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POCKETBOOK: Week ending July 28, 2018

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  • Happy Birthday Medicare and Medicaid

 Every now and then celebrating a good thing is a good idea.Take Medicare and Medicaid, for instance. Both very good ideas signed into law on July 30, 1965 by Lyndon B Johnson as amendments to the Social Security Act of 1935.

Initially created to provide hospital and medical insurance for people aged 65 and over, and to care for low-income individuals, Medicare and Medicaid both went into effect in 1966. According to History.com, over 19 million people were enrolled that year.

In 1972, Medicare was extended and made available to Americans under the age of 65 who had certain disabilities.

Today, approximately 57 million people are enrolled in Medicare; AARP data expects that figure to swell to nearly 80 million  by 2030; and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report there are approximately  11.7 million people simultaneously enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid.

So Happy Birthday to Medicare and Medicaid. Many Americans thank you dearly and rely upon your services every day of our lives.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

When last week ended it was indices representing  larger companies that made the most gains. That said, a look at year-to-date numbers reveal that NASDAQ continues to be the biggest winning index so far this year with the Russell 2000 next in line.

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, July 27, 2018.

DJIA 2.96% YTD a jump up from previous week’s return of 1.37%.

  • 1 yr Rtn 16.55% up from the previous week’s 15.95 %

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 5.43% YTD up from last week’s 4.80%

  • 1 yr Rtn 14.03% up from last week’s 13.28%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent all-time high on January 26, 2018 of 2,872.87. The previous high was reached on January 19, 2018 of 2810.33.

 

-NASDAQ 12.08% YTD down from last week’s 13.28%

  • 1yr Rtn 21.38% down from last week’s 22.38%

Nasdaq reached a new 52-week high on July 25, 2081 of 7,933.32. The previous high was reached on July 17, 2018 of 7,867.15.

 

-Russell 2000 8.32% YTD down a lot from last week’s 10.50%

  • 1yr Rtn 16.38% down from last week’s 17.64%

The Russell 2000 reached a new 52-week high on July 10, 2018 of 1,708.56. The previous high was reached on June 20, 2018 of 1,708.1.

 

-Mutual funds

Pick your fund type. Pick any sized cap and as long as “large” is in part of it’s name, your investments are doing double-digit fine, so far this year.

At the close of business on Thursday, July 26, 2018, the average total return performance for funds that fall under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading was 6.96%, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s average of was 6.49%..

There are a total of 20 different  category types included under that broad heading representing 8,404 funds. And, there are now four different categories with double-digit average y-t-d returns. They include: Small-Cap Growth Funds, 16.67%; Large-Cap Growth Funds, 14.17%; Multi-Cap Growth Funds, 12.76%; and Mid-Cap Growth Funds, 12.35%.

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.

 

  • Pricy Convenience

 Last week, a friend of mine went online to pay her annual car license tag fee in the State of Florida.  A conservative spender, she won’t be doing that again.

Not only did she find the experience a bit confusing and time-consuming, she had to pay an additional $3.50, called a “convenience fee”, for completing the transaction online.

Some convenience, I thought. Mailing it would have been 50 cents— the cost of a First-Class stamp.

 

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