Tag Archives: Lipper

POCKETBOOK: Week ending April 13, 2017

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• Pay me more

Sometimes I am totally baffled by the head-in-the-sand and sheer stupidity of many who make their  living on Wall Street, in Washington, the insurance industry, corporate America, etc.,  regarding wages.

Recently I read a headline in the financial section of an online source that hoped to draw readers in by listing the reasons why people don’t save enough money for their retirement.

The headline brought out a big Homer Simpson “D’oh” in me. Why? Because I see the answer as clear as the nose on my face.

If it isn’t clear to you, let me explain: The reason is because wages—for those with a job– still stink. And that translates into the simple reality that people aren’t bringing home a paycheck fat enough to cover monthly expenses never mind having enough to save for retirement. Many of whom, btw, live paycheck to paycheck, couldn’t handle a family emergency expense of 500 bucks and have no retirement account of any sort.

Thinking everybody has enough money to save for their retirement is just plain ignorant. About as ignorant as thinking that keeping healthy is a personal choice—no genetics involved there.

I’m not sure why the not-enough-money thing is so hard for those in corporate America, Congress, etc. to get. Unless, of course, keeping your company’s shareholders happy has become more important that paying a decent living wage to the individuals who keep your business in business. Or perhaps pure greed is behind it all. But we all know that greed has never made a country—or the citizens living in it— great.

It’s time for those who decide pay scales to wake up. Wages not keeping up with the cost of living isn’t a new story. It’s decades old. And unless serious changes are made, won’t be going away anytime soon.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Stock indices were all down at the close of this past 4-day week on Wall Street. Biggest hit was to the Russell 2000—its 1-year performance closed under water. We haven’t seen that kind of year-to-date return in more weeks than many would like to mention.

Re the markets, iIf you haven’t realized it by now, Americans don’t like wars. Or any worries or concerns about the likelihood of one anywhere in the world that the US might be involved or participate in.

And if you haven’t realized it by now, our current president has a bullying nature that some see as a positive while others find his  behavior as undermining our country’s security.

So, even though earnings reports may be strong in some sectors, nothing is stronger than fear. Realized. Unrealized. Made up. Or in-your-face.

These are delicate times. Invest carefully.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high, according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending  Thursday, April 13, 2017.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +3.49% YTD, down from last week’s 4.52%

  • 1yr Rtn +14.10% down from last week’s 17.75%

The DJIA reached an all-time high of 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.

 

-S&P 500 +4.03 YTD down from last week’s 5.21%

  • 1yr Rtn +11.82% down from last week’s +15.36%

The S&P 500 reached an all-time high of 2,400.98 on March 1, 2017.

 

-NASDAQ +7.84% YTD down from last week’s +9.19%

  • 1yr Rtn +17.37% down from last week’s 21.23%

The Nasdaq reached its all-time high of 5,936.39 on April 5, 2017.

 

–Russell 2000 YTD  -0.88% way down from last week’s +0.55%%

  • 1yr Rtn +19.20% down  from last week’s +24.87 %

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of 1, 414.82 on March 1, 2017.

 

-Mutual funds

Ouch.

At the close of business on Thursday, April 13,2017, the average total return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds closed at 2.98%, down from last week’s 4.17% return, according to Lipper.

Of the 20 different fund types that fall under the broad U.S. Diversified Fund heading, for the first time this year there wasn’t one group reporting a double-digit year-to-date average return. Top and bottom fund types include Equity Leveraged Funds, up on average 8.95% and Dedicated Short Bias, -6.75%.

Even World Equity Funds lost ground. The average fund under this heading was +8.21% down from last week’s 8.59%.

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.

  • The cat is out of the bag

There are no words to  excuse the violent behavior that grown adults imposed on United Airlines passenger Dr. David Dao last week. Dr. Dao’s injuries include a broken nose, teeth knocked out, a concussion and the impossible to gage long-term trauma he will suffer.

One of the results of that horrible encounter is that airlines will pay.

No, I’m not speaking of the lawsuit Dr. Dao will likely bring but the pretty much kept-to-a-secret amount of money airlines would pay to passengers willing to give up their seat on overbooked flights.

On the day of the incident, United offered passengers $400 and a free night in a hotel if they chose to take a later flight, according to Graffiotech.com.

Turns out, the cap on dollars offered within the industry is $1,350.

