Tag Archives: Lipper

POCKETBOOK Week Ending Feb.15, 2019

 

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 Happy Presidents Day to you  from four of our most outstanding past presidents.

 

 

  • Got Debt? No Problem?

Way back in the last few decades of the last century when I first began selling municipal bonds, one of the roads to financial success for a new salesperson—-according to management—was to get yourself into debt. Big debt. You know, the kind of debt that gets you to buy that new BMW 5 series you’ve always wanted when what you really could afford was a used Toyota. The reasoning behind management’s thinking was that responsible salespeople with debt will work hard to pay off—or down—their debts. And while that really didn’t follow the Minnesota money logic I was raised with, I was in Florida after all and things, as we all have come to learn, can be very different on Florida’s Wall Street.

I tell you this because that kind of money management logic still exists today. And, still plays a big part in how many people manage their own personal finances as well as how our government manages its debts.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, our US annual budget deficit will  top $1 trillion in three years, by 2022. The key to managing that debt and seeing that its gets tended to is simple: America’s growth rate has to keep growing and wind up greater than what the cost of what carrying that debt is.

It’s a keep working kind of thing.

Trouble is, America’s growth rate, its GDP, changes year to year. Much like how one’s salary or annual income can.

Knowing that and the risks inherent in any changing environment, life has taught me that it’s best to live below one’s means than it is to hope for some future income that may or may not materialize.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Big time moves upward for year-to-date returns for the indices below. Big time slides backwards for 1-year 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, Feb.15, 2019.

DJIA 10.96% YTD up plenty from the previous week’s 7.63%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 2.71% down bigly from the previous week 5.22%

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   10.72 % YTD up lots from last week’s 8.02%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 1.63% down plenty from last week’s 4.92%

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 12.62% YTD up plenty from last week’s 9.99%

  • 1yr Rtn 2.98% way down from last week’s 7.69%

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 January:

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • Recession Ahead?

A recent Bloomberg.com story, noted that S&P 500 profits are expected to fall in Q1.

From that piece, pub date 2/16/19 by Titiana Darie, titled “Wall Street Is Split on Profits: Does an “Earnings Recession” Loom?” come these words worth considering:

“Based on the average of analysts estimates, U.S. firms are on the cusp of suffering two consecutive quarters of profit declines, the common definition of a recession. Earnings will contract in the first quarter, and while a small increase is currently projected for the following period, that is likely to evaporate. Analysts have been lowering forecasts since the start of the year as companies continue to slash outlooks, citing everything from a stronger dollar to weaker demand in China and rising costs.”

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Feb.10, 2019

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•Tax Cuts.

If you’re expecting a big fat refund check from the IRS this year, don’t hold your breath. Turns out Trump’s big fat tax cuts haven’t turned out to reward  tax payers as generaosly as they have the wealthy and large corporations. But that comes as no surprise if you’ve been a follower of this site.

Basically, tax cuts work best when taxes are high—which makes sense. And the highest max tax rate has been high for corporations, sort of:That said, corporations have always had more ways to reduce their tax bills and reduce the tax rate paid thanks to a number of write-off’s companies can take vs. the puny few available to individuals.

Additionally, all the poppycock the Trump administration spewed about how his 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act would put more money into people’s pockets, bring about more jobs and pump up salaries along the way, really hasn’t happened.

Sadly, cutting the corporate tax rates wound up rewarding those very same corporations more than they have individuals. One of the results has been smaller refund checks for individuals as the average tax refund check is down 8 percent this year over last translating into about $170 less, according to the IRS.

To put your best tax foot forward, do yourself a favor and take another look at the number of dependents claimed on your withholding. Changing it could mean less in your take home paychecks but maybe possibly could be more in the size of next year’s refund check.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Positive strides upward on year-to-date returns for the three indices below and big jumps up on 1-year 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, Feb.8, 2019.

