Archive | Europe ETFs

A Market Top? 15 Warning Signs

Stocks are tumbling in Russia, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Australia and Canada due to economic weakness in China. Meanwhile, the Vanguard Europe ETF (VGK) remains roughly 5.5% off of its May high, as the feel-good effect of $1.3 trillion in European Central Bank stimulus subsides. In truth, risk assets from across the spectrum are fading. Exchange-traded [...] Continue Reading...


There’s Still Time To Lower Your Exposure To Riskier ETFs

A fair number of commenters, callers and perma-bulls were relatively tough on me in May when I suggested a strategic decision to raise cash levels. They were even tougher on me when I mentioned the possibility of picking up safer havens like intermediate treasuries via iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond (IEF) and intermediate-to-long duration municipal [...] Continue Reading...


5 Reasons To Lower Your Allocation To Riskier Assets

For months, I have been discussing the likely implications of deteriorating market breadth. For instance, fewer and fewer components are holding up the Dow, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ. Only a small number of industry sectors are keeping the popular benchmarks in the plus column. Similarly, half of the stocks in the S&P 500 currently [...] Continue Reading...


Allocation Advice For The Do-It-Yourself Investor

At the tail end of 2014, individual investors as well as financial web site editors asked me for predictions on a variety of assets heading into 2015. I answered as many folks as I could. I suggested that foreign developed stocks via iShares Currency Hedged EAFE (HEFA) or Vanguard Europe Pacific (VEA) would likely outperform U.S. [...] Continue Reading...


What’s So Bad About Kicking The Container Down The Road?

Every central banker and monetary authority understands economics. Each recognizes that debt-centric spending, interest rate repression and eye-popping additions to total government obligations will not sidestep inevitable defaults and/or worthless currencies in the future. So why has every influential central bank on the world stage – Federal Reserve, Bank of Japan, People’s Bank of China, [...] Continue Reading...


Allocating Assets When the Fed Talks Out Of Both Sides Of Its Mouth

One year ago, each of the 17 members of the Federal Reserve provided an expectation of where the fed funds rate would be at the end of 2015. The average came in at 1.1%. That might have required four to five rate hikes this year alone. By March, the expected year-end rate dropped to 0.65%. [...] Continue Reading...


‘Taper Tantrum’ Round 2? It’s More Serious For Stocks This Time Around

By definition, a recovery is the regaining of something lost. Homeowners have partially (and in some instances, entirely) recovered the equity in their property since the start of the Great Recession. Similarly, market-based securities investors have regained their capital and even accumulated additional paper wealth. The jobs recovery is a bit more challenging to quantify. For [...] Continue Reading...


Why Greece Still Matters To Financial Markets

In recent commentary, I suggested that the inability for Greece to repay its debts can still have an adverse impact on stocks. Not everyone agrees with my assessment. Most in the media maintain that the euro-zone has already inoculated itself from the threat of a “Grexit.” Similarly, anonymous comments underneath my previous article(s) jokingly refer [...] Continue Reading...


3 Reasons June Gloom Is Already Hitting The Markets

The theme of maintaining a sunny disposition in spite of genuine concerns has always been prevalent in music. Bobby McFerrin told people not to fear cash flow troubles or paying the rent late in his 80’s chart-topper “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Similarly, an animated meerkat from 1994’s The Lion King sang about ignoring one’s worries [...] Continue Reading...


Are You Betting On The Fed? Allocate According to the ‘Fundamentals’ and ‘Technicals’ Instead

The S&P 500 continues registering highs for the record books. Yet, the benchmark is reaching new peaks with less participation from its constituents. Consider the chart of the Bullish Percentage Index (BPI) for the S&P 500. Typically, a stock market bull is at its healthiest when the majority of companies are moving higher in established [...] Continue Reading...


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