Category

International ETFs

Time In The Markets, Not ‘Timing’ The Markets? At Least Know The Facts

By | Asia ETFs, China ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Global ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

What do China, Japan, India, England, Germany… heck, most of the significant economies around the globe, share in common? Bear market declines in stock prices of 20% or more. Several ETFs demonstrate the breadth of the global depreciation in equities. For example, SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (FEZ) illustrates the doggedness of the downtrend in Europe. The pattern has persisted since the summer of 2014. Meanwhile, iShares MSCI All-Country Asia ex Japan (AAXJ) highlights the struggles in the Pacific, and iShares…

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Why Stocks Have Gone Nowhere For 18 Months (And Counting)

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

Some charts are more interesting than others. For example, Rob Isbitts at Sungarden Investment Research pointed out that the three-year return for the S&P 500 has dipped below 30%. Why might that matter? When the three-year return disappointed investors with single-digit annualized gains (< 10% per year) in 2001 and again in 2008, bearish stock sell-offs came to fruition. Technical analysts have also taken notice of the “lower lows” in the S&P 500’s three-year return since the end of 2014. The pattern…

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Treasury Bond Yield Curve Is Telling Stock Investors To ‘Wake Up’

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

How dependent is the U.S. economy on stimulus by the central bank of the United States? Take a look at what has happened in the bond market since the Federal Reserve began to reduce asset purchases as part of its quantitative easing program (“QE3”) in 2014. The spread between longer-term maturity treasuries and shorter-term maturity treasuries has narrowed dramatically. The two-and-a-half year downtrend demonstrates a phenomenon called “yield curve flattening.” And it is warning that the Fed’s halfhearted attempts to…

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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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Why Low Interest Rates Do Not Imply Perpetual Increases In Stock Prices

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

Some investors have come to believe that ultra-low interest rates alone have made traditional valuations obsolete. The irony of the error in judgment? Experts and analysts made similar claims prior to the NASDAQ collapse in 2000. (Only then, it was the dot-com “New Economy” that made old school valuations irrelevant.) The benchmark still trades below its nominal highs (and far below its inflation-adjusted highs) from 16 years ago. Without question, exceptionally low borrowing costs helped drive current stock valuations to extraordinary…

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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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Real Risk Taking Will Not Return Until The Fed Flip-Flops

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Currency ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

In a strong bull market, higher volatility stocks tend to outperform lower volatility stocks. The PowerShares S&P 500 High Beta (SPHB):iShares USA Minimum Volatility (USMV) price ratio demonstrates how the bull market in equities has been giving way since the highs in the Dow and the S&P 500 one year ago (May 2015). Similarly, in a strong bull market, growth-oriented assets tend to outperform value-oriented holdings. Instead, the iShares Core Growth (IUSG):Vanguard Value (VTV) price ratio illustrates a shift in preference…

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Should Investors Take Notice When Reward Prospects Diminish?

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

The world’s central banks devise conventional and unconventional ways to depress interest rates. The impact? Consumers purchase goods and services on credit with favorable financing terms. Corporations issue low-yielding debt in order to buy back shares of their own stock. And governments issue low-yielding treasuries to continue spending far more than they generate in tax revenue. For some investors, then, the only thing that matters in the determination of whether to acquire assets like stock and real estate is ultra-low interest…

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The S&P 500’s 788,400 Minutes: Measuring One Year-And-A-Half In The Life Of An Index

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

There may be 525,600 minutes in a normal calendar year. However, there have been 788,400 minutes since the S&P 500 first hit 2050 in November of 2014; there have been 1,314,000 minutes since the NYSE Composite Index rose above the 10,000 level in November of 2013. In other words, lost in the narrative that “there is no alternative,” stocks have not gained significant ground in a very long time. Equally worthy of note, defensive stocks have been far more impressive than…

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Three Charts: What Debt, ‘CapEx,’ and Whole Profits Tell Stock Investors

By | Bond 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, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

For several years now, I have expressed concern about the accumulation of debt by governments, corporations and households. Some folks seem to recognize that – across the board – total debt levels are on an unsustainable path. Others have argued that the only thing of importance is the ability to service existing obligations, and that each group is quite capable of paying back the interest on their loans. Unfortunately, the naysayers argument ignores several unpleasant realities. First, borrowers at all…

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