Who knew?

I’m guessing not many passengers.  If they had  been offered a four-figure amount to get off that plane, perhaps that incident would not have happened. Perhaps.

As a result of this better-not-ever-happen-again incident, Delta Air Lines has just upped the please-take-another-flight-offer  ante: According to The Associated Press, Delta gate agents can now offer up to $2000 to passengers choosing to take another flight—that’s up from $800. And better yet, Delta supervisors can now offer up to $9,950—up from 1350.

Perhaps, sums like that will be attractive enough to passengers and make a change of plans more palatable for all concerned.

We shall see.

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending April 1, 2017

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• The bull in the bull

Every investor knows, or at least has been told, that bull markets don’t go on forever. That said, they can, however, last a pretty long while.

How long? Thousands of days, according to data from FINRA.

Setting the current bull market aside, the longest bull market in US history lasted 4,494 days (October 1987 to March 2000). During that time period stocks gained 582%, and 308 hit all-time highs.

The shortest bull? Only 1,839 days. The market gained 152% during its 5-year run from August 1982 to August 1897. And, 152  stocks hit their all-time highs during it.

Bull market durations aside, according to  SchaefferResearch.com, when you look at the really big market performance picture —that includes both bull, bear and flat markets— the annualized return of the DJIA since 1920 is around 5.5%.

Bet you thought it was going to be higher, didn’t you.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Up for the week. Down for the year.

That’s how the major indices closed on March 31, 2017, according to CNBC.com.

What’s to come? It depends upon whose info you read: Some say this bull has room to roam; others, a sit down is coming.

Personally, I’d prepare for some upcoming buying opportunities.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending March 31, 2017.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +4.56% YTD, up from last week’s 4.22%

•1yr Rtn +16.84% down from last week’s 17.59%

The DJIA reached an all-time high of 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.

 

-S&P 500 +5.53% YTD up from last week’s 4.70%

  • 1yr Rtn +14.71% down from last week’s +15.13%

The S&P 500 reached an all-time high of 2,400.98 on March 1, 2017.

 

-NASDAQ +9.82% YTD up from last week’s +8.28%

  • 1yr Rtn +21.39% down from last week’s 22.11%

The Nasdaq reached its all-time high of 5,928.06 on March 21, 2017.

 

–Russell 2000 +2.12%  YTD up from last week’s -0.18%%

  • 1yr Rtn +24.41% down from last week’s +25.28%

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of 1, 414.82 on March 1, 2017.

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, March 30, 2017, the average total return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was 4.82%, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s close of 3.49%.

Under the broad Sector Equity Fund heading, three categories have shown double-digit returns at the close of the third-quarter while the average fund under this heading was up 3.51%.

Looking at those top performers,  the average YTD returns  were found in Global Science/Technology Funds, up 13.85%, Science & Technology Funds, up on average 12, 20% and Health/Biotechnology Funds, up 11.07%.

It is still  hard to top the performance of the average World Equity Fund. The 4,522 funds that Lipper tracks under that heading were up on average 8.97%.

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.

 

  • Baby Boomers Big Bomb

According to CWR & Partners, LLP, a public relations firm, 41% of Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 64) have no retirement savings at all; Social Security’s average payment is $1,360.00 per month resulting in a SS poverty level annual income of $16,320 ; and 1 out of every 65 year old will live past the age of 90.

Hum.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending March 18, 2017

  • 7be6974a-a70c-449c-b75f-92ef077bf8a2 Social Security and your taxes

It has been estimated that each day 10,00 Baby Boomers retire. Many, while not all, then begin looking forward to and accepting their well-earned Social Security checks.

But that new income isn’t always tax-free. No, no Nanette. A lot depends upon the age at which you begin collecting, the state in which you live  and of course any other work-related income.

To make us smarter than ever, here is one of the five questions included from a Journal of Accountancy “How much do you know about Social Security? “ quiz . I found it at their website, journalofaccountancy.com, and thought the info valuable.

I will publish the other four questions at a later time but until then you can test your Social Security smarts here:

“Andy chose to file for his Social Security worker’s benefit in 2016 when he turned 62. However, in February 2017 he decided to take a part-time job to earn some extra income. He earns about $2,000 per month before taxes and receives about $500 per month in dividend payments from his investment portfolio. Which statement is correct about the impact on his Social Security benefits?

