Trade Wars and Currency Wars: Financial Markets Have Good Reason To Be Wary

By | Asia ETFs, Currency ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

On Tuesday, market watchers did not witness the buying or selling of a single 10-year Japanese Government Bond (JGB) on an exchange. Not a one. Let that sink in for a moment. The Bank of Japan has swallowed up so much of the country’s debt obligations in its quantitative easing endeavors, trading activity across the entire JGB space has become “razor thin.” Theoretically, the circumstances could present liquidity risk. The bid-ask spread for JGBs could widen to such an extent…

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If Consumers Stop Spending, Stocks And Real Estate Will Slide

By | Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Real Estate ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Here is an economic data point that you will not hear about in the mainstream financial media: U.S. wage growth in 2017 had been the weakest since 2010. In fact, labor costs rose a paltry 0.35% on a year-over-year basis. Are higher wages for workers, then, right around the bend? Some believe that the tighter labor market is about to spark wage inflation. Yet it seems that this could be wishful thinking. Actual inflation has shown up in housing costs (e.g., rent, repairs,…

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The Most Dangerous Stock Market Ever? Either Way, Have A Plan

By | Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Today’s stock market may not be as dangerous as 2000’s dot-com euphoria or 2008’s asset balloon. Why not? Global central banks are likely to act quicker and with far more “shock-n-awe” to minimize bearish price depreciation than they did in the previous sell-offs. Some argue that policy efforts would fail to reinvigorate yet another wealth effect because central banks are out of ammunition. I disagree. Indeed, I expect that monetary gamesmanship in the near future will result in an average…

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Brakes Applied To The Borrowing Tires Can Hurt Stock Investors

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Mainstream media commentators regularly tell you that higher interest rates in 2018 will not threaten your portfolio. After all, they assure you, tax reform added piles of dollars to the bottom line profits of corporations as well as placed mounds of money back into the pockets of millions of households. Can one be certain, however, that fiscal stimulus (e.g., new spending package, recent tax overhaul, etc.) will neutralize increased borrowing costs? For example, a large chunk of prospective homeowners have already dropped…

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Are American Stocks Great Again?

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

The U.S Department of the Treasury currently forecasts that the national debt will reach the $25 trillion mark by the 3rd quarter of 2020. That’s just two and a half years from now. What is $25 trillion among American friends? If you combine the debts of every other sovereign state on the planet, you still do not reach $25 trillion. Our nation is a serial debtor. It is easier to dismiss the enormity of the obligation when government is capable of…

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Shock the “Short S&P 500 Volatility” Monkey

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

A top-tier financial web site interviews me at the start of every year. The interviewer typically asks me about specific securities, asset allocation, economic backdrop as well as the impact of events (e.g., central bank monetary policy, mid-term elections, tax reform, etc.) This year, at the tail end of the interview, I fielded an atypical query. He wanted to know what “market surprise” might occur in 2018 (good or bad) that the financial media are not talking about. I thought…

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