Bonds

ETF Battles: LQD vs. JNK, Who Wins?

This is an excerpt from ETF Battles on ETFguide TV between LQD vs. JNK – two bond ETFs at opposite spectrums of credit risk.  Who wins the battle? In our latest ETF Battles, Ron DeLegge at ETFguide referees the match-up between the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Bond ETF (LQD) and the SPDR Barclays Capital …

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Beefing up Your Investment Portfolio’s Tactical Side in the Coronavirus Era

The Coronavirus outbreak has turned out to be more than just a Black Swan – it’s a totally random Black Piano from the sky that takes the Black Swan by complete surprise, landing on the poor bird. The global pandemic has penetrated nearly every element of society, totally upending healthcare, politics, business and education. What …

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5 Building Blocks for Your Investment Portfolio

The difference between well-built and poorly designed buildings can be strikingly drastic. Take for example, I.M. Pei, the Chinese-American architect, who is a legend in his profession and has won many prestigious awards, including the Pritzker Prize. Among all the illustrious structures he’s designed, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH is the …

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Factors that Should Influence Your Investments

If you asked a thousand different people about the key factors that should drive their investment choices, you’re bound to get a thousand different answers. Some, for example, might be inclined to argue that U.S. stocks (NYSEARCA:SCHB) have increased for eight consecutive years and there’s no reason to make any portfolio changes because stock prices …

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How Safe are Bonds?

News flash: Investors who assumed their investments in conservative bonds and bond funds (Nasdaq:LSBRX) were safe from losses are learning otherwise. Since mid-2016, the performance for U.S. bonds (NYSEARCA:BND) with top credit grades have sunk almost 4%. For perspective, the 12-month yield on ETFs tracking the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is just 2.40%. Put another …

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A $1.3 Million Portfolio Report Card for JPG in Maryland

What are the hallmarks of a well-built and financially sound investment portfolio? For some, it’s simply owning the top performing stocks or mutual funds (Nasdaq:AMCPX). For others, it’s owning the funds or ETFs (NYSEARCA:SCHB) with the lowest cost. And yet for many others, their definition of a well-built investment portfolio is to own whatever securities popular …

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Utilities, Anyone?

With 2016 officially half over, the celebratory nature of the stock market is being masked by another telling trend: Defensive sectors are outperforming higher risk areas. Formerly hot groups drenched with elevated risk like solar energy (NYSEARCA:TAN) and biotechnology stocks (NasdaqGS:IBB) have fallen out of favor and are down more than 20%, putting them into bear …

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Sexy vs. Boring: Who’s Winning?

Higher investment risk leads to higher investment returns, right? It’s a Wall Street axiom that we’ve heard so many times it’s become ingrained in us. But conventional wisdom and reality have the peculiar habit of departing from one another. And what’s happening in 2016 is a noteworthy example of this grand departure. With the year already …

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Should Correlations Drive Your Investment Decisions?

Do stock market correlations matter? Statisticians use correlations (or cross-correlation) to measure the relationship between asset classes or investments. The general idea is to better understand the similarity or dissimilarity in how investments perform against each other and to build a portfolio of investments that can benefit. The CBOE S&P 500 Implied Correlation Index (ChicagoOptions:^KCJ) …

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4 Moments When “Stay the Course” is the Wrong Investment Advice

The worst January start for U.S. stocks since 2009 should get your attention. If you’ve been hiding underneath a rock or hibernating in a cave-like dwelling, it’s time to come out. “A little sunlight is the best disinfectant,” as Judge Brandeis might say. Most global stock yardsticks from China (NYSEARCA:ASHS) to Japan (NYSEARCA:EWJ) and even the United …

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4 Things to Understand about Your Portfolio’s Margin of Safety

Does your portfolio have a margin of safety? I ask that question because the total U.S. stock market (NYSEARCA:SCHB) has been rocky over the past few weeks and now has a year-to-date (YTD) loss of -1.23%. And since most investor underperform the stock market and the index ETFs tied to it, it’s fair to assume …

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Will Stocks End the Year on a High Note?

Heading into the final trading month of the year, the U.S. stock market has history riding on its side. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA), the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY), and the Nasdaq Composite (NasdaqGM:ONEQ) have all posted average of gains between +2.3% to 5.1% during the fourth quarter of pre-election years in the past 66 years. And …

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Why the Debt Ceiling Deadline Isn’t That Scary

On Oct. 15, the sitting U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent his warning letter to Congress to increase the U.S. debt ceiling “or else.” Should bond investors be scared? Here’s an excerpt from Lew’s letter to Congress: “Based on our best and most recent information, we now estimate that extraordinary measures will be exhausted no later than …

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Improving Bogle’s 50/50 Portfolio

Jack Bogle has made changes inside his personal investment portfolio. In a news interview last week, the legendary indexer revealed that his 60% allocation to U.S. stocks and 40% to bonds via index funds (Nasdaq:VBINX) has shifted to a more conservative asset split of 50/50 in each group. Bogle is the 86-year old founder of Vanguard Group, the …

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(Podcast) The $700 Million Man Who Lost His Fortune

What’s hot and what’s not? The chart below shows that U.S stocks (NYSEARCA:SPY) are still outperforming other asset categories like bonds (NYSEARCA:BND), global real estate (NYSEARCA:RWO), and gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) this year.  Stock market fear is contained and the VIX – a popular barometer of sentiment –  has declined around 30% year-to-date. In terms of S&P 500 industry …

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(Podcast) Deconstructing the “Double Whammy” Effect on Gold Portfolios

How many people sold their stocks at the 2009 bottom, went to cash and then bought gold at its 2011 peak? In my latest Index Investing Show podcast episode, I explain how “double whammy” effect has damaged certain investment portfolios so severely, the losses could be catastrophic. The solution for investors sitting on big losses from precious metals (NYSEARCA:GLTR) is …

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Does Your Portfolio Have a Margin of Safety?

Building an architecturally sound investment portfolio doesn’t happen by chance. A structurally strong and healthy portfolio is organized into three basic parts: 1) the portfolio’s core, 2) the portfolio’s non-core, and 3) the portfolio’s “margin of safety.” All portfolio parts complement each other by deliberating holding non-overlapping assets. (Audio) $1,000 Gold? + a $1.8 Million Portfolio …

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Is this the Beginning of the Great Bond Exodus?

Never mind the outstanding performance that long-term U.S. Treasury ETFs (NYSEARCA:TMF) delivered last year, ETF investors are bailing on bonds. (Audio) Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing Show The latest data on ETF asset flows show that five bond funds are among the top 10 ETFs with money leaving. Among this group are three U.S. …

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Love Affair with High Risk Debt Overtakes Bond Market

The most important single factor in shaping security markets is the public’s psychology. That was Gerald Loeb’s observation about how financial markets operate. And history has proven this assessment to be consistently true. What about now? Although the broader bond market (NYSEARCA:AGG) is generally considered to be a more conservative place to invest versus stocks, there’s been …

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