Archive | Financial ETFs

The Stock Buyback Conundrum: Will Companies Keep It Up Much Longer?

Some facts are more interesting than others. For example, Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist and perma-bull at Charles Schwab, recently acknowledged that “…there has not been a dollar added to the U.S. stock market since the end of the financial crisis by retail investors and pension funds.” Let the reality sink in for a moment. “Mom-n-pop” investors [...] Continue Reading...


Seven Year Bull Market? It May Only Be Six Years and 2 Months After All

What do these 10 companies – Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sears, Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, K-Mart, J.C Penney, Gap – all have in common? Each one of them is closing down a slew of retail storefronts. The “talking heads” on CNBC want you to believe that brick-and-mortar woes are merely a reflection of the consumer’s preference [...] Continue Reading...


How Long Will “Risk-Off” Sectors Outperform Riskier Stock and Bond Segments?

Some stock sectors thrive when an economic recovery gains traction. Industrials tend to perform well due to increases in the demand for capital goods. In a similar vein, consumer discretionary companies spike alongside improvements in employment data, where people spend more of the money they make. One can visualize the above-described outperformance of cyclical sectors by charting corresponding ETFs [...] 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...


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...


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...


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...


Bull Market, Bear Market or Barely Moving Market?

Perma-bulls may note that the S&P 500 eked out a 0.4% gain in the first quarter of 2015. They may also choose to ignore warning signs such as the 5th consecutive month of decelerating economic activity in the manufacturing segment. The last time that this happened? 2008. A quick check of the individual sectors that [...] Continue Reading...


ETFs For An Ongoing Stimulus Bubble

Canada, India, Turkey, Australia, China and Denmark. What do all of these countries have in common? The central bank of each nation has eased monetary policy to stimulate respective economies in 2015. What’s more, none of these actions had been anticipated; rather, the media described rate cuts as “surprising” or diminished reserve requirements as “unexpected.” [...] Continue Reading...


Proof Positive That U.S. Stock ETFs Are Not The Only Place To Be

Financial professionals are blaming the latest round of risk asset uncertainty on a variety of factors, from the continuing sell-off in oil to the possibility of Greece being kicked out of the euro-zone. Still others are pointing to anxiety over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s intention to raise its overnight lending rate target in mid-2015 – [...] Continue Reading...


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