Last week, Feb 20-24, 2017, the stock market was once again up. This being the fifth consecutive week the market has been up. The Dow (DJIA) closed at a record high for 11 straight days, which is the longest record streak since January of 1987. Friday the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high. Helping stocks move higher has been a better-than-expected earnings season, as the blended earnings growth rate for the S&P 500 is nearly 5%, and about 66% of companies have reported earnings above analyst estimates. International stocks also rose as better-than-expected manufacturing data was reported in the eurozone.
- Zillow reports average home values are up 7.2% in past year to $195,300
- New home sales up 3.7% in January, which is less than expected from economist
- 24% of American’s have more credit card debt than emergency savings
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgage up slightly to 4.16% this week from 4.15% last week (one year ago a 30-year fixed-rate was at 3.62%)
- All-time low for 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.31% back in November 2012 (all-time high for 30-year fixed was 18.63% back in October 1981)
- The NASDAQ is up 361% from March 9, 2009 low
- Fidelity Investments reports 55% of American households are at risk of being unprepared to cover essential living expenses in retirement
Last Week’s Stock and Bond Index Performance (Feb 20-24, 2017)
- NASDAQ 0.1% (YTD 8.6%)
- Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.0% (YTD 5.4%)
- S&P 500 Index 0.7% (YTD 5.7%)
- U.S. Aggregate Bond Index 0.6% (YTD 1.1%)
How did my retirement portfolio perform last week (Feb 20-24, 2017)?
Below is a snapshot of my three biggest retirement portfolio mutual fund movers (and losers!) in terms of percentage gained last week.
The below mutual funds are held within my work 401(k) plan as well as two separate Roth IRA plans. All accounts are held with Vanguard.
- Vanguard REIT Index Fund (VGSLX) 2.0%
- Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (VFIAX) 0.7%
- DFA U.S. Small Cap Value Portfolio (DFSVX) -0.7%
Can I Beat the Stock Market?
I am actually not trying to “beat the market” with my retirement portfolio…I am trying to match it. I do have alternative indexes in my retirement portfolio to help possibly beat the market, e.g. Small Cap, REITs, International, and Emerging Markets. With that said, if I can beat the market I will absolutely take it (obviously)! In the last 90 days my portfolio is up 6.07%, whereas the S&P 500 is up 7.52%. So I am just slightly behind the market, and this is the first time I am lagging in months.
I am a liberal arts major and I am my own financial advisor. My goal with this personal finance blog is to show all Millennial’s that you have the power to take control of your personal finances through self-educating on money and finance, and by striving to become financially literate. That is what I have been doing for years now, focusing on becoming financially literate, so I can one day become financially independent. I’m trying to prove to Millennial’s that we can all do this and thrive with money. Follow my blog as I highlight relevant personal finance topics pertaining to us Millennial’s.