Tag Archives: Social Security

POCKETBOOK weekend Sept. 15, 2018

 

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•Big Debts

Carry on all you’d like about the economy and a bull market that just doesn’t know when to stop running but make sure not to forget about, or overlook, the debt President Trump’s policies have put in place.

Each of us knows how important facing the debt we have in our personal lives is—and what happens when we overlook it. The same is true for government debt spending: debts need to be addressed and paid back.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the government has spent a whole lot more during the past 11 months than it has brought in from taxes and revenues.

How much more? $895 billion more. That’s “b” as in “billion”  not “m”. And is a figure that reflects an increase of  33 percent.

Debts matter.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

Year-to-date gains still gaining.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results for the four major indices—DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ and the Russell 2000— including the dates each reached new highs. Data according to CNBC.com and based on prices at the close of business on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

DJIA 5.81% YTD up from previous week’s return of 4.84%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 17.90% down from the previous week 18.97 %

Most recent DJIA all-time high was reached on January 26, 2018 of 26,616.71. The previous high was reached January 18, 2018 was 26,153.42.

 

-S&P 500 8.65% YTD up from last week’s 7.41%

  • 1 yr Rtn 16.40% down a hair from last week’s 16.41%

The S&P 500 reached a BRAND NEW CLOSING ALL-TIME HIGH on August 29, 2018 of 2,916.50. The previous closing high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 2,876.16.

 

-NASDAQ 16.03% YTD up from last week’s 14.47%

  • 1yr Rtn 24.59% up from last week’s 23.52%

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.

 

-Russell 2000 12.13% YTD up from last week’s 11.57%

  • 1yr Rtn 20.82% down from last week’s 22.49%

The Russell 2000 reached a BRAND NEW 52-week ALL-TIME HIGH on August 31, 2018 of 1,742.09. The previous high was reached on August 24, 2018 of 1,726.97.

 

-Mutual funds

Moving up a bit.

At the close of business on Thursday, Sept. 13,2018, the average total return for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 8.96%. That’s up  from the previous week’s 8.26%, according to Lipper.

It continues to be a Small-Cap Growth Funds world, as funds here now up on average 22%.

Comparing that group’s return with 25 of the largest individual funds around, (largest in terms of assets), and it’s the Invesco QQQ Trust 1 with the best y-t-d performance at 18.92%

Fifteen of the 25 funds in that listing have returns over 10%. Impressive.

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.

 

  • Yahoo!! Your SS check is going up!

It’s mo money time, almost.

Every October, along with the ghosts and goblins of the season, the Social Security Administration announces what their cost of living (COLA) adjustments for the coming year will be.

And there is good news for those of us who count on every penny from that government check: It’s going up 2.8%.

Translating that into dollars and cents, the average Social Security check in 2018 is $1400. Beginning in January 2019, if the world doesn’t fall apart by then, that check will see an increase of $39.

While that’s the good news, the not-so-hot good news is that inflation is running around that same amount.

Bottom line: Don’t expect that extra 2.8% increase to have much purchasing power next year.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Oct. 27, 2017

 

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  • Taxes down; deficit up

One of the many things that puzzles me about the Republican’s tax reform policy suggestions is how this party that historically has focused on our keeping a lid on our nation’s deficit now wants to increase it. Tax cuts would do that.

Goofy isn’t it.

And depending upon the reports you read, annual deficits resulting from those tax cuts could amount to $1 trillion annually.

How very un-Republican.

Then again, plumping up our deficit would give way to the opportunity for Republicans to begin clamoring once again about getting rid of, by either reducing or privatizing, the benefits that millions of Americans have paid in to for years and expect— Social Security.

Oh, now I get it.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

And the truly remarkable continues. Just not quite as remarkably.

With the exception of the Russell 2000 which closed lower this week than it had the week before, all three other indices edged higher.

Re the S&P 500, it was technology stocks that helped inch that index upward. On Friday, the Technology sector rallied 2.6% in one day, according to the Bespoke Investment Group. That’s big. Could it be a sign of things to come? Who knows.

