Tag Archives: Happy Thanksgiving

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Nov. 17, 2017

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Happy Thanksgiving from my family’s table to yours.
  • One more time: We don’t need tax reform

More than anything in the world, the Republican party wants to make sure that they accomplish something during the first 300-and-some days since the President Trump has been in office.

Doing something is a good idea. Tax reform, or whatever it winds up being called, isn’t.

Here’s the main reason why I think that is so: When taxes are cut, somebody or something has to pay in one way or another to cover the government coffer shortfalls the tax cuts create.

Any decrease in monies flowing in will translate into an increase in America’s defecit and could make unwelcomed changes to things such as our Vet’s programs,  Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP and other much needed government funded impacts-people programs.

Plus, while 800-to-1200 bucks a year in savings for the average person amounts to something,  the cuts will more than likely cost middle and lower-income people more than that with respect to their annual  health care costs and deductions allowed on their tax returns depending upon the state in which they live.

And, history has shown that the trickle-down talk of how tax reforms/cuts translate into more jobs and higher wages is just that—talk. The same kind of poppycock talk similar to the election promises Trump made to the coal miners telling them that their coal jobs would be coming back.

Or the Paul Ryan talk about how America has been in a horrible mess ever since the Great Recession began. Someone must not have shown him a chart showing  that GDP growth has been being improving since that recession or one showing  the roaring returns that the stock market has provided investors. Or the one with a snapshot of how corporations already have tons of money on their balance sheets available for spending should they desire to spend it.

If the party in power wants to make a positive impact, why not pass a bill that creates jobs focused on improving our country’s roads, bridges and all around infrastructure? Or one that limits the types and number of guns individuals can own? Or requires background checks for anyone purchasing a gun at a trade show, or online? Or provides health care for all without strings attached?

Those kinds of changes would make a big everyday difference in the lives of most Americans.

Tax cuts not so much.

But no matter how you feel, why call your state Senator’s office today and voice your “yeah” or “nay” on the subject.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A bit of a downer last week. But if history is any guide, Thanksgiving week is more often than not a good week for stocks in the S&P 500.

According to the fine folks at the Bespoke Investment Group, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 0.65% during the four-day Thanksgiving week. “And in years when the S&P is up 10%+ YTD heading into Thanksgiving week (as it is this year), returns during the week are even stronger.”

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, November 17, 2017.

DJIA +18.19% YTD down from last week’s 18.52%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +23.56% down from last week’s 24.27%

 

The DJIA most recent all-time high of 23,602.12 was reached on November 7, 2017.

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

 

-S&P 500 +15.19% YTD down from last week’s 15.34%.

  • 1yr Rtn +17.91% down from last week’s +19.31%

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

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

 

-NASDAQ +26.00% YTD up from last week’s +25.66%.

  • 1yr Rtn +27.16% down from last week’s 28.91%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,806.67 on November 16, 2017.

Its previous high of 6,795.52 was reached on November 7, 2017. On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +10.00%YTD up from last week’s +8.71%

1yr Rtn +14.00% down from last week’s +15.04%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 5, 2017. On March 1, 2017 this index stood at 1,414,82.

 

-Mutual funds

Moving up a tiny bit.

The year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was +14.34% at the close of business on Thursday, November 16, 2017, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s return of +14.24%.

  • The highest and lowest average y-t-date returns under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading were:

-Highest: Equity Leverage Funds, +33.72%

-Lowest: Alternative Equity Market Neutral Funds, -0.18%

The average return for funds under this heading was +14.34%.

 

  • The highest and lowest average y-t-date returns under the Sector Equity Funds heading were:

-Highest: Global Science/Technology Funds, +46.84%

-Lowest: Energy MPL Funds, -11.68%

The average return for funds under this heading was +9.76%%.

 

  • The highest and lowest average y-t-date returns under the World Equity Funds heading were:

-Highest: China Region Funds, +43.84%

-Lowest: Global Equity Income Funds, +13.62%

The average return for funds under this heading was 24.72%.

 

  • The highest and lowest average y-t-date returns under the Mixed Asset Funds heading were:

-Highest: Mixed-Asset Target 2055+Funds, +17.54%

-Lowest: Alternative Multi-Strategy Funds, +3.26%

The average return for funds under this heading was 11.28%.

