Tag Archives: Vanguard

POCKETBOOK: Week ending Nov. 17, 2017

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Happy Thanksgiving from my family’s table to yours.
  • One more time: We don’t need tax reform

More than anything in the world, the Republican party wants to make sure that they accomplish something during the first 300-and-some days since the President Trump has been in office.

Doing something is a good idea. Tax reform, or whatever it winds up being called, isn’t.

Here’s the main reason why I think that is so: When taxes are cut, somebody or something has to pay in one way or another to cover the government coffer shortfalls the tax cuts create.

Any decrease in monies flowing in will translate into an increase in America’s defecit and could make unwelcomed changes to things such as our Vet’s programs,  Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP and other much needed government funded impacts-people programs.

Plus, while 800-to-1200 bucks a year in savings for the average person amounts to something,  the cuts will more than likely cost middle and lower-income people more than that with respect to their annual  health care costs and deductions allowed on their tax returns depending upon the state in which they live.

And, history has shown that the trickle-down talk of how tax reforms/cuts translate into more jobs and higher wages is just that—talk. The same kind of poppycock talk similar to the election promises Trump made to the coal miners telling them that their coal jobs would be coming back.

Or the Paul Ryan talk about how America has been in a horrible mess ever since the Great Recession began. Someone must not have shown him a chart showing  that GDP growth has been being improving since that recession or one showing  the roaring returns that the stock market has provided investors. Or the one with a snapshot of how corporations already have tons of money on their balance sheets available for spending should they desire to spend it.

If the party in power wants to make a positive impact, why not pass a bill that creates jobs focused on improving our country’s roads, bridges and all around infrastructure? Or one that limits the types and number of guns individuals can own? Or requires background checks for anyone purchasing a gun at a trade show, or online? Or provides health care for all without strings attached?

Those kinds of changes would make a big everyday difference in the lives of most Americans.

Tax cuts not so much.

But no matter how you feel, why call your state Senator’s office today and voice your “yeah” or “nay” on the subject.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

A bit of a downer last week. But if history is any guide, Thanksgiving week is more often than not a good week for stocks in the S&P 500.

According to the fine folks at the Bespoke Investment Group, the S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 0.65% during the four-day Thanksgiving week. “And in years when the S&P is up 10%+ YTD heading into Thanksgiving week (as it is this year), returns during the week are even stronger.”

We shall see….

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 17, 2017.

DJIA +18.19% YTD down from last week’s 18.52%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +23.56% down from last week’s 24.27%

 

The DJIA most recent all-time high of 23,602.12 was reached on November 7, 2017.

Its previous high of 23,557.06 was reached November 3, 2017. On March 1, the Dow stood at 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +15.19% YTD down from last week’s 15.34%.

  • 1yr Rtn +17.91% down from last week’s +19.31%

The S&P 500 reached its most recent new high on November 7, 2017 of 2,597.02

Its previous high of 2,588.42 was reached on November 3, 2017. On March 1, 2017, that index stood at 2,400.98.

 

-NASDAQ +26.00% YTD up from last week’s +25.66%.

  • 1yr Rtn +27.16% down from last week’s 28.91%

The Nasdaq reached a new all-time high of 6,806.67 on November 16, 2017.

Its previous high of 6,795.52 was reached on November 7, 2017. On April 5, 2017 the index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +10.00%YTD up from last week’s +8.71%

1yr Rtn +14.00% down from last week’s +15.04%

The Russell 2000 reached a new all-time high of 1,514.94 on October 5, 2017. On March 1, 2017 this index stood at 1,414,82.

 

-Mutual funds

Moving up a tiny bit.

The year-to-date average cumulative total reinvested return for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds was +14.34% at the close of business on Thursday, November 16, 2017, according to Lipper. That’s up from the previous week’s return of +14.24%.

  • The highest and lowest average y-t-date returns under the U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading were:

-Highest: Equity Leverage Funds, +33.72%

-Lowest: Alternative Equity Market Neutral Funds, -0.18%

The average return for funds under this heading was +14.34%.