DJIA 7.63% YTD up a hair from previous week’s 7.44%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn 5.22% huge jump from the previous week -4.29%

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   8.02 % YTD up from last week’s 7.97%

  • 1 yr. Rtn 4.92% hugely improved from last week’s -4.09%

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 9.99% YTD up a bit from last week’s 9.47%

  • 1yr Rtn 7.69% huge jump up from last week’s -1.65%

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 early January:

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • ETFs

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have come a long way over the past 20-some years. Not only have the number of them swelled right along with assets invested in them, advisors are using and suggesting them big time.

Cerulli Associates reports that 14.1% of financial advisors’ clients were allocated to ETFs at the end of 2018 compared with 5.4% in 2009.

With money pouring out of mutual funds the growing trend for ETFs shows no sign of stopping this year.

But buyer beware, ETFs do have their pluses but they also aren’t the appropriate vehicle for everyone. Make sure to do your homework and research what’s in an ETFs portfolio before investing.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Feb.1, 2019

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  • Golden appeal

Turns out, central banks bought more gold in 2018 than any years since 1967, according to the World Gold Council. That’s good news for anyone loving this precious metal—just not always profitable news.

Surprisingly, that increase in what gold was being used for wasn’t in jewelry. Nope, counties such as China, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan have been adding it to their reserves. Jewelry demand, on the other hand, was pretty much unchanged.

We’ve been told that gold is generally thought of as a good bet during times of political or economic unrest and turbulence. And, it’s always been thought of as a kind of balancer, or hedge, to one’s existing equity portfolios during volatile markets even though making money from it hasn’t been a slam dunk.

That said, if you’ve an interest in the glittery stuff, here’s a brief look at how its per ounce price has performed over the years according to data from KITCO.com;

-10 year high 1900.30; low 868.70

-5 year high 1382.; low 1050.6

-1 year high 1353.30; low 1173,70

-Today, Monday, Feb.4, 2019 at 2:52 pm—1313.70

“Economic uncertainty, slowdown, (and the) U.S.-China trade conflict supported investment flows,” said the World Gold Council’s head of market intelligence, Alistair Hewitt who added. “This dynamic is likely to run through 2019.”

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Nice jump ups last week on the year-to-date returns for the three indices followed here. But can that trend, if it is a trend, continue? Time will tell.

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, Feb.1, 2019.

DJIA 7.44% YTD up from the previous week’s 6.04%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -4.29% improved from the previous week -6.2%

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   7.97 % YTD down from last week’s 6.30%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -4.09% improved from last week’s -6.15%

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 9.47% YTD up from last week’s 7.98%

  • 1yr Rtn -1.65% improved from last week’s -3.32%

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 early January:

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • Christian Investing

I remember learning that it was easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it was for a rich man to get into heaven. I’m going to guess that the folks who run the various portfolios of the Timothy Plan might see that differently.

The Timothy Plan group of funds was created 25 years ago to meet the needs of Christian investors who didn’t want their money invested in companies that support things such as pornography, abortion, wars, any anti-family causes or simply companies whose products run contrary to the teachings of Scripture.

To date that’s paid off for them as the family now has over $1 billion under management.

From their recent press release: “The impact of our investments affects more than the return column on our account statements, it enables companies of high moral character to establish a greater presence in our community at large—Kingdom Impact Investing.”

Believers in that style of investing can learn more about their funds, fund performances, etc.  at TimothyPlan.com.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Jan. 25, 2019

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  • I’m Melting

Meltdowns appear to be the trend in this New Year as stocks prices gyrate up, melt down and then seemingly slide into a pool of yuck.

Like that Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, whose nastiness eventually reduced her to a puddle, the one thing that totally destroyed her was water. Yes, clear, simple, every day, everywhere water.

If only a market meltdown could be corrected by a serious splash of water we’d probably all gleefully  click our ruby slippers together. But ruby slippers aren’t in. So the best we can do is to recognize a trend when we see one and address our investing money goals and needs accordingly.

According to Daniel Pinto, co-president of J.P. Morgan Chase, the market’s performance in December is likely to continue throughout this year—and to date he has been correct.

From CNBC.com: “Over time, you will probably see several more market events like we saw in December,” Pinto said last week in an interview at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.”

