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Gary Gordon  

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  • An Energy ETF Resurgence Defies The Naysayers [View article]
    Precisely!
    Apr 23, 2015. 05:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • An Energy ETF Resurgence Defies The Naysayers [View article]
    >>Comparative performance also supports this.

    Performance does not support concerns about liquidity and expenses. On the contrary... RYE significantly outperforms XLE/VDE in bullish energy sector uptrends (e.g., early 2012 through July 2014), while RYE loses more ground in energy sector smackdowns (e.g., 2008-09).

    In fact, virtually ALL of the Guggenheim Equal Weight sector funds outperform the State Street and Vanguard equivalents in uptrends, in spite of higher expenses. And the reason is relatively straightforward. Equal weighting has the effect of turning those S&P 500 large caps into performing more like a market-cap weighted mid-cap fund. (Small-caps and mid-caps tend to outperform large-caps in bull markets, and they tend to lose more in bear markets.)

    On the flip side, liquidity is a valid concern for investors; in particular, anyone who actively manages money must be cognizant of the issue. Limited liquidity during bearish sell-offs make it difficult to exit a position at a reasonable price point. Indeed, that may be reason enough for some folks to stick with highly liquid market-cap weighted SPDR Select Sector or Vanguard sector funds.
    Apr 23, 2015. 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Why Rates Must Go Lower Leads To Better Risk-Adjusted Results [View article]
    Honestly, you may be right. I still think it will be closer to 1.5% on December 31. That said, it would not surprise me if we get below 1.25%, and then a bit of snap-back.
    Apr 13, 2015. 06:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Why Rates Must Go Lower Leads To Better Risk-Adjusted Results [View article]
    >>"you are a speculator"

    Okay, if you say so. I guess I've been speculating successfully for 25 years, 12-plus years as the president of a Registered Investment Adviser with the SEC. My clients seem to appreciate the fact that I raised the allocation to treasuries in 2000-2002, 2008-2009, 2011, while lowering my allocation to stocks. In 2009, for example, the action reduced the bear's bite substantially, allowing most folks to recover principal in one or one-and-a-half years, as opposed to four-and-a-half riskier years. (And we can all thank the Fed for shortening the recent recovery span at that!)

    They also appreciate that I lowered my allocation to treasuries in 2013, when the "taper tantrum" played itself out. I simply choose to control investment outcomes -- securing a big gain, small gain or small loss. I apply insurance principles to the investment process so that a big loss does not decimate what my clients have worked so hard for.

    I am far from perfect. I make bad decisions - we all do. The difference is, I understand how to mitigate those bad decisions by applying insurance principles to the investing process. I will sell for a small loss or pay to hedge in a riskier environment rather than "hold-n-hope." And treasuries at this time in a bull cycle... among their virtues you can add stock hedge to the list.

    >>""Stocks currently trade at the highest valuations in history across >>virtually every respectable measure ""
    >>Do they?

    Yes. Unquestionably, yes. A person can always find a measure that magically justifies the silliness of the "now," yet the "now" is similar to 2000 and 2007, no matter how much longer the bull market decides to run. And I will participate for as long as that run remains intact, but I will sell and hedge to avoid the one outcome that my clients worry about the most... the big loss.
    Apr 13, 2015. 05:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Why Rates Must Go Lower Leads To Better Risk-Adjusted Results [View article]
    Strong point on the Japanese culture... and the ownership of those bonds. I lived and worked in Asia for roughly 4 1/2 years, and the cultural aspect of personal finance is one that I find fascinating!
    Apr 13, 2015. 04:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Why Rates Must Go Lower Leads To Better Risk-Adjusted Results [View article]
    Treasury bonds too risky and speculative? In spite of the remarkable relative value with other sovereigns, in spite of the necessity for governments and households to service the interest payments and avoid default, I wonder then... is it speculative to buy stocks today? They currently trade at the highest valuations in history across virtually every respectable measure (e.g., Tobin's Q, market cap to GDP, PE, PS, CAPE, cash flow, etc.)? The downside risk of 50% is not too risky, such that 100% gain in principal would be needed to break even?

    If avoiding the bulk of bears in market-based securities -- stocks, bonds, currencies, commodities -- makes one a "speculator," then I accept your designation. Keep in mind, though, I hold an asset for hundreds of clients as long as the asset is still contributing to risk-adjusted total return. I do not "hold-n-hope" for 10 years or 30 years because others erroneously believe that an "investor" must do so.
    Apr 13, 2015. 04:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Why Rates Must Go Lower Leads To Better Risk-Adjusted Results [View article]
    Loud,

    I would not still be long many of the same ETFs since the euro-zone crisis scared the investing world in 2011-- XLV, VGT, OEF, VOE - if I did not agree. I would not endorse USMV, or more recently, HEWG and HACK, if I did not agree.

    That said, the premise is only accurate until Mr. Market no longer supports the premise. There will be a day when all correlations move toward 1.0, and at that time, PEs of 20 will be viewed as, "what on earth were people thinking?"

    Stocks are not near record highs due to ultra-low rates alone. There have been foreign stocks with higher yields than the country's 10-year sovereign debt interest payment since 2011... and that did not do a thing for those stocks for 4 years. Why not? Fears of slowing economic growth coupled with a relatively weak dollar. In 2015? Currency devaluation of the euro and the yen and the won with QE as well... and it's "game on!"