 

  • The highest and lowest average y-t-date returns under the Sector Equity Funds heading were:

-Highest: Global Science/Technology Funds, +46.84%

-Lowest: Energy MPL Funds, -11.68%

The average return for funds under this heading was +9.76%%.

 

  • The highest and lowest average y-t-date returns under the World Equity Funds heading were:

-Highest: China Region Funds, +43.84%

-Lowest: Global Equity Income Funds, +13.62%

The average return for funds under this heading was 24.72%.

 

  • The highest and lowest average y-t-date returns under the Mixed Asset Funds heading were:

-Highest: Mixed-Asset Target 2055+Funds, +17.54%

-Lowest: Alternative Multi-Strategy Funds, +3.26%

The average return for funds under this heading was 11.28%.

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.

 

  • What’s up for 2018?

There’s already been lots of speculation going on about how the markets will perform in 2018 and Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard, is one of them forecasting.

Bogle, who is now retired, is predicting that going forward into the New Year and beyond that the U.S.  market will be a better bet than global markets; average returns on stocks are going to be much lower—as in the 4% annual return area—over the next 10 years; and bond portfolios will increase into the +3% average annual 10-year returns.

More than one experienced talking head agrees.

Wishing you plenty to be thankful for and a happy thanksgiving week.

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POCKETBOOK: Week ending Sept. 15, 2017

 

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  • Electric power

My power was out from Sunday thru late Wednesday afternoon. It’s a hot, sweaty and costly drag when that happens. In addition to no breezes, tossing out all refrigerated and frozen foods that warmed and thawed in my coolers, the one who suffered the most was my dog, Gracie. Now 13 and 3/4s years old, Tuesday night she barely slept panting the night away. I apologized to her which may have been humanly kind but don’t think those words mattered much to her. She was hot. And old. And suffering.

So, early the next morning I took her for an extended ride in my car, air conditioning blasting. And then with me to the 12:05 service at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach. We made it through the police check-points on the island after telling those guarding the town that I was going to church.

Grace is a good church-going dog. She’s been to this place for services a few times before for the Blessing of the Animals service and knew the drill: Go to the grass bathroom before entering the church, try not to bark and spread out as much as you’d like on the cool wooden pews.

For an hour she was much happier thanks to the generator powering the AC at Bethesda.

Speaking of power, I have a friend in Tavernier (one of the Florida Keys) whose home never lost its power during or after  Hurricane Irma.

Amazing.

 

  • Market Quick Glance

It had been about seven weeks since the DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ had reached new all-time highs. But at the close of business on Friday, September 15, 2017, all of that changed as each of those indices scored again.

Below are the weekly and 1-year index performance results— including the dates each reached new highs— according to data from CNBC.com. Data is based on prices at the close of business for the week ending on Friday, Sept 15, 2017.

-DJIA +12.68 YTD a big jump up from last week’s 10.30%.

  • 1 yr Rtn +22.27% down from last week’s 17.95%.

A new all-time high for the DJIA of 22,275.02 was reached on September 15, 2017.

Prior to that date, the DJIA most recent all-time high of 22,179.11 was reached on August 8, 2017 . Looking back six months, on March 1, the then all-time high on that date was 21,169.11.

 

-S&P 500 +11.68 % YTD way up from last week’s 9.94%.

  • 1yr Rtn +16.44% up a lot from last week’s +12.84%

The S&P 500 reached a new high of 2,500.23 on September 15, 2017.

Prior to that date, its most recent all-time high was on August 8, 2017 at 2,490.87. And six months earlier, on March 1, 2017, that index closed at a then all-time high of 2,400.98.

 

-NASDAQ +19.79% YTD up from last week’s +18.15%.

  • 1yr Rtn +22.84% down from last week’s 23.11%

The Nasdaq also reach a new all-time high on September 15, 2017 closing at 6,464.27.

Prior to that date, its most recent all-time high of 6,460.84 was reached on July 27, 2017. Looking back, on April 5, 2017 this index closed at 5,936.39.

 

-Russell 2000 +5.50% YTD up from last week’s +4.16%.

  • 1yr Rtn +16.68% up a heap from last week’s +11.21%

The Russell 2000 reached its latest all-time high on July 25, 2017 of 1,452.09.