Some of the things fueling the markets’ current meltdown pattern include the behavior of our leaders, changes in investor habits/beliefs and an aging economic situation. Oh, and then there’s the huge lump under the living room rug that everyone seems to not see and walk around: America’s huge debt.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Continuing up in tiny bits on year-to-date returns but that’s not the case for 1-year 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, Jan. 18, 2019.

DJIA 6.04% YTD up from the previous week’s 5.917%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -6.2% down from the previous week -5.04%

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   6.30 % YTD down from last week’s 6.54%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -6.15% down from last week’s -4.55%

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 7.98% YTD a tiny bit from last week’s 7.87%

  • 1yr Rtn -3.32% down from last week’s -1.90%

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 early January:

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • Forever costs more

Forget that 50-cent Forever stamp as they’ve become a thing of the past.

Beginning a couple of days ago, (January 27, 2019), the U.S. Postal Service added a nickel to the price of the Forever stamp. That means it’s not two for a buck anymore.

Here, from USATODAY.com are some of the Postal Service price hike details:

  • “First-Class letter (1 ounce) will go up to 55 cents: The nickel increase is the largest percentage rise since 1991, when postage increased from 25 to 29 cents.
  • Additional letter ounce costs will decrease: Each additional ounce will drop from 21 cents to 15 cents. Mailing a 2-ounce letter, a wedding invitation’s typical weight, will cost 70 cents instead of 71 cents.
  • Postcard rates will remain the same: Mailing a postcard will run travelers 35 cents.
  • Priority Mail prices will jump: A small box that previously cost $7.20 will rise to $7.90, while a medium box will jump from $13.65 to $14.35.
  • Priority Mail Express fees will increase: Those looking to ship an envelope ASAP can expect to pay $25.50 instead of $24.70.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Jan. 18, 2019

 

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Jack Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group  was 89 years old when he passed away on January 16, 2018

 

  • You can thank Jack

When I began selling securities in the early 1980’s, mutual funds offered investors a way to purchase a basket of stocks instead of having to select one-by-one which company’s stocks to invest in. Back then, mutual funds had been around for 50 years and little by little were gaining ground among investors and particularly those selling them.

Way back then, the draw for investors was the bundle of stock idea; the draw for brokers selling them was the sales charge (a one-time fee similar to a commission) —typically 8.75% on equity funds.

Something not always addressed back then was a mutual fund’s annual management fees that averaged as high as 1.75% per year. That fee relates to what we hear of as the cost of “active or passive management”. Or, the cost of a fund’s professional management relating to what stocks are purchased and sold in a mutual fund’s portfolio.

Additionally and more importantly, back then there were no equity funds with low sales charges funds, low management fees or index funds around to invest in.

While there are a few reasons when, why and how the sales charge costs and annual management fees have dropped on funds, there’s one man who had a huge impact on a couple of fronts on this product: John C. Bogle.

Thanks to the research, proven investment philosophy and the continued drum-beating of Bogle, Wall Street and investors learned two really important things. First, it’s hard to beat the market—the market representing the performance of an index such as the S&P 500. Second, costs matter. Cost like paying a sales charge on your fund investments and the cost of paying annual management fees on the equity funds you own.

In 1974, Bogle created the Vanguard fund family and in 1976 introduced the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, a low-cost passively managed portfolio of stocks designed to mimic the performance of the S&P 500 index.

And mimic it has done resulting in a solid track record of making money for its shareholders  as actively managed funds have had a hard time beating the performance of the S&P 500 over the long-term.

Depending upon the type of equity fund and the performance years measured, it’s difficult to come up with one figure that represents how often and by how much a passively managed fund, such as an index fund, beats the performance of an actively managed equity fund. Figures for it differ from year to year and fund type to fund type and may range as high as 90-some percentage of actively managed funds that don’t beat that of the S&P 500 in one year to underperforming actively managed ones in another. But more often than not it’s fair to say that index funds often outperform actively managed ones.

Bottom line: Jack Bogle influenced the mutual fund industry in a hugely positive way and provided a wonderful, simple approach to investing through low-cost, passively managed index fund investing. (FYI: The  symbol for various  S&P 500 index funds include: SPDR S&P 500 (ETF), SPY; Vanguard 500 Index  fund is VFIAX; Vanguard Total Stock Market fund, VTSAX; an Fidelity 500 Index fund, FXAIX.)

