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Current Affairs and ETFs

Is Warren Buffett Leading Investors Or Misleading Investors?

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

There are no shortage of Warren Buffett quotes on successful investing. The one that never fails to reassure me? “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” If one of the greatest investors on the planet strongly suggests that one become risk averse when the herd is throwing caution at the proverbial wind, it makes sense to identify the extent of ill-advised risk taking. For example, the CBOE S&P 500 VIX Volatility index (a.k.a “fear gauge”) closed out September…

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If Familiarity Breeds Contempt, What Do Debt And Complacency Breed?

By | Bond ETFs, Currency 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

Back in 1999, low inflation and fabulous headline unemployment (<5%) warranted a Federal Reserve overnight lending rate of 5.0%. Today, low inflation and desirable headline unemployment (<5%) come with $3.75 trillion in electronic money credits still on the central bank’s balance sheet and a Fed Funds Rate of a mere 1.25%. That is 375 basis points lower than it was with similar economic fundamentals less than two decades ago, not to mention a whole lot of “electronic money printing” since the…

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What Will Eventually Wobble The Stock Market?

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

I asked my Vice President at Pacific Park Financial, Inc. if he thought that anything might wobble the stock market. Rob said, “Extra-terrestrials could invade the planet. That MIGHT send the Dow down 0.4% for a few hours in the middle of the day.” “I disagree,” I counter-punched. “If outer space beings visit Earth, they will share secrets on how to travel faster than the speed of light in exchange for shares of Amazon.” “They’ll want bitcoin,” Rob said matter-of-factly….

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The Years 2000 And 2017: There’s A Whole Lot Of Rhyming Going On

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

This week, CNBC’s Kelly Evans interviewed one of the most well-respected billionaire hedge fund managers in history, Julian Robertson. The co-founder of Tiger Management discussed global central bank collusion to depress interest rates and the subsequent creation of a bubble. “A bubble in the stock market?” the journalist clarified. Robertson replied, “Yes, ma’am.” Billionaires from the investing world do not sport perfect track records. Nevertheless, when the .0001% speak, investors should take notice. Within the past few months, the list of billionaire…

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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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Signs That Investors May Be Shying Away From Indiscriminate Risk

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

You may never have heard of Robert Rodriguez. For that matter, you probably did not know that he retired in December from California-based First Pacific Advisors (FPA). Yet he is the only mutual fund manager ever to win the Morningstar Manager of the Year award for a stock fund and for a bond fund. In a recent interview, Mr. Rodriguez revealed that he has virtually zero exposure to stocks in his personal accounts. Liquidity? More than 65% via short-term Treasury-type securities….

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Is ‘FAANG’ More Dangerous Than The ‘Four Horsemen’ Of The Late 1990’s And The ‘Nifty Fifty’ Of The Early 1970s?

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

During the late 1990s tech boom, investors fell in love with the remarkable price appreciation of four mega-cap public corporations: Microsoft (MSFT), Intel (INTC), Cisco (CSCO) and Dell (DELL). They became known as the ‘four horsemen’ for their unparalleled influence. In fact, at points in 1999 and 2000, the group accounted for as much as 55%-60% of the NASDAQ’s price movement. Perhaps ironically, some of these hold-forever stocks began losing a bit of their appeal as dot-com mania kicked into…

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Better To Miss Some Stock Opportunity Than Suffer Big Losses? Howard Marks Thinks So

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

“The key strategic decision for anyone shaping investment strategy is whether to apply aggressiveness or defensiveness at a given point in time.” Howard Marks said that. And when one of the world’s most successful investors speaks out, I listen. Mr. Marks, who has a personal net worth of $2 billion and who co-founded Oaktree Capital Management, practices a form of tactical asset allocation. He surveys the investment environment to determine if he should concern himself more with missed opportunity or…

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Surging Corporate Profits? Not For The Rest Of This Economic Cycle

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

Are corporate earnings genuinely wonderful? It may depend on your perspective. For example, after-tax corporate profits have grown at an annualized pace of less than 1% over the last 5 years. You won’t find many 5-year periods that have been as anemic as that. In the same vein, earnings per share (EPS) growth has been equally unimpressive. Yet stock prices have been climbing with or without corporate earnings support. One could make a case that corporate profits are just now…

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