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Jonathan Liss  

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  • DON: A Typical Mid-Cap ETF Presented As A Dividend ETF [View article]
    Thanks for this piece.

    I ran a quick screen using SA's ETF Hub ( and it turns out DON has the highest dividend yield by far of all US mid-cap ETFs. The next best paying US dividend ETF is Vanguard Mid-cap (VO) which pays 2.18%. Nothing else is even above 2%.

    So in fairness to WisdomTree, I think calling DON a dividend fund is very accurate. The sector allocations to juice the yield that high in the mid-cap space are a by-product of the stretch for yield.

    Also, according to our data the 3-year and 5-year betas on DON are lower than VO meaning that it should also be less volatile. DON has outperformed VO on both a 12-month and 3-year total return basis - though just by about 50 bps over the recent 3 years.

    Finally, if you want much higher yields in the mid-cap space you need to buy a mid-cap value fund. VOE pays 3.04% while MDYV pays 4.17%. These result in slightly higher betas and in VOE's case a better long-term return.


    P.s. Long DON
    Nov 3, 2015. 03:57 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • ETF Update: Launches, Closures And News [View article]
    ETMFs are not really ETFs. In fact, I think the term is intentionally confusing in an attempt to ride the popularity of ETFs. In most key ways, these products are no different than mutual funds. The fact they are 'exchange-listed' is meaningless for all intents and purposes. They only price once a day and are non-transparent meaning they only have to list their holdings once per quarter akin to MFs - and on a 1-2 month delay at that as is standard with 13F filings. Additionally, they have a strange auction bidding system required to buy them. They do likely share some of the theoretical tax advantages of ETFs but that's about it. Thus, I think they should essentially be lumped with mutual funds and not ETFs. If I'm missing key details I'd be happy for others to fill me in but this is what I've been able to gather from the literature I've seen.
    Sep 28, 2015. 02:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackRock co-president Hallac passes away [View news story]
    Rip! You helped build a great company that has helped investors achieve their objectives more cheaply and easily than was remotely imaginable in 1988
    Sep 10, 2015. 03:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 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 | 2 Likes 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