That said, there will always be risks to equity investing and there are no guarantees that your fund choice(s) will be financially rewarding or punishing no matter what syle of stock selection or management style  is used.

Making money, whether it be in funds or individual stocks, always depends upon two things: Your choices and the time period you’ve participated in the market.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Refreshing.

After plenty of minuses, for the second week in a row the indices are smiling.

All three made nice gains last week with the Nasdaq’s year-to-date return ending higher than the other indices and sat at nearly 8% at the close of business on Friday..

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, Jan. 18, 2019.

DJIA  5.91% YTD way up from the previous week’s 2.87%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -5.04% improved from the previous week -6.17%

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   6.54 % YTD way up from last week’s 3.57%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -4.55% improved from last week’s -6.19%

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  7.87% YTD way up from last week’s 5.07%

  • 1yr Rtn -1.90% improved from last week’s -3.33%

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 last week:

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • Palladium

A while back I mentioned palladium and I’m mentioning it again. Why? Because in 2018 it beat the performance of gold and some think  it could do the same this year and going forward.

That thinking is that due to demand and supply imbalance and the fact that other commodities are being dragged down by a strong dollar and the global slowdown.

Oh…then there is the biggie: Palladium is used to make catalytic converters in gasoline automobiles.

And, as the world begins to switch from gas-fueled autos to hybrid vehicles that matters. A lot.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Jan. 11, 2019

 

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As for the market’s direction, could it be a bear in wedding dress clothing? Time will tell.

 

  • Credit Card Debt

Put aside the fact that America’s national debt has risen by huge leaps and bounds under the current administration, what may or may not surprise you is that personal credit card debt has risen too.

According to TheBalance.com, U.S. consumers now have acquired over $1 trillion in credit card debt. Divide that by the number of households in the country and that breaks down to $5,700 in debt per household.

But wait, there’s more: Look at just the households that already have credit card debt and the average debt for those households is heading for $10,000, ($9.333), according to ValuePenguin.

All of which makes me wonder about how really great is this economy that you hear so much about. Or the fabulous job numbers. Or, the low inflation.

Something does add up.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

For one week there were positive signs of life on Wall Street as all three indices followed here showed some nice one week gains.

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. 11, 2019.

DJIA 2.87% YTD way up from the previous week’s 0.45%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -6.17% improved from the previous week -6.55%

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 3.57% YTD up from last week’s 1.00%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -6.19% improved from last week’s -7.05%

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 5.07% YTD way up from last week’s 1.56%

  • 1yr Rtn -3.33% improved from last week’s -4.79%

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

Looking up.

At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, the total return for the average stock fund under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading was 4.70%, according to Lipper.

Looking at the fund types with the highest year-to-date gains under the various headings shows the following:

-U.S. Diversified Equity Funds average, 4.70%; highest Equity Leveraged Funds, 11.08%; lowest, Dedicated Short Bias Funds, -8.88%

-Sector Equity Funds average 4.88%; highest Energy MLP Funds, 11.74%; lowest Alternative Managed Funds, -2.20%

-World Equity Funds average 4.07%; highest Latin American Funds, 9.01%; lowest India Region Funds, -1.23%.

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.

 

  • Banking on banks

Turns out, 2018 was a great year for banks if being a great year means that none failed.

CNBC reported “ 2018 was the first year since 2006 and only the third since the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was created in 1933 that a calendar year passed without a bank failure, according to Bloomberg.”

FYI, the peak year for failures was 2010 when 157 institutions bellied up. And during the savings and loan crisis, in 1989 there were 534 lenders that failed.

 

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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 Dec. 28, 2018

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  • The Best Investment Ever

Now that 2019 is hours away and every financial fortune-teller has begun sharing their maybe, could be and hopeful projections about what’s going to happen on Wall Street in the New Year, there really is only one investment that matters: You.

You are the one who is typically in control of what securities to purchase or liquidate and when to do so. You are the one who decides how much effort to put into making your investment selections. And you are the one who doles out the money to spend on the investments of your choosing.

