Category

Bond ETFs

Don’t Blame Minsky If Your Portfolio Value Crumbles

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

Remember when the financial markets believed that tax cuts, regulatory reform and infrastructure spending would rev up the economic growth engine? The dollar surged. Bonds cratered. And stocks broke out of a 22-month collective funk. Yet expectations that a “business-friendly” Trump will offset higher borrowing costs have faded considerably. Consider the flattening of the yield curve. The spread between shorter term 2-year Treasury yields and longer-term 10-year Treasury yields is back below a scant 1 percentage point. This is more indicative…

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Buy U.S. Stocks Today? Graham Thinks You’re Nuts

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

Would Warren Buffett’s mentor buy domestic stocks today? Probably not. The father of value investing, Benjamin Graham, would have trouble recommending a single U.S. company’s shares across thousands of possibilities. Need proof? In the fourteenth chapter of The Intelligent Investor, a classic that Mr. Buffett regarded as “…the best book on investing ever written,” Graham offered a seven-step test for stock selection. The criteria include: (1) adequate size with respect to revenue, (2) strong financial condition with respect to liquidity, (3) reasonable…

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It’s A Large-Cap Tech World After All

By | Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | One Comment

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and Google (now Alphabet) account for roughly 13% of the S&P 500 SPDR Trust’s (SPY) price movement. The same 5 corporations? 42% of the NASDAQ 100’s (QQQ) price appreciation. The super-sized weighting of prominent tech companies in these benchmark ETFs has resulted in year-to-date gains of 7.1% and 16.6% respectively. Yet the rest of the market’s performance has been flat. Barely positive, in fact. Not sure? Take a look at the performance of small-cap and value-oriented…

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Rationalizing Stock Market Irrationality (Or, The Earth Might Be Flat)

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

The repeal-n-replace health care bill needs a “Yes” vote from the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 23rd. With it, the financial markets may move higher on the belief that Trump/Congress will be able to pass corporate-friendly legislation from tax overhaul to regulatory reform. Without it, risk assets may stumble on the fear that political leaders will be unable to provide ambitious stimulus measures down the road. The prospect of lower taxes has always been at the heart of the…

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The Fed and Cheap Money: Are We Closing In On A Swan Song?

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

Corporations have more than doubled their debt levels since 2008’s financial crisis, from $3.5 trillion to $8.1 trillion. They are carrying more leverage (e.g., debt-to-revenue, debt-to-EBITDA, etc.) than at any point since the 2000-2002 tech wreck. And the cash relative to the debt on corporate books has been dropping precipitously. Granted, one can choose to emphasize the inexpensive nature of the credit. Why shouldn’t companies borrow by the boatload as long as interest rates remain relatively contained? For one thing,…

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What If This Is As Good As It Gets?

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

There are a handful of movies that suck me in whenever they come around. Goodfellas. The Godfather. The Shawshank Redemption. Still, there’s only one production where I can never get enough of the main character’s outlandishness. Melvin Udall in As Good As It Gets. He hoards bars of soap as part of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He sneeringly berates a woman for admiring his work as an author. He even shoves the neighbor’s dog down a laundry chute. I watched the Jack…

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Bull Market’s Health Depends More On Congress Than Trump

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

In a bull market, many investors come to believe that risk is synonymous with reward. “You’ve got to be in it to win it” or “If you don’t take chances, your wallet will forever remain empty.” In a bear market, the truth about risk is revealed. Specifically, steep financial losses are neither rewarding nor easily recovered. The average descent? 30%. And the average time to recover? Approximately three-and-one-quarter years. So, if an average bearish downtrend occurred right now, the S&P…

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Markets Priced For Perfection Rarely Get What They ‘Price In’

By | Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Global ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

It is almost inconceivable. Just 10 years ago, you could purchase a 3-year Treasury and sock away a risk free rate of return of nearly 6%. Right now? A paltry 1.5%. It follows that, today, one must take enormous chances to generate an income stream up and above the pace of inflation. And that’s only if you believe inflation gauges placing the annual rate in the neighborhood of 2%. For example, let’s assume an individual purchases a 5-year Treasury for…

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Should Stock And Bond Investors Continue Their ‘Hop of Hope?’

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

Stock investors have made a “hop of hope” since the election of Donald J. Trump. Specifically, the new administration’s dedication to the repatriation of foreign profits, the lowering of corporate tax rates and the reduction of onerous regulations may create impressive wage growth as well as momentous economic growth. Keep in mind, year-over-year wage growth and annual GDP growth during the nearly eight years of recovery fell way short of pre-Great Recession growth rates. Wages have grown at a sub-par…

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What Happens When A Weakening Economy Meets Fed Tightening, Asset Valuation Extremes And Political Unpredictability?

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

We are now entering the 3rd longest economic expansion since World War II. The growth of the last 12 months, however, came in at the slowest pace since the recessionary transition year of 2009. Specifically, gross domestic product (GDP) for calendar year 2016 was only 1.6%. And it is the third time since the financial collapse that annual economic growth sank below 2%. Keep in mind, when economic weakness threatened to derail financial markets in 2011 as well as 2013,…

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