Archive | Health ETFs

The Risk Of Owning Stock Assets and Holding Stock Assets Right Now

Hold-n-hope advocates believe that greater gains with stocks over investment grade bonds require nothing more than a commitment to accepting increased volatility. In other words, if you accept the occasional craziness of stock prices, then your rewards will be far more robust than lower yielding debt instruments. But is that even accurate? In the 15-year period [...] 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...


Rate-Sensitive, Energy-Sensitive Sectors Now Down 10%-Plus

Bullish borrowers have increased their margin debt to invest in stocks from $445 billion in January to $507 billion today. And why not? The overall price movement for growth sectors of the stock market remains healthy. Flashy sub-segments like cyber-security and biotech continue to soar. For example, I allocated a small portion of moderately aggressive [...] Continue Reading...


The Debt-Driven Expansion Requires Tweaks To Your Portfolio

The U.S. government spent $7.50 trillion above the country’s budget over the last six years to encourage economic growth as well as fulfill pre-existing obligations (e.g., defense/military, agriculture, Medicare/health, Social Security, education, transportation, interest on the federal debt, etc.). Yet the economy still only grew at annualized 2.1% in the period – a growth rate [...] Continue Reading...


How Much Faith In The Fed Is Too Much Faith?

What if the U.S. economy fails to pick back up from its dismal first quarter? Then the U.S. Federal Reserve will push off the frequency and the magnitude of any increases in overnight lending rates. That’s what the U.S. stock market is telling investors, as the S&P 500 and NASDAQ break above record highs. That’s [...] Continue Reading...


Understanding Why Rates Must Go Lower Leads To Better Risk-Adjusted Results

Is there any conceivable path for Japan – the world’s 3rd largest economy – to escape eventual default? The country owes one quadrillion yen ($8.4 trillion U.S. dollars), yet takes in only $460 billion annually. Even at negligible rates, the Japanese government must allocate approximately 40% of its total tax revenue on paying the interest [...] 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...


Why A ‘Rate Hike Tantrum’ Will Not Kill Bond ETFs in 2015

The 10-year Treasury note is the most recognizable, and most important, debt instrument in the world’s financial system. It is vital to foreign jurisdictions, banks and investors as a way to gain exposure to the U.S. dollar as well as interest payments backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. federal government. Stateside, [...] Continue Reading...


What the NASDAQ’s Round-Trip To 5000 Really Means

When the NASDAQ Composite Index hit 5000 in March of 2000, jubilant investors celebrated the milestone. Shortly thereafter, however, scores of individuals lost their collective shirts. Many witnessed losses of 50%, 60% or 80% of their account values on names like Cisco, JDS Uniphase and Pets.com. Back then, the euphoria was akin to unchecked greed. [...] Continue Reading...


Scarcity and Stocks: How to Follow (Or Avoid) A Late ’90s “New Economy” Playbook

For the better part of 15 months, I have pounded the table for longer-term U.S. treasuries. Most financial pundits thought that I was nuts in December of 2013; they debated my scarcity premise throughout 2014 and they dismiss my relative value argument here in 2015. About the only concession? The talking heads have often acknowledged [...] Continue Reading...


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