While it’s all up to you to decide whether or not to invest, the one thing you have no control over is how the stocks, bonds or ETFs will perform over the course of a year. Or, during the investing lifetime you’ve given them.

Given that the power of you stops the minute you plop down your first buck in hopes of reaping some financial reward from doing so, and, that Wall Street comes with no promise of future returns, the only investment that can return any kind of cherished return is an investment in yourself.

So Happy New Year to You! And may 2019 be a rewarding year for you and yours.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

When down is up.

Goofy how it all works. Two weeks ago the year-to-date returns on the indices followed here were in serious minus territory. Then, at the close of business on Friday those minus returns weren’t eliminated but they were improved.

What the last day of trading in 2018 will bring us is anybody’s guess as is the performance of all things on Wall Street going forward in 2019.

If there is any sound guidance to give at this point in time it is simply to know where your money is invested and why it’s been placed there. After that, it’s a come- what-may life for all of us with fingers crossed our picks turn out to be rewarding.

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, Dec. 28, 2018.

DJIA -6.70% YTD up from the previous week’s -9.20%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -7.15% also up from the previous week -9.43%

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 -7.03% YTD up from last week’s -9.61%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -7.51% also up from last week’s -9.98%

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 -4.62% YTD hey up considerably from last week’s -8.26%

  • 1yr Rtn -5.26% also up from last week’s -9.08%

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 last week:

P U. There was only one U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading that ended last week with a positive average return. It was Dedicated Short Bias Funds with an average total return of 11.15%. That category of funds numbers 162 out of the 8,214 funds under the U.S. Diversified heading.

In other words, there is nothing pretty about the average returns on equity funds last week. Then again, how could their be with the stock prices fall, fall, falling.

The average year-to-date total return for funds that fall under the heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds stood at -9.18% at the close of business on Thursday, December 20, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s down a huge heap from the previous week’s figure of -3.12% %.

For a broader look, the average Sector Equity Funds’ return was -9.98%; World Equity Funds, -15.34%; Mixed Asset Funds, -6.95%; Domestic L-T Fixed Inc Funds, -1.15%; and World Income Funds, -4.09%.

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.

 

  • Raises

Calling all Floridian hourly workers: You’re getting a raise. A puny raise but a raise nonetheless.

While the minimum wage is heading up in 20 states around the country beginning in the New Year, in Florida the 21 cent an hour increase isn’t likely to get you that Mercedes but it will make a difference.

Florida’s current minimum wage through December 31, 2018 is $8.25 an hour. The new 2019 minimum wage in the Sunshine State will be $8.46.

Doing the math that translates to an additional $8.40 a week for those working a 40-hour week and $436.80 a year.

Other states with puny increases in their minimum wages include 21 cents in Minnesota, from $9.65 to $9,86 an hour; Montana, 20 cents, from $8.30 to $8.50 an hour; and Alaska, up 5 pennies, from $9.84 to $9.89.

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Dec. 21, 2018

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  • Your Christmas Lump of Coal

It takes more than tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy to make a market shine: As, if not more important, is a country’s confidence in its President’s actions along with that of his appointed cabinet, the economy and what’s happening around the world. So….so much for this year’s Santa Claus rally.

You might want to take a belt of hooch before reviewing the performance of last week’s markets. Here, from CNBC.com, is a bit of it:

-The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 6.8%—the worse percentage drop since October 2008.

-Nasdaq lost 8.3% and is now 22% below the high it reached in August.

-The S&P 500 lost 7% last week.

-Performances of both the DJIA and the S&P are on track for their worst December performance since the Great Depression of 1931.

If nothing else, the gift that 2018 has reminded all investors of is that just as a stock’s price can go up, so can it fall. And that’s okay. After all, investing never came with any promises. Only hopes.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

2018 has turned out to be one ugly year for anyone who bet that stock indices would delightfully reward investors with positive returns this year. It hasn’t.

Worse yet, more than one talking head predicts that at least the first half of 2019 to be a rough one for equities.

