We feature your opinions on various topics this week at The Rundown.
First, this from a D.C. insider:
“Anyone who actually believes that ‘experience’ and/or the maintenance of some sort of ‘corporate memory’ is required for the members of Congress to be effective is seriously deluded.
“Having served on the staffs of both sides of Congress, I can tell you the members themselves are really not all that bright. Their staffs do all the heavy lifting and most of the members vote according to what their leadership tells them. There are only a handful of truly informed members [of Congress].
“Term limits solve part of the corruption problem but to make further progress, we need to reign in the lobbyists and special interests groups.
“If we spend our efforts on electing people who actually understand the depth of the problems this country faces and limit their terms in office, that would serve to root out some of the corruption that is rampant in Washington, D.C.
“The biggest problem with the American electorate is that most seem as if they are electing the most popular boy/girl in school. Get informed and stop voting for these half-wits.”
As for moving to a lower cost-of-living state:
“The key is what will make you happiest. Family is everything and if you are able to move to a quieter and slowed-down [pace] of life. Take time to smell the roses and relax, destress. Maybe it is worth the change.”
Last, a reader offers this opinion on investing in precious metals:
“The handwriting is on the wall.
“I started about a year ago with a dollar-cost average approach to monthly purchases of gold and silver bullion. I will continue that approach into 2019, regardless of price.
“Obviously dips may provide an opportunity to purchase additional quantities.”
Do you agree with the last contributor who believes the “handwriting is on the wall” for 2019? And what does that mean to you?
Your Rundown for Friday, January 4, 2018:
Almost every segment of the market toppled last year. Investing was abysmal.
Except for small gains in cash and government-backed bonds, the rest was just so much red ink. The biggest loser? Emerging markets at negative 14.6% total returns.
For the last month of 2018, U.S. stocks suffered the biggest decline in December for the major asset classes. The Russell 3000 Index dropped 9.3% — the steepest monthly loss in almost 10 years for this benchmark.
So…what to do going forward? We mentioned gold, right?
Yesterday a reader wrote the following:
“I am seeing that cryptos are anticipating another run up this year especially if Amazon announces they will start accepting bitcoin.
“Do you agree with this opinion and, if so, would you recommend a crypto ETF or individual currencies?”
Like bitcoin itself, the idea Amazon will accept bitcoin is speculative at best.
While you can buy bitcoin-related paraphernalia at the online mega-retailer, you can’t pay for it with bitcoin. And we don’t think that will be an option in the near future.
If you have fun money and want to take a flyer on bitcoin, that’s one thing. View it as a small stake in Vegas.
If you want to put that in a crypto ETF, that might be negligibly safer…but we don’t see crypto as a real investment opportunity in 2019.
Market Rundown for Fri. January 4, 2018
S&P 500 futures are up 61 points to 2,508.31.
Oil is up $1.65 a barrel to $48.74.
Gold is down $12.70 to $1,283.10.
Bitcoin’s down $21 to $3,745.01.
Have a great weekend. We’ll catch up Monday.
For the Rundown,