Archive | Special Sectors ETFs

The Barbell Approach To ETF Portfolio Allocation Continues To Shine

I did not invent the barbell strategy. At the start of the year, I simply offered readers a glimpse into the way that I would be managing ETF assets in the late-stage bull market. First, let me take you back to January when I explained that long-term rates would fall, not rise. The contrarian call had [...] 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...


What The Daily 1% Price Swings Mean For ETF Investors

In the first half of the U.S. stock market bull (i.e., 2009-2011), 10%-19% corrections occurred annually. That has not been the case in the second half of the bull market. Instead, the frequency as well as the duration of setbacks lessened. There were several 7% sell-offs in 2012, a couple of 5% pullbacks in 2013 [...] 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...


Bond ETFs: Selling the Rumor, Buying The News

The appetite for stock risk is softening, yet few people are talking about it. Take a look at the “Advance-Decline Line” – one of the more popular technical analysis tools for identifying potential trend reversals. It dropped below a short-term moving average (50 SMA) in early August; it is now below the key trendline in [...] 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...


How ETF Investors Can Prepare For A 10% Correction

What is the longest period of time that the S&P 500 has traded without a 10% correction? According to Bespoke Investment Group, the record is a blissful 1,127-day run from July 1984 to August 1987. The current rally? 1,069 days. The waters are so calm, in fact, that only 13.3% of respondents to the most [...] Continue Reading...


Why Overvalued Stock ETFs Still Offer Opportunity

Let us recall that every significant economist and every major U.S. investment firm predicted interest rates would climb in 2014. The primary basis for the assessment? U.S. economic growth would accelerate and encourage the Federal Reserve to end ultra-easy monetary measures. Well, now that we’ve seen a so-called acceleration in the second quarter – now [...] 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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