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International ETFs

Higher Rates Will Hurt Stocks More Thank You Think (Part 2)

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

In my previous week’s commentary, I explained why higher interest rates will hurt stock assets more than many might think. Naysayers pointed to the fact that rate levels are still quite low on a historical basis. Unfortunately, these folks are neglecting to place their comprehension of borrowing costs in context. Take a look at the last 20 years of U.S. monetary policy via the Federal Funds Rate (FFR). The Federal Reserve’s tightening phase from the 4% level up to the…

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Higher Rates Will Hurt Stocks Far More Than You Think

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell thinks the economy is awesome. And he has no problem telling us so. What Powell will never discuss, however, is the “way-too-low-for-way-too-long” stimulus that the central bank engaged in to get here. In particular, the Fed has kept the neutral rate of interest far beneath the rate of inflation (CPI) for an entire decade. Consumers, corporations and Uncle Sam predictably borrowed as if there’d never be consequences. What consequences? Asset bubbles. Stocks, bonds, real estate, collectibles,…

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Give The Fed Credit For The Boom (And The Inevitable Bust)

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

The broader U.S. market has finally recovered from its late January meltdown. Indeed, most sectors have gone on to reach all-time highs. On the flip side, a number of influential segments and sub-segments are still laboring. For instance, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) remains roughly 5% below its January peak. Theoretically, financial stocks should benefit from a rising interest rate environment. A healthy economy typically implies that borrowers have the capacity to repay. Moreover, with a strong economic backdrop,…

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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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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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Speculative Frenzy Smells More And More Like 2000

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

Scores of extremely bullish investors insist that the financial markets today do not resemble the technology stock craze near the tail end of the late 1990s. That position is getting more difficult to defend. For example, market capitalization to GDP is a long-term stock valuation indicator with a high correlation (0.89) to subsequent 10-year returns. The valuation tool is frequently referred to as the “Warren Buffett Indicator.” The reason? In 2001, the Oracle of Omaha dubbed it as “…the best single measure of…

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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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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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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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