Archive | Health ETFs

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...


Economic Lethargy Continues To Bankroll The U.S. Stock Bull

Over the past century, the U.S. stock market typically turned down prior to the onset of a recession. You did not need to predict economic contraction; rather, you monitored the Dow and the S&P 500 because the benchmarks acted like leading indicators of bad times ahead. (Investors checked the market internals to get a sense [...] Continue Reading...


Greece, Puerto Rico, Or China? Debt-Fueled Excesses At The Heart Of Them All

Lately, I have been fielding a host of “which is worse” questions. Is it the possibility of Greece exiting the euro-zone or is it the potential for Puerto Rico to default on its debt? Is it the 25%-plus bearish retrenchment of China’s Shanghai SSE Composite or is it the likelihood of eventual rate hikes by [...] Continue Reading...


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...


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