for the Surveys of Consumers.

So happy moods are here again.

Then again, so far this year at least 10 stores– whose names we are all familiar with– are closing some of their stores. They include: Victoria’s Secret; JCPenny; Family Dollar; Gymboree; Payless ShoeSource; Charlotte Russe; GAP; Ann Taylor, Loft, Lane Brant: the Ascena Retail Group; Macy’s; and LifeWay Christian Stores.

Huh. I wonder how long our reportedly lowest unemployment rate in decades is going to last.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Last week there were downers everywhere as in on both the year-to-date returns and 1-year ones for the DJIA, S&P500 and NASDAQ.

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, May 17, 2019.

DJIA 10.44% YTD down again from the previous week–it closed at 11.21%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.25% down again from the previous week 4.86%

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   14.07% YTD down from the previous week’s 14.95%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.12% down from the previous week’s 5.81%.

*****The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Friday April 26, 2019 of 2,939.88. The previous all-time closing high was on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. Prior to that, the high of 2,916.50 was reached on August 29, 2018.

 

-NASDAQ 17.80% YTD down again from last week’s 19.32%.

  • 1yr Rtn 5.88% way down from last week’s 6.91%.

*********Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW All-Time CLOSING HIGH on Friday, April 26, 2019 of 8,146.40. Prior to that, the previous high of 8,1333.30 was reached on August 30, 2018. Before that, on August 24, 2018 reached it’s then all-time high of 7,949.71.

 

-Mutual funds

The slide continues.

At the close of business on Thursday, May 16, 2019, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 15.04%,according to Lipper. That’s down from the previous week’s close of 15.11%.

Even though there has been a slide in the average year-to-date returns, many different types of funds have average returns near 20% and more. A few of them under the large umbrella heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds include;

-Large-Cap Growth funds, 19.30%;

-Multi-Cap Growth funds, 19.50%;

-Mid-Cap Growth Funds, 22.51%;

-Small-Cap Growth funds, 20.73%;

-and Equity Leverage funds, 24.84%.

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending May 3, 2019

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  • Sell in May?

For fans of a six-month investment strategy there is none quite like the Sell in May and Go Away one. This technique, according to CNBC.com, involves investing in the DJIA between Nov. 1 and April 30 and then switching to fixed income for the other six months of the year. For some it has has proved profitable over the long haul.

One example, also from that same source, pointed out the following: Put $10,000 into the S&P500 between May 1 and Oct. 31, 1950 to the present, (I’m assuming that means April 30 as the story was published on May 1),  you’d have been a loser: Your 10g’s would have dwindled to $4,138. That’s a loss of $5,862. PU.

On the other hand, had you followed the Sell in May and Go Away formula and put $10,000 into the S&P500 from Nov.1 through April 20, you’d have enjoyed a gain of—-hold on to your hat— of $2,836,350. (The “April 20” date is the one used in the CNBC.com story.)

Another example from that same source: Plunk $10,000 on May 1 in 1950 into the DJIA, keep it there until October 31, and the years would have rewarded you with about $1,000. Yikes. Buying on May 1 doesn’t look so smart.

But do the buy Nov. 1 and sell on April 30 beginning in 1950 and ending in April of this year and you’d have a return of over $1 million smackeroos.

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it.

But like all tempting things, this strategy comes with no guarantees of making any money over the long- or short-term. And, with our current Trump economy– that even the wisest of talking heads can’t figure out– the risk-reward ratio of putting that Sell in May play into motion is greater than ever.

Player beware.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Both the S&P and NASDAQ moved ahead last week—not so for the Dow.

But can these highs keep on going? That’s not likely if President Trump’s tariff threats re China are imposed. Tariff wars are not good for any country or their respective stock markets.

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, May 3, 2019.

DJIA 13.62% YTD down a hair from the previous week’s 13.79%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 9.13% up from the previous week 9.13%

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   17.50% YTD up a bit from the previous week’s 17.27%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 12.01% up from the previous week’s 10.23%.

*****The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on Friday April 26, 2019 of 2,939.88. The previous all-time closing high was on Sept. 21, 2018 of 2,940.91. Prior to that, the high of 2,916.50 was reached on August 29, 2018.

 

-NASDAQ 23.04% YTD up from last week’s 22.77%.

  • 1yr Rtn 15.18% up from last week’s 14.44%.

