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Jonathan Liss  

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  • BlackRock: The ETF Boom Isn't Going Anywhere Soon [View article]
    $WETF is the only pure-play on ETF industry growth. The problem with buying a $BLK or $STT to play the boom in ETFs is that revenue from both of these companies' ETF lines is a relatively small % of their overall revenue due to ETFs' low expense ratios relative to mutual funds and privately managed accounts.
    Aug 2, 2015. 02:27 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New twist in currency-hedged ETFs [View news story]
    This is an important development in the world of currency-hedged products in that it truly neutralizes the effects of the currency as opposed to the current products which make a full-on bet one way or the other. Considering currency investing is a zero-sum game, the new approach by IndexIQ makes a lot more sense than the products currently out there. Will be interesting to see what kinds of flows these funds get out of the gate.
    Jul 27, 2015. 04:16 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Think QQQ Is A 'Sell' [View article]
    I'm always nervous about holding 'daily' leveraged ETFs for too long due to the potential negative effects of compounding (though I know those effects can be positive as well) - I've used them to do things like short oil before but always closed my position within 2-3 months. Perhaps it's time for me to rethink this.
    Jul 23, 2015. 04:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why We Think QQQ Is A 'Sell' [View article]
    I have used the QQQ as my core portfolio holding since 2006, when I first started managing my own portfolio. While I agree with some of the short term arguments here, the long term case for the QQQ as a core holding over the S&P 500 is precisely b/c of the top-heaviness you mention. The QQQ represents the best of American ingenuity - they're the only companies in America that still produce or invent anything. Names like AAPL, INTC, GOOG and AMZN are global powerhouses with serious moats and no signs legitimate competition to their core businesses. So if you're market timer, by all means sell the QQQs and buy something else. If you're a long term investor, the QQQs are still hands down a better pick than the S&P 500.
    Jul 22, 2015. 04:13 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Greece's 'No' Vote Was Unsurprising [View article]
    Some time soon, the risk/reward on $GREK makes it worth a strong look. I started taking that strong look with yesterday's no vote with the logic being that the bottom is likely in sight now.
    Jul 6, 2015. 05:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • My Bet On Seeking Alpha's Future [View article]
    I'm a bit late to the party here having been away with my family for the weekend but I just wanted to add my thoughts to the chorus. I joined SA in May 2006, very early in the game. There were maybe 10 employees in the company at the time and we published a grand total of 40-50 articles a day - almost exclusively all reposts from financial blogs around the web. It became very quickly clear to me that I was working with a special group of people in a very special environment.

    David's sense of vision, his never-ending boundless energy and his determination to shake up the investing universe and turn it on its head were the guiding light by which the rest of us took our queues. We were always reminded that Seeking Alpha was never just a business but an opportunity to help our readers make better investing decisions and in that way have the opportunity to enjoy what was truly important in life with enough financial security to not wonder whether they'd ever reach their investing goals and be truly secure financially.

    I for one am certain that David will remain a major guiding light here at SA. This is not an ending but rather a beginning of a new life phase.

    And Eli, who I have had the privilege of working beside for 9 years so far, all I can say is there's really no one else who can fill David's shoes, bring an entirely new set of fresh ideas to the table while respecting all of the great things that we've achieved together here that should not be changed. It's a major task but with your boundless energy, creativity, integrity, mastery of all things financial, and infectiously inspiring focus on our collective mission here at SA, I know we will continue to reach new heights.

    It's been a long strange trip and yet it feels like we've only just begun!
    Jul 5, 2015. 10:53 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackRock launches physical U.S. real estate ETF [View news story]
    Sure, understood. But it really is just a coincidence
    May 13, 2015. 01:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Announcing Our New Income Investing Center [View article]
    For now all articles that appear in the Dividend Investing Center also appear on the Dividends & Income dashboard. Whether that will be the case at some future point is anyone's guess ;-)
    May 13, 2015. 01:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Announcing Our New Income Investing Center [View article]
    The name of the overarching Dashboard theme is 'Dividends & Income'. Within each dashboard we also have themes of which 'Dividend Investing Insight' is one.
    May 13, 2015. 07:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Does Reading Seeking Alpha Really Help Beat The Market? A 5-Year Meta-Analysis [View article]
    As, the S&P 500 is limited to small and mid cap stocks, a better measure of outperformance would have evaluated returns vs. a true multicap index like the Russell 3000 or even Wilshire 5k.

