Archive | Bond ETFs

The Debt-Driven Expansion Requires Tweaks To Your Portfolio

The U.S. government spent $7.50 trillion above the country’s budget over the last six years to encourage economic growth as well as fulfill pre-existing obligations (e.g., defense/military, agriculture, Medicare/health, Social Security, education, transportation, interest on the federal debt, etc.). Yet the economy still only grew at annualized 2.1% in the period – a growth rate [...] Continue Reading...


How Much Faith In The Fed Is Too Much Faith?

What if the U.S. economy fails to pick back up from its dismal first quarter? Then the U.S. Federal Reserve will push off the frequency and the magnitude of any increases in overnight lending rates. That’s what the U.S. stock market is telling investors, as the S&P 500 and NASDAQ break above record highs. That’s [...] Continue Reading...


Is It Time To Rethink An Allocation To Gold?

Many investors have given up on the idea that gold merits consideration in their portfolios due to years of depreciation in the dollar price of the yellow metal. For one thing, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is still reeling from 35% bear market losses since the heyday of 2011’s euro-zone crisis. Similarly, sharp increases in [...] Continue Reading...


Understanding Why Rates Must Go Lower Leads To Better Risk-Adjusted Results

Is there any conceivable path for Japan – the world’s 3rd largest economy – to escape eventual default? The country owes one quadrillion yen ($8.4 trillion U.S. dollars), yet takes in only $460 billion annually. Even at negligible rates, the Japanese government must allocate approximately 40% of its total tax revenue on paying the interest [...] Continue Reading...


Paper Wealth In Your Accounts Is Great, But Only If You Know How To Protect It

One of the more challenging tasks in high finance is making the distinction between “paper wealth” and economic health. Are the two related? Sure. Are they positively correlated. Sometimes, particularly on the downside. Does one matter more than the other? That depends upon who you are. Too frequently, writers will talk about paper wealth like stocks [...] Continue Reading...


Stocks And Long Bonds Know That The Fed’s In A Pickle

Economists should not have been stunned by downward revisions to job creation for January and February. Similarly, analysts should not have been surprised by the painfully weak jobs data for March – information that confirmed the seriousness of the ailing U.S. economy. Some folks are clinging to the hope that the slowdown is attributable to poor [...] Continue Reading...


Bull Market, Bear Market or Barely Moving Market?

Perma-bulls may note that the S&P 500 eked out a 0.4% gain in the first quarter of 2015. They may also choose to ignore warning signs such as the 5th consecutive month of decelerating economic activity in the manufacturing segment. The last time that this happened? 2008. A quick check of the individual sectors that make [...] Continue Reading...


50% Recession Possibility Calls For A ‘Higher-Than-Usual’ Allocation To Non-Stock ETFs

Other than permanently bearish writers and investors, few address the possibility of the U.S. falling into a recession. Many conclude that the Federal Reserve’s ultra-low rate policy completely altered the landscape such that the idea of a business cycle no longer exists. Others merely ignore warning signs until, unfortunately for them, the opportunity to reduce [...] Continue Reading...


Are Transportation Stocks Hinting At A New Recession?

Is a recession around the corner? Some analysts believe the key to that answer resides with transportation companies like Federal Express (FDX), Union Pacific (UNP) and Ryder (R). Specifically, if less and less unfinished goods are being moved to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, then one might anticipate sluggish growth, or even economic contraction. How might one [...] Continue Reading...


Why A ‘Rate Hike Tantrum’ Will Not Kill Bond ETFs in 2015

The 10-year Treasury note is the most recognizable, and most important, debt instrument in the world’s financial system. It is vital to foreign jurisdictions, banks and investors as a way to gain exposure to the U.S. dollar as well as interest payments backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. federal government. Stateside, [...] Continue Reading...


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