Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Sept. 22, 2018

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  • 50/50 Kinda

There are so many reports regarding the number of people who actually are investors in one form or another whether they be individual investors who have portfolios made up of stocks and/or bonds or both; folks who have opened then funded their 401k, IRAs or ROTH IRAs; owners of various kinds of annuities; or whatever’s can be confusing.

To keep things as simple as possible, let’s call it about a  50/50 divide: 50% of people are invested in the markets and 50% aren’t.

That’s not a good split no matter how you count it: If half of all of us don’t have any investments that’s for sure going to be one huge problem come retirement age—or old age in general. This financially challenged issue may seem as though it’s an individual one to those rolling in dough or who have plump portfolios, but in reality it’s going to create lot of problems individually and have a major impact on our United States coffers.

The picture isn’t a pretty one because a 50/50 split might sound like a fair split, in the world of money reality, it isn’t.

According to the Federal Reserve re 2016 numbers, America’s top10% of households are about 120 times wealthier than the lower middle class. And, the top 10% had an average net worth of $5.34 million; the lower middle class had $44,700.  That  huges spread in household wealth is in direct correlation to those who are  investors vs  those who are not.

I’m hoping your portfolios are plump enough to help any family and/or friends who may need financial assistance now and in the future.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Two new record year-to-date all-time highs were reached by both the DJIA and S&P 500 indices last week. That’s a big yippee for many investors.

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 is according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.

DJIA 8.19% YTD up substantially from previous week’s return of 5.81%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 19.61% a jump up from the previous week 17.90 %

Most recent DJIA a new ALL-TIME CLOSING HIGH was reached on Sept. 21, 2018 of 26,796.16. The previous high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71.

 

-S&P 500 9.58% YTD a jump up from last week’s 8.65%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 17.08% up from last week’s 16.40%

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 15.70% YTD down from last week’s 16.03%

  • 1yr Rtn 24.36% down a tad from last week’s 24.59%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 11.51% YTD down from last week’s 12.13%

  • 1yr Rtn 18.57% down from last week’s 20.82%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

Quite like the average equity fund’s y-t-d performance has moved up a bit. But, no data to confirm it and/or by how much. New Lipper figures will be posted as soon as they are received.

Until then below is last week’s commentary:

Moving up a bit.

At the close of business on Thursday, Sept. 13,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 8.96%. 8.26%. That’s up a bit from the previous week’s 8.26%, according to Lipper.

It continues to be a Small-Cap Growth Funds world, fund here now up on average 22%.

Comparing that group’s return with 25 of the largest individual funds around, (largest in terms of assets) and it’s the Invesco QQQ Trust 1 with the best y-t-d performance at 18.92%

Fifteen of the 25 funds in that listing have returns over 10%. Impressive.

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.

 

  • Mortgage Rates

They’re creeping up.

Anyone keeping an eye on the Treasury’s long bond—that would be the one that matures in 30 years—has seen its yield move up. And as it moves up so do things like the interest earned on things like money market funds or CDs. And, more importantly, in the amount of money needed to pay any variable rate or fixed-income mortgage.

More to come.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Nov 10, 2017

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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.

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