    Only a function of low rates? The last two decades.... the Fed may be the biggest factor indeed. Yet there are other humongous factors such as stock buybacks and algos/high frequency trading that have increased the influence of technical price movement.

    In essence, fundamentals seem to matter when everything is falling to pieces. Rates will be low then, we will have QE4 or QE5 then, and it still won't stop the bear mauling. PE 20 when we are greedy, PE 10 when we're petrified.

    Gary
    Apr 13, 2015. 04:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Government And Corporate Indebtedness Provide Investment Opportunity [View article]
    4% overnight lending rate target by the Fed... and you will never see them get above 1%-2% (if that... ever!). The only way that rates will ever be normal is when they blow right past normal... when somewhere out in the distant future... the world regards U.S. treasuries the way the world regards the sovereign debt of Greece.
    Apr 13, 2015. 01:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Government And Corporate Indebtedness Provide Investment Opportunity [View article]
    D, Cap,

    I agree with both of you... and did not intend to tout IPKW. The reason for bringing IPKW up in discussion is that interest in the exchange-traded tracker may evolve alongside interest in international investing. It is an ETF to keep an eye on.

    Keep in mind, when Invesco first introduced PKW, there wasn't a whole lot of interest in PKW either. Similarly, when I first began talking about currency-hedged international funds, there were very few in existence with any volume. Now most of them have $500M or $1B under management.

    Gary
    Apr 11, 2015. 03:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paper Wealth In Your Accounts Is Great, But Only If You Know How To Protect It [View article]
    Eddie,

    I like it! You recognize that losing some money - emotionally, financially - is better than losing a disastrous amount. Equally important, you employ an approach for participation that keeps your emotions in check.

    Gary
    Apr 9, 2015. 01:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paper Wealth In Your Accounts Is Great, But Only If You Know How To Protect It [View article]
    Frank,


    Selling on the greed side is a good thing. It is more typically associated with the phrase, "sell high."

    Do you trust your ability to buy on the fear side? If not, you may fail at the task of "buying low."

    Panic buying in China has become a sport. And it wasn't that long ago when Shanghai shares lost 80% of their value. Neither panic buying or panic selling tend to lead to advantageous outcomes.

    Having an unemotional plan for execution is what is necessary. And it may not matter how one protects his/her self, as long as it is done. I prefer stop-limit loss orders, stop-gains, trendline breaches, tactical asset allocation and mutli-asset hedging. Others prefer shorting, put options or simply raising cash.

    Just be sure that your "sell high" approach is not done on a whim or gut instinct. You will be right at times, but that would lead to a false sense of security. There are people who sold back in 2012, believing that the rally was over. And there are people who would not buy in 2009, 2010 or 2011 due to one concern or another.

    Bottom line? Have a sensible plan for risk assets, whether you are a buyer or seller.

    Gary
    Apr 9, 2015. 12:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paper Wealth In Your Accounts Is Great, But Only If You Know How To Protect It [View article]
    Frank,


    Selling on the greed side is a good thing. It is more typically associated with the phrase, "sell high."

    Do you trust your ability to buy on the fear side? If not, you may fail at the task of "buying low."

    Panic buying in China has become a sport. And it wasn't that long ago when Shanghai shares lost 80% of their value. Neither panic buying or panic selling tend to lead to advantageous outcomes.

    Having an unemotional plan for execution is what is necessary. And it may not matter how one protects his/her self, as long as it is done. I prefer stop-limit loss orders, stop-gains, trendline breaches, tactical asset allocation and mutli-asset hedging. Others prefer shorting, put options or simply raising cash.

    Just be sure that your "sell high" approach is not done on a whim or gut instinct. You will be right at times, but that would lead to a false sense of security. There are people who sold back in 2012, believing that the rally was over. And there are people who would not buy in 2009, 2010 or 2011 due to one concern or another.

    Bottom line? Have a sensible plan for risk assets, whether you are a buyer or seller.

    Gary
    Apr 9, 2015. 12:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Paper Wealth In Your Accounts Is Great, But Only If You Know How To Protect It [View article]
    Just a typo.
    Apr 8, 2015. 05:04 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stocks And Long Bonds Know That The Fed's In A Pickle [View article]
    L,


    Since the end of QE3, the S&P 500 gains have been muted relative to long-term treasury bonds. That was the intent of the paragraph and the accompanying chart where the sentence occurred.

    Granted, that may not have been the best paragraph that I have composed in 1600+ articles over the last 10 years here on SA. Nevertheless, I think most folks understood what I meant, whether they agreed with the me or not. I was not describing year-over-year returns.

    Best,

    G
    Apr 7, 2015. 01:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bull Market, Bear Market Or Barely Moving Market? [View article]
    I am referring to the standard definition of a bear market... 20% off the top. For example, the S&P 500 would need to close at 1693.91 or lower for a bear in this index to occur where 2,117.39 is the closing high.

    A correction is 10% off the top. The S&P 500 would have to close 1905.65 or lower. Anything less can be described in terms of corrective activity, selling pressure or a pullback.

    Once a bear market occurs, it must rise 20% off of whatever bottom is reached before the start of a new bull market can be declared. Once a correction takes place, it cannot be deemed finished until new highs for the bull or an emergence of a bear.
    Apr 1, 2015. 05:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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