Grow Your Portfolio the Intelligent Way

Confident People Don’t Look Down

I’m a horseman, and I take pride in learning about myself from one of the best teachers on earth — the horse.

You see, the horse is a herd animal, and one that has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to thrive in its group social structure. The horse also is an animal that requires leadership, as the highest-ranking mares (and sometimes the stallions) in the herd are leaders, directing the movement of the group to different grazing areas or water sources.

In “natural horsemanship” of the kind I practice, the horseman is tasked with taking the “lead mare” role. In doing so, the horseman must provide the leadership to his/her beloved animals that they require to survive and flourish.

This method works well, provided the horseman has the requisite confidence in his/her knowledge and skills, and provided he/she has accepted the responsibility of assuming the lead mare role.

Confidence here is perhaps the most important ingredient, but confidence only comes after you’ve done the hard work to acquire the knowledge and skill necessary to assume that confident lead-mare swagger.

Have you ever noticed that truly confident people walk with their heads up?

Think about that for a moment. Have you ever known a confident person that’s always looking down? The answer is almost certainly no, and the reason why is because confident people don’t look down. They look up, and they take on life as the lead mare.

That lead mare role is one that I assume not only with my horses, but also with my approach to investing, and to helping readers of this publication, as well as subscribers of my Successful ETF Investing advisory service.

After more than two decades in this industry, I know I have built up the requisite knowledge and skill needed to be the lead mare when it comes to helping investors grow and protect their money.

That’s why you’ll always get the sense from me through my writing and my speaking events, and if you ever meet me in person, that I am the type of person who never looks down when I walk.

If you want to run alongside me with the confidence of wild horses through the 2017 financial markets, then I invite you to check out my Successful ETF Investing advisory service right now.

ETF Talk: This Fund Provides Dedicated Exposure to U.S. Banks

By Eagle Staff

We turn our attention this week to begin a series about financial sector exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including today’s look at SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE).

KBE tracks an equal-weighted index of U.S. banking stocks. This focus differentiates KBE from many cap-weighted funds, since it puts giant banks and small banks on equal footing.

This fund gives investors exposure to a slice of the financial sector that historically has exhibited significant volatility but also is capable of turning in strong performances under the right circumstances. Frequently, investors buy into a high-volatility ETF, such as KBE, with the plan to benefit from short-term upward movements in the financial sector instead of a long-term buy-and-hold strategy.

KBE invests most of its $3.1 billion total assets in the securities that comprise the index it tracks. The fund also holds cash and invests in equities that are not in the index, as well as cash equivalents and money market instruments, such as repurchase agreements and money market funds. These actions increase the fund’s overall liquidity.

The fund is very liquid and has a competitive expense ratio of 0.35%. KBE also pays out a quarterly dividend. The most recent dividend was a $0.184 distribution on December 16, 2016. KBE has a dividend yield of 1.67%.

The chart below shows that KBE started off 2016 trading just slightly above $26, stepped up to the $30-$34 range mid-year, and has shot up to $44 since Election Day. KBE’s one-year return is 53.99%, compared with the S&P 500’s 17.45%. Year to date, KBE’s return is 1.28%, compared to S&P 500’s 2.60%.

KBE is a concentrated, non-diversified fund, with a total of 68 pure financial service stocks among its holdings.

The fund’s top five holdings are: Five Republic Bank (FRC), 2.45%; M&T Bank Corp (MTB), 2.44%; PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC), 2.44%; Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (OZRK), 2.43%; and SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI), 2.42%.

If you wish to participate in the currently very active financial sector, we encourage you to research SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) as a possible addition to your portfolio.

As always, we are happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send us an email. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.

On Love, Poverty and War

There’s an old saying in the literary world that a man’s life is incomplete until he has tasted love, poverty and war.

Beginning with the latter, my closest brush came in January 1991. I was just graduating from the U.S. Army Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Georgia, as the bombs began raining down on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. As it turned out, that conflict was so short-lived that I missed out on the war leg of the complete life.

As for poverty, well, although I come from a modest middle-class American family, I would hardly say that qualifies as poverty by global standards. And aside from some lean, post-college days working at the financial newspaper Investor’s Business Daily, I would also have to say that poverty has mostly eluded me.

When it comes to love, I think this is where I’ve more than made up for any deficit in the other two complete life components.

Love of family, friends, career, music, literature, philosophy, nature, fitness, sport, combat, and perhaps most of all, love of learning and educating are the animating forces at the core of my being.

That love runs particularly deep when talking about the love I have for helping investors better understand — and better profit from — the financial markets.

In fact, you might say that this love is a form of war on poverty itself… the poverty of knowledge that keeps investors paralyzed into subpar performance.

Ironically, my love for this pursuit also encompasses my own desire to be a complete man, engaging in a war to help others overcome their own conception of poverty.

In this, my second official issue of the Weekly ETF Report, I want to thank you for fighting alongside me in this loving war against poverty.

Together, we shall prevail!

10 Stocks to Buy That Already Make America Great

Although this publication is all about extolling the virtues of ETFs, we also must remember that equity ETFs are comprised of, well, equities… i.e. individual stocks of individual companies.

I often write about individual companies, particularly the ones that I think are the strongest in the market.

In a recent article, “10 Stocks to Buy That Already Make America Great,” I provide a few thoughts on what I think are some of the best stocks in the market today.

Moreover, these are the stocks that refute the subtext contained in President Trump’s incessantly cited mantra, “Make America Great Again.”

If you want to feel good about the country, and about the prospects for long-term portfolio performance, check out these10 stocks to own that already make America great.

On Failure to Risk Failure  

“There is only one kind of failure I cannot tolerate: the failure to risk failure.”

— Richard Marcinko, founder, U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six

Special operations icon Richard Marcinko is a highly decorated U.S. Navy SEAL commander, and the creator and first commanding officer of the counter-terrorist unit SEAL Team Six, the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden. Failure, or more specifically, the failure to risk failure, was a pet peeve for Marcinko, as it is for me. Why? Because nobody ever did anything worthwhile in life by sitting on the sidelines as a spectator. Will you fail sometimes in your pursuits? Of course, that’s life. But, so what? If you fall, pick yourself up and try again. There’s no shame in failing, there’s only shame in not risking failure.

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.

In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter from last week about some of the strongest stocks on the market.


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