But what we do know is that Tech stocks now make up 24.2 percent  of the sector weightings in the S&P 500 index, say the folks at Bespoke. That’s big, too. Next in weightings come Financials, at 14.8%. That’s nearly 10% less that the Technology sector holdings.

Behind the Financial sector weightings come the following: Health Care, 14.3%; Consumer Discr, 11.8%; Industrials, 10.2%; Consumer Staples,8.0%; Energy, 5.8%; Utilities, 3.2%; Materials, 3%; Real Estate, 2.9%; and Telecom,1.9%

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, October 27, 2017.

 

-DJIA +18.58% YTD up a bit from last week’s 18.04%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +28.97% up from last week’s 28.44%

Another new all-time high was reached on the DJIA of 23,485.25 onTuesday, October 24, 2017.

The previous high of 23,328.84 was reached on October 20, 2017.

On March 1, the Dow stood at 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +15.29% YTD up from last week’s 15.02%.

  • 1yr Rtn +21.00% up from last week’s +20.26%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,582,98 on Friday, October 27, 2017.

It’s previous high of 2,575.33 was reached on October 20, 2017.

On March 1, 2017, that index stood at 2,400.98.

 

-NASDAQ +24.49% YTD up from last week’s +23.15%.

  • 1yr Rtn +28.48% up a chunk from last week’s 26.46%

 

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,708.13 on Friday, October 27, 2017.

The previous high of 6,640.03 was reached on October 20, 2017.

On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +11.14% YTD down from last week’s +11.21%.

  • 1yr Rtn +26.75% up considerably from last week’s +23.73%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 20, 2017.

Prior to that, its previous high of 1,514.94 was reached on October 5, 2017.

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

 

-Mutual funds

At the time of this posting Sunday, October 29, 2017, I had not received Lipper’s weekly mutual fund performance figures.

I’m going to guess that while year-to-date total equity returns have changed—and quite likely in an upward direction—they probably didn’t change by much. So what follows below is a repeat of last week’s, October 19 results.

The year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds moved up a bit when posted at the close of business on Thursday, October 19, 2017. It stood at 13.75%, accord to Lipper. The previous week it was 13.54%.

Comparing this week’s Thursday figures to last week’s, the average Sector Fund had a year-to-date total return of 9.53%, down a bit from the week earlier figure of 9.83%.

This week, the two fund types with y-t-d average figures of over 30% were the same fund types—Global Science & Technology funds up on average 39.47% ( last week’s figure 39.38%) and your basic Science & Technology funds, +32.39% ( up from last week’s figure of 32.01%).

World Equity Funds were down a hair from where they were last week at 24.44%, the week previous the figure was 24.54%. Four of them still had year-to-date average returns up over 30%: China Region Funds at +38.39% and down from last week’s +39.04; Pacific Ex-Japan Funds, 33.82% also down from last week’s +33.61%; India Region Funds, +32.32% up from last week’s+32.05; and Latin American Funds, +30.39% down from last week’s 30.94%.

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.

 

  • Another Presidential Pinocchio

President Trump loves to boast. I think he gets off on it. At least that’s what his less-than Presidential behavior has shown us: Don’t clap and cheer wildly during what he says at one of his functions, or White House meetings, and he pouts, bullies others and sends all sorts of unnecessary tweets out into the universe. Sad.

But when it comes his boasting about the U.S. stock market, while there is no denying the bulls have been running it over the past nine years,  The Donald’s time in the White House hasn’t resulted in him having the hottest market. President Barak Obama holds that record.

According to a Bloomberg.com piece dated October 27, 2017 by Nick Baker, “All stocks across the globe are valued at $89.9 trillion. U.S. shares make up only 31.6 percent of that total. That’s the lowest proportion since November 2011, or a few months after the U.S. flirted with default. And it’s sunk from the 11-year high of 38.3% set in December under then-President Barak Obama.”

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