Archive | International ETFs

3 Seemingly Crazy ETF Ideas

Japan has now registered two consecutive quarters of economic contraction – a persistent absence of growth that defines most recessions. For worse or for better, the world’s third largest economy will simply commit additional electronic money printing resources to acquire more Japanese stock and bond assets. This activity weakens the yen which, in turn, emboldens [...] Continue Reading...


Three Critical ETF Trends That Require Monitoring

When influential managers (e.g., large financial institutions, hedge funds, etc.) borrow low-yielding assets to invest in higher-appreciating, higher-yielding ones, they are engaging in a speculative art. What is the nature of the artwork here in 2014? Borrow as much yen and euro at negligible rates as possible to finance the acquisition of U.S. stocks and [...] Continue Reading...


ETF Flows: Nobody Believes In Europe, Everyone Believes In North America

The SPDR S&P 500 Trust (SPY) trades at a P/E (trailing 12 months) of 18.64 and a P/B of 2.7. The average P/E ratio since the 1870’s is roughly 15, while the current P/B is higher than 82% of the bull market tops since the mid-1920s. Although several may try to describe the U.S. stock market [...] 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...


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...


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...


Currency Hedged Stock ETFs Can Protect A Diversified Portfolio

The U.S. economy has been growing at an annualized pace of roughly 2% since the current expansion began in June of 2009. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first half of 2014 hovered around a paltry 1%. And while many contend that 2nd quarter growth at approximately 4% is signaling better times ahead, members of [...] Continue Reading...


Choosing Your Domestic and Foreign Stock Allocation

There are times when an important statistic simply does not pack a punch. For instance, the percentage of working-aged individuals employed in the labor force sits at 62.8%. This percentage dwells in a 36-year low cellar. Why is it so troubling? The lack of workers adversely affects middle-class consumption capability – the supposed engine that [...] Continue Reading...


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