Archive | Current Affairs and ETFs

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...


An Energy ETF Resurgence Defies The Naysayers

Maybe you do not know who Rex Tillerson is. Maybe you did not realize that Tillerson, a dinosaur in the energy sector, is the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil (XOM) – one of the largest corporations on the planet. The company that he runs had been the largest in the world by market capitalization [...] 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...


Government and Corporate Indebtedness Provide Investment Opportunity

The former chairmen of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, acknowledged his belief that the Fed will not normalize overnight lending rates in his lifetime. Yet Mr. Bernanke neglected to share his contribution to the dilemma by agreeing to acquire trillions of dollars’ worth of treasuries with electronic money during his tenure. The quantitative easing (QE) [...] 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...


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...


Technical Breakouts For Popular ETFs On The World Stage

The current bull market for U.S. stocks is the fourth longest in history. Two others journeyed into a seventh year, while one other (1990s) enjoys the distinction as having traveled into an eighth year. Even if one subscribes to the idea that “bull markets never die of old age,” probability alone suggests that we are [...] Continue Reading...


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