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ETF Philosophy

Stuck Between A Rock, A Boulder And A Hard Place

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

If the Federal Reserve raises the federal funds rate much further, it risks triggering a recession. That’s not my opinion; rather, it is the opinion of Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Kashkari’s thesis? When shorter-term rates rise above longer-term ones – a phenomenon known as yield curve inversion – the financial markets are anticipating an economic slowdown in the near future. Additionally, Kashkari does not care why longer-term Treasury yields are flat or falling (e.g.,…

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The Yield Curve and Stocks: Much Ado About Everything

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

There has been a great deal of chatter about the strength of the American job market. And with good reason. Most measures of employment health – U-2 unemployment rate, jobless claims, wage increases, year-over-year job growth, etc. – support the notion that U.S. workers are “winning.” On the other hand, very few folks have addressed the possibility that the data are more likely to weaken than strengthen. On the contrary. So much faith is being placed on tax cut stimulus…

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Can A Stock Bull Prevail Without the Financial Sector?

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

“The most important item over time in valuation is obviously interest rates,” Warren Buffett explained in 2017. Never mind that this appears to contradict his beliefs back in 2001. Sixteen years earlier, Mr. Buffett stated that stock market-capitalization-to-GDP was “the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment.” On this indicator, then, stocks have rarely been as over-priced as they are right now. It is certainly possible that the financial crisis of 2008 fundamentally altered the investment…

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Non-Diversification: Free Stock Risk Without The Reward

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Small Cap ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Let me be quick to acknowledge that yield curve inversion can have considerable lag time before a recession. And for that matter, the U.S. Treasury bond curve can invert long before a stock market bear. For instance, 10-year yields fell below two-year yields in February of 2006. That was approximately 22 months before the recession officially hit in December of 2007. What’s more, between 2/2006-10/2007, the S&P 500 managed to climb more than 20%. There’s more. The 1990s Treasury bond…

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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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