Leveraged Long/Short ETFs

ETF Battles: TQQQ vs. FNGU – A Duel Between Leveraged High Tech ETPs

This is an excerpt of ETF Battles between TQQQ vs. FNGU – it’s a duel between these technology leveraged ETPs.  Who wins the battle? TQQQ and FNGU go against each other in key categories, including cost, performance and a mystery category Both products track technology stocks with 300% or 3x daily leverage Both products have …

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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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How to Protect Your Capital in a Dangerous Climate

“For those properly prepared, the bear market is not only a calamity but an opportunity,” said investing great Sir John Templeton. Are you ready or are you running?  News headlines are drenched with the same old same old: Coronavirus is spreading, business and travel interruptions are occurring, and global stock prices are sinking fast. Blah, …

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4 Rules for Financial Speculators

Speculation in financial markets carries a hugely negative connotation. For the broader economy, speculation, especially by Wall Street’s heavy hitters that control trillions of dollars in leveraged contracts, poses systemic threats.  For the individual investor, speculation poses the risk of large losses that may never be recuperated. In both cases, the predictable advice by financial …

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Battle of the Tech ETFs: TECL vs. XLK

Question from our mailbag: Which technology ETF is the better choice – TECL or XLK? – Victor in Kansas It’s not surprising to see a high level of interest in the tech sector. Whether its the promise of cloud computing (NYSEARCA:SKYY), clean energy transportation (NYSEARCA:LIT), or improved cyber-security (NYSEARCA:HACK), technology always leads other sectors with …

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Your Market Correction Checklist

“It’s wise to remember that too much success in the stock market is in itself an excellent warning,” once quipped Gerald Loeb. After nine consecutive yearly gains, it’s fair to say that our generation has enjoyed more than its fair share of stock market success. But someday very soon, a stock market correction will happen. …

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Why Contrarian Investing Still Works

Being a contrarian investor is a lot harder than it sounds. It means doing the opposite of the crowd. It means having the stomach and stamina to buy assets or investments that are unloved, misunderstood, and trading at bargain prices. Highly respected investors who made their fortunes by being contrarians include David Dreman, Sir John …

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How to Use Single Country ETFs

Among the greatest breakthroughs that exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have made is giving people complete control of their investment decisions. On one hand, a person may want to obtain very broad and diversified exposure using just one ETF, that may hold thousands of securities. To replicate that type of portfolio security by security would be both …

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Is Sector Performance Following History?

It’s been said the more things change, the more they stay the same. And right now, the performance of stock market industry sectors is behaving right in line with that view. During the first quarter, the total U.S. stock market (NYSEARCA:VTI) rose almost 6% in value. Driving the stock market’s strong start has been bullish momentum …

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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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3 Lies about ETFs

As U.S. stocks register new highs and bond yields register new lows, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) marketplace keeps humming along. This is true of ETFs in virtually all asset classes, including not just equities (NYSEARCA:SCHB), but currencies (NYSEARCA:FXE), commodities (NYSEARCA:DBC), and real estate (NYSEARCA:ICF). The total assets in U.S. listed ETFs and ETPs reached a record $2.25 …

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How Should Your Non-Core Portfolio Look?

I’ve written extensively about the role of an investor’s non-core portfolio. It’s one of the three cornerstones of a well-built portfolio (see figure below) and it always plays a complementary role to the much larger core portfolio and a person’s margin of safety container. If used properly, the non-core portfolio can greatly enhance an investor’s total …

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Energy Sector Crushes Conventional Wisdom

Never mind the abysmal results of first quarter earnings for the depressed energy sector. It doesn’t matter. And never mind the conventional wisdom of group-think and scary analyst warnings like,  “Energy stocks are in deep trouble because Q1 losses will mark the first time any sector in the S&P 500 has reported an aggregate loss since …

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Being a Contrarian Investor Still Pays Off

Contrarian investing takes gumption. Not only are you buying assets that are hated by most investors, but you’re doing it at prices that are depressed. It’s a scary proposition for many people and because it requires such nerves of steel, most don’t do it. Add it to the checklist of reasons why contrarian investing – whether it’s done as a long-term investment or short-term …

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(Podcast) The Gold Monster Awakens

How difficult of a trading environment has 2016 been? It’s been so bad that BlackRock’s $1.9 billion global credit hedge fund is off to its worst yearly start in almost two decades. According to reports, the fund was hurt by crashing junk bonds (NYSEARCA:HYG) and spiraling crude oil (NYSEARCA:USO) prices. Who saw that coming? And …

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How to Cut Your Trading Cost in Half

Although our era of discount brokers and commission free platforms has greatly reduced the cost of online trading, the cost of buy and selling stocks along with ETFs can still add up. This is especially true when stock market volatility (ChicagoOptions:^VIX) is rising. The chart below illustrates how historical bid-ask spreads (also known as “bid-offer spreads”) have widened …

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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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Should You Invest in Market Neutral Funds?

I was recently asked by a reader named M.M. about the benefits of investing in market neutral funds. Equity market neutral funds hold long/short stock positions and aim to capitalize on investment opportunities in a specific group of stocks while keeping neutral exposure to broader groups of stocks either by sector, market size, or country. (Audio) …

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