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ETF Philosophy

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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Time in the Market, Not Timing the Market? Catchy Phrase Ignores Key Evidence

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

There is a reason why Warren Buffett regarded market-cap-to-GDP as “…the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment.” The reason? Its relationship with 10-year forward returns for stock prices. And right now, stock market capitalization as it relates to the U.S. economy is projecting negative returns for U.S. stock prices. It is also true that Mr. Buffett has, in recent years, distanced himself from the valuation approach called the “Buffett Indicator.” Is it because he stopped believing…

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How Much Longer Should Stock Investors Dance Near The Fire Pit?

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

American consumers are financially strained. One indication? Card defaults rose from 2.81% back in November to 3.53% in May. Meanwhile, the expansion of credit by cards as well as by autos has slowed to the point of contraction. Some would have you believe that low headline unemployment (4.4%) is translating into increased consumption and increased demand for goods or services. Yet tepid GDP data demonstrate otherwise. One explanation is that nominal wage growth would need to grow in the 3.5%-4.0%…

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Think The Fed Will Have Your Back Forever? Think Again

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

I have a confession to make: I love confessions. I spent countless hours in the late 1990s listening to sports radio dissect Mark McGuire’s acknowledgement of steroid use. And who did not get chills reading Perry Smith’s account of the Clutter family murders in Capote’s In Cold Blood? However, the admission of transgression that captivated me the most over the last decade did not receive the kind of attention it likely deserved. Richard Fisher corroborated (January, 2016) that the Federal Reserve front-loaded…

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Are Stocks Adequately Compensating You For The Risk Of Financial Loss?

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

Few predict that a recession is imminent. On the flip side, how should one reconcile the fact that the treasury yield curve is flatter than it has been since 2007? A diminishing spread between 30s and 2s has a history of alerting market watchers to economic difficulties. At the start of the current recovery in June of 2009, the spread between the longest-term maturities and shorter-term maturities clocked in at a relatively robust 3.5%. The yield curve was noticeably steep. Eight years later? The…

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This Stock Market Bull Does Not Believe In ‘Peak Stimulus’

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

When central banks create money to underwrite a worldwide credit boom, do people become prosperous? Or does the electronic money creation encourage excessive borrowing that steals from future well-being? Consider the $10.75-plus trillion that central banks created in response to the U.S. financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent economic stagnation across the globe. Monetary policy authorities primarily acquired “IOU” assets (e.g., sovereign debt, corporate bonds, etc.) to depress interest rates. The ultra-low rates stimulated unbridled borrowing from the financial system by…

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