  1. His Social Security benefits will all be taxable because he has earned income over $1,500 per month prior to his full retirement age.
  2. His Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $3 of earned  income over a monthly threshold of $1,410 in 2017.
  3. His Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 of earned income only over a monthly threshold of $1,410 in 2017.
  4. His Social Security benefits will be 85% taxable because he has earned income over $1,500 per month prior to his full retirement age.”

To find the correct answer, scroll down to the last entry –found under Mutual Funds— in this week’s Pocketbook.

  • Market Quick Glance

Mixed returns for the major indices over the past week with one bright spot: NASDAQ did reach a new high at the close of business on –of all days—Friday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending March 17, 2017.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +5.83% YTD, up a tad from last week’s 5.77%

  • 1yr Rtn +19.64% down from last week’s 22.99%

The DJIA reached an all-time high of 21,169.11 on March 1, 2017.

-S&P 500 +6.23% YTD up from last week’s 5.97%

  • 1yr Rtn +16.55% down from last week’s +19.25 %

The S&P 500 reached an all-time high of 2,400.98 on March 1, 2017.

-NASDAQ +9.62YTD up from last week’s +8.89%

  • 1yr Rtn +23.58% down from last week’s 25.731%

The Nasdaq reached its all-time high of 5,912.61 on March 17, 2017.

–Russell 2000 +2.53 YTD% up from last week’s +0.60 %

  • 1yr Rtn +27.52% down from last week’s +28.32%

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of 1, 414.82 on March 1, 2017.

-Mutual funds

A better week for the equity funds as, at the close of business on Thursday, March 16, 2017, the average total return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was  5.23%, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s close of 4.02%.

It’s still World Equity Funds that are bringing home the bacon with the average return on the 4,500+ funds under its heading were up on average 8.46%. That’s over a 300-basis point gain in one week.

Fund types making money under that heading include: India Region Funds, up on average 17.53%; Latin American Funds, up 12.41%; China Region Funds, up 12.3%; Pacific Ex. Japan Funds , up 11.83%; and Emerging Markets Funds, up 11.09%.

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.

  • And the answer is: C

“Prior to full retirement age (FRA), earned income above a threshold ($16,920 per year or $1,410 per month in 2017) reduces the Social Security benefit by $1 for every $2 earned. The first year of earning, this is tested monthly, with subsequent years tested annually. In the year in which you reach your FRA, the benefits are reduced by $1 of every $3 eanred over a monthly threshold of $3,780. After FRA, additional earnings have no impact on the mount of benefits received. Taxability of benefits is a separate issue, but neither indicated above is correct.”

And you thought things would be simpler in retirement.

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POCKETBOOK:Week ending March 4, 2017

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  • A winning high in no time at all.

 It only took 24 days for the DJIA to gain 1000 points  when it closed for the first time over 2100.

The only other time that has happened in the history of the DJIA was in 1999 when the Dow rose from 10,000 to 11,000. And that was during the internet boom, according to CBSMoneyWatch.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

 More ups. More records. Even a birthday…..

Let’s begin with the birthday. On Saturday, March 4, 2017, the S&P 500—-the world’s biggest stock market index—-turned 60!

Investors turn to the S&P 500 index because it provides them with a better overall look at how large-cap stocks are doing than the snapshot the 30 stocks that make up the DJIA do.

Back to the mores….last week  still more highs for the major indices were reached as the  week  came to a close. Details below.

Below are the weekly and 52-week performance results— including the dates each has reached its high according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending March 3, 2017.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 6.29% YTD, up from last week’s 5.36%

  • 1yr Rtn +23.97% down from last week’s 26.31%

The DJIA reached a 52-week high of 21,169.11 on March 3, 2017. (Previous all-time high of 20,840.7 was reached on Feb. 23, 2017.)

 

-S&P 500 +6.44% YTD up from last week’s 5.74%

  • 1yr Rtn +19.55% down from last week’s +22.67 %

The S&P 500 reached a 52-week high of 2,400.98 on March 1, 2017. (Previous all-time high of 2,368.26 was reached on Feb. 23, 2017.)