*********Nasdaq reached a BRAND NEW All-Time CLOSING HIGH on Friday, April 26, 2019 of 8,146.40. Prior to that, the previous high of 8,1333.30 was reached on August 30, 2018. Before that, on August 24, 2018 reached it’s then all-time high of 7,949.71.

 

-Mutual funds

Keeping investors smiling.

And it was another week when year-to-date returns for equity funds proved positive for fund shareholders. At the close of business on Thursday, May 2, 2019, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 16.50%, according to Lipper. That’s down a hair from the previous week’s close of 16.54%.

Looking at how equity funds performed during the first quarter of 2019 shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 13.27%.

-Sector Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 12.98%.

-World Equity Funds 1st quarter average return: 11.29%.

-Mixed Asset Funds 1st quarter average return: 8,21%.

-Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds 1st quarter average return: 3.56%.

-World Income Funds 1st quarter average return: 3.77%.

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending April 19, 2019

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  • It’s Earth Day

You don’t have to be a tree hugger to acknowledge and respect this incredible planet that we all inhabit. And, you don’t have to be a Rhode Scholar to know that each of us human beings have a roll to play in the management and maintanence of this grand globe we call home.

Knowing that, make sure to take some time today to go outside, take the phone away from your ears, the earbuds out and look around. Then, wherever you’re standing, be still for a minute and tune in to notice that you’ve got air to breathe, look up at the sky above, feel the earth below and be very much aware of the fact that in that moment of your personal time, all is well.

If that doesn’t move you to celebrate our magnificent planet Earth, see a shrink.

 

  • Earnings Season

Hey everybody, it’s earnings season. Once again. And this week will be a hugely busy one as 140 of the S&P500 companies are scheduled to report their earnings—or lack of them—to the public and their shareholders.

If you’re a newbee investor, here’s a question: How often does earnings season roll around: A) Once a year; B) 2 times a year; C) 4 times a year; or D) 6 times a year; or E) every other year?

The correct answer is C, 4 times a year. Or quarterly. Each season typically begins a week or two after the last month of each quarter.

How a company’s earnings impacts your holdings can provide some insight into how well your investment pick is doing. Then again, unless you’re an active day trader, a quarterly earnings report might not amount to much of a hill of beans if you’re a long term investor in a well financed, well-managed and well established company.

But ain’t that always the case.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

The stock market was closed on Friday, but Thursday’s closing numbers continued to reflect a performance many investors are pleased with as it’s still a double-digit year-to-date return world for the three indices followed here.

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, April 18, 2019.

DJIA 13.86% YTD up from the previous week’s 13.22%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.68% down from the previous week 7.88%

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   15.88% YTD up from the previous week’s 15.39%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.87% down from the previous week’s 8.633%.

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 20.54% YTD up a bit from last week’s 20.33%%

  • 1yr Rtn 10.50% down and worth noticing from last week’s 11.82%.

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

At the close of business on Thursday, April 18, 2019, the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 15.86%, according to Lipper. That’s up a hair from the previous week’s close of 15.73%.

Of the 20 different types of funds that fall under that broad U.S. Diversified Equitiy Fund heading, only two types had year-to-date performance figures under 10%. They were Specialaity Diversified Equtdy Funds, (there are 31 of them) had an average return of 7.96%. And, Alternative Long/Short Equity Funds of which there are 350 funds sporting an average year-to-date return of 7.36%.

Continuing its under water performance given current market conditions, the average total return of the 165 different funds that make up the Dedicated Short Bias Funds category was -21.26%.

One more kinda stinker—Alternative Equity Market Neutral Funds (there are 96 funds in this group) are underwater too with an average return of 1.71%.

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending March 29, 2019

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  • What a quarter

When 2018 came to a close, generally speaking, there wasn’t much enthusiasm for robust returns coming round by the end of  Q1 in 2019. But that was months ago thinking. Today, the proof in the pudding has been revealed and 2019’s first quarter was a whopper with all indices scoring big.

According to a recent piece at CNBC.com by Bob Pisani, the quarter’s gains were shared across the board with technology stocks leading the most, up 17 percent, oil rallying from $43 at year’s end to almost $60 at the end of March 2019, industrial stocks up 15 percent with 90 percent of  S&Ps stocks  up.

And that’s all happened with the worries about what an inverted yield curve could mean to equities going forward and investor thinking.

