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  • 5 'Big Time' ETFs Below Their 200-Day Trendlines [View article]
    USING MA DATA TO HELP TIME ENTRY AND EXIT of a fundamentally researched security investment.
    keep it simple five bull/bear signals in any one security - stock or etf
    The following are bullish signals
    1.stk price above 50 day
    2. stk price above 200 day
    3. Fifty day above 200 day
    4. 50 day price/value > than the day before close price.
    5. 200 day price/value > than the day before close price
    The opposite of each of the above are bearish signals
    This works best if you also track an appropriate benchmark sector or industry and act (Buy or sell) if and when the above signals in this benchmark sector/industry index are also showing similar signals.
    Thus you expand the number of confirming signals from 5 to 10.
    Obviously one could use the exponential MA lines if one wants
    to act in anticipation of a change in direction.

    If one were to act bullish or bearish only when their fundamental research also complimented the decision to buy or sell, then these signals help create an unemotional method of building and or trimming a potential position.
    May 9, 2010. 06:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dividend ETFs: Aristocrat or Achievement? [View article]
    Where does one find an updated spreadsheet of "growing dividend stocks" (such as the aristocrats but including those with 10 years of increasing dividends and more) which would include columns showing:
    (a) the last quarterly dividend declared,
    (b) the x div date,
    (c) the current price,
    (d) The YIELD based the most recent declared plus previous past 3 quarterly payments,
    (e) the annualized current dividend (using only the most recent declared dividend X 4),
    (f) the yield based on the current annualized dividend,
    (g) The Estimated next 12 months of dividends including the last declared plus the next three estimated quarterly dividends, and
    (h) the current yield based on this estimated future 12 months of dividend payout.
    (i) the previous calendar year (2009) payout percent
    (j) the current year (2010) estimated payout percent
    (k) the forecasted year 2011) payout
    (l) Last cal year Actual EPS
    (m) current year earnings 2009 to date
    (n) current estimates for full year 2010

    I believe this data would be nice to see for all the listed dividend growth stock companies
    I also see no reason to not do the same for all the ETFs (I have about 40 I am monitoring) and MFs which are being marketed as providing investors who seek investments in Growing dividend companies or in portfolios of such companies.

    Mar 10, 2010. 08:59 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stupidity or Malfeasance in Government? [View article]
    did you watch the Charlie Rose interview yesterday
    with Stiglitz? 35 minutes of interesting thought provoking concerns and suggestions. How does he fit into the economists mentioned in your article and to what extent odes he provide similar forecasts - - on a macro 3 to 7 year time frame?
    Mar 4, 2010. 03:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Presidential First Years: Stock Market Returns [View article]
    I'd like to see the same stats after 4th (and 8th) years in a column(s) next to the results for just one year
    Jan 23, 2010. 07:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Serious Divergence: Great Depression Dow vs. Great Recession S&P 500 [View article]
    It would be interesting to see the number of ARMs and the total $ in ARMs comi g due during these next 7 or 8 years - Why 7 or 8 years. The longest and often time the largest (JUMBO) option arms ARMs were the 10 year option ARMs and the last time the ARMs were popular was about 2-3 years ago - thus the bulk of the ARMs which will eventually cause some "trouble" will be those which expire (7 + 2) nine and (8+3) eleven years from now.
    In the meantime it wopuld be nice to seethe total dollar ARMs with the top 10 banks holding the most ARMs - BY YEAR... Best folks to ask to do this would be the sell side BANK ANALYSTS.
    Jan 4, 2010. 02:28 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Trade Desk Thoughts: Hedge the Drop [View article]
    So how specifically does a individual retail investor enter and trade markets on a Turkey holiday be it mid week or on a saturday or Sunday. Must he have an ac with a brokerage firm which will take his trade on a designated international market? I realize this is an open question - hard to answer "specifically" - but what is involved administratively - logistically. I am retired broker - siort of a grand pa with a desire to play in todays stadium.
    Nov 26, 2009. 11:03 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Mutual Fund Fee Datapoint of the Day [View article]
    speaking of FEES
    Just FYI: Following is an interesting comment on the recent Schwab ETF launch.
    In My Opinion - Very innovative - and will cause many industry changes for the better of individual investors - especially among other ETF sponsors and financial entities using and offering ETFs. Somewhat negative for most - all? - continued growth of Mutual Funds.