 

-NASDAQ +9.06% YTD up from last week’s +8.59%

  • 1yr Rtn +24.71% down a lot from last week’s 28.68%

The Nasdaq reached a 52-week high and its all-time of 5,911,79 on March 1, 2017. (Previous all-time high of of 5,867.89 was reached on Feb. 21, 2017.)

 

–Russell 2000 +2,73 YTD% down a hair from last week’s +2.76 %

  • 1yr Rtn +29.56% down considerably from last week’s +36.44 %

The Russell 2000 reached its 52-week high and its all time high of 1, 414.82 on March 1, 2017.( Previous all-time high of 1,410.04 was reached on on Feb.21, 2107.)

 

-Mutual funds

Still on the upswing.

The average total return for U.S. Diversified Equity Funds closed up at 5.22% at the close of business on Thursday, March 2, 2017, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s close of 4.82%.

World Equity Funds were up on average 6.16% with India Region and Latin American Funds continuing to lead the way— up 11.97% and 10.41% respectively, on average.

Looking at the 25 largest mutual funds around (based upon assets), PowerSharesQQQ Trust1 was up the most at 10.50% year-to-date, as of March 2, 2107. Next in performance line  iShares Russ 1000 Gr ETF, up 8.43% and then the American Funds Growth:A, up 7.68%.

The puniest returns out of this group were seen in funds with substantial fixed-income holdings: As in the iShares: Core US Agg Bond fund, up 0.18; the DoubleLine: Total Return; I shares, up 0.24%; and the Met West: Total Return up 0.33%.

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.

 

  • Like defense?

If you’re a believer that the new administration is going to increase defense spending big time in the near future, Morningstar covers a half-dozen defence contractor companies that you might to investigate as well.

The Chicago-based investment research group considers these companies as “fairly valued to overvalued” and include Lockheed Martin (LMT); Northrop Grumman (NOC); Raytheon (RTN); General Dynamics (GD); Boeing (BA) and L3 Technologies (LLL).

Make sure to do your own research and homework before investing in these companies. Or anything, for that matter.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Feb. 11, 2017

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  • It’s golden

Don’t know if it’s just because of Valentine’s Day but gold has regained popularity once again. Any why not? Who doesn’t love a golden bobble and wouldn’t covet a closet full of gold bars.

The ask price of an ounce of gold was $1226.30 at 9:24 this morning, 2/13/17, according to Kitco.com where you can follow live prices of it and other precious metals. For a point of reference, between August 15,2016 through Feb. 10, 2017, gold traded as high as $1352.10 an ounce in August to its December low of $1128.20, according to the site.

Word is, the rally in it is supposed to continue. If you are a believer, you can buy the stuff in various easy, or not-so-easy, ways to handle. Or, consider individual mining stocks, mutual funds or ETFs.

To begin your research make sure to read the Feb. 6, 2017, CNBC.com pieced titled, “Look out:Gold and bonds are sending a signal reminiscent of 1987 and 1973 market crashes”.

That warned, a very few of the ETFs you might want to research include SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), iShares Gold Trust (IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (SGOL) . Gold mners ETFs such as Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and Sprott Gold Miners ETF (SGDM). Or triple leveraged ones like Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NUGT) and Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3x Shares.

Don’t forget, gold is touchy and as such can be a very fickle investment. Handle with care inside and outside of your portfolio.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Big time scores on the major indices for the week ending Feb. 10, 2017 with new all time highs reached on three of the four indices followed below.

A few changes in the Market Quick Glance figures: Gone is the P/E ratio and added is the date each index  reached it all time high. And, I’ve also changed sources for the data because Bloomberg.com has changed its format. As a result, the new site, its look and changes for the free user aren’t as complete as they previously were.

So…below are the weekly and 1-year performance results— including the dates each has reached it high—for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices at the close of business on Friday, Feb. 10, according to CNBC.com

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 2.56% YTD, up from last week’s 1.56%

  • 1yr Rtn +27.36% up from last week’s 22.86%

The DJIA reached its all time high of 20,298.21 on 2/10/17 (previous high was 20,125.58 on 1/26/17).

 

-S&P 500 +3.45% YTD up from last week’s 2.62% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +25.07% up bit last week’s 20.86%

The S&P 500 reached its all time high of 2,319.23 on 2/10/17 (previous high was 2,300.99 on 1/26/17).

 

-NASDAQ +5.27% YTD up a bit from last week’s 5.20%

  • 1yr Rtn +33.86% way up from last week’s 25.81%

The Nasdaq reached its all time high of 5,743.43 on 2/10/17 ( previous high was 5,669.61 on 1/26/17).

 

–Russell 2000 +2.34% up from last week’s +1.53%

  • 1yr Rtn +44.158% up from last week’s 36.38%

The Russell 2000 reached its all time high of 1,392.71 on 12/9/16.

 

-Mutual funds

A good week for mutual funds! Turns out the year-to-date return for the average fund was 3.11% at the close of biz on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2011, according to Lipper. That’s a big jump from the previous week’s close of 1.81% for funds included under the U.S. Diversified Equity Fund umbrella.

Under the Sector Equity Funds heading, biggest scores went to Precious Metals Funds, up on average 21.19% and biggest losers were Commodities Equity Funds, down 5.73%.

BTW, the average Sector Equity Fund was up 3.49%. That’s more than the return for the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund and way less than that of the average World Equity Fund. It’s up 5% thanks in part to the average India Region Funds’ return of 11.68%.

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.

 

  • Dear Valentine

With all of the commercial hoopla about Valentine’s Day going on, its easy to forget—or simply overlook—the fact that this day may not be the greatest for everyone. In fact, I’d say that having a sad, sour or disappointing Valentine’s Day is a reality for many, if not most, of us.

That said, last week I received an email about this Feb.14th day, that’s worth a read. It’s about making the most of this day no matter what your circumstances are.

Written by author Susan Alpert, I’m going to guess that if you follow any one or number of her suggestions that your Valentine’s Day this year will have more meaning to it than you ever could have imagined.

Here is it: “Surviving Loss During Valentine’s Day

February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is almost here.  Everywhere you go you see colorful and enticing ads for flowers, jewelry, and photos of blissfully happy couples. Does it make you smile or make you want to crawl up into a ball and hide? There are millions of people who are without that special love, through death, divorce, separation or personal situations.  Are you one of them?

If that iconic Valentine’s red heart is broken in your eyes, there are steps you can take to put a patch on it, even for just this one dreaded day.  You’ll find there can be pleasure, joy and smiles; even if it’s not in the form you envisioned. Happiness comes in the most surprising ways:

  • First acknowledge that you’re feeling alone and in pain, it’s natural.
    Give yourself permission to feel down and even depressed, it’s your right.
    Make certain to get dressed, get out of your house and socialize.  It’s a temporary fix, but it helps.
    Reach out to someone else who needs love.
    Give a valentine card or heart to a little child. Sometimes they get left out in school. Watch the smile on their face.
    Buy yourself a present.  You deserve it. Repeat to yourself that you are loved by others.
    Help a stranger; volunteer at a charity, a shelter.  It will automatically make you feel better.
    Take yourself, or better yet, go with a friend, to a movie (not a romantic, mushy one), exercise; another positive diversion.
    Thank someone who has loved you; a parent, relative, friend, children, grandchildren).  Wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day.
    Remember the good times and remind yourself that there will be more to come. Then, believe it and it will happen.”

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Jan.28, 2017

  • 7be6974a-a70c-449c-b75f-92ef077bf8a2 Markets hate uncertainty

Funny thing about the stock market: On the one hand it looks ahead, on the other it doesn’t like uncertainty. Or, social unrest and there is plenty of that going on.

So, with a new President in town, and one who takes bold actions and is hard to figure, investors would be wise to expect a fair amount of market volatility going forward. Also, that life is going to be more expensive on a number of fronts for individuals and the country.

Re the country, expect more debt.

Even though the GOP is no fan of debt, President Trump has been called the King of Debt. Which is okay when your kingdom is a privately held corporation. But not so okay when you are a public servant.

  • Market Quick Glance

It was a week of ups and downs and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing over 20,000. How long the DJIA stays at the level—and continues upward– is anybody’s guess.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices at the close of business on Friday, Jan. 27, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 1.78% YTD up from last week’s 0.43%

  • 1yr Rtn +25.32% down from last week’s 26.53%

P/E Ratio 18.55 down from last week’s 18.66

 

-S&P 500 +2.60% YTD up from last week’s 1.55% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +20.86% down from last week’s 21.73%

P/E Ratio 21.28 down a tad from last week’s 21.22

 

-NASDAQ +5.20% YTD up from last week’s 3.23%

  • 1yr Rtn +24.36% up from last week’s 22.65%

P/E Ratio 34.91 up from last week’s 34.39

 

–Russell 2000 +1.05% way up from last week’s -0.35%

  • 1yr Rtn +34.36% down a bit from last week’s 34.44%

P/E Ratio 48.27 up from last week’s 49.19

 

-Mutual funds

The average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund ended the week up with a year-to-date return of 2.61% at the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017, according to Lipper.

Under that broad U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading, it was Dedicated Short Bias Funds that lost the most, down on average 5.58%.They were followed by Alternative Equity Market Neutral funds, down 0.08%.

On the plus side, Equity Leverage Funds were up 7.52% nearly double the previous week return of 3.59%. Next in performance were Large-Cap Growth Funds up 4.81% followed by Multi-Cap Growth Funds, up 4.60%.

The average Sector Fund was up 2.73% up from 1.43%; World Equity Fund up 4.47% from 2.55%; and Mixed Asset Funds doubled their average return in a week to close at 2.10% from last Thursday’s close of 1%.

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.

  • Actions have consequences

If there is one thing that President Trump’s slew of executive orders signed during his first full week in office has shown everyone,  it is that actions have consequences. They always have. They always will. Unfortunately the consequences part of that equation never really shows its head until after an action has taken place.

Take the executive order signed on Friday to stop travelers from seven countries coming to America. BTW, none of those countries were places that Trump has business relationships.

Clearly that action had political, emotional and economic consequences felt around the globe. I’m not sure if the administration had anticipated any of those consequences but am certain travelers and the general public did not.

Or the order signed to build a wall along the U.S. and Mexican border. One of its many consequences will be its cost.

One of the curious things about executive orders—other than their extraordinary power– is that when you really begin to think about them as actions, the first question a reasoning person has to ask themselves is “Why was it put in place?” and the second, “What purpose will it/they actually serve?”

Word is President Trump has a bunch of executive orders he is prepared to present and sign. As for what the consequences of each of those actions will be, the answer is: We shall see.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Jan.21, 2017

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•Bookies bets and recession realities

Wall Streeters aren’t the only ones who consider odds. Turns out the gambling world does too. According to Paddy Power, an online betting site, the odds of Trump not completing a full term as President of the United States is 7 to 4.

Additionally, the odds of Trump being impeached or forced to resign are 4 to 2; to split from Melania in 2017, 16 to 1; and to paint the entire White House gold, 500 to 1.

On that last point, Trump has made quite a dent with that gold thing. Seems this golden-haired guy has already had gold curtains installed in the Oval Office along with a gold rug and who knows where else you’ll find his golden touch.

While gold may be his thing, color the entire economic picture of the United States of America gray as the likelihood of a Trump recession during his tenure in office is 100 %.

As I wrote a few weeks back, there has been a recession during every single Republican president’s administration since World War II.

  • Market Quick Glance

In case you’ve forgotten, there were only 4 trading days last week—Monday was the Martin Luther King holiday and markets were closed. Oh, and there was the inauguration of our 45th President–a holiday for some.

So it was a four-day Wall Street week and as it turned out, not a great one for investors with the indices all  closing  lower than they had the week previous.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices  on Friday, Jan. 20, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones + 0.43% YTD down from last week’s 1.07%.

  • 1yr Rtn +26.53% up from last week’s 23.63%.

P/E Ratio 18.66 up from last week’s 18.80.

 

-S&P 500 +1.55% YTD down from last week’s 1.67%.

  • 1yr Rtn +21.73% down from last week’s +23.63%.

P/E Ratio 21.22 up from last week’s 20.36.

 

-NASDAQ +3.23 YTD down from last week’s3.57%.

  • 1yr Rtn +22.65% down from last week’s 25.87%.

P/E Ratio 34.39 down from last week’s 34.47.

 

-Russell 2000 -0.35%YTD way down from last week’s +1.13%

  • 1yr Rtn +34.44% down from last week’s +38.0%.

P/E Ratio 48.13 down from last week’s 49.19.

 

-Mutual funds

Average year-to-date returns were lower at the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, as the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund ended the week up 0.94%, according to Lipper ( it closed on 1/12/17 at 1.38%).

Even Equity Leverage Funds were off at 3.59% from the previous week’s  4.62% average return. Large-Cap Growth Funds were a tad off at 3.11% from their 1/12/17 showing of 3.13%.

The average year-to-date  Sector Fund was up 1.43%; World Equity Fund up 2.55%; and Mixed Asset Funds ahead by 1%.

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.

  • Fidelity stock fund managers and the stocks they like.

Ever now and then I get  an email from Jim Lowell, editor of Fidelity Investor, an investor advice newsletter.

In the one received on Jan. 22, he listed Fidelity’s Top 20 Favorite Stocks that he wrote were

“ the most owned, and hence most liked, by Fidelity’s top managers.”

While I can’t verify that. Or, don’t know the date when the list was compiled or when they were gleaned precisely from where, or if those holdings are still in portfolios, I did find the list interesting and thought you might too.

With that in mind, the list of 20 includes:

#1) Alphabet (GOOG)

#2)Apple(APPL)

#3) Facebook (FB)

#4) Amazon (AMZN)

#5) iShares ETFs

#6) Microsoft (MSFT)

#7) Berkshire Hathaway (BRK):

#8) Visa (V)

#9) UnitedHealth Group (UNH)

#10) Medtronic (MDT)

#11) Salesforce (CRM)

#12) Amgen Inc. (AMGN)

#13) NVIDIA Corp (NVDA)

#14) JP Morgan Chase (JPM)

#15) Wells Fargo (WFC)

#16) Activision Blizzard, Inc. (ATVI)

#17) Home Depot (HD)

#18) Chevron (CVX)

#19) MasterCard Inc. (MA)

#20) QUALCOMM Inc. (QCOM)

 

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Jan.7, 2017

IMG_0204•It’s time to go to Europe

Lots of talk about the strength of the U.S. Dollar and one major sized plus of its current value that’s not getting much attention is that your greenback will buy more when traveling across the pond.

So, If you love Europe and would like to take advantage of exchange rates —on currencies such as the euro and British Pound Sterling— their exchange rates are attractive.

Given that exchange rates are always changing, as of Jan.9 around 9:30 a.m., here’s a look at the EUR-USD rate 1.0528, according to Bloomberg. And the BPS (GPS-USD) rate of 1.226.

Flipped those exchange rates read like this: EUR, 0.95 and GBP,0.815.

Happy spending and safe travels.

 

•Market Quick Glance

The first week of the New Year was off to a positive start for all four indices followed. And that’s the good news.

The uncertain news is what’s to follow.

With an economy that some say is heating up and other’s cooling down, inflation a concern for all and a new president with a bullying style and

not always known for keeping his word, what’s in store for Wall Street in 2017 is anyone’s guess.

I’m hoping for the positive.

On that note, below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices  on Friday, Jan.6, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +1.07% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +25.44%

P/E Ratio 18.96

 

-S&P 500 +1.76% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +21.08%

P/E Ratio 20.36

 

-NASDAQ +2.58% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +20.51%

P/E Ratio 34.39

 

-Russell 2000 +0.76% YTD

  • 1yr Rtn +32.67%

P/E Ratio 49.42

-Mutual funds

The New Year brought with it positive results for the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund, too. At the close of business on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017, the average return for the 8,471 funds that come under that broad heading was up 1.39%, according to Lipper.

Curiously, it was Equity leverage Funds, there are 200 of them tracked, that scored the best—up on average 4.73%. The lowest returns? Specialty Diversified Equity Funds, up 0.73% followed by last year’s winner, Small-Cap Value Funds, up 0.96%. In 2016, Small-Cap Value Funds’ scores were the highest with the average return up 27.25%.

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.

 

•Vanguard brings in big big bucks

If you’ve ever wondered where some investor money is going, it’s to the Vanguard Group. They are the largest mutual fund manager around and in 2016 brought in $305 billion beating their 2015 take of $276.4 billion.

According to Vanguard representative, John Woerth, most of that money went into Vanguard index funds although about $50 billion made its way into that fund family’s actively managed stock and bond funds.

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POCKETBOOK:Week ending Dec.24, 2016

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  • Holiday peace and joy to all

To honor the true spirit of the holiday season, this week’s money-focused POCKETBOOK will be brief. My hope in doing so is to remind everyone that what’s most important in this life is the wealth that lives within your heart and not the material wealth you may have been fortunate enough to have accumulated.

