stocks

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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Gambling Roulette

What Does a Professional Gambler’s Investment Portfolio Look Like?

I’ve always wondered what a professional gambler’s portfolio would look like. Would it be a broadly diversified portfolio of penny stocks with a Kenny Rogers box set and a shot of whiskey to boot? Or perhaps, it would contain none of these worldly possessions. How would a gambler invest his or her winnings? I recently …

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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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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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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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BBQ Grill 2

Treasury Bonds Sizzle, High Tech Fizzles

What do you get when you add up Twitter, Yelp, and Weibo? Answer: Deflation. That’s the latest joke as former high-flying tech stocks fizzle, while Treasury bonds sizzle. Over the past several weeks we’ve seen a major shift in the market’s psychology away from risky equity bets. And as these high risk/high beta equity segments …

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Ocean Waves

Is Stock Market Volatility Increasing?

Is stock market volatility rising or falling? For most of this year, stock market volatility has actually outperformed the stock market itself. But for whatever reason, it’s an unpopular narrative that’s been and continues to be ignored by the mainstream media. The chart below illustrates the relationship between stocks and volatility in 2014. You’ll notice how the S&P …

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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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Financial Geek

Stock Prices Are Cheap! Valuation Geeks Get it Wrong Again

“Stocks are cheap by historical standards” is the latest fiction being promoted by valuation geeks. Is it true? Meb Faber, proprietor of the Cambria Global Value ETF (NYSEARCA:GVAL), and a valuation guru tweeted the 5-year CAPE ratio for the usually frothy technology sector (NYSEARCA:XLK) is just 22 today compared to an elevated 96 at the height …

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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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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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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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Has Momentum Investing Lost its Mojo?

Former high flying industry sectors like biotech (NASDAQGIDS:IBB) and social media stocks (NYSEARCA:SOCL) have crashed between 14-16% over the past month. Have hot momentum stocks lost their mojo? One proxy of momentum stocks is the iShares MSCI USA Momentum Index ETF (NYSEARCA:MTUM). The fund owns 100-150 large and mid-cap U.S. stocks that are screened for …

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Poof! S&P 500 Erases YTD Gains

Was the S&P 500 the last proverbial man standing? Today’s -2.09% clobbering officially wiped out the S&P 500’s (NYSEARCA:IVV) YTD gain.  Put another way, three-months of gains were lost in single trading session! (See chart below) The swift decline doesn’t come as a surprise to our readers, as we’ve been warning about the stock market’s …

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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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4 Bold-Faced Lies about High Frequency Trading

FULL DISCLOSURE: I was once in the camp of high-frequency trading (HFT) supporters. But that changed on May 6, 2010 after the U.S stock market’s “Flash Crash.” After studying the arguments and facts, I’ve now come to realize the existence of HFTs is unlawful and is a direct threat to the fairness and stability of …

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Rigging the Stock Market is Old Hat

Is the latest revelation of stock market manipulation by high-speed traders via a just released 60 Minutes report really new? Before Michael Lewis’ latest book “Flash Boys,” there was “Wall Street Jungle” – a 1970 bestseller by Richard Ney. Although Ney’s insightful book was written in an era before the dominance of electronic trading, his …

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A Portfolio Strategy Warren Buffett Would Approve

What are the attributes of a world-class investment portfolio that even Warren Buffett would bless? Buffett’s 2013 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders gives us a clue: “The ‘know-nothing’ investor who both diversifies and keeps his costs minimal is virtually certain to get satisfactory results. Indeed, the unsophisticated investor who is realistic about his shortcomings is …

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