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Too Much Conviction in Consensus

January 22, 2014

Maybe it’s my contrarian nature, or maybe it’s my suspicious nature, but whatever the reason, when it comes to a widespread consensus in the markets, I tend to get very nervous. Indeed, I’ve been struck by how much conviction there seems to be out there in the general consensus among many on Wall Street. These […]

Where in the World to Invest

January 15, 2014

The early results are in for 2014. After a couple of weeks of trading, things haven’t been as smooth for the equity markets as they were last year. Now, I guess that situation should come as little surprise for market observers, as 2013’s big run higher was an anomaly historically. So, how do some of […]

Emerging Markets off to a Bad Start

January 8, 2014

There’s only been five days of trading so far in 2014, but for emerging market equities and for China, the year has gotten off to a very bad start. The latest declines in both the iShares MSCI Emerging Market ETF (EEM) and the iShares FTSE China 25 Index (FXI) have sent these respective indices below […]

The Best ETF Developments of 2013

December 31, 2013

The past 12 months have been another banner year for exchange-traded funds (ETFs), but what were the best new developments on the ETF front in 2013? While there are plenty of positive development candidates to choose from during the year, I have narrowed down my personal list to what I think are the three best […]

The Three Vital Signs to Watch in 2014

December 25, 2013

Stocks have had their best year since 1997, and there’s no denying the powerful bull move in equities. There’s also no denying that the economy is getting better, as employment metrics and the recent third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) revision to 4.1% clearly indicate. So, will stocks continue to do well in 2014? What about […]

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The Fed Will Taper in 2014

December 18, 2013

The Fed did it. It finally pulled the trigger on a taper of its $85-billion-per-month bond-buying program. Although the taper won’t begin until 2014, the early sign from Wall Street is that traders love the decision. Stocks vaulted some 200-plus Dow points about 30 minutes after the Fed’s 2 p.m. EST announcement today largely due […]

What Can Go up 20% in 2014?

December 11, 2013

The broad market has had a great year, with the S&P 500 up nearly 26% so far in 2013. Yet given the ebb-and-flow of markets, we need to ask ourselves: how likely is it that the market is going to log this same kind of gain in 2014? I suspect that stocks will not have […]

Bubble Chatter Rises but No Sign of Slowing Yet

December 4, 2013

The big question swimming around every market pundit’s head right now is whether we are in an equity market bubble, and whether that bubble is going to burst and send stocks collapsing the way they did in 2008-2009, in 2000 and in 1987. From high-profile bond fund managers to doom-and-gloom prophets to Nobel Prize winners, […]

Giving Thanks for ETFs

November 27, 2013

Since we’re on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought it would be appropriate for me to let you in on a few things that make me feel thankful. First off, I am thankful that I live in a country where, despite its flaws, success and the achievement of one’s goals are still possible. […]

Meet the New Fed Boss, Same as the Old Boss

November 20, 2013

Last week, the smart money was focused mostly on the testimony of Federal Reserve Chair nominee Janet Yellen, as she faced questions from the Senate Banking Committee during her confirmation hearing. Now, to say that Yellen was extremely “dovish” is an understatement. In fact, Yellen seemed to discount any notion that the Fed’s massive quantitative […]

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