Tag Archives: Gracie my dog

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 15, 2017



  • Electric power

My power was out from Sunday thru late Wednesday afternoon. It’s a hot, sweaty and costly drag when that happens. In addition to no breezes, tossing out all refrigerated and frozen foods that warmed and thawed in my coolers, the one who suffered the most was my dog, Gracie. Now 13 and 3/4s years old, Tuesday night she barely slept panting the night away. I apologized to her which may have been humanly kind but don’t think those words mattered much to her. She was hot. And old. And suffering.

So, early the next morning I took her for an extended ride in my car, air conditioning blasting. And then with me to the 12:05 service at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach. We made it through the police check-points on the island after telling those guarding the town that I was going to church.

Grace is a good church-going dog. She’s been to this place for services a few times before for the Blessing of the Animals service and knew the drill: Go to the grass bathroom before entering the church, try not to bark and spread out as much as you’d like on the cool wooden pews.

For an hour she was much happier thanks to the generator powering the AC at Bethesda.

Speaking of power, I have a friend in Tavernier (one of the Florida Keys) whose home never lost its power during or after  Hurricane Irma.



  • Market Quick Glance

It had been about seven weeks since the DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ had reached new all-time highs. But at the close of business on Friday, September 15, 2017, all of that changed as each of those indices scored again.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, Sept 15, 2017.

-DJIA +12.68 YTD a big jump up from last week’s 10.30%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +22.27% down from last week’s 17.95%.

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

Prior to that date, the DJIA most recent all-time high of 22,179.11 was reached on August 8, 2017 . Looking back six months, on March 1, the then all-time high on that date was 21,169.11.


-S&P 500 +11.68 % YTD way up from last week’s 9.94%.

  • 1yr Rtn +16.44% up a lot from last week’s +12.84%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,500.23 on September 15, 2017.

Prior to that date, its most recent all-time high was on August 8, 2017 at 2,490.87. And six months earlier, on March 1, 2017, that index closed at a then all-time high of 2,400.98.


-NASDAQ +19.79% YTD up from last week’s +18.15%.

  • 1yr Rtn +22.84% down from last week’s 23.11%

The Nasdaq also reach a new all-time high on September 15, 2017 closing at 6,464.27.

Prior to that date, its most recent all-time high of 6,460.84 was reached on July 27, 2017. Looking back, on April 5, 2017 this index closed at 5,936.39.


-Russell 2000 +5.50% YTD up from last week’s +4.16%.

  • 1yr Rtn +16.68% up a heap from last week’s +11.21%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high on July 25, 2017 of 1,452.09.

(Previous highs include: 1,452.05 on July 21, 2017; 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017; 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)


-Mutual funds

Good news with respect to the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested return performance for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading: On Thursday, September 14, 2017, equity funds y-t-d return average was 10.11%—that’s up from the previous week’s close of 8.60%, according to Lipper.

If you’re a fan or investor in the largest funds around some of the big ones have returned big  returns.

Four of them include: Vanguard FTSE Emg Mkt ETF, 25.98%; Fidelity Contrafund, 23.20%; Dodge & Cox Intl Stock, 21.97%; and the Vanguard Total 1 Stock, 21.26%.

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.


  • Hacked

You’ve heard me write this before and I’ll continue to mention it as there is some truth to it:  My now 102-year old Auntie Pat said– decades ago– that the internet was the devil’s work.

Recently her point  is proven to hold water  when it comes to the Dark Web and the hacking of  personal financial on-line accounts, including those of banks and credit rating agencies.

Personally, I’ve had my identity stolen and have been a victim of mail-fraud hacking. Both no fun to deal with or correct.

Speaking of correcting a hacking problem, I’m not 100% sure that once any of your accounts have been hacked that your Social Security Number, and various health-related accounts or credit or debt accounts in your name, will ever be free from harm.

So, while a hacking experience can cost us plenty and take months to correct our credit score after our cards have been stolen and used to rack up sales we never made, it’s the high-end no-limit credit cards that hackers really like getting their hands on. According to Bloomberg.com, on the Dark Web a Platinum American Express card will sell for $15 to $20 while a regular MasterCard without a large limit for around $9.

Not much given all the aggravation it costs the card owner.










pbTrumpBits#8: Easter Egg Hunting


My dog Gracie, all decked out for Easter and hopping to find an official Easter Egg Hunt somewhere in Palm Beach realizes egg hunts aren’t all created equally.

Of course I want to give my dog the best. So of course I called Mar-a-Lago to find out if they were having an Easter Egg Hunt this weekend. And of course the woman who answered the phone said, “Yes.”

When I asked which day and at what time, she asked if I were a member of the Club. Of course I said “No.” That $200,000 membership fee would pretty much wipe out my retirement fund. Priorities, you know.

Learning I wasn’t a member, the phone person said she couldn’t give me any other information but did confirm that there would be an Easter Egg Hunt open to Mar-a-Lago Club members only.

Of course Gracie was disappointed. But I told her not to worry. There’s no telling if the eggs in the hunt would have been prepared properly anyway as inspectors have cited the Club for a number of food violations. And nobody, whether they have two- or four-legs, wants to deal with rotten eggs.

Of course she understood. Then, gave me one of those looks that said she was glad we hadn’t forked over any of our retirement money for a membership in a place that has less than a five-star spick-and-span kitchen and costs a fortune to hang out at. She is a very wise dog.

Fortunately,  Palm Beach isn’t a one-Easter-Egg-Hunt town.

On Saturday there’s an Easter Egg Hunt at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, that’s the church the Trump’s frequent on holidays. This year the hunt is a part of the church’s Spring Carnival, begins at 10 a.m. and is free to attend. No membership of any sort required.

And of course there is the Flagler Museum’s super spectacular Easter Egg Hunt. It’s on Saturday, gates open at 9 a.m. and the hunt for over 8,000 eggs begins at 10.

Nothing free about this hunt, unless you’re a member of the Museum. If you’re not a member, the Easter Egg Hunt tariff is $18  for adults and $15 for children.

Sadly, all of the Easter Egg Hunts mentioned are just for two-legged creatures. And ofcourse, Grace understands. She always does.

Happy Easter Egg Hunting.