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ETF Monkey  

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  • Now Is The Time To Buy Twitter [View article]

    I too have been keeping an eye on TWTR. While ETFs are the foundation of my portfolio I reserve the right to set a little aside for the occasional gamble; weighted such that, even if I am wrong, I do not get destroyed by the adventure.

    Here's what bugs me about TWTR. They have a massive amount of stock-based compensation. I took the time to read a couple of articles on the topic and was not particularly happy with what I read. Essentially, they talked about the massive dilution of shareholder value.

    I am also a big fan of Buffett's words in his recent shareholder letters. He is not a fan of financial engineering; anything that disguises the true financial status of a company. I feel like I am seeing this in TWTR. That leads me to want to stay away.

    Don't get me wrong, my mind is still open. But I'm gonna need a little convincing.
    Jul 29, 2015. 03:07 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Oil Crash: 3 ETFs For Targeted Investment In The Energy Sector [View article]

    Thanks for the inspiration! I always appreciate your articles. Whatever one's personal decisions, it is most helpful to have well-researched information at your disposal.


    ETF Monkey
    Jul 29, 2015. 12:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EWI Provides A Concentrated Play In Europe [View article]

    You commented on one of my articles, which led to me taking a quick peek at your portfolio which, in turn, led me to this article.

    Thanks for your work on this. May I ask how deep your familiarity is with Italy? Having visited there three times now, I find myself very intrigued with the country and the culture. I have even spent a little time learning some basic Italian, as it is such a beautiful language. Not sure, ultimately, where life will take me, but I would be interested in your views.
    Jul 22, 2015. 11:50 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Top REIT ETFs Battle It Out, With Some Surprising Results [View article]

    Thanks for the kind comments. Just took a quick peek at your profile. Very interesting account of your investing career and resulting philosophy, which happens to very closely mirror where my philosophy has evolved over the years.
    Jul 22, 2015. 11:44 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETFs For Your Core Domestic Stocks Portfolio: 3 Worthy Competitors [View article]

    Thanks for the kind words. May I ask what brokerage you use? I was going to guess TD Ameritrade, but I just checked and, while I see lots of commission-free ETFs from the iShares family, I don't see ITOT. Am I missing something or is there another brokerage that offers nice options from both Vanguard and BlackRock?
    Jul 21, 2015. 06:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETFs For Your Core Domestic Stocks Portfolio: 3 Worthy Competitors [View article]

    Sounds like you and I approach things similarly, and very logically in my opinion. :-)

    I too use Fidelity. I tend to use ITOT, IXUS and AGG as commission-free vehicles to adjust or rebalance my weightings in what I think of as "The Big Three" -- Domestic Stocks, Bonds, and Foreign Stocks. Over time, as I accumulate dividends, I may put those to work in some of the Vanguard offerings, absorbing a small commission in the process but still happy due to the overall quality and low expense ratios of the ETFs.

    I haven't written about these yet, but I am also a fan of VIG, VNQ, VPU and VYM.
    Jul 17, 2015. 12:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETFs For Your Core Domestic Stocks Portfolio: 3 Worthy Competitors [View article]
    Thanks for reading, and your question.

    The bottom line is that there are many factors that go into what a firm decides to charge as the expense ratio for a give ETF. Here is a great article that you may find to be of interest:

    Just a couple of brief comments of my own:

    1. The SIZE of the fund (AUM) makes a difference, as the costs to run it can be spread over a larger base. Likely, this is where Vanguard "makes hay" with many of its ETFs.

    2. The TYPE of fund makes a difference. So, for example, the very best foreign ETF (SCHF) carries an expense ratio of .08% (which is pretty spectacular, by the way) whereas you can find several domestic ETFs, such as those featured in this article, for between .04% and .07%. In large part, this represents the reality that the cost of trading foreign securities is higher.
    Jul 17, 2015. 12:11 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Taking A Look At Kevin O'Leary's New ETF [View article]
    So, let me summarize. Your choices are this ETF or any one of a number of tried and tested ETFs from multiple, respected ETF houses such as Vanguard, BlackRock and Charles Schwab. You feature two wonderful alternatives; VIG and VTM from Vanguard. VYM is a good candidate if you want a higher level of current income, VIG if you are interested more in companies that will likely grow their dividends at a steady rate. And both with exemplary .10% expense ratios.

