Archive | International ETFs

Do Not Blame China For Your Missed Opportunity To Reduce Risk

Some are crediting me with calling the 6-day mini-crash. On the contrary. When I wrote “15 Warning Signs Of A Market Top” on August 18, the intent was to discuss micro-economic (corporate), macro-economic, fundamental and technical reasons for reducing one’s overall allocation to riskier assets. I did not predict the epic fall from grace for [...] Continue Reading...


This Is What Happens When The Fed Tries To Leave ‘QE’

Back on October 29, 2014, the Federal Reserve ended its largest round of quantitative easing (QE3/QE4). The unconventional policy of buying market-based assets with electronically created credits (dollars) first began in late November of 2008. Since that time, $3.75 trillion in stimulus forced interest rates downward and sent stock prices soaring. The S&P 500 moved from [...] Continue Reading...


Canaries In The Investment Mine Have Stopped Serenading

Eleven months ago, I talked about four classic canaries in the investment mines: (1) commodities, (2) high yield bonds, (3) small-cap stocks, (4) emerging market stocks. I explained that when all four of those canaries stop singing, riskier ETFs usually break down. Indeed, in September of 2014, commodities were tanking, high-yield bonds were plunging, small-cap [...] 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...


3 Reasons Why Risk Is Exiting The Debate Stage

More than a handful of people asked me if I would be watching the big debate. 10 candidates. One stage. Which politician will emerge as the clear-cut favorite to win the Republican party nomination? It may surprise some folks, but I have zero interest in the made-for-television event. Each individual will receive about as much air [...] 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...


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