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BTW, I don't care the 'based on what' part....that doesn't generate any money for the retirement years.

I was just trying to understand what point of reference you were using for the comment you made, e.g. S&P 500, or something else. That's all.

I think your retirement plan has a better mutual fund offering than my 401k plan does...

I just checked our fund offerings again. YTD they pretty much are ranging from 2% to 7.5% for the stock funds.

I'm up about 3.75% over the same period, as I sold out in February and I've been in a money market account since (earning basically 0%). We're actually pretty flat with where I sold out, at this point. And I think it's kind of intersting that I've made about the mid-range return of our combined fund offerings, despite sitting in cash for the majority of the last 5 months. It just goes to show that the majority of the YTD returns happened during Jan-Feb when I was invested, much more than the end of Feb through end of May when I've been in cash. At least for the funds in my 401k, guess that may not hold true for your funds.

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This on-again, off-again bailout of Greece is freaking a great soap opera. Really entertaining stuff. However, it's likely only a precursor to the fun we'll have watching the US wrangle over our budget cuts and debt ceiling issues.

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Here's a sampling of what we have available.....you can easily find the 1 year returns (not YTD...I think we had a miscommunication there):

FUSEX (index fund)

HIASX

TMDIX

RERGX

FFFFX

PTTRX (bond fund....of course returns modest)

Edited by Greenwit

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While I agree with Screwball, a QE3 announement will send us up like a rocket, I think you made the right move over the short term. I wouldn't hold bonds for long though... perhaps 1-3 months depending upon what happens, then back into equities.

I'll just clarify my reply to Ed, but I'll use this because it's easier.

I was making converstion with what Ed posted. Not intended to agree or disagree with his decisions. That's up to him, and I respect that.

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401k plans...

As I mentioned previously, I think the investment limitations in the vast majority of 401k/403b plans (which are the primary retirement savings vehicles used by most americans), is eventually going to lead to the biggest American Wealth deterioration of our time. Lack of appropriate investment options during an inflation/hyperinflation/stagflationary and devaluing Dollar environment, will cause (and is already causing) negative real savings rates.

As a result some very smart people I know have pulled or are planning to pull their funds out of their plans, paying the taxes, and investing their money in places where they feel they can protect their capital (or grow it). I'm not willing to take it that far though.

One alternative that I've been investigating, it borrowing from my 401k plan. Has anyone here done this? If so, I'd love to hear about your experience with this.

The premise is this: You borrow from your 401k funds, take the proceeds and invest them how you see fit. In the mean time, you pay interest to yourself on the loan, which is deposited into your 401k account when you make payments. It's almost a guaranteed rate of return on your 401k funds, because the rate is fixed (almost like a bond). And the only risk is your ability to make the payment. Though it will still be a negative savings rate if you get more significant inflation, because you aren't paying a high interest rate.

It varies by plan and plan administrator, I believe. My plan allows you to borrow up to 50% or $50k max from your account. They sell you out of your position for the amount you borrow. You get charged Prime + 1%, so about 4.25%, which is fixed until maturity. Maturity can be 1 to 5 years at max. Then, which is the drawback for me, it is a mortgage style payback that is deducted from your paycheck each pay period until the loan is paid off at maturity. [Your plan may be different, this is my plan]

I was hoping there was an interest only payment option with a bullet payment (ie. all principal) due at maturity. My plan doesn't seem to offer it, and Prudential seems to not answer my question directly about this. But pretty sure it's not an option. And that sucks, because it sort of defeats the purpose of pulling the money out, if I have to start paying it all back the next pay period. If I pulled out the max $50k over the max 5 years, the payment would be about $400 every two weeks.

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Maybe it's just me, and my contempt for bankers, investment advisers, and the entire financial industry as a whole - but rules telling us what we can and cannot do with OUR OWN MONEY seems wrong to me.

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I had my 401k setup to be professionally managed, then stopped the management part. I have a nice solid mix of bonds and stocks. I have about 23 years before I retire, so I enjoy my bonds more and more, especially since I like Pimco so much. It trades like a stock, yet delivers monthly dividends, it's now about 25% of my portfolio.

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I had my 401k setup to be professionally managed, then stopped the management part. I have a nice solid mix of bonds and stocks. I have about 23 years before I retire, so I enjoy my bonds more and more, especially since I like Pimco so much. It trades like a stock, yet delivers monthly dividends, it's now about 25% of my portfolio.

Bill Gross is has been wildly successful, but we've also been in a 30 year bull market for bonds. It's hard to tell if he's a genius or just a benefactor of good fortune. Either way, his oped's tend to be weird and not very helpful.

Boiled Frogs, really Bill?

PIMCO | Investment Outlook - Buy Cheap Bonds with Safe Spread

We should find out soon though, as he is betting against US Treasuries (reportedly). I think he's right in his call, but probably just didn't time it very well and did it too early.

