Category

Financial ETFs

Cash-To-Debt Ratio Demonstrates Why Riskier Assets Have Limited Upside Potential

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Cash on corporate balance sheets grew at a 1% pace to $1.84 trillion in 2015. That’s a record level of dollars on the books. On the other hand, debt grew at a clip of nearly 14.8% to $6.6 trillion from $5.75 trillion. That’s a 15% surge in debt obligations. In fact, American companies have grown their debt load at a double-digit annualized rate since the economic recovery began in 2009. Doing so has put corporations in a precarious situation – circumstances…

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When You Exit The Stock Market, Don’t Let The Door Hit You On Your Way Out

By | Asia ETFs, Biotechnology ETFs, Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, Global ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

You cannot make this stuff up. The median stock in the S&P 500 has never been more overvalued on price-to-earnings growth (PEG) and price-to-sales (P/S). On a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) basis – where profitability expectations already reflect pie-in-the-sky speculation – the median company’s shares trade in the 96th percentile. That’s pretty darn pricey! Credit Goldman Sachs for the assessment. For that matter, give the financial conglomerate kudos for acknowledging the strong possibility that one might be wise to “sell in…

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Do You Have Rally Envy Or Bear Market Anxiety?

By | Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

For those who have paid attention, the last actual bond purchase by the Federal Reserve occurred on December 18, 2014. Why does the date matter? For one thing, research demonstrated that the expansion and manipulation of the Fed’s balance sheet (i.e., QE1, QE2, Operation Twist, QE3) corresponded to 93% of the current bull market’s gains. 93%! Secondly, stocks have struggled to make any tangible progress since the central bank of the United States ended six years of unconventional monetary policy…

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The Stock Buyback Conundrum: Will Companies Keep It Up Much Longer?

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

Some facts are more interesting than others. For example, Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist and perma-bull at Charles Schwab, recently acknowledged that “…there has not been a dollar added to the U.S. stock market since the end of the financial crisis by retail investors and pension funds.” Let the reality sink in for a moment. “Mom-n-pop” investors as well as pension funds have not added to their U.S. equity positions during the seven-year-plus bull market. That includes the last three months in…

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Seven Year Bull Market? It May Only Be Six Years and 2 Months After All

By | Asia ETFs, Biotechnology ETFs, Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Financial ETFs, Retail ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

What do these 10 companies – Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sears, Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, K-Mart, J.C Penney, Gap – all have in common? Each one of them is closing down a slew of retail storefronts. The “talking heads” on CNBC want you to believe that brick-and-mortar woes are merely a reflection of the consumer’s preference to shop online. Maybe. Or perhaps shuttering the doors will help boost the bottom-line profitability of retail company shareholders. After all, the SPDR S&P Retail ETF…

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How Long Will “Risk-Off” Sectors Outperform Riskier Stock and Bond Segments?

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

Some stock sectors thrive when an economic recovery gains traction. Industrials tend to perform well due to increases in the demand for capital goods. In a similar vein, consumer discretionary companies spike alongside improvements in employment data, where people spend more of the money they make. One can visualize the above-described outperformance of cyclical sectors by charting corresponding ETFs over the initial six years of the current economic recovery. The Guggenheim S&P 500® Equal Weight Consumer Discretionary ETF (RCD) as well as the Guggenheim…

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Asset Class Update: Is Diversification Still A Free Lunch?

By | Biotechnology ETFs, Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Currency ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Defense & Aerospace ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, Energy ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, Frontier Market ETFs, Global ETFs, Industrial ETFs, International ETFs, Internet ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Retail ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

According to Barry Ritholtz of Ritholtz Wealth Management, a frequent contributor to CNBC as well as Bloomberg, “the beauty of diversification is that it’s about as close as you can get to a free lunch in investing.” Since 2011, however, investors who diversified in stocks outside of the U.S. and who diversified across other asset types (e.g., commodities, currencies, gold, pipeline partnerships, etc.) have consistently underperformed the plain vanilla approach of owning the S&P 500 SPDR Trust (SPY) alongside a modest…

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All About Nothing: Stock ETFs Celebrate Zero Percent Rate Policy

By | Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, Energy ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Financial ETFs, Health ETFs, Industrial ETFs, Internet ETFs, Materials ETFs, Natural Resources ETFs, Retail ETFs, Technology ETFs, Telecom ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

About a year ago, I was meeting a client at a restaurant in Marina Del Rey, California. The traffic had been mild by Los Angeles County standards, so I arrived in the area early. I stopped in a local coffee shop and sat down in a booth. Lo and behold, in the booth next to me, Jerry Seinfeld had been interviewing Jim Carrey for a “webisode” of the popular online show, Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee. The reason that I bring this…

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Allocation Advice For The Do-It-Yourself Investor

By | Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, Energy ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, Health ETFs, Industrial ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Materials ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Technology ETFs, Transportation ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

At the tail end of 2014, individual investors as well as financial web site editors asked me for predictions on a variety of assets heading into 2015. I answered as many folks as I could. I suggested that foreign developed stocks via iShares Currency Hedged EAFE (HEFA) or Vanguard Europe Pacific (VEA) would likely outperform U.S. stocks, due to perceived value, easing of monetary policy and four consecutive years of foreign equity underperformance. (When was the last time that U.S. equities…

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Why Greece Still Matters To Financial Markets

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

In recent commentary, I suggested that the inability for Greece to repay its debts can still have an adverse impact on stocks. Not everyone agrees with my assessment. Most in the media maintain that the euro-zone has already inoculated itself from the threat of a “Grexit.” Similarly, anonymous comments underneath my previous article(s) jokingly refer to my concern as “stuck in 2011.” Someone should have told the equity markets in Europe as well as the United States. Shortly after the…

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