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Current Affairs and ETFs

Is The World’s Largest Hedge Fund Wrong About Stock Assets?

By | Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Global ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Bridgewater Associates has roughly $160 billion under management, making it the largest hedge fund on the planet. Exchange traded funds like Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets (VWO) the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) and the S&P 500 SPDR Trust (SPY) head the list of top holdings. Last week, Bridgewater said, “We are bearish on financial assets as the U.S. economy progresses toward the late cycle, liquidity has been removed, and the markets are pricing in a continuation of recent conditions despite the…

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A Bigger Tech Bubble Today Than The One In 2000? Why You Should Question The Unicorns

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

What if I told you that today’s tech bubble is more hazardous than the one that popped in 2000? You might say, “That’s crazy. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX), Google (GOOG) — today’s internet-oriented superstars are real companies with real profits.” Granted, all of these corporations are profitable. They may be rapid growers as well. That does not mean investors are paying reasonable or rational prices for their fractional stakes. Microsoft, Cisco and Dell represented roughly 50%…

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Why Are Investors Considering Alternatives To Stocks?

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

Mortgage interest payments as well as non—mortgage interest payments are costing consumers more and more of their disposable income. Consider the non-mortgage variety. Personal interest payments have already recovered levels not seen since the financial crisis. To be sure, interest payments are not the only thing taking a bite out of the cost of living. Oil prices have moved meaningfully higher. According to a 2005 study by the Federal Reserve, oil price increases adversely affect aggregate consumer spending. Is it…

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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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Stocks, Bonds And Real Estate: The High Probability Of A Wealth Effect Reversal

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

According to Michael Leibowitz of 720 Global, the cumulative amount of new debt issued by the U.S government surpassed the cumulative amount of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth in each year since the financial crisis of 2008. In other words, GDP economic growth would have been negative in every year following the crisis were it not for massive federal deficits. Unfortunately, it’s not just the past that we are talking about. The International Monetary Fund projects that the U.S….

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Do Not Blame China For U.S. Dependence On Debt, Deficits And Low Rates

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

Over the 10 trading days (2 weeks) through April 6, the S&P 500 averaged a daily range of 2.3%. According to Dana Lyons of the Lyons Share, that kind of volatility ranks in the 94th percentile since the S&P 500 began in 1950. Similarly, it is uncommon to see at least seven 1%-plus price swings in a brief period like two weeks. We actually had eight. More remarkably, it is rare to witness this type of price movement when it…

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Comeuppance: Stocks Will Not Be Able To Shake The Overhang Of Higher Borrowing Costs

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

The average American household has roughly 6% less spending power than it did a decade ago. How can that be? Hasn’t the economy been expanding at an appropriate clip since the Great Recession? Haven’t median incomes been rising briskly in conjunction with “full employment?” One of the problems may be attributable to demographic shifts. A rising percentage of young adults are living with their parents longer. Meanwhile, a significant wave of older folks are moving in with their adult children….

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Why Aren’t Stocks Climbing The Wall of Worry Anymore?

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Global ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Materials ETFs, Popular Posts, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

According to Bank of America’s research team, 87% of prior bull-to-bear transitions involved increases in volatility. That’s not particularly surprising. Anyone who has experienced a stock bear probably remembers months and months of extraordinary price swings. In the current bull portion of the bull-bear cycle (3/09-?), each of the previous corrections offered buying opportunities. For example, there were two 10%-plus volatile price pullbacks during the earnings recession (2015-2016). Earnings per share across the S&P 500 kept shrinking, yet buying the…

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