Archive | Small Cap ETFs

Risk Asset Update: Vast Majority Agonize Since The S&P 500’s August Lows

Weren’t lower oil prices supposed to act like a “tax cut” for U.S. households? If families spend less at the gas pump, then they will spend more of their dollars at the mall. At least that’s what mainstream media cheerleaders like CNBC’s Jim Cramer have insisted throughout the year. In contrast, the S&P SPDR Retail [...] Continue Reading...


What Assets Should You Have In Your Moderate Portfolio?

Ibbotson Associates provides asset allocation guidelines that span the risk spectrum from conservative to aggressive. The moderate portfolio consists of roughly 42% in U.S. Stock, 18% in Non-U.S. Stock, 35% Fixed Income and 5% in Cash. It follows that investors interested in the static Ibbotson model might employ the following ETFs to achieve the model’s [...] Continue Reading...


Flatter Yield Curve, Narrow Stock Leadership Forewarn Extreme Risk Takers

How confident should diversified investors be that U.S. stocks can power ahead without the extraordinary stimulus of quantitative easing (QE) and zero percent interest rate policy (ZIRP)? Not too confident. Stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange are down roughly 7.0% from their May highs and down nearly 3.5% since the last QE [...] Continue Reading...


Are The Tailwinds For Stocks Turning Into Tornadoes?

Recently, I was speaking with one of the co-founders of the popular exchange-traded fund web site, ETF Database. He wanted to get my thoughts about the problems with “buy-n-hold.” I did not hesitate to give him an earful. Rather than chronicle my conversation in its entirety, or reiterate my commentary from dozens of previous articles [...] Continue Reading...


Asset Class Update: Is Diversification Still A Free Lunch?

According to Barry Ritholtz of Ritholtz Wealth Management, a frequent contributor to CNBC as well as Bloomberg, “the beauty of diversification is that it’s about as close as you can get to a free lunch in investing.” Since 2011, however, investors who diversified in stocks outside of the U.S. and who diversified across other asset [...] Continue Reading...


Stock Investors Bask In The Economic Slowdown’s Glow

By July of 2012, a wide range of indicators suggested that the U.S. economy was flirting with trouble. Job growth was decelerating. Business investment was deteriorating. Meanwhile, manufacturing via the ISM Manufacturing Survey (PMI) was flirting with contraction. Up until that moment in time, the Federal Reserve had already left rates at zero percent for [...] Continue Reading...


Resilient Consumer? Not During The Manufacturing Retreat and Corporate Revenue Recession

Concerned investors started punishing foreign stocks and emerging market equities in May. The primary reason? Many feared the adverse effects of declining economic growth around the globe as well as the related declines in world trade. By June, risk-averse investors began selling U.S. high yield bonds as well as U.S. small cap assets. A significant [...] Continue Reading...


A Market Top? 15 Warning Signs

Stocks are tumbling in Russia, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Australia and Canada due to economic weakness in China. Meanwhile, the Vanguard Europe ETF (VGK) remains roughly 5.5% off of its May high, as the feel-good effect of $1.3 trillion in European Central Bank stimulus subsides. In truth, risk assets from across the spectrum are fading. Exchange-traded [...] 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...


Why Investors Should Not Party Like It’s 1999

Tens of thousands of investors read my commentary at popular financial portals. Some have been reading my articles for more than a decade. Others might have clicked on a social media “follow” link in the last month or the last last year. Ironically, few realize that I originally developed a front-n-center persona on national talk [...] Continue Reading...


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