From where I sit, the only investor thinking that matters is how you—the individual investor—are thinking. Did you rethink your personal and retirement portfolio after seeing your 2018 returns? If you did, are you glad you did, sorry you fiddled with things and/or wished you had let things go on as they were.

Whatever. The only right answer with respect to assessing quarterly–or annual– market returns is how your investments are holding up and serving you.

As in life, everyone’s portfolio holdings are as different as is the size of each of our noses, ears, waistlines and our income, savings and retirement accounts.

May each grow respectfully over time.

 

  • Dividend paying stock ideas from Louie

 I’ve always been a big fan of dividend paying stocks. Once upon a time, and when I first became a stockbroker in the early 1980’s, word was stocks paying dividends were considered a good conservative play for widows and orphans. Forget the images that thought conjures up, dividend paying stocks have pretty much always been a good play for most types of investors—the married, widowed, young, old, single, divorced, the rich and underfunded.

In Louis Navellier’s Marketmail newsletter dated March 26, 2019, he suggested investors research and consider these big blue-chip dividend paying stock ideas:

  • PepsiCo Inc. (PEP). It pays a dividend yield of 3.07% and owns brands like Diet Pepsi, Aquafina, Doritos, Lays, Lipton, Gatorade, Fritos, and Mountain Dew.
  • Kimberley Clark (KMB) pays 3.38%
  • Dominion Energy (D) paying 4.86%
  • PPL Corp. (PPL) paying 5.13%
  • Verizon (VZ) paying 4.06%

 

  • Market Quick Glance

And what a week it was with all three of the indices bringing home the bacon deliciously in their year-to-date returns.

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, March 29, 2019.

DJIA 11.15% YTD up a jump from the previous week’s 9.32%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.57% up from the previous week 6.45%

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   13.07% YTD a jump up from the previous week’s 11.72%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 7.33% up from the previous week’s 5.94%.

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 16.49% YTD up from last week’s 15.18%%

  • 1yr Rtn 9.43% a jump up from last week’s 6.64%

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 previous week ending March 21, 2019:

The year-to-date cumulative total reinvested performance of U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 14.26% at the close of business on Thursday, March 21, 2019, according to Lipper.

Among the 408 Mid-Cap Growth Funds that fall under that huge Diversified category, the average year-to-date return was an impressive 20.17%. Small-Cap Growth Funds, however, performed better: 20.37% for the 592 funds that Lipper tracks in that group.

And then there are Equity Leverage Funds—-the average YTD performance of the 228 funds under that heading was 28.36%.

On the other hand, Dedicated Short Bias Funds’ average YTD return was -20.61%.

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.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Jan. 4, 2019

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  • Loving the Dogs

In 2018, the Dogs of the Dow beat the DJIA average–albeit not by much, 1.5%. The pros will tell you it would have been a lot more if only GE’s price had not fallen by 57% last year. But, so what? If only’s are the stuff of dreams.

So as last came to a close, the Dogs of the Dow beat the performances of both the DJIA and the S&P 500. Each ended the year down 6 and 6.2 percent respectively.

Given the concerns about our market and of those around the world—and our huge growing deficit— the 10 new 2019 Dogs look pretty attractive to me. Particularly, if dividend income is your thing. All 10 have yields considerably higher than that of money-market funds, and Treasury securities of all maturity dates.

So chow down people, if this is an investment strategy you’d go fetch for.

The 2019 Dogs of the Dow, (the list begins with the stock with the highest yield).

1. IBM International Business Machine 5.5%
2 XOM Exxon Mobil Corporation 4.8%
3 VZ Verizon Communications 4.3%
4 CVX Chevron Corporation 4.1%
5 PFE Pfizer 3.3%
6 KO Coca-Cola Company 3.3%
7 JPM JP Morgan Chase & Co. 3.3%
8 PG Procter & Gamble Company 3.1%
9 CSCO Cisco Systems 3.0%
10 MRK Merck & Co. 2.9%

Source: FactSet Get the data Created with Datawrapper

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Thank heavens for new years. At least, this one.

Looking back over the last week, all three indices followed here have 1-week returns resting in positive territory. The biggest gains? Nasdaq with its 1.56% return.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four 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, Jan. 4, 2019.

