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Bogle’s Bad Views on ETFs

March 27, 2015

John “Jack” Bogle is an icon in the investing industry. The founder of Vanguard and the “father” of index mutual fund investing has had a lot of good ideas over the years. Unfortunately, the ideas in his recent editorial in the Financial Times are not among those good ideas. According to Mr. Bogle, exchange-traded funds […]

The Bull Stampedes in the China Shop

March 20, 2015

This week’s market action was dominated by the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement and the subsequent press conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The key term “patient” was removed from the Fed’s statement, and that was the first step toward setting the table for the first interest rate hike in more than […]

The Dollar’s Feeling Strong as an Ox

March 13, 2015

If this dollar’s a rockin’, don’t come a knockin’. The greenback is on a big-time roll, with the benchmark U.S. Dollar Index ETF, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish (UUP), up nearly 10.5% in 2015. During the past six months, the dollar is up 18% vs. a basket of rival foreign currencies. During the past 12 […]

Stocks Stall, Bonds Fall and the Dollar Spikes

March 6, 2015

The February jobs report was the big news this week, and the better-than-expected data caused traders to fear the Federal Reserve might pull the trigger on that long-awaited interest rate hike as soon as the June Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. The data from the Labor Department released this morning showed that employers added […]

How Risky are ETFs?

February 27, 2015

As a newsletter writer and as an investment advisor who advocates the use of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as the best tools to get all types of asset-class exposure, I am often asked about the risks associated with such funds. Just how risky are ETFs, and what do you need to know about this risk? The […]

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The Smartest Investors use Smart-Beta ETFs

February 20, 2015

What’s the biggest trend in ETF land these days? It’s called smart-beta ETFs. These ETFs provide a twist on traditional indexed ETFs, and they’re an interesting alternative to traditional, market-cap-weighted index funds. One of the most common types of smart-beta funds are those that offer equal weighting, meaning each stock counts the same in an […]

International vs. Domestic ETFs

February 13, 2015

At the outset of the year, I argued that international equity exchange-traded funds (ETFs) likely would outperform domestic equity ETFs. So far, that thesis has come to fruition, with many international equity ETFs up 3-4% on the year while most domestic markets are up just 1-2% year to date. The chart below illustrates the relative […]

And the Volatility Comes Roaring Back

February 6, 2015

It’s baaack! That’s right, the volatility in the markets is back. After a January that witnessed a big decline in the major indices of more than 3% nearly across the board, the gains this week — the first week of February — now have brought the major indices back into positive territory for 2015. If we take […]

January’s Not-So-Pretty Domestic ETF Picture

January 30, 2015

The final week of January ushered in a host of corporate earnings reports and, for the most part, those earnings were a mixed bag. Some big names did well, handily beating Wall Street expectations, such as D.R. Horton (DHI), Boeing (BA) and Apple (AAPL), while other well known names fared poorly, including Caterpillar (CAT), Ford […]

The ETF Tailwind of ECB QE

January 23, 2015

By far, the biggest market-moving event this week was the European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to implement the Old World version of quantitative easing (QE). Although most everyone suspected the ECB would begin its own bond-buying program, the very bullish tailwind for both domestic and international exchange-traded funds (ETFs) was caused by the unexpected size […]

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