Save the Date! Our 2017 Investor Conference will be held November 3-5 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, FL. We’re scheduling many great speakers for the event, including Mark Hulbert, John Buckingham and Wesley Gray among others. You’ll also get to meet my fellow colleagues as well as other AAII members. It’s always a great event.
This week’s commentary was originally going to feature highlights from Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) shareholders, but then a price war erupted among the discount brokers. On Tuesday morning, Fidelity cut its commissions for buying and selling stocks online to $4.95 per trade on, down from $7.95. Literally hours later, Charles Schwab responded by cutting its commissions to $4.95. The move came after Schwab had already lowered its commissions to $6.95 a few weeks earlier. On Tuesday night, TD Ameritrade announced that its commissions will be $6.95 starting on March 6, down from $9.95. Then this morning, E*Trade cut its commissions from $9.95 to $6.95. Scottrade is still charging $7, but the firm is being acquired by TD Ameritrade.
Saving $6 cumulatively on a roundtrip trade—or in Schwab’s case, $8 relative to the start of February—isn’t, by itself, going to make any one significantly wealthier. Costs and savings, however, are cumulative. Even at just five buy/sell transactions a year, the savings amount to an extra $300 over the course of a decade—and that’s before factoring in the impact of compounding. Continue Reading »
More on AAII.com
- Six Questions With Jack Bogle – Buffett called Bogle “a hero” for the money he has saved investors. Here are Bogle’s suggestions on how to be a better investor.
- Insights on Warren Buffett From His Friend and Editor – Carol Loomis, formerly with Fortune, edits Buffett’s annual letters and shared her insights on the legendary investor.
Highlights from this month’s AAII Journal
- The Top Mutual Funds Over Five Years: Health Care’s Dominance Is Weakening – Not all mutual funds underperform; some have realized big gains for their shareholders.
- A More Aggressive Approach for the Model Fund Portfolio – AAII founder Jim Cloonan’s latest changes are intended to give the portfolio more exposure to intermediate-term trends.
AAII Sentiment Survey
Pessimism about the short-term direction of stock prices rose to a post-election high, though optimism remains near its historical average. More about this week’s results.
- Bullish: 37.9%, down 0.6 points
- Neutral: 26.5%, down 2.8 points
- Bearish: 35.6%, up 3.3 points
- Bullish: 38.5%
- Neutral: 31.0%
- Bearish: 30.5%
Take the Sentiment Survey.
AAII Asset Allocation Survey
Fixed-income allocations rose to a six-month high in February. Equity allocations declined, but remained above average for the 47th consecutive month. More about the latest results.
- Stocks and stock funds: 65.5%, down 0.5 percentage points
- Bonds and bond funds: 17.3%, up 0.9 percentage points
- Cash: 17.2%, down 0.5 percentage points
February AAII Asset Allocation Details:
- Stocks: 26.9%, down 4.2 percentage points
- Stock funds: 38.6%, up 3.8 percentage points
- Bonds: 3.3%, down 0.1 percentage points
- Bond funds: 14.0%, up 1.0 percentage points
Take the Asset Allocation Survey.
The Week Ahead
Fourth-quarter earnings season is winding down with six members of the S&P 500 scheduled to report: Brown-Forman Corp. (BF.B), H&R Block (HRB) and Urban Outfitters (URBN) on Tuesday, and Signet Jewelers (SIG) and Ulta Beauty (ULTA) on Thursday.
The week’s first economic reports will be January factory orders, which will be released on Monday. Tuesday will feature January international trade data. The February ADP Employment Report and revised fourth-quarter productivity will be released on Wednesday. Thursday will feature February import and export prices. The February jobs data—including the change in nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate—will be released on Friday.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve bank president Neel Kashkari will make a public appearance on Monday.
The Treasury Department will auction $24 billion of three-year notes on Tuesday, $20 billion of 10-year notes on Wednesday and $12 billion of 30-year bonds on Thursday.
Local Chapter Meetings
AAII Local Chapter Meetings offer you a variety of presentations from expert speakers who will give you their view on the world of investing. A bonus of attending a Chapter Meeting near you is the opportunity to meet other AAII members who share your interest and enthusiasm for investing. You can even share the Chapter experience with your family and friends by inviting them to attend Chapter Meetings with you!
Let the AAII Journal Guide You to Better Investment Returns
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