DJIA 0.45% YTD up from the previous week’s -6.70%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -6.55% also up from the previous week -7.15%

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 1.00% YTD up from last week’s -7.03%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -7.05% up from last week’s -7.51%

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 1.56% YTD up from last week’s -4.62%

  • 1yr Rtn -4.79% up from last week’s -5.26%

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

More to come at a later date.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Aug.11, 2018

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•Grifter

Have to admit, I never really thought much about what a grifter was until I’d heard that Wilbur Ross, our United States Secretary of Commerce, was described as one. The 80-year old Jr., is supposed to be one of the richest members in Trump’s cabinet, who somehow didn’t divest all of his securities before accepting the position. As for how he accumulated all of his wealth, that Forbes estimates it to be around $700 million, all sorts of reasons swirl—including those resulting from the talents of a grifter.

From a Forbes story written by Dan Alexander published earlier this month: “If even half of the accusations are legitimate, the current United States secretary of commerce could rank among the biggest grifters in American history.”

Who knows if that’s true or not. But, what does have a foundation in the truth is what a grifter is. Here are two definitions:

  • From www. vocabulary.com :” If there’s one type of person you don’t want to trust, it’s a grifter: someone who cheats others out of money. Grifters are also known as chiselers, defrauders, gougers, scammers, swindlers, and flim-flam men. Selling a bridge and starting a Ponzi scheme are things a grifter might do.”
  • From http://www.merriam-webster.com :”Grift” was born in the argot of the underworld, a realm in which a “grifter” might be a pickpocket, a crooked gambler, or a confidence man-any criminal who relied on skill and wits rather than physical violence-and to be “on the grift” was to make a living by stings and clever thefts.”

For some reason, I can’t help but think that their may be a few more grifters roaming around in Trump’s White House world.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

An upper of a week for all four indices here.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data if according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Aug.10, 2018.

DJIA 2.40% YTD down from previous week’s return of 3.01%

•1 yr Rtn 15.88% up the previous week’s 15.60 %

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 5.97% YTD down from last week’s 6.24%

  • 1 yr Rtn 16.06% up from last week’s 14.89%

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 13.55% YTD up from last week’s 13.16%

  • 1yr Rtn 26.09% up from last week’s 23.21%

Nasdaq reached a new 52-week high on July 25, 2081 of 7,933.32. The previous high was reached on July 17, 2018 of 7,867.15.

 

-Russell 2000 9.85% YTD up from last week’s 8.98%

  • 1yr Rtn 22.90% up from last week’s 19.08%

The Russell 2000 reached a new 52-week high on July 10, 2018 of 1,708.56. The previous high was reached on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1.

 

-Mutual funds

A jump up for the week’s average from two weeks ago. Then, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 6.97%. At the close of business on Thursday, August 9, 2018 that average return had moved ahead to 7.18%, according to Lipper.

Small-Cap Growth Funds was the group with the best average performance for the 592 funds that Lipper tracks under that heading — average total return of 16.48%.

Now is as good a time as any to that a look back at how equity  funds have performed over the past 52 week, 2 years, 3 years and 5 years. And, Small-Cap Growth Funds have done well, from this perspective. From the most recent (52 weeks) to the longest, (5 years) that group’s average performance was: 32.42%; 22.58%; 12.84%; and 11.99%.

Compare that with the average total returns for all of the U.S. Diversify Equity Funds and the performance numbers look as follows: 18.40%; 15.34%; 10.14% and 10.15%.

Small-Cap Growth Funds has outperformed in all.

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.

 

  • Turkeys

 Remember the old 1970s and 1980s saying, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down”?

Back then the turkey part had nothing to do with the country of Turkey. It referred to dealing with jerks and suggested not to let those who can wreck our day do just that.

Today, it’s the value of Turkey’s withering currency and their economic problems that have been playing havoc with our markets.

Combine that with President Trump’s desire to impose tariffs on pretty much everything, and perhaps it’s time to bring back that old saying.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending July 14, 2018

Here

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And from the recent running of the bulls comes this: a fake bull. Kinda sorta made me wonder about our market.

 

  • Millennial Yikes!

There’s a different world coming if you’re a believer in survey results

According to a recent 2018 Retirement Preparedness Survey commissioned by PGIM Investments, 31% of millennials aren’t saving for retirement at all BECAUSE they don’t see the point in preparing for it. They responded that “anything can happen between now and then.”