(Previous highs include: 1,452.05 on July 21, 2017; 1,433.789 on June 9, 2017; 1,425.7 reached on April 26, 2017 and of 1,414,82 reached on March 1, 2017.)

 

-Mutual funds

Good news with respect to the year-to-date cumulative total reinvested return performance for equity funds falling under the broad U.S. Diversified Equity Funds heading: On Thursday, September 14, 2017, equity funds y-t-d return average was 10.11%—that’s up from the previous week’s close of 8.60%, according to Lipper.

If you’re a fan or investor in the largest funds around some of the big ones have returned big  returns.

Four of them include: Vanguard FTSE Emg Mkt ETF, 25.98%; Fidelity Contrafund, 23.20%; Dodge & Cox Intl Stock, 21.97%; and the Vanguard Total 1 Stock, 21.26%.

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.

 

  • Hacked

You’ve heard me write this before and I’ll continue to mention it as there is some truth to it:  My now 102-year old Auntie Pat said– decades ago– that the internet was the devil’s work.

Recently her point  is proven to hold water  when it comes to the Dark Web and the hacking of  personal financial on-line accounts, including those of banks and credit rating agencies.

Personally, I’ve had my identity stolen and have been a victim of mail-fraud hacking. Both no fun to deal with or correct.

Speaking of correcting a hacking problem, I’m not 100% sure that once any of your accounts have been hacked that your Social Security Number, and various health-related accounts or credit or debt accounts in your name, will ever be free from harm.

So, while a hacking experience can cost us plenty and take months to correct our credit score after our cards have been stolen and used to rack up sales we never made, it’s the high-end no-limit credit cards that hackers really like getting their hands on. According to Bloomberg.com, on the Dark Web a Platinum American Express card will sell for $15 to $20 while a regular MasterCard without a large limit for around $9.

Not much given all the aggravation it costs the card owner.

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POCKETBOOK

IMG_0204For the week ending Jan. 9, 2016

  • Worst week? So what?

If you haven’t heard, the first trading week of 2016 has the distinction of being the worst first week of any year ever on Wall Street. If you’re upset by this year’s dour start, better forget long-term investing. Owning equities isn’t for those who don’t get that stock prices go up and down over time. Always have. Always will.

  • Market Quick Glance

-Indices

Here’s how the major indices have performed year-to-date, YTD, through January 8, 2016 according to Bloomberg:

-S&P 500 -5.91% YTD

-Dow Jones -6.1% YTD

-NASDAQ -7.24 YTD (BTW, remember this was the only index that closed 2015 up.)

-Russell 2000 -7.88% YTD

-Mutual funds

Lipper’s year-to-date mutual fund performance figures through January 7, 2016 show:

-The average U.S. Diversified Equity Funds -4.93 percent.

-Commodity Precious Metals Funds +1.49 percent.

-Dedicated Short-bias Funds gained the most + 9.31 percent.

-Domestic L-T Fixed-Income Funds +0.11 percent.

Find all of Lipper’s weekly performance figures on both stock and fixed-income funds at www.allaboutfunds.com in the left column on the home page.

-ETF News

Investors are loving ETFs.

According to Bloomberg: “ETFs took in a grand total of about $238 billion in 2015—just shy of their annual record of $243 billion set last year. No other investment vehicle came even close to this number. It is more than the flows into index funds, active mutual funds, and hedge funds combined.”

BlackRock’s IShares brought in $106 billion outpacing Vanguard’s ETF haul of $76 billion, according to that same source.

International ETFs saw the most inflows. SPY, the most outflows.

On the other hand, Vanguard is still big on keep its fees low. InstititionalAssetManager reported Vanguard clients saved a total of USD 12.4 million as a result of lower expense ratios for 53 individual mutual fund shares, including 21 exchange-traded fund shares (ETFs).

  • Turns out, when it comes to market value our secret passwords aren’t worth that much.

There seems to be no shortage of cyber crimals around. Or, computer accounts for them to hack. While that’s ugly enough, a study by TrendMicro found that passowrds for entertainment accounts with NetFlix, Hulu and Spotify can be had for as little as $2 bucks a piece.

Geez, isn’t anything sacred anymore?

 

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