Archive | Current Affairs and ETFs

Bonds Say To Stocks, “We’re Just Not That Into You.”

Five years ago, several European countries (e.g., Portugal, Italy, Greece, etc.) appeared as if they might default on their sovereign debt obligations. Gold prices spiked. The Japanese yen soared. U.S. Treasury bond yields plummeted. And the S&P 500 fell nearly 20% before globally coordinated central bank activity resuscitated investor appetite for U.S stocks. Today, Europe appears [...] Continue Reading...


Why You May Want To Sell Into The Post-Brexit Rally

For the better part of six years, between December of 2008 and December of 2014, the Federal Reserve created hundreds of billions of electronic dollar credits to pump up asset prices (e.g., stocks, bonds, real estate. etc.). Theoretically, the subsequent wealth effect would encourage businesses to invest in their growth, consumers to spend on discretionary items [...] Continue Reading...


Correlation Does Not Imply Causation, But It Does Mean ‘Lower Your Stock Allocation’

If you are fortunate enough to have $750,000 equity in a $1,000,000 home, and a fire ravages the property, what is your number one concern? The protection of the equity. Granted, you might be extremely curious about how the fire started. You may even want to know whether or not there was something you could [...] Continue Reading...


Lower Rates For Longer: Will It Genuinely Benefit Stock Investors?

If the price that one pays for an asset is “fair” or “reasonable,” then one should not doubt having made the transaction. He/she might need to reevaluate whether the current price still reflects a reasonable value at a later date. After all, if a company’s share price has risen dramatically in relation to declining sales [...] Continue Reading...


Zero Rate Hikes In 2016? It Still Won’t Be Enough To Help The Economy Or Stocks

According to the Goldman Sachs Current Activity Indicator (CAI), economic well-being peaked in November of 2014. The erosion from 4.1% down to 1.3% over the last 18 months demonstrates just how vulnerable the U.S. economy currently is. Not surprisingly, economic weakness has taken its toll on stock assets. The S&P 500 has not gained meaningful ground [...] Continue Reading...


Time In The Markets, Not ‘Timing’ The Markets? At Least Know The Facts

What do China, Japan, India, England, Germany… heck, most of the significant economies around the globe, share in common? Bear market declines in stock prices of 20% or more. Several ETFs demonstrate the breadth of the global depreciation in equities. For example, SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (FEZ) illustrates the doggedness of the downtrend in Europe. [...] Continue Reading...


Are You Willing To Be The ‘Greater Fool’ By Acquiring More Stocks Today?

It does not matter if stocks are insanely overvalued, as long as there’s a more foolish participant who is willing to pay a higher price. That’s the essence of the “greater fool theory.” And right now, there are more foolish buyers that want “in the game” than risk-reducing sellers who want to scale back. It [...] Continue Reading...


The Silliness Of Buying Stocks Solely Because They Yield More Than Bonds

One argument in favor of buying U.S. stocks today? Regardless of traditional valuation extremes? The S&P 500 SPDR Trust (SPY) offers an annual dividend yield (2.06%) that is significantly higher than a 10-year Treasury bond (1.71%). Unfortunately, risk assets do not morph into risk-free assets when the former yields more than comparable treasuries. On the [...] Continue Reading...


Why Stocks Have Gone Nowhere For 18 Months (And Counting)

Some charts are more interesting than others. For example, Rob Isbitts at Sungarden Investment Research pointed out that the three-year return for the S&P 500 has dipped below 30%. Why might that matter? When the three-year return disappointed investors with single-digit annualized gains (< 10% per year) in 2001 and again in 2008, bearish stock sell-offs came [...] Continue Reading...


Treasury Bond Yield Curve Is Telling Stock Investors To ‘Wake Up’

How dependent is the U.S. economy on stimulus by the central bank of the United States? Take a look at what has happened in the bond market since the Federal Reserve began to reduce asset purchases as part of its quantitative easing program (“QE3″) in 2014. The spread between longer-term maturity treasuries and shorter-term maturity [...] Continue Reading...


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