Well, that’s true. But, anything– whatever is meant by it– takes money. And heaps of it–particularly during the decades spent in retirement.

Additionally, 62% of those responding said they plan on retiring when they have enough money (wonder where they expect to get it?) and 66% said that they think full-time jobs would be kaput and that 75% of the public would work as freelancers in the future. And one more thing,  that “people will no longer retire comfortably in the future.”

Oh my.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

More ups over the short term, but not so for 1-year return figures.

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, July 13, 2018.

DJIA 1.21% YTD back up into positive territory re previous week’s return of –1.06%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 16.08% up from the previous week’s 14.71 %

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 4.78% YTD up from last week’s 3.22%

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.44% down a hair from last week’s 14.53%

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 13.36% YTD a jump up from last week’s 11.37%

  • 1yr Rtn 24.73% down from last week’s 26.26%

Nasdaq reached a new 52-week high on July 13, 2018 of 7,843.53. The previous high was reached on June 20, 2018 of 7,806.6.

-Russell 2000 9.87% YTD down from last week’s 10.74%

  • 1yr Rtn 18.34% down from last week’s 20.93%

The Russell 2000 reached a new 52-week high on July 10, 2018 of 1,708.56. The previous high was reached on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1.

 

-Mutual funds

A repeat.

At the close of business on Thursday, July 5, 2018, the total return performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had an average return of 4.35%, according to Lipper.

Nonetheless, it’s first still a small cap world as the average cumulative total return for Small-Cap Growth Funds averaged 14.34%.

The category of funds with the closest average y-t-d- return was–surprise surprise–Large Cap  Growth funds at 9.73%.

Double digit y-t-d average returns were also found under the Sector Funds heading with Science & Tech Funds, 12.04%, followed by Global Science/ Tech Funds, 11.64% and then Health/Tech Funds, 10.43%.

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 cost of trade wars

So far, estimates are that this just beginning trade war is going to cost households about $60 more bucks a year. Another source estimates that figure to be more than double–$127 per household.

I’m guessing it’s going to be considerably more. Time will tell.

Till then, consider this from the blog of money manager Doug Kass:

“History has proven that one trade tariff begets another and another until you get a full blown trade war. And the consumer seems to always get screwed. Currency wars always lead to trade wars and vice versa and which in turn could lead to hot war. ”

Kass says that trade wars aren’t supposed to be easy.

I’ll add, not cheap either.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending May 26, 2018

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  • Uber-Rich Goal Setting

Having a personal goal of a retirement account with $1 million in it is noble, even though 1,000,000 won’t necessarily get many very far in retirement. Certainly not as far as it did 20, 30 or definitely 50 years ago. Nonetheless, that target figure is worth shooting for for the masses.

For the super elite, however, it’s chump change.

According to Bloomberg, in the world of private bankers who cater to the uber-wealthy, having $25 million in investable wealth makes one considered rich and provides the “basic service” from private wealth bankers.

But wait. There’s more.

Business Class for the uber-wealthy in a private banker’s eye takes $100 million; First Class, $200 million; and Private Jet Rich, $1 billion.

Set your goals as your needs dictate.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Once again it was the NASDAQ and Russell 2000 indices where positive strides were recorded last week.

If the indices are telling investors anything, it’s to have a diversified portfolio.

Nothing exciting about that news except that it’s always wise advice.

Last week Bespoke Investments listed some of NASDAQs best and worst performing stocks so far this year. Here are the names of the most notable in each category:

  • Top 3 performing stocks from the NASDAQ 100:

Netflix (NFLX) up 81.96%; Micron (MU) up 12.41%; and Align Technology (ALGN) up 42.69%.

  • Three biggest losing stocks from the NASDAQ 100:

DISH Network (DISH) down -36.15%, NetEase(NTES) down -35.37%; and Dentsply Sirona (XRAY) down -29.80%.

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, May 25, 2018.

DJIA 0.14% YTD moved up into plus territory from the previous week’s -0.02%

  • 1 yr Rtn 19.61% down from the previous week’s 19.61%

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 1.78% YTD up a tiny bit from week’s 1.47%

  • 1 yr Rtn 12.68% down from last week’s 14.68%

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 7.68% YTD up a little from last week’s 7.24%

  • 1yr Rtn 19.80% down from last week’s 21.46%

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 5.95% YTD up a hair from last week’s 5.93%

  • 1yr Rtn 17.60% down from last week’s 19.51%

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

With the beginning of summer fast approaching, and the old saying reminding investors to sell in May and go away, that play hasn’t been particularly a good one within the mutual fund arena—so far.

