U.S. Treasuries

ETF Battles: BND vs. TLT – Which Bond ETF is Better?

This is an excerpt of ETF Battles between TLT vs. BND on ETFguide TV – it’s a showdown between two ETFs focused on the U.S. bond market.  Who wins the battle? TLT and BND go against each other in key areas, including cost, performance and yield TLT is focused on long-dated U.S Treasuries, while BND covers …

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This Multi-Trillion Dollar Freight Train is Due for Arrival

This year’s presidential election has been so drenched with public bickering and controversy, it’s left very little airtime for the multi-million freight train that’s on course to crash everybody’s party: U.S. public debt. In July, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that federal debt held by the public skyrocketed to 75% of U.S. GDP compared to …

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A $1.58 Million Portfolio with No Captain

Has your financial advisor contacted you lately? Although global stock markets (NYSEARCA:VT) have recovered from their earlier in the year losses, it could’ve revealed flaws with your investment portfolio’s design. Often, flaws that are camouflaged by rising markets are exposed and exploited in rocky markets. (Audio) Why Robo “Advisors” are Hazardous to Your Wealth Ultimately, advisors should take responsibility for …

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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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S&P 500 Investors Get New Choice for Direct REIT Exposure

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have long been buried inside the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) but have now received a giant promotion. S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI — the index providers who jointly maintain the GICS system for organizing industry sectors — decided to create a stand-alone real estate sector. As a result, S&P Dow Jones Indices has launched …

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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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Lagging Small Cap Warning Sign For Stock Market?

2015 Outlook: Wall Street Hates Bonds

It’s that time of year again. You know, the wonderful season when Wall Street’s strategists crawl out of their crevices to make predictions about the year ahead. What are they prophesying for 2015? Wall Street foresees grave danger and disaster in the bond market. (Audio) Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing Show This …

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Lagging Small Cap Warning Sign For Stock Market?

Did You Miss This Year’s Biggest Investment Themes? Here’s Four

Keeping track of global macroeconomic trends is a daunting task. For that reason, each month we organize and rank the key market trends in our Mega Investment Theme Report by order of significance. Here’s a few of this year’s biggest themes: Commodities Get Crushed All of the hyper-inflationary dreams of commodity bulls have been shot dead. As a …

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Car Crash 1

One Rally That Has Blindsided Wall Street’s Throngs

It seems nobody on Wall Street can stop talking about how the S&P 500 just breached its 200-day moving average for the first time since November 2012. From bedazzled TV anchors to nouveau bears, it’s suddenly everybody’s favorite chart, minus Abby Joseph Cohen. The other chart nobody wants to discuss is the significant outperformance of …

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Bubbles Floating

So this is the Bursting of the Bond Market’s Bubble?

Never mind which company Bill Gross is working at this week. The talking heads on Wall Street have been ranting about the bursting of the bond market’s bubble for years and it’s getting old. They did it in 2009. They did it in 2010. They did it in 2011. They did it in 2012. They …

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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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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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