Archive | ETF Philosophy

Homebuilder and Home Construction ETFs Falter At The Real Estate Altar

Is the enthusiasm for the real estate market built on a solid foundation? Existing home sales fell in March to its lowest pace since July of 2012. Worse yet, sales have declined for seven out of the previous eight months, ever since the the Federal Reserve signaled its intent to slow the pace of its [...] Continue Reading...


Weaker Euro Presents ETF Admirers With Multiple Opportunities

At the tail end of 2013, journalists asked money managers like myself about perceived threats to stock assets in 2014. My answer was simple: The possibility for policy missteps in the battle against global deflation might scare away risk-takers. In truth, my commentary received a lukewarm reception. Some argued that deflation is a good thing for [...] Continue Reading...


The Return Of Energy ETF Dominance?

Energy ETFs outperformed the overwhelming majority of competing sector investments in the previous bull market (10/02-10/07). In the early part of the run, the war in Iraq boosted the demand for shares. In the later stages of the rally, emerging economic growth fueled speculative excesses in both the price of oil as well as desire [...] Continue Reading...


ETFs For Those Seeking Greater Tax Freedom

A leading non-partisan tax policy researcher, The Tax Foundation, estimates that your first 111 days belong to the U.S. government. When the estimate includes the effect of federal borrowing, the date moves to May 6. In other words, you work for Uncle Sam in your first 125 days of a given year, while the remaining [...] Continue Reading...


ETFs Of CEFs? Yield Shares High Income (YYY) Impressive Since Inception

Before exchange-traded funds (ETFs) became widely accepted, the closed end fund, or CEF, offered investors the ability to trade a diversified investment throughout the day. CEFs have a fixed number of shares such that supply and demand determines share price. Yet those prices frequently trade at a significant discount or premium to the actual underlying [...] Continue Reading...


Great Rotation? ETFs Encounter A Different Kind Of Shift In 2014

Whatever happened to the “Great Rotation?” You remember the predictive theory that ultra-low yields would encourage investors to rotate out of bonds and into stocks. The notion picked up steam shortly after the Federal Reserve announced its intention to taper its quantitative easing (QE) program in May of 2013. Yield-sensitive assets of all stripes — [...] Continue Reading...


Disappointing Employment Data Affects Stock And Bond ETFs Differently

In 2008, President George W. Bush expressed regret for an ill-conceived 2003 speech aboard the USS Intrepid in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner. The blunder? The declaration of victory in the initial battle and the subsequent celebration came a mere month into the war. Consequently, every setback for years afterwards reminded the country that [...] Continue Reading...


Three Asian ETFs With Tremendous Upside Potential

Here is something that investors can take to their “to-big-too-fail” banks: Authorities in China will never allow a full-blown credit crisis to decimate the world’s 2nd largest economy. Disappointing manufacturing data, a falling yuan and the country’s first junk bond default have all contributed to perceived investing risks. However, Chinese government officials have learned from [...] Continue Reading...


Smoking Hot Emerging Market ETFs: The Real Thing Or Just Another Head Fake?

In a matter of weeks, funds like Vanguard Emerging Markets (VWO) surged forward by as much as 8.5%. Do investors suddenly believe that Russia, Brazil and China will collectively get their developing economies back on track? Not necessarily. Is the investing community waking up to the 40% price-to-earnings (P/E) discount for shifting capital into emergers [...] Continue Reading...


How To Buy Emerging Market ETFs With Greater Confidence

In aggregate, emerging market stocks trade at a 40% price-to-earnings (P/E) discount to developed U.S. stocks. Does that make emergers cheap? Not necessarily. A number of analysts have pointed out that the 10-year P/E of 25 on U.S. equities has only been surpassed at three other moments in history (i.e., 1929, 2000, 2007). It follows [...] Continue Reading...


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