February 2014 proved to be a positive month for the U.S. stock market. The S&P 500/SPY was up 4.6%, allowing it to recover from the January losses of 3.5%. As a result, the S&P 500 is up 0.92% for 2014. While this is a new record, it is hardly exciting. The Dow Jones (DIA/ETF) continues to trail with a loss of 1.48% from the end of 2013. The NASDAQ 100 (QQQ/ETF) did the best, leading the major indexes with a 2.71% gain for 2014.
Three factors were key to the stock market recovery in February:
- Positive economic data indicating a slow but steady recovery of the U.S. economy
- The U.S. Senate testimony of the new Federal Reserve (Fed) chair, Janet Yellen, where she indicated flexibility in the Fed’s actions to adjust its Quantitative Easing (QE3) tapering actions based on the progress of the U.S. economy
- Improving profitability as companies are beating earnings expectations and generally forecasting better future results.
Fun Stocks Index is “Creaming” Major U.S. Indexes Year-to-Date
Our Fun Stocks Index, which contains 15 of the most profitable U.S. companies that provide fun times for consumers, is literally “creaming” or beating the 3 major U.S. indexes.
2014 Year-to-Date Performance Comparisons
Fun Stocks Index (FSI / no ETF) up 10.62%
Dow Jones 30 (DIA / ETF) down 1.48%
NASDAQ 100 (QQQ / ETF) up 2.71%
S&P 500 (SPY / ETF) up 0.92%
On February 25, 2014, our Fun Stocks Index broke an historic milestone (up 701.9% since its inception on 1/1/2009) during the trading day, led by its two star performers: Netflix (NFLX) and Priceline (PCLN). And it closed on the last trading day of February up 704.25% (since its inception – 4 years 2 months ago).
Here is how it compares to the major U.S. indexes during these 4+ years:
Performance Since 1/1/2009
Fun Stocks Index (FSI / no ETF) up 704.25%
Dow Jones 30 (DIA / ETF) up 86.27%
NASDAQ 100 (QQQ / ETF) up 203.77%
S&P 500 (SPY / ETF) up 106.44%
In creating the Fun Stocks Index, Jim Tso believed that consumers need to learn to become investors in businesses or services they spend money on anyway.
- Rent movies or watch them on-demand, own Netflix (NFLX) stock
- Use credit cards for travel and other fun times, own American Express (AXP) stock
- Buy sports equipment, own Cabelas (CAB) and Dicks Sporting Goods (DKS) stock
- Watch TV programs on cable or satellite, own Comcast (CMCSA) and Dish Network (DISH) stock
- Like to travel, own Expedia (EXPE) and Priceline (PCLN) stock
- Like to watch movies, own Disney (DIS), Lions Gate Films (LGF), and Time Warner (TWX) stock
- Enjoy eating in fun restaurants, own Panera Bread (PNRA) stock
- Like watching TV programming like food or travel channels, own Scripps Network (SNI) stock
- Like to watch programs that teach you new things, own Discovery Channel (DISCA) stock
- Enjoy amusement parks with your family, own Disney (DIS) and Cedar Fair (FUN) stock.
These are the 15 stocks in our Fun Stocks Index, stocks that create fun times for consumers which have resulted in excellent profits for the companies. You can create your own Fun Stocks portfolio by following these instructions.
TSOA Employer-Sponsored Retirement Allocations
There are no changes this month to the allocations for our employer-sponsored retirement models (401k, 403b, IRA, etc.). Please click here to see the current allocations.
Where do We Go From Here?
While the recent economic data and forecasts are encouraging and point to a slow and steady uptrend for U.S. stocks, global crises such as the current Russian /Ukraine conflict could derail the 4-year stock rally due to their threat to global economic health. As a result, we may see several corrections of 2-5% or more during the year. Investors may be wise to raise some cash now (by selling some equity positions like stocks, stock mutual funds, and/or ETFs) and wait on the sidelines for better prices. Once the crisis subsides, being fully invested would be the best move.
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