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.

 

  • What’s up for 2018?

There’s already been lots of speculation going on about how the markets will perform in 2018 and Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard, is one of them forecasting.

Bogle, who is now retired, is predicting that going forward into the New Year and beyond that the U.S.  market will be a better bet than global markets; average returns on stocks are going to be much lower—as in the 4% annual return area—over the next 10 years; and bond portfolios will increase into the +3% average annual 10-year returns.

More than one experienced talking head agrees.

Wishing you plenty to be thankful for and a happy thanksgiving week.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Nov. 18, 2016

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  • Russian relations, Trump and real estate deals

Palm Beach, Florida, will have its second president in part-time residency come January. Till then, there is no discounting the real estate relationship(s) Mr.Trump has had with rich Russians.

In the early 2000’s, Mr. T purchased a 6. 26 acre PB compound—that includes oceanfront property– for $41.4 million from the bankrupt Abe Gosman. According to stories gleaned from The Palm Beach Daily News, Gosman was “a health-care magnate and philanthropist” and had “declared voluntary bankruptcy in 2001, blaming chaos in the nursing home industry.”

A few years later, Trump sold the property for $95 million—more than double his cost– to an ownership company associated with Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Since its purchase from Gosman, the property had been subdivided into three parcels.

Recently the Russian connection owners sold off one parcel of that compound—a 2.35-acre vacant lot with about 175 feet of beachfront— for $34 million.

The art of these deals? Buy low. Subdivide. Sell high.

 (Dear reader: Sure hope I got all those figures, people, statistics right. As we are all learning, following a Trump transaction of any sort is a lot like trying to follow a spaghetti graph.)

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Stocks are up a tad. Bond prices down. And the future with America’s first celebrity president-elect in decades is scaring the bejesus out of folks at home and abroad.

So what are investors supposed to do? The answer, as always, depends upon your own personal needs, age and how fat your bank/retirement accounts are as life isn’t likely to get any cheaper under a Trump presidency.

With that visual in mind, below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices along with their respective P/E Ratios based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Nov.18, 2016. All, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +10.98% YTD up from last week’s 10.70%

  • 1yr Rtn +8.74% down from last week’s 12.23%

P/E Ratio 17.96 down from last week’s 17.97

-S&P 500 +8.87% YTD up from last week’s 7.92%

  • 1yr Rtn +6.74% down from last week’s 9.34%

P/E Ratio 20.37 up from week’s 20.21

NASDAQ +7.58% YTD up from last week’s 5.81%

  • 1yr Rtn +5.66% down from last week’s 7.71%

P/E Ratio 30.79 up from last week’s 30.31

Russell 2000 +17.33% YTD up from last week’s 14.34%

  • 1yr Rtn +13.66% up from last week’s 13.55%

P/E Ratio 46.90 up from last week’s 45.14

 

-Mutual funds

In a sketchy market the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund gained some ground over the week and was up 8.34% at the close of business on Thursday, Nov.17, 2016, according to Lipper.

Small-Cap Value Funds continued to do well, up on average 20.12% followed once again by Equity Leverage Funds, up 16.45%.

Precious Metals Equity Funds continue to slide, now averaging +57.92%

Latin American Funds gained a little bit — up on average 25.18% while European Region Funds are down 5.70 percent year-to-date.

In the bond world, the average General Domestic Taxable Fund was up.6.70 year-to-date while the average World Income Fund up a bit less at 6.50%.

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.

•Turkey: 69 cents a pound. Good company: Uncalculatable.

Word is this year’s Thanksgiving meal is supposed to cost a few pennies less than it did last year. I’ve heard something like 25 cents less. Big woo.

I also heard TV talking heads reporting that this year $50 is enough to cover the cost of Thanksgiving Day meal for 10. Really? Not at my house. Or anyone else’s that I know.

My friend Dede has already spent $125 for the basics and isn’t done shopping yet.

But no matter how you slice it—or for that matter who is slicing it—Thanksgiving is all about sharing a good company meal.

If it’s a day you celebrate, enjoy and be glad.

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