Tag Archives: investment strategy

POCKETBOOK Week Ending May 3, 2019


  • 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.




POCKETBOOK:Week ending Aug.27,2016


•A rate hike is coming. A rate hike is coming. A rate hike is coming. Big deal!

With all the talk about Janet Yellen and the if-she, won’t-she, when-will-she gives the signal that begin moving interest rates up, you’d think the increase was going to be a leap of many percentage points. But you’d be wrong. It won’t be.

Whether interest rates are increased in September or December, two, three or four times during the rest of this year, they won’t be hiked up by much. Don’t expect more than one-quarter of 1% or one-half percent of 1% increase if there are any increases at all.

Even if rates were to rise  by a full 1%, that’s no big deal, people. It still will keep the yields on money market funds and savings accounts miserably low. And, continue to drive folks into the stock market whether for growth opportunities or income via sound dividend-paying stocks. Or both.

So don’t let the fear of an interest rate hike keep you from taking advantage of the delightfully low interest rates one can get on things such as home and car loans. Provided, of course, you qualify. That, of course, has been the stickler for far too many.

Bottom line: Refinance if you need to, or can.

  • Market Quick Glance

As always, the market surprises us. During the week ending Friday, August 26, 2016, three of the four indices lost ground, according to Bloomberg.

Below are the closing YTD performance numbers of four popular US indices along with their 1-year performance figures.


-Dow Jones +7.63% YTD (Down from the previous week’s +8.45%)

  • 1yr Rtn +13.46 % (Down from +15.77%)

-S&P 500 +7.68 % YTD (Down from +8.39% YTD)

  • 1yr Rtn +11.47%(Down from from +13.27%)

NASDAQ +5.20 % YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +9.58 (Down from +12.98%)

Russell 2000 +10.03 % (UP from last week’s +9.90 % YTD)

  • 1yr Rtn +8.07%


-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, August 25, 2016, U.S.Diversified Equity Funds lost a bit with the average YTD performance of +6.08% for the 8,417 funds under this heading, according to Lipper.

Precious Metals Equity Funds, those gems that  have been leading the way with their soaring performance returns aren’t as hot as they have been. Now the group’s average return is only up +102.24%. Still significant and nothing to pooh-pooh.

Decades ago, the head of Oppenheimer Funds told me about an investment strategy he used. It went something like this: At the beginning of each New Year he would change the line-up of funds in his retirement account from those he had to those representing the poorest performing funds at the close of the previous year. It was a strategy he said worked well for him.

While I don’t know the specific details, I do know that one  year’s worst performing funds, fund types and various sectors frequently have turned out to be the next year’s big performance winners.

On that note, here are the poorest performing fund types under Lipper’s Sector Equity Funds the average of which is down from the previous week and currently sits at +12.51%:

-Health /Biotechnology Funds, -6.70

-Global Helth/Biotechnology Funds, -6.10

-Global Financial Services Funds, -4.08

-Speciality/Miscellaneous Funds, -0.23

There ya go. Who knows, maybe next year it will be bio-tech and banking funds that perform well. We shall see.

Wondering how best to use Lipper’s fund performance figures? Use their YTD returns as a guideline for how your individual fund(s) are performing. For instance, the average stock fund is up about 6.5 percent so far this year. Are your stock funds doing better or worse than that?

Visit www.allaboutfunds.com for weekly updates to see 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.

Lipper’s weekly performance figures for stock and fixed-income funds are at www.allaboutfunds.com in the left column on the home page.

  • Got debt?

According to a Congressional Budget Office report published earlier this month that examined trends in family wealth comes this: “An increase in debt among the bottom 25 percent of families….jumped from $24,000 to $36,000 on average between 2007 and 2013.”