Archive | ETF Strategy

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...


Is The S&P 500 Now Safer Than A Diversified Portfolio?

Both the media and a wide array of financial advisers preach owning a diversified portfolio. Below, I have created a hypothetical asset mix that a moderate growth investor might employ: 30% iShares S&P 500 (IVV) 25% Vanguard Total Bond (BND) 12.5% iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) 7.5% SPDR S&P Mid-Cap 400 (MDY) 5% SPDR High Yield (JNK) 5% Vanguard Short-Term Bond (BSV) 5% [...] Continue Reading...


What The Daily 1% Price Swings Mean For ETF Investors

In the first half of the U.S. stock market bull (i.e., 2009-2011), 10%-19% corrections occurred annually. That has not been the case in the second half of the bull market. Instead, the frequency as well as the duration of setbacks lessened. There were several 7% sell-offs in 2012, a couple of 5% pullbacks in 2013 [...] Continue Reading...


When Canaries Stop Singing, Riskier ETFs Can Croak

In a recent article at WSJ.com, the author interviews Michael Hartnett, a primary investment guru at Merrill Lynch. The top strategist explains that commodities, emerging markets, high-yield bonds and small-cap U.S. stocks are the “four classic canaries” in the investment mines. Moreover, he warns, the archetypal canaries have stopped singing. Yet Hartnett simply views the absence [...] Continue Reading...


Preparing Your ETF Portfolio For Increased Volatility

HSBC’s most recent Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the Chinese economy rose to 50.5 from a final reading of 50.2 in August. The manufacturing sector may be expanding, but the growth is noticeably restrained. Meanwhile, German factories registered their slowest growth in 15 months and the French manufacturing segment continues to shrink. Equally disconcerting, the [...] Continue Reading...


Reduce Your Allocation To Small Cap U.S. Stock ETFs

The Wall Street media may celebrate the 35% intra-day jump in Alibaba shares. They may tout the record highs in the Dow and the S&P 500. However, they are missing the boat on both the economy as well as key stock market divergences. Let us start with the economic environment. The all-important Conference Board’s Leading Indicators [...] Continue Reading...


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