Category

Consumer ETFs

The Fed Is About to Kill The Credit Boom

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

Did seven years of zero percent rate policy, three rounds of quantitative easing (QE) and “Operation Twist” provide a consequence-free credit boom? Or will “too-low-for-too-long” monetary manipulation eventually lead to a credit bust – one with adverse effects for asset prices as well as economic growth? It is not particularly difficult to understand that the mid-2000s credit expansion became an unsustainable bubble for households. At the pre-crisis peak in the fourth quarter of 2007, household financial obligations as a percent…

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Taking Stock Of A Devitalized Bull Market

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

As recently as the November 2016 election, the S&P 500’s dividend yield (2.0%+) was higher than the 10-year Treasury bond’s yield (1.75%). Many exclaimed that ultra-low interest rates alone justified extremely high stock valuations, including a GAAP-based price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 25. A year and a half later, the S&P 500’s dividend yield (1.8%) offers much less than the 10-year’s yield (3.0%) and struggles to compete with cash equivalents. Meanwhile, the benchmark’s GAAP-based P/E is still in the stratosphere at…

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The Big Bad Bull Gets Meeker And Weaker

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

Can the U.S. economy grow without the federal government overspending? Apparently not. Since the financial crisis in 2008, GDP has only grown alongside massive Treasury debt issuance. Some might argue that it does not matter how the economy expands as long as it is expanding. After all, the U.S. is still capable of paying the interest on its mushrooming obligations. On the flip side, the bond market does not believe that the near-term economic picture will be quite so rosy. The paltry 0.18%…

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The S&P 500 and Stephen Hawking: A Theory on “Peak Everything”

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

The NASDAQ served up an annualized return of 66% in its final two years of dot-com mania. Only after the balloon had burst did people begin to question the lunacy of paying 10x revenue for the privilege of being a shareholder. Ironically enough, since early 2016, the top 10 growth names in tech collectively produced an annualized return of 67%. That’s right. The NYSE FANG+ Index has topped turn-of-the-century craziness. For the current bull-bear cycle, then, we may be witnessing…

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If Consumers Stop Spending, Stocks And Real Estate Will Slide

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

Here is an economic data point that you will not hear about in the mainstream financial media: U.S. wage growth in 2017 had been the weakest since 2010. In fact, labor costs rose a paltry 0.35% on a year-over-year basis. Are higher wages for workers, then, right around the bend? Some believe that the tighter labor market is about to spark wage inflation. Yet it seems that this could be wishful thinking. Actual inflation has shown up in housing costs (e.g., rent, repairs,…

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The Most Dangerous Stock Market Ever? Either Way, Have A Plan

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

Today’s stock market may not be as dangerous as 2000’s dot-com euphoria or 2008’s asset balloon. Why not? Global central banks are likely to act quicker and with far more “shock-n-awe” to minimize bearish price depreciation than they did in the previous sell-offs. Some argue that policy efforts would fail to reinvigorate yet another wealth effect because central banks are out of ammunition. I disagree. Indeed, I expect that monetary gamesmanship in the near future will result in an average…

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Three Reasons Why The ‘FANG’ Phenomenon Will End Badly

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

Those who do not wish to draw any parallels between today’s stock market and the 1999-2000 tech stock bubble typically claim that “All of those turn-of-the-century dot-coms weren’t making any money. Today’s 2017 superstars — Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Google/Alphabet (GOOG) — make money hand over fist!” The problem with this rationalization is threefold. First, the 1999-2000 tech balloon was not an online-only phenomenon. The ‘Four Horsemen’ that controlled more than half of the market capitalization for the…

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Everything Is Wonderful… Ex-Energy, Ex-Retail And Ex-Banks

By | Biotechnology ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Energy ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Health ETFs, Materials ETFs, Popular Posts, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

As long as central banks around the globe are creating monetary credits at a breakneck clip of $200 billion per month, assets from stocks to real estate to higher yielding securities may have a floor underneath them. In particular, saber rattling in North Korea, government shutdown threats, natural disasters from Harvey to Irma, slower job growth and/or the demise of big name retailers may not cause long-lasting stock declines. And therein lies a problem: extreme complacency. The masses are beginning…

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The Slowdown in Lending May Become Problematic For Stock Investors

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

In the current business cycle, the Treasury bond yield curve has rarely been flatter. The spread between 30s and 2s is a paltry 1.4% and the spread between 10s and 2s is a meager 0.8%. Historically, the yield curve has been close to flawless as an expansion-contraction indicator. When a flattening curve dipped below ‘zero,’ the inversion foreshadowed seven out of the last 8 recessions. However, the Federal Reserve’s creation of trillions in electronic dollar credits (a.k.a. “quantitative easing” or…

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Stocks Climb A ‘Wall Of Worry,’ Though Humpty-Dumpty Investors Can Fall Off The Wall

By | Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Energy ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, Transportation ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Macy’s, JC Penney, Sears. Does anyone seriously believe that these corporations will thrive in the years ahead? They’re far more likely to go belly up than to turn things around. Many investors seem unfazed by the probability that Amazon (AMZN) will terminate traditional retail. They see it as an opportunity to invest more in the stock shares of the wildly overvalued e-tailer. What they’re neglecting, however, are the people that brick-n-mortar companies employ. There are roughly 400,000 at these three “dead-in-the-water” businesses alone….

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