Europe, Middle East, Africa

3 Strategies for Managing Higher Volatility

“Everyone has the brain power to make money in stocks. Not everyone has the stomach,” once observed legendary fund manager Peter Lynch. His point was that most people don’t have the stomach – or emotional stamina – for sticking to an investment plan when market conditions get choppy. What makes 2018 remarkably different from the …

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Don’t Let Home-Bias Investing Trip You Up

The total U.S. stock market has gained over 20% during the past year and is doing great. But for U.S. investors that are under-weighted to foreign stocks, it’s not so great. Why? Because foreign stocks have convincingly outperformed U.S. equities, thereby causing a performance deficit. What’s the problem? The tendency of investors to concentrate and …

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Euro Bears Get Whipsawed

Selling pressure in the euro has been relentless over the past year and the currency has fallen just over 19% in value. Without surprise, pessimism toward the euro has been building. Look at these recent mainstream headlines: Delight or Dread as Euro Falls – New York Times (Mar. 11, 2015) Euro Sinks to 12-year Low – …

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How Probable Are the Chances for a Euro and Greece Divorce?

Have market participants underestimated the possibility of a divorce between Greece and the euro? The chart below illustrates the market implied probabilities of a Greek default along with an exit from the euro (“GREXIT”) since late 2009. As you can see, up until early 2013, both scenarios moved in virtual lockstep with each other. But …

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Assets Flood to Europe

How did market participants react to the ECB’s 1.1 trillion euro QE-styled asset purchase plan? By pouring money into European stocks. Europe focused stock ETFs (NYSEARCA:VGK) collectively raked in 65% of all global ETP asset flow last week, gaining just over $4 billion in new assets. (Audio) Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing …

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2 Times When Diversification Becomes Di-Worsification

Diversifying your investment portfolio: It’s a dull exercise that people repeatedly hear, yet a chore they execute with consistent imprecision. Are there times when diversification can actually become “Di-Worsification”? Variety is the Secret Diversification boils down to spreading your investment risk across multiple asset classes. It works because of something called “covariance,” which basically means …

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Baron Rothschild

What Would Baron Rothschild Say about Russian Stocks?

Russia is in deep trouble. Never mind that it’s on the brink of full-blown war with Ukraine. International sanctions were just imposed against 17 companies with close ties to President Vladmir Putin, and even more severe penalties are in the works. A poll of economists by a large media enterprise* found that Russia faces a …

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Falling Bricks

Don’t Get Hit By a Falling BRIC

A credit bubble (China), inflation (Brazil), and the threat of war (Russia) have made BRICs a dangerous place to invest. Is the worst over? “BRIC” is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, and China that was introduced in 2001. Enthusiasm for investing in stocks from BRIC nations rose in the mid-2000s as mega-emerging markets outperformed …

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Frontier Markets: Investors Double Up on Risk

Money is flowing out of risky emerging market stocks (NYSEARCA:VWO), and guess where it’s going? Into even riskier frontier market debt and stocks (NasdaqGIDS:PMNA). The Economist reports: “Investors in America and Europe were hungry to buy dollar-denominated debt offering juicy yields. Zambia drew $12 billion of orders for a ten-year bond paying only 5.4%. Pension-fund …

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Chinese Stocks are a Wonderful Value Trap

When it comes to properly assessing China’s stock market, are financial experts bad or just blind? Here’s what they’ve been saying: Buck the Trend, Buy Chinese Stocks – Forbes, Jim Oberweis, 7/9/13 Huge Reforms in China Could Lead to Big Upside for Top Chinese Stocks – 247wallst, 11/19/13 It’s Time to Buy China – MarketWatch, …

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Does the Sleeping Giant (VIX) Have More Upside?

Like a sleeping giant, stock market volatility can hibernate, but it never goes away. Right now, the giant is showing signs of awakening and whether the beast completely tramples the city is yet to be determined. Although the S&P 500 (^GSPC) hit all-time highs near 1,859 last week, a number of flashing indicators we’ve written …

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Emerging Markets and Parallels to the pre-2008 Crash

Are there parallels between the pre-2008 U.S. stock market crash and emerging markets today? Emerging market bulls (NYSEARCA:EDC) say that cheap market valuations are a reason to own stocks from countries like China (NYSEARCA:FXI), Brazil (NYSEARCA:EWZ), Russia (NYSEARCA:RSX), and India (NYSEARCA:EPI). Are they right? AUDIO: Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing Show A …

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Emerging Market Stocks: Bargain or Value Trap?

I was recently lectured on Twitter by a Wall Street strategist about why emerging market stocks (NYSEARCA:EEM) are a raging buy. Among his top arguments for being and staying long were extremely negative sentiment and chart patterns. He was particularly adamant about “depressed values” in Chinese stocks. Interestingly, the view among other strategists that emerging …

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