Cash and Money Market Funds

ETF Battles: DVY vs. DGRW, Who Wins?

This is an excerpt from ETF Battles on ETFguide TV between DVY vs. DGRW – two stock dividend ETFs.  Who wins the battle? More investors are getting their dividend income via exchange-traded funds (ETFs).  Yet, getting dividend cash flow is becoming ever more challenging as more publicly traded companies and real estate investment trusts (REITs) …

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Retirement Pro: Think Cash Flow, Not Rate of Return

This is an excerpt from the video titled Think Cash Flow, NOT Rate of Return with Lynn Dolan at ETFguide and Mark Mappa, CFP and Author of Cash Flow is King. Lynn: Cash flow is important for everyone. But it’s especially important for retirees as income from working turns off and income from retirement savings …

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How to Hedge in a Rising Market

Hedging, for some investors, sounds complicated. In reality, it’s not because it’s all about reducing investment risk. Who can’t understand that? Sometimes stock prices go up, sometimes they go down. That’s how financial markets work. But over the past 8 years, stock prices have enjoyed consecutive yearly gains by making one all-time high after another. How can …

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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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Is Your Portfolio’s Performance Satisfactory?

What’s your investment portfolio’s performance? Do you know? Just 57% of U.S. adults are “financially literate,” according to a study from Standard & Poor’s titled the “2015 Global Financial Literacy Survey.” Another study by a large insurance company found that people are more frightened by planning their finances than dying.  What’s wrong? Part of the problem …

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Retirement Plan

Is “Saving More Money” Always the Cure?

Wall Street’s remedy for fixing whatever problems that afflict your investment portfolio is simple: “Save more money.” And if you happen to be among the godforsaken group that always manages to have unsatisfactory investment results, regardless of whether the pesky stock market is up or down, Wall Street’s solution is invariably the same: You need to “save …

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BBQ Grill 2

Treasury Doomsayers Get Grilled by Hated Rally in Bond Prices

In late 2013 just before the Federal Reserve began its scaling back on monthly Treasury bond purchases, the conventional wisdom was that interest rates would rise and bond prices would fall. Invariably, the consensus opinion was – at it has been since “quantitative easing” or QE began in 2008 – that “interest rates have nowhere …

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Ocean Waves

Bull Market in Borrowing: Corporate Debt Skyrockets to $9.6 Trillion

How healthy are corporate balance sheets? It depends who you ask. One news outlet said that U.S. firms are hoarding a record $1.6 trillion in cash led by Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Shockingly, that same report made no mention of corporate debt levels, which are also at all-time records. During the previous 2009 recession high, …

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Boxer Vintage Mecca Card

Don’t Let the ‘Great Yield Slide’ Punch You in the Nose

At the beginning of the year, the yield on 10-Year U.S. Treasuries was just shy of 3% and appeared ready for takeoff into the stratosphere. Alas, the long-awaited period of runaway interest rates had arrived! The something weird happened. U.S. Treasury yields (ChicagoOptions:^TNX)– like a schizophrenic mad scientist straight out of the movies – suddenly …

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Portfolio diversification

Should You Be 100% Invested in Stocks?

Investors should have 100% of their money invested in stocks! That’s what Laurence Fink, the chief executive officer at BlackRock declared in 2012. Since then, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:IVV) has broken above record levels and is now 43% higher compared to a -1.4% loss for the total U.S. bond market (NYSEARCA:BND). While Fink’s advice looks smart …

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Falling Bricks

A $725,000 Portfolio on Shaky Ground

Having a six or seven figure sized investment portfolio doesn’t automatically make it smart. Such is the case with a $725,000 investment portfolio that I recently graded. An investment Portfolio Report Card request was made to me by a mid-40s software engineer who described himself as an “aggressive investor.” Software is a pretty aggressive business and …

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Why Do So Many Investors Self-Destruct?

“The investor’s chief problem—and even his worst enemy—is likely to be himself,” once quipped the great Benjamin Graham. The truth of Graham’s observation is seen in the consistent pattern of mutual fund investors to self-destruct. AUDIO: Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing Show Over the past 30 years, the typical stock mutual fund investor’s performance has …

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Fearful Lady

Building Your Investment Portfolio Shouldn’t Be Scary

How frightened to invest are people? So frightened, they’d rather die! A poll taken by Harris Interactive for Nationwide Financial found that 62% of surveyed respondents are afraid of investing in the stock market while just 58% are afraid of dying. Building your own investment portfolio from scratch is a fearful task for many people, …

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Boxer Vintage Mecca Card

How to Beat the Low Yield Cycle

How would you like an 11% cut to your paycheck? That’s exactly what’s happened to income investors who own long-term Treasuries (ChicagoOptions:^TYX). At the beginning of the year, 30-year U.S. Treasury yields (NYSEARCA:TLT) were above 3.90% but have trended lower. That’s not what income investors who piled into long-term Treasuries were expecting. Their plan was to capture more …

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Gold and Silver Bars

Gold vs. Silver: Is the Ratio Bullish or Bearish?

The gold/silver ratio has been on a fierce bullish run, what does it mean? This ratio measures the relative strength of gold compared to silver and is calculated by dividing one ounce of gold’s current price by one ounce of silver’s price. The gold/silver ratio boils down to how many ounces of silver you could …

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Should Your Portfolio Own Commodities?

Should your investment portfolio have exposure to commodities? The problem with commodities (NYSEARCA:DBC) is that most of us don’t have storage space in the garage for a herd of cattle or pork bellies. And even if we did, it still wouldn’t give us diversified exposure to other important commodity sectors like agriculture, energy, and metals (NYSEARCA:GLTR). …

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Portfolio diversification

3 Steps to Beating the Retirement Income Shortage

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. This is an apt description of retirement income investors who definitely want and need more dividends, but are going about it in the wrong way. For bond investors (NYSEARCA:BOND), yields on 10-Year U.S. Treasuries (ChicagoOptions:^TNX) have slid almost …

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Fireworks 1

Ready for the Next Surge in Volatility?

Is another surge in stock market fear and volatility ahead? Will you be ready when it happens? “Public psychology is the most important single factor in shaping security markets,” said Gerald Loeb. Loeb was right and that’s why we make it a regular habit at ETFguide to track movements and trading opportunities in the CBOE …

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