Archive | International ETFs

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...


Profit Margins And ‘Fairly Valued’ U.S. Stock ETFs

Money managers like myself may not discuss it often, but they probably have an “Uh Oh Indicator.” What is it? When certain clients ask why any amount of cash rests in money market accounts – why more of the money is not being committed to the stock benchmark du jour (i.e., NASDAQ in 1999, MSCI [...] Continue Reading...


Record Setting Stock ETFs: It’s About The Stimulus, Not The Economy

At the beginning of the year, analysts and economists explained why interest rates would climb significantly. They anticipated a year-end 10-year yield of 3.4%, not 2.4%. Only a few bond fund managers, doom-n-gloomers and contrarians dared to suggest that rates would drop. (For more on the topic, review my January commentary, “Against The Herd: Lower Rates, [...] Continue Reading...


Hedged Japan ETFs May Radiate On Efforts To Further Weaken The Yen

Several months before Shinzo Abe took office as the Prime Minister of Japan, the pre-ordained leader had expressed a fierce determination to jump start Japan’s economy through unconventional monetary policy measures. Like the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) would electronically create yen to acquire less liquid assets, such as government bonds. For a [...] Continue Reading...


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