    It can be easy to forget that a fund's expense ratio is a headwind in both good times and bad. I would rather it be low.
    Jul 16, 2015. 08:38 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Reap Oligopoly Profits With AT&T [View article]

    Thanks for your great comments. Just two observations:

    1. In line with Buffett and Bogle, I feel a large benefit of ETFs is low-cost indexing. With something like VTI, SPY, SCHB, ITOT or similar, you are really taking active management out of the equation.

    2. I so much agree with your comments as to time. If one is very good at what they do, and have the time to invest in research and due diligence, there is at least a chance that one can do better than indexing. Absent that, as you feature, ETFs are a wonderful option.
    Jul 16, 2015. 10:07 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Reap Oligopoly Profits With AT&T [View article]

    I would have to do a calculation to figure out the exact number, but I would venture that, overall, it is .10% or less. My core holdings are VTI, VEU, BND and BSV from Vanguard, augmented by some ITOT, IXUS and AGG from iShares (because they are commission-free to me as a Fidelity Brokerage client). Feel free to check out my SA articles on a core Vanguard portfolio and you will get a feel for my perspective. Most of my core domestic holdings are in the .05-.07% range, the foreign tends to run around .14%.
    Jul 15, 2015. 01:32 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Reap Oligopoly Profits With AT&T [View article]
    As you might surmise from my pseudonym, the bulk of my personal portfolio is in ETFs.

    However, T is one of only three individual stocks I still hold; AAPL and VZ being the other two. I hold T and VZ for exactly the reasons you indicate. The handsome dividends I receive from these holdings add to my cash pile which ultimately gets invested either in more shares of these holdings or one of the diversified, low-cost ETFs I hold, depending on where in my target weighting I need to add. As you can imagine, this literally opens up a world of options and choices.
    Jul 15, 2015. 12:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Presenting: The ETF Monkey Vanguard Core Portfolio [View article]
    Thanks for reading, and your comment. I certainly appreciate the point you make. If you love Vanguard ETFs and plan to stick more or less to those alone, a Vanguard account is ideal.

    However, I believe I talked to this in comment #3 above regarding the portfolio. In building this hypothetical portfolio, I tried to make the scenario as "real world" as possible. In that real world, I suspect, are lots of people who are happy with their current brokerage account, whether or not commission-free Vanguard ETFs are included in the benefits. They may or may not wish to open a new Vanguard account. At the same time, they may wish to purchase Vanguard ETFs for very specific and valid reasons.
    Jul 2, 2015. 05:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Bet On Seeking Alpha's Future [View article]
    David and Eli,

    David, first of all a sincere, heartfelt vote of thanks for what you have built here at Seeking Alpha. How truly amazing that a "nobody" such as myself can actually have a voice. I appreciate that, ultimately, the power of that voice will depend on the quality of the content I produce. But, none of it would be possible without the underlying platform that allows the voice to be heard. My best to you and your family, and I so admire the fact that, while Seeking Alpha doubtless is a HUGE part of your life, you recognize that there are other elements that are important. May we all emulate that perspective.

    And Eli, sincerest congratulations. I have truly appreciated the interactions, even if few, that we have had over the years. SA is truly in good hands!

    With my deepest respect,
    ETF Monkey
    Jul 2, 2015. 01:22 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Inside My Portfolio: What I Hold And Why [View article]
    Just wanted to say that I admire your transparency. Whether one agrees with every choice you have made or not, to my mind the relevant question in return would be: "So are you willing to share YOUR portfolio with us, and also accept any and all critical comments?

    I wish you much success with your articles.
    Jul 2, 2015. 12:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Building Your Core Portfolio With Vanguard ETFs: Foreign Stocks [View article]

    Two comments:

    1. I admire the clarity of your convictions. I may start to sound like a broken record here but one of the reasons I love ETFs so much is that they allow you to act as you see fit on your convictions, yet stay diversified in the process.

    2. Certainly, emerging markets are risky and one should carefully deliberate on the question of how much one invests there. Further, I like the concept of excellence in management and profits. On the other hand, that little pictorial chart I featured comparing VTI and VEU speaks to the concept that maybe, just maybe, U.S. stocks are a little frothy at the moment? That's a question, not a statement. But to your point, an investor who weights VEU at 10% in their portfolio is "only" 1.88% in emerging markets, a 20% VEU weight is 3.76% in emerging markets, etc. Lastly, as I feature in my article, the largest of those emerging markets in VEU is China (It's the only country included in VWO that makes it into the Top 10 list in VEU). So, how one feels about China may come into play.
    Jun 24, 2015. 01:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment