Archive | Emerging Market ETFs

If Investors Get More Stimulus, Will They Take More Risk?

The U.S. economy continues to show signs of frailty. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a feeble pace of just 0.7% in the 4th quarter. In the same vein, the Atlanta Fed’s GDP forecast for the first quarter of 2016 is just 1.2%. There’s more. The manufacturing segment of the economy has contracted for four [...] Continue Reading...


1704 on the S&P 500 in 2016? Less Far-Fetched Than Investors Want To Believe

How does a favorable bullish uptrend become an unfavorable bearish downtrend? Does the transition happen overnight? Do commentators, analysts, money managers and market participants simultaneously concur that the environment for risk-taking is exceptionally poor? The transition from “good times” to “bad times” is far more gradual than many realize. Granted, prices on the Dow or [...] Continue Reading...


U.S. Stocks In 2016? Keep An Eye On The Global Economy

During the previous bull market (10/02-10/07), financial media fawned over the critical importance of diversifying one’s equity exposure across the globe. And why not? Performance for foreign exchange-traded trackers like iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) far surpassed anything the S&P 500 could muster up; developed international markets doubled U.S. capital [...] Continue Reading...


Has The “Smart Money” Or The “Dumb Money” Been Reducing Risk?

Is it the “smart money” or the “dumb money” that has been seeking safer portfolio pastures throughout 2015? Time itself will tell. That said, riskier assets have been buckling clear across the asset board. Consider the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF): iShares iBoxx High Yield Bond ETF (HYG) price ratio. A rising IEF:HYG [...] Continue Reading...


A Stock Market Breather Before a Big-Time Bullish Breakout? Not Bloody Likely

It is unsettling to deal with the probability that we are closer to a bearish decline in stocks than a bullish reboot. Investment account values will wane. Household net worth will diminish. And when stock prices near their lowest ebb, the typical investor will decide that buying is impractical. However, if one prepares for inevitable [...] Continue Reading...


Risk Asset Update: Vast Majority Agonize Since The S&P 500’s August Lows

Weren’t lower oil prices supposed to act like a “tax cut” for U.S. households? If families spend less at the gas pump, then they will spend more of their dollars at the mall. At least that’s what mainstream media cheerleaders like CNBC’s Jim Cramer have insisted throughout the year. In contrast, the S&P SPDR Retail [...] Continue Reading...


Asset Class Update: Is Diversification Still A Free Lunch?

According to Barry Ritholtz of Ritholtz Wealth Management, a frequent contributor to CNBC as well as Bloomberg, “the beauty of diversification is that it’s about as close as you can get to a free lunch in investing.” Since 2011, however, investors who diversified in stocks outside of the U.S. and who diversified across other asset [...] Continue Reading...


Why The U.S. Stock Market Never Completely Recovered

Some things go unnoticed. For example, the S&P 500 rallied 13% off its closing lows (1867) set in late August. Lost in the shuffle? The popular benchmark has yet to revisit its closing highs (2130) registered back in May. In essence, the corrective activity that began in the springtime as a function of a faltering [...] Continue Reading...


All About Nothing: Stock ETFs Celebrate Zero Percent Rate Policy

About a year ago, I was meeting a client at a restaurant in Marina Del Rey, California. The traffic had been mild by Los Angeles County standards, so I arrived in the area early. I stopped in a local coffee shop and sat down in a booth. Lo and behold, in the booth next to [...] Continue Reading...


Do Not Blame China For Your Missed Opportunity To Reduce Risk

Some are crediting me with calling the 6-day mini-crash. On the contrary. When I wrote “15 Warning Signs Of A Market Top” on August 18, the intent was to discuss micro-economic (corporate), macro-economic, fundamental and technical reasons for reducing one’s overall allocation to riskier assets. I did not predict the epic fall from grace for [...] Continue Reading...


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