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ETF Strategy

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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The S&P 500 and Stephen Hawking: A Theory on “Peak Everything”

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

The NASDAQ served up an annualized return of 66% in its final two years of dot-com mania. Only after the balloon had burst did people begin to question the lunacy of paying 10x revenue for the privilege of being a shareholder. Ironically enough, since early 2016, the top 10 growth names in tech collectively produced an annualized return of 67%. That’s right. The NYSE FANG+ Index has topped turn-of-the-century craziness. For the current bull-bear cycle, then, we may be witnessing…

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Trade Wars and Currency Wars: Financial Markets Have Good Reason To Be Wary

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

On Tuesday, market watchers did not witness the buying or selling of a single 10-year Japanese Government Bond (JGB) on an exchange. Not a one. Let that sink in for a moment. The Bank of Japan has swallowed up so much of the country’s debt obligations in its quantitative easing endeavors, trading activity across the entire JGB space has become “razor thin.” Theoretically, the circumstances could present liquidity risk. The bid-ask spread for JGBs could widen to such an extent…

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If Consumers Stop Spending, Stocks And Real Estate Will Slide

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

Here is an economic data point that you will not hear about in the mainstream financial media: U.S. wage growth in 2017 had been the weakest since 2010. In fact, labor costs rose a paltry 0.35% on a year-over-year basis. Are higher wages for workers, then, right around the bend? Some believe that the tighter labor market is about to spark wage inflation. Yet it seems that this could be wishful thinking. Actual inflation has shown up in housing costs (e.g., rent, repairs,…

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The Most Dangerous Stock Market Ever? Either Way, Have A Plan

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

Today’s stock market may not be as dangerous as 2000’s dot-com euphoria or 2008’s asset balloon. Why not? Global central banks are likely to act quicker and with far more “shock-n-awe” to minimize bearish price depreciation than they did in the previous sell-offs. Some argue that policy efforts would fail to reinvigorate yet another wealth effect because central banks are out of ammunition. I disagree. Indeed, I expect that monetary gamesmanship in the near future will result in an average…

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Brakes Applied To The Borrowing Tires Can Hurt Stock Investors

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

Mainstream media commentators regularly tell you that higher interest rates in 2018 will not threaten your portfolio. After all, they assure you, tax reform added piles of dollars to the bottom line profits of corporations as well as placed mounds of money back into the pockets of millions of households. Can one be certain, however, that fiscal stimulus (e.g., new spending package, recent tax overhaul, etc.) will neutralize increased borrowing costs? For example, a large chunk of prospective homeowners have already dropped…

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Are American Stocks Great Again?

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

The U.S Department of the Treasury currently forecasts that the national debt will reach the $25 trillion mark by the 3rd quarter of 2020. That’s just two and a half years from now. What is $25 trillion among American friends? If you combine the debts of every other sovereign state on the planet, you still do not reach $25 trillion. Our nation is a serial debtor. It is easier to dismiss the enormity of the obligation when government is capable of…

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Shock the “Short S&P 500 Volatility” Monkey

By | 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

A top-tier financial web site interviews me at the start of every year. The interviewer typically asks me about specific securities, asset allocation, economic backdrop as well as the impact of events (e.g., central bank monetary policy, mid-term elections, tax reform, etc.) This year, at the tail end of the interview, I fielded an atypical query. He wanted to know what “market surprise” might occur in 2018 (good or bad) that the financial media are not talking about. I thought…

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State of the Stock Market (#SOTSM)

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

The U.S. stock market has rarely notched 150 trading days without back-to-back 0.5%-plus declines. It happened on one occasion prior to the financial crisis in 2007. It also occurred once in the mid-1990s and twice in the 1960s. More recently, the S&P 500 logged an additional streak for consecutive trading sessions. This time, however, 150 days did not serve as the high-water mark. Nor was it 200 or 250 days. The new record streak that culminated on January 30, 2018? Try…

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