February 2024 Investing Update

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For the second month of 2024, the DOW gained 846 points. That was another 2% gain for the month. Interest and dividend income was $1860 for the month. Withdrawals for living expenses came to $2500. Expense spending increased because of a $1600 refrigerator that was purchased in February. Overall, my account balance increased by 1.73% from the prior month. In the past month I purchased 100 shares of Investco AI and Next Gen Software ETF (IGPT) and sold 200 shares of Fidelity Consumer Staples ETF (FSTA). I like the large retail holdings in FSTA, and it has a low expense ratio, but I decided to sell after 2 months with a $308 profit. This ETF seems to have trouble getting above $46 per share. It is also impacted by consumer spending which is under pressure right now. FSTA is a nice conservative ETF to watch and acquire if it gets back to the $42 range.

I added IGPT because despite having “software” in its name it has several semiconductor companies in its holdings. I can’t afford to buy Nvidia stock, but this ETF’s largest holding is 9.43% NVDA. It also has AMD, Intel, and Micron, among other well-known tech companies. Another ETF that has been doing well for me is the Invesco Semiconductors ETF (PSI). This one has a more equal weighting with 6.22% AMD and 5.50% NVDA. When I want to take on more risk, I usually go with technology and semiconductor companies. This sector has done much better for me than medical and financial companies. I guess it is because I have worked for several large tech companies and know more about that industry than health care and financial businesses.

It is looking more likely that interest rates will remain at current levels until late 2024. I would expect to see the first rate cut around October, just prior to the presidential election. Like most people, I am not looking forward to a Trump/Biden matchup. That’s a choice between someone who is too old and someone who is too corrupt. Not a great choice. I don’t know why Republican voters are not giving Nikki Haley a chance. She seems like a better choice than Trump. She is the only contender willing to stay in the race against Trump. Maybe she’s hoping that they will ban him from running for re-election? All I know is that the only people that will be happy if Trump wins a second term are the leaders of China, Russia, and North Korea. The US needs to elect someone new who has proven experience without a history of corruption.

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