    Also, the cost of beating the market is significantly higher when you account for trading costs and after-tax returns. That isn't taken into account here. In the real world, it has to be accounted for.

    That said, I think this analysis is nonetheless quite good for several reasons:

    1) it is presented in an honest, 'detached' way without any hype or hyperbole. The #s are allowed to speak for themselves.

    2) it refuses to rule out the possibility that luck accounted for most of this 'alpha'

    3) it breaks out Editor's Picks separately

    A note from a past editor (I now work on designing new products/parts of the site for SA): We made a concerted push starting in mid-2012 to significantly improve the rigor with which we reviewed articles, streamlined the article disputes process, and eliminated 'machine-written' analysis that was overly formulaic/lacked rigorous human qualitative analysis (which is necessary for even high quality quant-based fundamental analysis). I believe the results of this focus on quality among our contributors is borne out by the author's recognition of the fact that SA contributors have 'gotten better over the last 2 years'.

    May this continue to be the case!
    Mar 11, 2015. 03:58 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackRock launches physical U.S. real estate ETF [View news story]
    There is no connection between these 2 securities other than the coincidence that they share the same ticker symbol on 2 separate exchanges.
    Feb 9, 2015. 09:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackRock launches physical U.S. real estate ETF [View news story]
    BlackRock has no interest in the USPR that trades OTC in the U.S. It's simply a coincidence. The ticker for BlackRock's new London listed Real Estate ETF is also USPR. But these are 2 totally different entitities that trade on different exchanges. Hope that helps clarify things.
    Jan 29, 2015. 08:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackRock launches physical U.S. real estate ETF [View news story]
    This doesn't trade in the US - it's only listed in the UK. Just as an FYI - not a product for US investors.
    Jan 18, 2015. 02:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETF Investing Guide: A Core ETF Portfolio [View article]
    Yes, that's what I do in my personal portfolio. I own closer to 20 ETFs than the 10 we have here - the idea is to keep this a manageable size but I fully agree that that option is an excellent one both in terms of price and overall exposure.
    Dec 24, 2014. 04:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETF Investing Guide: A Core ETF Portfolio [View article]
    Hi Timothy,

    Some good original points you raise here. I'll try and answer one by one.

    For trading/longevity purposes, anything under $100M in AUM is generally problematic. The largest ETF ever shuttered had just over $100M in AUM so anything over the $200-300M level is totally safe in terms of longevity. With $480M and $540M in AUM, both of these funds are more than find in terms of having a 0% risk of closure. In terms of spreads, both of these funds are in the top third in terms of tightness of spreads. As this portfolio isn't meant to be regularly traded in and out of, this is more than sufficient for our purposes here.

    PLW is equally weighted between all Treasury maturities (1-30 years). This is the huge advantage of this fund over similar broad Treasury funds. It provides complete exposure to the entire yield curve without taking active bets on various maturity ranges. Its performance this year vs. closest competitor GOVT (it outperformed by 1,000 bps), which underweights long-term Treasuries, is a great example of why investors want to avoid active bets and instead cover as broad a range of investable markets across as many asset classes as possible.

    In terms of RWO, you make a very valid point - one that will be considered in future iterations of this portfolio as it does offer much more global exposure to the REIT sector.

    Finally, regarding DBC, the diversification benefit of adding in commodities is significant over time as they tend to have very different betas than both stocks and bonds. That said, this is really just a general recommendation. If you have a combination of funds that you feel can provide a better long-term diversification effect, then by all means go for it.

    All the best,
    Dec 21, 2014. 05:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment