Tag Archives: pennies for peons

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Nov 3, 2017

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  • Pennies for peons

Amazing for me to  listen to House Speaker Paul Ryan, (who reminds me of Eddie Munster every time I see him), talk about the tax rewards for low-income American families during his repsentation of the new Republican tax reform proposal.

He made a tax savings of under 1200 bucks a year—or roughly $3.23 a day—sound like a big deal. Something great. Something terrific. Something that would make a big difference in their lives. Poppycock.

And all this from a guy who like other members of Congress are paid six-figure incomes — and many of whom are millionaires. Pennies for the peons is how it all sounded to me.

More slight-of-mounth that kinda sorta was made to sound like it was news had to do with the number of Americans who would have no federal income taxes to pay under the suggested Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Also, poppycock.

Millions of people, low-income and otherwise, now pay no federal taxes each year.

According to data from the Tax Policy Center, in 2015 over 45% of Americans –or roughly 77.5 million—paid no federal income tax. If this new Act now means there will be millions more, who is going to pay for services and things we expect like our military, roads, park services, Medicare, SNAP programs, paying down our national debt, etc.?

As you know, I’m no fan of this tax proposal and see it as hurting more than serving the vast majority of the American public. Unless, of course, you are hugely wealthy.

I’m not. Are you?


  • Market Quick Glance

Once again it was mostly up, up and way in some kind of beautiful balloon for the major indices followed here as last week came to a close. I say mostly because once again, the year-to-date performances of the DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all rewarded their index investors while the Russell 2000 slipped backward.

How sustainable these high-flying markets will go continues to make money minds wonder.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for four major indices— including the dates each reached new highs—according to CNBC.com based on prices at the close of business on Friday, November 3, 2017.

DJIA +19.11% YTD up from last week’s 18.58%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +31.28% up from last week’s 28.97%


Another new all-time high was reached on November 3, 2017 of 23,557.06 on the DJIA.

The previous high was reached on October 24, 2017. On March 1, the Dow stood at 21,169.11.


-S&P 500 +15.59% YTD up from last week’s 15.29%.

  • 1yr Rtn +23.90% up from last week’s +21.00%

The S&P 500 reached another new high on November 3, 2017 of 2,588.42.

It’s previous high was reached on October 27, 2017. On March 1, 2017, that index stood at 2,400.98.


-NASDAQ +25.66% YTD up from last week’s +24.49%.

  • 1yr Rtn +33.73% up a chunk from last week’s 28.48%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,765.14 on November 3, 2017.

The previous high was reached on October 27, 2017. On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.


-Russell 2000 +10.15% YTD down from last week’s +11.14%.

  • 1yr Rtn +29.22% up considerably from last week’s +26.75%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 05, 2017.

On March 1, 2017 this index stood at 1,414,82.


-Mutual funds

The year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds had moved up a bit when posted at the close of business on Thursday, November 2, 2017, according to Lipper. The average return was +14.24%. Two weeks before it was 13.75.

That’s not too shabby given the average total return for Sector Funds over that same time frame was 9.41%. On the other hand, the average World Equity Fund had a return of 25.25%.

Throw in some bond influence and the average Mixed Asset Fund was up 11.52%; Domestic L-T Fixed Income Funds up 3.815 and World Income Funds up 8.14%

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.


  • November

CORRECTION: Target will not be closed for the entire day on Thanksgiving. It will open its store doors at 6 p.m. Apologies for the error. DV

I have to hand it to Target for deciding not to begin displaying their Christmas holiday merchandise until after Thanksgiving—hope they mean it. And, for the number of retail stores electing to be closed on that holiday meant for giving thanks. There are dozens of them from Ace Hardware to West Marine.

Re the stock market as represented by the DJIA, the month of November has a history of pretty much being thankful.

According to research from the Bespoke Investment Group comes this:

-Over the past 100 years, the DJIA has been up 60% of the time and gained an average of 0.75% during the month of November.

-Over the last 50 years the DJIA has been up 66% of the time and gained 1.67%.

-And over the past 20 years that index has been up 70% of the time sporting a gain during that month of 1.93%.

Gobble. Gobble.