Stephen Suttmeier, chief equity technical strategists at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch relies on charts for his analysis and says, “We do think the equity markets are set up to continue this cyclical bear market or bear market, just call it what it is—and correct further, a further retracement.”

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, Dec. 21, 2018.

DJIA -9.20% YTD WAY down from the previous week’s -2.50%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -9.43% also way down from the previous week -1.67%

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 -9.61% YTD WAY down from last week’s -2.76%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -9.98% also way down from last week’s -1.96%

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 -8.26% YTD WAY down from last week’s 0.11%

  • 1yr Rtn -9.08% also way down from last week’s 0.79%

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

P U. There was only one U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading that ended last week with a positive average return. It was Dedicated Short Bias Funds with an average total return of 11.15%. That category of funds numbers 162 out of the 8,214 funds under the U.S. Diversified heading.

In other words, there is nothing pretty about the average returns on equity funds last week. Then again, how could their be with the stock prices fall, fall, falling.

The average year-to-date total return for funds that fall under the heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds stood at -9.18% at the close of business on Thursday, December 20, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s down a huge heap from the previous week’s figure of -3.12% %.

For a broader look, the average Sector Equity Funds’ return was -9.98%; World Equity Funds, -15.34%; Mixed Asset Funds, -6.95%; Domestic L-T Fixed Inc Funds, -1.15%; and World Income Funds, -4.09%.

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.

 

  • Then Again: OPPORTUNITY

If you liked Apple at $233.47, its 52-week high, you gotta love it at $150.73, Friday’s closing price. Right?

Well, may yes, maybe no.

However you assess the worth and value of investing in any stock—whether it’s Apple or something else– depends upon three things—and always three things:

1.How you think.

2.Your reason(s) for investing in it.

3.The price at which you intend to sell it.

 

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POCKETBOOK Week Ending Dec. 15, 2018

 

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Folks  may be spending plenty this holiday season but according to a CNBC All-American Economic Survey our optimism about our economic  future has fallen.

 

  • It’s a Global World of Worry

As money continues to be the value that rules the world, it ought to come as no surprise that when our equity markets are in the tank, so are many of those around the globe. Or visa versa.

“The market tensions we saw during this quarter were not an isolated event,” said Claudio Borio, head of the monetary and economic department at the Bank of International Settlements (BIS). BIS is an umbrella group for the world’s central banks.

Combine the fear of our Fed increasing interest rates, our soaring debt, trade tensions at home and abroad, political worries at home and abroad and it’s no wonder that stocks aren’t performing so hap-hap-happly this holiday season.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

If the total value of your portfolio is positive so far this year, stand up and cheer. Then call your financial advisor, broker or whomever it is that’s managing your money and say thanks.

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, Dec. 14, 2018.

DJIA -2.50% YTD down more from the previous week’s -1.34%.

  • 1 yr. Rtn -1.67% way down from the previous week 0.73%

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 -2.76% YTD down more from last week’s -1.52%

  • 1 yr. Rtn -1.96%

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 0.11% YTD down from last week’s 0.95%

  • 1yr Rtn 0.79% way down from last week’s 2.30%

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

And things keep getting ugly.

The average year-to-date total return for funds that fall under the heading of U.S. Diversified Equity Funds stood at -3.12% at the close of business on Thursday, December 13, 2018, according to Lipper. That’s down considerably from the previous week’s figure of -0.94%.

Of the 25 largest equity funds that Lipper tracks, total returns aren’t much sweeter. Even three of Vanguard’s funds have total returns deep in minus territory.

They include: Vanguard Tot I S: Investors, -12.15%; Vanguard Tot I S: Ins,-12.08; and Vanguard To IS :Adm, -12-13%.

The top two performing funds, y-t-d, among that list of 25 were the Fidelity Contrafund, 2.85% and American Funds Growth: A, 2.08%.

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.

 

  • Salt in a Wound

So you say you missed a chance to invest in Elon Musk’s Tesla?

Oh well, so did I.

But if either of us had plopped down  $1000 in TSLA eight years ago, in 2010, and had neither of us sold any portion of that investment, on  December 12, 2018, that 1000 bucks would  have turned into $21,000, according to CNBC.

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