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  • What's Driving Markets Today? [View article]
    I haven't seen the entire study, just pulled the chart from a piece on market timing which was a mistake on my part based on your comment. The obvious flaw is that the observation window appears to only be a decade or so. Care to elaborate on some of the other flaws?
    Jun 30, 2011. 03:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Driving Markets Today? [View article]
    Thank you for the kind words. Simply put, there are far too many individuals benefitting from the government's largesse be it directly or indirectly without paying their fair share into the syste. This is unsustainable and most unfortunate for individuals like yourself.
    Jun 30, 2011. 03:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Driving Markets Today? [View article]
    By extension of the market's existence there is no market timing strategy that works consistently. Did you consider how the market acted when you made the various bets and that your returns may be largely beta driven, making you the beneficiary of good fortune?

    I suggest identifying long-term trends and investing steadily over time; you will sleep better!
    Jun 30, 2011. 03:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Driving Markets Today? [View article]
    Outside the scope of this article I agree with you and my bias is towards inflarion. Prices have gone up, and Bernanke is clearly targeting inflation to reduce the real value of the debt. These new developments with Bill Gross talking about rate caps, etc. is particularly damning for the dollar and the deflation camp.

    However, I think we must at least acknowledge that economic fundamentals are extremely weak and show no signs of material improvement.
    Jun 17, 2011. 12:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Driving Markets Today? [View article]
    How do you propose to miss the worst 100 days or only catch the best 100 days? The last two bullet points are interesting but irrelevant to the argument for or against market timing. I suggest reading the piece sourced at the bottom of the chart.

    The Ivy Portfolio demonstrated some success with the use of moving averages, but was largely about asset allocation and non-correlated return streams. And I believe their MA demonstration did not account for taxes or transaction costs, no?

    Their study focused on two endowment funds which have an indefinite horizon and are tax exempt, two advantages individual investors do not posses. Also, due to their scale, their ability to access hedge funds, private equity funds, and unique real estate opportunities further differentiates them from retail investors.
    Jun 17, 2011. 12:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Safe Yield From the Corporate Sector [View article]
    I agree with your thoughts on the credit structure of the portfolio. Though I would point out that it is the distribution yield which signifies the income realized by investors in the fund. The distribution yield is composed of coupon income and realized gains. The gains are generated as a function of the manager's stated objective to minimize tracking error, and despite headline risk high quality bond yields remain subdued and tax losses may not be available to wash out gains.

    Also, though a separate discussion, I am sure you and I could find a number of the "lower quality issuers" with far stronger balance sheets than the money center center banks and the implicit government guarantee standing behind their debt.
    Jun 16, 2011. 09:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Safe Yield From the Corporate Sector [View article]
    The yield to maturity would be more accurate if the fund holds the securities to redemption. That is not the case. Also, the average yield to maturity does not account for deploying the proceeds from one bond sale/redemption to a new position.
    Jun 16, 2011. 08:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • PHYS: Another Golden Choice for Investors [View article]
    The convertibility feature of (PHYS) is interesting and intuitively it should trade tightly to the spot price but it doesn't for some reason. Perhaps there is something I'm missing???
    Jun 9, 2011. 01:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Four Overvalued S&P 500 Stocks to Avoid [View article]
    Why is it wrong to assume rental growth will reach unprecendented levels in light of the fundmental story at play? Few people are credit worthy enough to buy and even fewer have the cash on hand for a 20% - 30% down payment to top it off. With real economic growth remaining anemic in the U.S., there will no upward pressure on wages or an improving employment market for many years. Long story short, many people will be forced to rent. Furthermore, those fortunate enough to find themselves in a financial position to buy may be scared away by the extremely poor liquidity still plaguing residential real estate.

    This is not to mention that single family housing is a break even investment at best when prices levels over the past century are discounted for taxes, interest (even deducted), and maintenance/utilities. Who knows what will happen when Americans began to analyze a home purchase objectively rather than emotionally?!

    Look forward to hear your thoughts on AVB.
    May 18, 2011. 04:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 9 Critical Questions Investors Must Consider [View article]
    On the Eurozone; while I agree the relative size of those economies is insignificant, the ECB and member nations are commiting real money to the problem, in the hundreds of billions of dollars, which could be troublesome down the road. Because of the poor economic scale of the PIIGS and their inability to devalue their currency/debt directly, they could become a black hole for financial resources.

    I also agree the U.S. is in every bit as much trouble if not more. But due to our economy accounting for 25% of global GDP and owning the world's reserve currency we can continue on in this fashion for some time, for better or worse.

    As for the banks, I think the best thing we can do as investors is not capitalize them by purchasing their bonds, common, and preferred. Let's face it, we're already capitalizing them with our tax dollars!
    May 10, 2011. 10:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 9 Critical Questions Investors Must Consider [View article]
    Without question these financial reporting shenanigans are criminal. Particularly upsetting is the absurd bonus/compensation issue when the government backstops their losses with taxpayer money.
    May 10, 2011. 10:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Comparing 3 Key Emerging Market ETFs [View article]
    lo maximo,

    I will have to keep an eye on this offering. My concern is with the 1/14/10 inception and assets < $500M. I minimally like to see performance during the broad flight from risk that occured in 2008.

    Performance since inception very similar to EEM, VWO thus far.
    May 2, 2011. 01:02 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Comparing 3 Key Emerging Market ETFs [View article]
    Alan,

    On PBR; you are 100% correct.

    On historical performance; we can argue that index composition and past performance will have no bearing on future composition/results for every asset class/index. The words "past performance not indicative of future results" are displayed on every piece of compliance approved sales literature in the industry. My goal was simply to demonstrate that EM stocks historically exhibit greater volatility when measured objectively against other asset classes. If I were to show a chart of the past five years, this still holds true.

    You are also 100% correct about the availability of country and sector specific ETF's though that is a discussion beyond the intended scope of this article. WisdomTree's ETF provides an automated, disciplined strategy for index construction on behalf of investors who are not interested in sector rotation or find transactions costs/tax implications prohibitive.
    May 2, 2011. 12:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lower Bank Revenue Pressures Financial ETFs [View article]
    Perhaps the market is finally catching on to the accounting shenanigans involving the recharacterization of trading assets in order to avoid marking impaired securities to market.
    Apr 26, 2011. 02:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Small Caps Still Beating Out Large Caps [View article]
    This argument is really hinged on U.S. growth rather than small vs. large. Should growth in the U.S. stall, certainly small caps will not perform well. Accordingly it is important to evaluate small cap plays abroad, beyond the scope of the Russell 2000. Less mature markets present opportunities for small cap investments.

    A secondary consideration is level of cash earning zero interest on the balance sheets of large corporations. For better or worse, this may lead to acquisitions, which gives small caps an immediate boost because there is often a premium paid over market value.
    Apr 25, 2011. 11:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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