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Bill Gross is has been wildly successful, but we've also been in a 30 year bull market for bonds. It's hard to tell if he's a genius or just a benefactor of good fortune. Either way, his oped's tend to be weird and not very helpful.

Boiled Frogs, really Bill?

PIMCO | Investment Outlook - Buy Cheap Bonds with Safe Spread

We should find out soon though, as he is betting against US Treasuries (reportedly). I think he's right in his call, but probably just didn't time it very well and did it too early.

Good stuff...thanks Mike!

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Today's official Non-Farm payroll report from the BLS

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed USDL-11-0809

until 8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, June 3, 2011

Technical information:

Household data: (202) 691-6378 * cpsinfo@bls.gov * Current Population Survey (CPS)

Establishment data: (202) 691-6555 * cesinfo@bls.gov * Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National) Home Page

Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- MAY 2011

Nonfarm payroll employment changed little (+54,000) in May, and the unemployment

rate was essentially unchanged at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

reported today. Job gains continued in professional and business services, health

care, and mining. Employment levels in other major private-sector industries were

little changed, and local government employment continued to decline.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons (13.9 million) and the unemployment rate (9.1

percent) were essentially unchanged in May. The labor force, at 153.7 million, was

little changed over the month. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.9 percent),

adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (24.2 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks

(16.2 percent), and Hispanics (11.9 percent) showed little or no change in May. The

jobless rate for Asians was 7.0 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables A-1,

A-2, and A-3.)

In May, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over)

increased by 361,000 to 6.2 million; their share of unemployment increased to 45.1

percent. (See table A-12.)

The civilian labor force participation rate was 64.2 percent for the fifth

consecutive month. The employment-population ratio remained at 58.4 percent in

May. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred

to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged in May at 8.5

million. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut

back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In May, 2.2 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, about the

same as a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals

were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for

a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because

they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

(See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 822,000 discouraged workers in May, a

decrease of 261,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.)

Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe

no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.4 million persons marginally attached

to the labor force in May had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the

survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See

table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment was little changed in May (+54,000), following gains

that averaged 220,000 in the prior 3 months. Private-sector employment continued to

trend up (+83,000), although by a much smaller amount than the average for the prior

3 months (+244,000). In May, job gains occurred in professional and business services,

health care, and mining. Local government employment continued to trend down. Employment

in other major industries changed little over the month. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services continued to increase in May (+44,000).

Notable job gains occurred in accounting and bookkeeping services (+18,000) and in

computer systems design and related services (+8,000). Employment in temporary help

services was little changed.

Health care employment continued to expand in May (+17,000). Employment in the industry

had risen by an average of 24,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

Mining added 7,000 jobs in May. Employment in mining has risen by 115,000 since a recent

low point in October 2009.

Employment in manufacturing changed little in May (-5,000). Job gains in fabricated metal

products and in machinery were offset by losses in transportation equipment, paper and

paper products, and printing and related support activities. The manufacturing industry

added 243,000 jobs from a recent low point in December 2009 through April 2011.

Construction employment was essentially unchanged in May. Employment in the industry

has shown little movement on net since early 2010, after having fallen sharply during

the 2007-09 period.

Employment in local government continued to decline over the month (-28,000). Local

government has lost 446,000 jobs since an employment peak in September 2008.

Employment in other major industries, including retail trade, transportation and

warehousing, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality, changed

little in May.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls remained at 34.4 hours

in May. The manufacturing workweek for all employees increased by 0.2 hour to 40.6 hours

over the month, while factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek

for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was 33.6 hours

in May. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased

by 6 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $22.98. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings

increased by 1.8 percent. In May, average hourly earnings of private-sector production

and nonsupervisory employees rose by 6 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $19.43. (See tables B-3

and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised from +221,000 to

+194,000, and the change for April was revised from +244,000 to +232,000.

This was well below what was expected.

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Gah.....unemployment and non farm payrolls did not meet consensus. ISM Non-Mfg Index due today too.

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It better be good - futures getting killed as we speak. Dow set to open down well over 100. S&P down 16. Might be off some, I'm not looking at real time quotes.

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Good gosh the Dow dropped 80 points in the minute I was refreshing my phone. -131 or -1.1% right now.

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Gah.....unemployment and non farm payrolls did not meet consensus. ISM Non-Mfg Index due today too.

NFP missed big time. And that's after record phony adjustments (+206k birth/death adjustment). The last time NFP missed like this, we had QE2 weeks later.

ISM is probably the only indicator to meet expectations in quite some time.

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What the **** are those morons at the IMF and EU doing? Everything they laid out for Greece is a total load of crap. They must be trying to push Greece out of the EU through bankruptcy. There's no other explanation for the crap they are laying out for further assistance, which is never going to happen.

