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ETF Strategy

Rationalizing Stock Market Irrationality (Or, The Earth Might Be Flat)

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

The repeal-n-replace health care bill needs a “Yes” vote from the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 23rd. With it, the financial markets may move higher on the belief that Trump/Congress will be able to pass corporate-friendly legislation from tax overhaul to regulatory reform. Without it, risk assets may stumble on the fear that political leaders will be unable to provide ambitious stimulus measures down the road. The prospect of lower taxes has always been at the heart of the…

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The Fed and Cheap Money: Are We Closing In On A Swan Song?

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

Corporations have more than doubled their debt levels since 2008’s financial crisis, from $3.5 trillion to $8.1 trillion. They are carrying more leverage (e.g., debt-to-revenue, debt-to-EBITDA, etc.) than at any point since the 2000-2002 tech wreck. And the cash relative to the debt on corporate books has been dropping precipitously. Granted, one can choose to emphasize the inexpensive nature of the credit. Why shouldn’t companies borrow by the boatload as long as interest rates remain relatively contained? For one thing,…

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What If This Is As Good As It Gets?

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

There are a handful of movies that suck me in whenever they come around. Goodfellas. The Godfather. The Shawshank Redemption. Still, there’s only one production where I can never get enough of the main character’s outlandishness. Melvin Udall in As Good As It Gets. He hoards bars of soap as part of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He sneeringly berates a woman for admiring his work as an author. He even shoves the neighbor’s dog down a laundry chute. I watched the Jack…

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Bull Market’s Health Depends More On Congress Than Trump

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

In a bull market, many investors come to believe that risk is synonymous with reward. “You’ve got to be in it to win it” or “If you don’t take chances, your wallet will forever remain empty.” In a bear market, the truth about risk is revealed. Specifically, steep financial losses are neither rewarding nor easily recovered. The average descent? 30%. And the average time to recover? Approximately three-and-one-quarter years. So, if an average bearish downtrend occurred right now, the S&P…

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Have We Reached The Emotional Stage Of Euphoria For Stocks?

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

In what world can aggregate debt of a country/business/household grow faster than its economy/income indefinitely? A world where math and logic no longer exist. Consider the circumstances for the United States. Economic growth as measured by the pace of gross domestic product (GDP) used to move in lockstep with the expansion of the country’s debt. However, in 1971, the growth rates began decoupling in earnest. That was the year President Nixon terminated gold’s relationship with the U.S. dollar. Not surprisingly, once…

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Markets Priced For Perfection Rarely Get What They ‘Price In’

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

It is almost inconceivable. Just 10 years ago, you could purchase a 3-year Treasury and sock away a risk free rate of return of nearly 6%. Right now? A paltry 1.5%. It follows that, today, one must take enormous chances to generate an income stream up and above the pace of inflation. And that’s only if you believe inflation gauges placing the annual rate in the neighborhood of 2%. For example, let’s assume an individual purchases a 5-year Treasury for…

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Does The Stock Investor Feel Lucky? “Well, Do Ya, Punk?”

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | One Comment

The broadest definition of a bear market? Stocks descend 20% (rounding up) on a closing-price basis without an intervening bull market (20%) rally. Since 1929, there have been 25 bears with an average top-to-bottom return of -35%. Some analysts prefer to exclude the Great Depression. (Should they?) Since World War II, the average bearish demise has been -30%. A quick perusal of the percentage losses reveals a curious truth. The last two bears? The “tech wreck” and the “financial collapse?”…

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Should Stock And Bond Investors Continue Their ‘Hop of Hope?’

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

Stock investors have made a “hop of hope” since the election of Donald J. Trump. Specifically, the new administration’s dedication to the repatriation of foreign profits, the lowering of corporate tax rates and the reduction of onerous regulations may create impressive wage growth as well as momentous economic growth. Keep in mind, year-over-year wage growth and annual GDP growth during the nearly eight years of recovery fell way short of pre-Great Recession growth rates. Wages have grown at a sub-par…

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What Happens When A Weakening Economy Meets Fed Tightening, Asset Valuation Extremes And Political Unpredictability?

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

We are now entering the 3rd longest economic expansion since World War II. The growth of the last 12 months, however, came in at the slowest pace since the recessionary transition year of 2009. Specifically, gross domestic product (GDP) for calendar year 2016 was only 1.6%. And it is the third time since the financial collapse that annual economic growth sank below 2%. Keep in mind, when economic weakness threatened to derail financial markets in 2011 as well as 2013,…

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Why Some Investors Are Selling the ‘Fiscal Stimulus’ News

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

I came across an interesting data set for stock market performance for incoming Presidents of the United States. In their initial month, the results might be described as underwhelming. Upon the November election of Trump, investor hope reigned supreme on everything from corporate tax reduction to Dodd-Frank regulatory restructuring to monumental spending on infrastructure enhancement. Six weeks later? Many may be troubled by the haziness surrounding the specifics. Take the “unaffordable” Affordable Care Act (ACA). A large percentage of citizens and…

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