Archive | Current Affairs and ETFs

Three Critical ETF Trends That Require Monitoring

When influential managers (e.g., large financial institutions, hedge funds, etc.) borrow low-yielding assets to invest in higher-appreciating, higher-yielding ones, they are engaging in a speculative art. What is the nature of the artwork here in 2014? Borrow as much yen and euro at negligible rates as possible to finance the acquisition of U.S. stocks and [...] Continue Reading...


ETF Flows: Nobody Believes In Europe, Everyone Believes In North America

The SPDR S&P 500 Trust (SPY) trades at a P/E (trailing 12 months) of 18.64 and a P/B of 2.7. The average P/E ratio since the 1870’s is roughly 15, while the current P/B is higher than 82% of the bull market tops since the mid-1920s. Although several may try to describe the U.S. stock market [...] Continue Reading...


When Will Emerging Market ETFs Join The “Risk-On” Party?

When monetary policy leaders spoke in October, investors listened. Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) member, James Bullard, suggested that his colleagues consider extending the U.S. central bank’s policy of buying bonds. In a similar vein, the European Central Bank (ECB) revived its activity of purchasing assets in its attempt to stimulate the region’s economy. [...] Continue Reading...


Expect Rate Sensitive ETFs To Extend Their Lead Due To Housing Uncertainty

I have not been able to sell my house. I have lowered the original asking price ($1,139,000) by more than 5%. I have jacked up the commission for buyer agents. None of it matters – million dollar homes throughout Orange County, California are not receiving a whole lot of offers. Granted, real estate is local. What’s [...] Continue Reading...


New 52-Week Highs: Which Stock ETFs Are Shining The Brightest?

In spite of a stock market sell-off that nearly set the S&P 500 back 10%, some stock ETFs have already recovered. That’s right. A handful of funds barely trembled during last week’s frightful liquidation. Shortly thereafter, this intrepid group ascended to record heights. Here are the more notable stock ETFs on the latest 52-Week High list. [...] Continue Reading...


Why Did ETFs Become So Popular? Fewer Folks Are Buying The Hold-N-Hope Hype

Exactly how long should a buy-n-hold investor “hold?” For example, if you held the Dow Jones Industrials Average from 1916 through 1981, would you have made money in those 65 years? Not from inflation-adjusted price appreciation. Here are the returns: The above-mentioned data represent 65 years of buy-n-hold angst. Granted, naysayers might say that the dates have [...] Continue Reading...


It Is Not Too Late To Hedge Against Stock ETF Risk

Since October of 2011, the US. stock market has not only been resilient, it has repelled more water than Gore-Tex. The pullbacks in 2012, 2013 and the first eight months of 2014 have been unrepentant buying opportunities. The current downpour that began in mid-September, however, has presented bears with more compelling reasons to sell. Market valuations [...] Continue Reading...


Are All ETF Correlations Barreling Towards 1.0?

Since the S&P 500 hit 2011 on September 18, it has forfeited 4.1%. That may not represent a significant decline. Yet, the year-to-date damage across an array of 18 popular asset classes is a bit more vexing. Depreciation Across 18 Unique Asset Classes % Off 2014 High 200 Day MA Vanguard Total International Bond (BNDX) 0.0% Above Vanguard [...] Continue Reading...


The Barbell Approach To ETF Portfolio Allocation Continues To Shine

I did not invent the barbell strategy. At the start of the year, I simply offered readers a glimpse into the way that I would be managing ETF assets in the late-stage bull market. First, let me take you back to January when I explained that long-term rates would fall, not rise. The contrarian call had [...] Continue Reading...


Jobs Data Great For ETFs, Grisly For The Economy

“Holy Moly!” exclaim the financial media. They marvel at a headline unemployment number of 5.9%. They celebrate year-to-date job growth that is averaging about 220,000 positions per month. “This economy is much better than people think!” However, the economic optimists are wrong. The labor market is uncommonly weak. So why did stocks rocket higher on the job [...] Continue Reading...


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