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Small Cap ETFs

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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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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Warning: Side Effects May Include Rapid Stock Price Depreciation

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

Over the last decade, the most influential central banks around the world have printed electronic currency credits to acquire $14 trillion in assets. The effect on stocks, bonds and real estate? Remarkable price gains as well as records galore. On the other hand, quantitative easing (QE) activity by the U.S. Federal Reserve, People’s Bank of China, European Central Bank and others has created a variety of implausible circumstances. The Swiss National Bank has become one of the largest shareholders in…

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Are The Ultra-Rich Predicting A Stock Market Swoon?

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

I readily acknowledge that I know precious little about the world of art. In fact, I would struggle to distinguish Picasso from Velazquez, Van Gogh from Monet, or DaVinci from Rembrandt. On the other hand, my brain has retained a bit of knowledge about several artists for one reason or another. Not only did I see the 2002 movie on the life of Frida Kahlo, but I attended a Kahlo exhibit in New York. Similarly, whenever I gaze upon a…

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If Familiarity Breeds Contempt, What Do Debt And Complacency Breed?

By | Bond ETFs, Currency ETFs, 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

Back in 1999, low inflation and fabulous headline unemployment (<5%) warranted a Federal Reserve overnight lending rate of 5.0%. Today, low inflation and desirable headline unemployment (<5%) come with $3.75 trillion in electronic money credits still on the central bank’s balance sheet and a Fed Funds Rate of a mere 1.25%. That is 375 basis points lower than it was with similar economic fundamentals less than two decades ago, not to mention a whole lot of “electronic money printing” since the…

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The Slowdown in Lending May Become Problematic For Stock Investors

By | Consumer ETFs, 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

In the current business cycle, the Treasury bond yield curve has rarely been flatter. The spread between 30s and 2s is a paltry 1.4% and the spread between 10s and 2s is a meager 0.8%. Historically, the yield curve has been close to flawless as an expansion-contraction indicator. When a flattening curve dipped below ‘zero,’ the inversion foreshadowed seven out of the last 8 recessions. However, the Federal Reserve’s creation of trillions in electronic dollar credits (a.k.a. “quantitative easing” or…

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Signs That Investors May Be Shying Away From Indiscriminate Risk

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

You may never have heard of Robert Rodriguez. For that matter, you probably did not know that he retired in December from California-based First Pacific Advisors (FPA). Yet he is the only mutual fund manager ever to win the Morningstar Manager of the Year award for a stock fund and for a bond fund. In a recent interview, Mr. Rodriguez revealed that he has virtually zero exposure to stocks in his personal accounts. Liquidity? More than 65% via short-term Treasury-type securities….

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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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Why Doesn’t The Bond Market Believe The Stock Market?

By | Bond ETFs, Currency ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Energy ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Internet ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

The S&P 500 struggled to gain price traction between the tail end of 2014 and the beginning of November in 2016. For many folks, the period represented 22 taxing months of uncertainty. Then came Trump. Suddenly, the investing community began soaking up the potential that corporate tax cuts, infrastructure spending and regulatory reform might revive a slow-growing economy. U.S. stocks rocketed to set records. In contrast, bond prices plummeted, as yields for the safer haven securities soared. Since the beginning…

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The Euphoria Debate: U.S. Stocks Versus U.S. Real Estate

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

When an asset class (e.g., stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, collectibles, etc.) skyrockets in price – when it surges higher without sufficient economic reason – a bubble develops. Technology stocks in the late 1990s. Housing in the mid-2000s. When the asset class inevitably nose-dives? The balloon implodes. Speculative silliness has not been difficult for me to spot. As a national talk radio personality in the late 1990s, I warned stock investors not to get carried away by dot-com madness. A “New…

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