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Stock market winners

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As we approach the year-end financial reviews, most investors should be happy this year with the annual returns for the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 stocks) and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all in double digits.

Looking back to January of 2013, at the start of the year's trading, the DJIA was at a level of about 13,000 and now has bounced back to the 16,000 level this week. During a year of government shut downs and political turmoil, those event did not derail the domestic stock market.

Some of the top performing companies on the Dow include Visa Inc, (V), Boeing (BA), Nike (NKE) and 3M (MMM) with annual returns of over 40%. As of Dec. 23rd, the Year to Date return for Boeing was over 81% and Nike was over 50%. Out of the list of 30 stocks on the DJIA only one was in the negative so far this year, IBM, with a YTD return of -4.58% (as of Dec. 23rd).

The stock indexes are frequently used as a benchmark to compare overall performance of companies in the U.S. but if you are looking at your own portfolio or your retirement statement at the year end break, be sure to recognize which type of stocks or mutual funds you are holding. And if this prompts questions or concerns you may need a full review with a financial adviser to gain a better understanding and some future guidance on where you should be invested to meet your own goals.

Looking back on stock performance is like driving a car while focusing on the rear view mirror. Certainly, not a very safe or sensible strategy for drivers or investors. And the road ahead can be very bumpy without some professional guidance such as traffic lights to help monitor the path you are following.

Check out the attached video for more insight into the stock market and the outlook for next year. Start planning your "winning" stock investments for next year.

Have a prosperous new year.

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