For example,the average performance of the funds under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was up 3.34% year-to-date at the close of business on Thursday, May 24, 2018. That’s much higher than it was three weeks before– on May 3 it was 0.65%.

Small-Cap Growth funds have made the biggest gains and were up on average over 10%,

Also with heading averages up 10% or more year-to-date were Science & Technology Funds, 10.98%; Global Science & Technology funds, 10.79%; and Commodities Energy Funds, 12.99%.

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.

 

  • Credit Card Debt Growing

Not sure who in Washington has noticed, but it has been apparent to most folks living across America that the cost of living is going up. Who hasn’t noticed that the increased cost of a gallon of gas makes an impact in the amount of disposable cash one has in their pockets? Or that groceries, even at places like Aldi’s, cost a little more? And that a buck or two increase in one’s hourly pay doesn’t translate to much?

So it may come as no surprise that people are using their credit cards more and more. And, not paying their balances off in full each month.

According to MyBudget360.com, there is more than $1 trillion in credit card debt outstanding in America these days.  Most of that debt is on cards issued by smaller banks.

From that source: “Credit card delinquencies at more than 4,700 small US banks are not past the figure reached at the peak of the last financial crisis.”

Oh my.

 

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending May 18, 2018

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  • The BEST investing advice EVER

Sometimes the most realistic investment advice comes in the form of a simple truth.

According to Bob Veres, editor of Inside Information as quoted in an ETFTrends.com piece last week, Veres said: “As it turns out, the predictions made by financial experts are no better than those made by gypsies looking into crystal balls, soothsayers gazing at the entrails of a sacrificed animal or wizards with tall caps who gaze into space. In fact, the financial experts might even be LESS reliable than those other charlatans.”

In other words, article author Rick Kahler, wrote: “The problem with accurately predicting what direction the US stock market is heading in the near future is that no expert really knows.”

And as Lily Tomlin’s character Edith Ann used to say, “ And that’s the truth.”

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Last week’s worst performance was in the DJIA—it slumped back into minus territory but not by much—a hair, if you will.

The place to play recently? NASDAQ and Russell 2000 indices. NASDAQ was up the most, Russell 2000 and then the S&P 500.

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, May 18, 2018.

DJIA -0.02% YTD back into minus territory from previous week’s +0.45%

  • 1 yr Rtn 19.61% up from the previous week’s 18.70%

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 1.47% YTD down from week’s 2.02%

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.68% up from last week’s 13.92%

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 7.24% YTD down from last week’s 7.24%

  • 1yr Rtn 21.46% up a tiny bit from last week’s 21.04%

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 5.93% YTD up from last week’s 4.64%

  • 1yr Rtn 19.51% up a lot from last week’s 15.58%

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

From the May 3 report:

The average fund that falls under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading had a year-to-date return of -0.53% at the close of business on Thursday, May 3, 2018, 0.65%, according to Lipper. That’s a fall from the previous week’s 0.65% average.

Small-Cap Growth funds ended the week with an average y-t-d return average of 4.10% —down from the previous week’s 6.27%

Then again Dedicated Short Bias Funds had improved and were down only -4.25% instead of -5.43% from the previous week.

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 a million in your 401(k)? Good. But keep saving.

Once upon a time having a retirement account with one million bucks in it was a big deal. Today, that ain’t necessarily so.

Fidelity Investments reports that at the end of the first quarter of 2018, there were about 50,000 more 401(k) plans with balances of $1 million or more than there were last year. That’s a figure increase from 108,000 to 157,000. Also, that contributors have increased the amount they save.

That’s all good news, accept that all that moola may not be enough to live a comfortable  retirement life.

In a FoxBusiness.com report, author and tax attorney Rebecca Walser reminded investors that what goes up must come down. “Most major crashes occur within a short 2.5-month timeframe, and even Warren Buffett recently warned shareholders that a 50% loss should be expected.

“If someone is 10 years or less from retirement, they need a plan to forgo the large downturn that is coming this time around – they do not have the investment horizon left to recover from such a portfolio loss.”

Geez. One can’t help but wonder when–if– the need for huge bucks to live out our old age will ever stop.

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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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