What The Bond Market And Real Estate Market Are Telling Investors

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Trade wars. Tariffs. Trump. One might think that the “Ts” are solely responsible for financial market volatility. In truth, a wider variety of cross-currents are at work. Some have been bubbling up for a number of years. Consider the debt profiles of investment grade corporations. Cash on the books relative to debt has deteriorated markedly, while gross leverage (debt-to-earnings) is sitting near an all-time peak. The trend for interest coverage is equally concerning. In 2015, roughly 8.3% of corporate income went toward…

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Here’s What Will Cause The Next Recession (Part 2)

By | Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Real Estate ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

Each of the last three recessions contained elements of extraordinary financial instability. For example, Savings & Loan (S&L) institutions used federally insured deposits to make reckless real estate loans in the 1980s. When the Federal Reserve raised its overnight lending rate more than 300 basis points between March 1988 and March 1989, a real estate bubble burst, hundreds upon hundreds of S&L’s fell apart, and the 1990-1991 recession damaged livelihoods. Not surprisingly, one finds comparable patterns of financial senselessness in…

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Here’s What Will Cause The Next Recession

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

Financial professionals frequently opine that asset prices are a function of economic conditions. Assets like stocks, bonds and real estate rise in value when the economy is expanding. They fall in value when the economy contracts. The problem with those statements is that they represent a flawed understanding of 21st century credit cycles. In particular, recessionary pressures did not cause the tech wreck (2000-2002) nor the housing collapse (2008-2009); rather, the bursting of each asset bubble sparked the recession that followed….

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All-Time Stock Highs: Why Modest Risk-Renting Will Outshine Extreme Risk-Taking

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Internet ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Leveraged ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

There has been a great deal of media hype surrounding new all-time highs in the U.S. stock market. For that matter, there has been a fair amount of puffery when it comes to how well stocks are performing overall. In actuality, we have seen similar levels for the S&P 500 twice before. The S&P 500 traded around the 2925 level in September of 2018 and the 2875 level back in January of 2018. The last 16 months, then, have not…

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The Attractiveness Of A Defensive Stock Strategy

By | Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

In January of 2018, the U.S. economy surprised to the upside at nearly every turn. Since that time, however, the fundamentals have slowly deteriorated. Consider the Citi Economic Surprise Index (ESI). The popular measure compares actual data against estimates. Remarkably, the indicator has been trending downward for 15 months. Perhaps ironically, the S&P 500 now trades at higher levels than when the fundamental backdrop had been much stronger. For many stock investors, then, weak fundamentals are synonymous with the exciting…

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