Between those morons and the NFP falling off the cliff, no wonder we are down right now.

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What the **** are those morons at the IMF and EU doing? Everything they laid out for Greece is a total load of crap. They must be trying to push Greece out of the EU through bankruptcy. There's no other explanation for the crap they are laying out for further assistance, which is never going to happen.

Between those morons and the NFP falling off the cliff, no wonder we are down right now.

They want to pillage the people to pay off the banksters - same as what goes on here.

The EURO is going north, which makes the dollar go south, which makes the market go back up. Dollar down, market up. The DOW is only down 40ish now after being down 125ish.

I suspect it bounced (S&P) off the 1300 as well. If the S&P does breech 1300 the next stop should be 1250. I'm going on memory since I don't have access to my own charts and lines. I do remember the S&P turned around at 1250 the last time we had a correction. May not happen, and this might be time to BTFD as they say.

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They want to pillage the people to pay off the banksters - same as what goes on here.

The EURO is going north, which makes the dollar go south, which makes the market go back up. Dollar down, market up. The DOW is only down 40ish now after being down 125ish.

I suspect it bounced (S&P) off the 1,300 as well. If the S&P does breech 1300 the next stop should be 1250. I'm going on memory since I don't have access to my own charts and lines. I do remember the S&P turned around at 1250 the last time we had a correction. May not happen, and this might be time to BTFD as they say.

Yup, back in March the S&P dipped below 1300 and didn't stop until 1,256 then we hit 1,360 just before May. But right now we're at 1,307

Update: We finished at 1,300 on the button today (updated 5:10 Eastern).

Edited by Greenwit

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This sham going on in Libya is so patheticly be covered up. If we were really there to free the people, then why aren't we in Yemen and Syria and Iran?

Or could we be in Libya because Western Banks are on the hook for billions of dollars of Quadaffi's money, and now that they are disposing him, they won't be libel for any of this?

This war is about maintaining the banking status quo.

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S&P chart from January to today's close.

June_3.png

Notice how we went right back down in that channel after the false breakout on Tuesday, which probably horned some shorts.

We hit a low of 1297.90 today but closed a tick above 1300. 1300.16 according to my charts, but inside the channel. There is some resistance at 1294.35, but since we closed inside the channel, it might bounce upward on Monday. If we happen to breech the channel (downward) expect a bounce around 1294 and if it breaks that, we're looking at 1250 or there about. I have it at 1249.05 to be exact.

Will that happen? Nobody knows, but the charts give you an idea of what to look for.

I use the S&P because it is a basket of 500 companies which gives you a broader range of companies compared to the 30 in the Dow (index is price weighted as well, while the S&P is market cap weighted) and the tech heavy NASDAQ.

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Todays opening paragraph of John Williams Newsletter:

Opening Comments and Executive Summary. So, suddenly the economy is grinding to a halt? A more realistic case is that the economy never was as strong as advertised, and that the sharp plunge in the May purchasing managers survey and the sudden slowing in May employment growth reflected some catch up in recent (and still ongoing) poor-quality reporting that has been warped heavily by seasonal-factor distortions. These early May indicators are on the heels of April data that suggested a stalling economy. Where some of the April data also may have reflected some reversal of recent reporting distortions, actual business activity continues to suffer severely, and much-more-extreme reporting “catch up” looms in the month and months ahead. There simply is and has been no underlying fundamental circumstance at hand that could sustain positive growth in the broad U.S. economy.

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Todays opening paragraph of John Williams Newsletter:

Exactly. Without Fed money printing, we have nothing.

That doesn't even address the energy problem.

FUBAR.

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Half of Last Month's New Jobs Came from a Single Employer ? McDonald's | The Weekly Standard

Half of Last Month's New Jobs Came from a Single Employer — McDonald's

According to the unemployment data released this morning, the economy added only 54,000 jobs, pushing the unemployment rate up to 9.1 percent. However, this report from MarketWatch suggests the data is much worse than that:

McDonald’s ran a big hiring day on April 19 — after the Labor Department’s April survey for the payrolls report was conducted — in which 62,000 jobs were added. That’s not a net number, of course, and seasonal adjustment will reduce the Hamburglar impact on payrolls. (In simpler terms — restaurants always staff up for the summer; the Labor Department makes allowance for this effect.) Morgan Stanley estimates McDonald’s hiring will boost the overall number by 25,000 to 30,000. The Labor Department won’t detail an exact McDonald’s figure — they won’t identify any company they survey — but there will be data in the report to give a rough estimate.

If Morgan Stanley is correct, about half of last month's job growth came from the venerable fast-food chain. That is hardly the sign of a healthy economy.

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MCDs hire were mostly part time I read somewhere. I also read somewhere, can't find it now, we are losing 40,000 jobs a month to China. Don't know how true that is, but our company ships everything possible there so I wouldn't be surprised.

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