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Buy U.S. Stocks Today? Graham Thinks You’re Nuts

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

Would Warren Buffett’s mentor buy domestic stocks today? Probably not. The father of value investing, Benjamin Graham, would have trouble recommending a single U.S. company’s shares across thousands of possibilities. Need proof? In the fourteenth chapter of The Intelligent Investor, a classic that Mr. Buffett regarded as “…the best book on investing ever written,” Graham offered a seven-step test for stock selection. The criteria include: (1) adequate size with respect to revenue, (2) strong financial condition with respect to liquidity, (3) reasonable…

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Amazon (AMZN): Love the Company, Hate The Stock Price

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

I recently ate dinner with a high-net-worth sales executive who asked me, “What are your thoughts on Amazon?” I told him the truth. Excellent company… unusually vulnerable stock. I explained my thesis on debt levels, excessive financial leverage, bubbly market euphoria, over-valuation as well as forced liquidation via margin calls. He seemed surprised that I might be concerned. He stated confidently, “Jeff Bezos is a one-of-a-kind innovator and Amazon is the future of retail. The stock should do very well…

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Bull? Bear? The U.S. Stock Market Is More Like The Honey Badger

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

Voters in the United Kingdom shockingly decided to leave the European Union? The stock market barely blinked. Voters in the United States unexpectedly elected a brash promoter over a well-established political insider? The stock market didn’t care. It told the media elite to take a hike, then promptly climbed to higher ground. The S&P 500 really doesn’t care what you think. It takes what it wants when it wants. The Federal Reserve continues to raise overnight lending rates? The yield…

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Did Stock Guru Jim Cramer Learn Anything From 2000 And 2008?

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

Borrowing money to get something that a person wants today can be financially rewarding. For example, mortgage debt helps a borrower acquire a home that is likely to appreciate in value over time. Not only does one enjoy the use of the property, one often increases his/her net worth through the use of leverage. A problem might develop, however, if an individual or family struggles to make the monthly payment. Job loss, sickness, ill-advised spending habits – a lendee might…

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Are Stock Investors Placing Too Much Faith In Tax Cuts?

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Popular Posts, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

There hasn’t been a major overhaul of the tax code in three decades. More notably, Reagan’s signature achievement required four years of deal making between the executive and legislative branches of government. Tax code reformation did not transpire overnight. Yet many investors seem to think consequential tax reduction for corporations as well as tax cuts for the middle class is a cinch. It won’t be. There are debt-weary Republicans who are not likely to rubber stamp a package if it…

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

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

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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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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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 | No Comments

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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