  • Market Quick Glance

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +17.51 YTD up from last week’s 16.96%

  • 1yr Rtn +16.65% down from last week’s 18.99%

 

-S&P 500 +13.17% YTD up from last week’s 12.84%

  • 1yr Rtn +12.27% down from last week’s 15.07%

 

-NASDAQ +10.55%YTD up from last week’s 10.02%

  • 1yr Rtn +9;68% down from last week’s 11.96%

 

-Russell 2000 +22.47%YTD up from last week’s 21.82%

  • 1yr Rtn +20.55% down from last week’s 23.55%

 

-Mutual funds

At the close of business on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016, the performance of the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund was 11.53%, off a bit from the previous week’s close of 11.73%, according to Lipper.

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.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Dec. 9, 2016

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  • Flying high…maybe

Everybody is flying high. From house and stock market prices to Donnie telling the world that yes he wants Boeing “to make a lot of money” re their contract with the government to build a  spanky new 747 Air Force One, just “not that much money.”

Really. Am I the only one who when they heard that thought it sounded a little like the kind of words  that would come out of the mouth of a dictator ? And,  what ever happened to free market capitalism and competition?

I bettcha if anyone ever tried to tell this President-elect how much money he could or couldn’t make on a deal—any deal— he’d tell them to go take a flying leap.

Speaking of leaps, expecting the equity markets to continue climbing to new heights for an extended period of time will require a leap of faith. A big leap.

Trees don’t grow to the sky.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Thank heavens that decisions made by President Obama and his Administration during his first year(s) in office laid the groundwork that allowed us to get out from under  the Great Recession and into a recovery plan that has worked and grown our economy over the past eight years. Had decisions made eight years ago not happened, it’s highly unlikely that the equity indices would have been able to reach the new highs they are currently enjoying.

At the close of business on Friday, December 9, 2016, it’s been estimated that $1 billion in new wealth has been added to the equity markets since the November election. Not surprisingly, on Friday all four of the indices followed here closed higher than they had the previous week.

Below are the weekly and 1-year performance results for four popular stock indices based on the close of business prices on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, according to Bloomberg.

-Indices:

-Dow Jones +16.43% YTD up a lot from last week’s 12.90%

  • 1yr Rtn +17.52% up seriously from last week’s 10.33%

P/E Ratio 18.77 up a bit from last week’s 18.21

 

-S&P 500 +10.02% YTD up from last week’s 9.46%

  • 1yr Rtn +7.65% up from last week’s 7.11%

P/E Ratio 20.60 up from week’s 20.50

 

NASDAQ +7.31% YTD up from last week’s 6.30%

  • 1yr Rtn +4.60% up from last week’s 3.61%

P/E Ratio 30.89 up from last week’s 30.60

 

Russell 2000 +19.05% YTD up from last week’s 17.27%

  • 1yr Rtn +14.44% up from last week’s 12.74%

P/E Ratio 46.27 up from last week’s 45.59

 

-Mutual funds

Stock fund shareholders have plenty to crow about as the YTD performance of the average U.S. Diversified Equity Fund closed up at 12.14% at the end of day on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, according to Lipper. That’s up substantially from previous week’s close of 8.55%.

Small-Cap Value Funds continued to gain ground— up on average 28.89%. Next in line were Equity Leverage Funds, up on average 26.15%. On the other hand, the biggest loser under this broad umbrella U.S. Diversified Equity Fund heading the includes 8,407 funds, was Dedicated Short-Bias Funds. The average one in his group was down on average 26.65%.

Looking at YTD returns for the 25 largest mutual funds around and American Funds ICA:A tops the heap— up nearly 15% (14.99% to be exact).

The average General Domestic Taxable FI Fund is up 7.15%. Under that category heading High Yield Funds were up 12.48% on average and Loan Participation Funds up 8.42%.

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.

  • December

Billionaire Carl Icahn, and fan of the President-elect,  told CNN last week that the post election super rally on Wall Street has gone too far. “I personally think it’s a little overdone.”

With half of the month of December almost behind us, talking heads are wondering if this last month of the year will continue to reward investors. In the past, it historically has. But this year, who knows.

Something every investor does know is how their portfolio(s) have performed—-if  they’ve bothered to look. Look. You could find some financial rewards that are worth cashing in on.

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