    Tal Fletcher

    Investing Specialists: ETF Investing
    Investors Win with Schwab's Entry into ETFs
    By Scott Burns | 11-05-09 | 08:40 AM |
    I have to admit, Schwab's Nov. 2 announcement that it would not charge trading commissions to clients purchasing Schwab ETFs on its online trading platforms was a bit of a shock to me.
    I have long theorized that it was only a matter of time until one trading platform or discount brokerage launched its own line of ETFs and used subsidized trading costs to fuel asset growth. I had initially figured that said company would offer discounted trades--say, $3 a trade instead of $12 a trade. It was hard for me to see a scenario where a for-profit group of firms would offer its funds with a $0 trading cost. So, it was a huge surprise when Schwab not only came out with what can only be described as ultracheap offerings from an expense-ratio perspective but also dropped trading costs to $0.
    Overall, this is an incredibly investor-friendly move. In fact, I will go so far as to say this is one of the most investor-friendly actions by a fund company ever. Is it at the same level as Jack Bogle founding Vanguard or the rise of discount brokerage platforms? Probably not, but it is up there. I say it is one of the top-five most investor-friendly moves by a fund company or financial company, but others can feel free to disagree.
    What's in It for Chuck?
    Now, let's not kid ourselves and think that Schwab simply did this out of the goodness of its heart. Last I checked, it was a publicly traded company and not the Salvation Army. Of course, this will help Schwab grow assets in its funds--jump-starting their liquidity and removing one of the major humps that all new ETFs face.
    From a business perspective, Schwab was staring down a world where advisors and investors alike were using low-cost ETFs to circumvent the wholesaler costs charged by mutual fund supermarkets. Schwab's One Source platform is among the largest of these supermarkets, which means that it had a front-row seat to witness the phenomenon. Worse, as more and more advisors and investors adopted passive management strategies, Schwab was likely to get hit with a double whammy of losing fees from the wholesale business, while not making it up in trading commission. You see, in passive management, investors would buy their ETFs, set their allocations, and maybe rebalance once or twice a year. So, in theory, Schwab would gain assets, but the ETF providers would be the ones making all of the money. Given all of the baby boomer money that is set to roll out of tax-deferred accounts (IRAs and 401(k)s), Schwab needed to position itself better to deal with the needs of both its Registered Investment Advisor client-base and self-directed individual investors. All of them report, in any survey that I've seen, that they plan on using ETFs more and more in their portfolios.
    In addition to alleviating the situation mentioned above, Schwab can attract new clients and is providing a much appreciated service to existing ones. With this the firm can continue to gather assets and sell other services such as cash deposits, margin accounts, and trading costs on other non-Schwab products, be they ETFs, mutual funds, or individual securities.
    Even after laying out all of the reasons Schwab may have done this for itself, I say, "So what?!" Investors are the big winners here. If Schwab is willing to split the economic rents from providing low-cost, transparent, liquid ETFs to investors by offering those funds free of transaction costs, then I honestly don't care why it did it.
    Teaser Rate?
    The biggest concern for most people out there is that this is a bait-and-switch teaser rate to attract assets in the short-run. We had some representatives from Schwab come in to Morningstar HQ to talk about their ETF offerings and their strategy. I asked them point-blank if this was a teaser rate. Their response (and I am paraphrasing) was that this was absolutely not a teaser rate and that Schwab was committed to keeping these products commission-free for the long haul. I then asked if that was in writing somewhere, and I received an answer that I interpreted as it was written down somewhere ... but don't consider it legally binding. So, I will tell the folks at Schwab this: As long as your ETFs remain commission-free to your clients, then I will continue to describe this as one of the most investor-friendly moves ever. Because you reserve the right, so do I. In the end, it most likely won't even matter if it wanted to rescind it because ...
    The Competitive Response
    People in the financial world must be livid with this move. ETF providers are beside themselves because, with the possible exception of Vanguard, they don't have a trading platform with which to waive fees. They are all looking to advisors and individual investors to fuel their assets-under-management growth over the next 10 years. Other discount brokerages are mad because they had planned on trading costs from ETFs to be a huge driver of future revenue. Wirehouse platforms are ticked because this is just another reason for their best advisors to go independent on them, and they had thought ETFs would be the best of both worlds for themselves (wrap fee plus trading commissions). The traditional fund companies can't like the fact that, without commissions, you lose that transaction-cost friction that kept ETFs out of 401(k) plans or made them unsuitable for dollar-cost averaging strategies.
    Game theory would tell us that this move cannot stand unmatched. Really, that is what leads me to call this a "shot heard around the world" type of event. The ETF providers can't sit by and watch this upstart new entrant gather the assets that they've been counting on--especially with the price BlackRock paid for iShares/BGI. The other discount brokerages won't be able to let Schwab woo their clients with a promise to remove the one thing that investors and traders alike despise: trading costs. Frankly, I'm not really sure what the wirehouse firms can do about this.
    So, what will they all do? The ETF providers are going to need to either build trading platforms or find some partners. Finding partners would most likely be the more cost-effective move in the long-run. Imagining a BlackRock and E*Trade merger or partnership is not out of the question. The bigger discount brokerages and investing platforms are going to need to either develop their own competing ETF products or similarly find partners to split the costs with. I think the bigger ones with larger RIA clearing operations like TD Ameritrade or Fidelity are more likely to develop their own products. Short of banning the products from their platforms, I'm not sure how wirehouse firms can respond. I would advise them not to do that, as it would only tick off their clients and advisors. If I were them, I would match the $0 commissions and be content with the wrap fee and other service fees that are charged. In fact, wirehouses could adopt that for all ETFs and perhaps stem the tide of asset and advisor outflows.
    Overall, ETFs are a commodity product--especially if they track passive indexes. That may sound strange coming from someone who likes ETFs as much as I do, but that is exactly why I like them. In commodity products, the lowest cost wins; that's just Econ 101. This kind of competitive price pressure will invariably push the cost of investing down for all levels of participants investing in ETFs and funds in general. Even if Schwab wanted to rescind this offer three years down the road, it won't matter. If its competitors match it, then it won't really have the choice. To do so would invite the same outflows that its competitors now stand to face with the launch of these new ETFs.
    Challenges for Chuck
    For all the positives this brings to investors, it won't matter much if Schwab can't execute a successful investing experience for its clients. That means these funds have to perform as advertised, and, more importantly, the market makers and authorized participants (the folks responsible for arbitraging ETF premiums and discounts) have to do their part. If investors get bad trade execution or the funds' performance lags competing offerings, then this will be all for naught. While there may be some stumbles early on, I don't think this is a major long-term concern. The Schwab team has hired some pretty experienced and well-known folks from competitors and the exchanges to make sure that this operation runs as smoothly as possible. That said, the standards are pretty high these days in terms of both execution and performance, so the margin of error is pretty slim.
    Put One on the Board for Investors
    Combine the value added for Schwab clients with what the most likely competitive response will be from the industry as a whole, and investors are the real beneficiaries here. This move has all the makings of redefining ETF investing for the smaller investor and the potential to redefine fund investing in general.
    I have a saying, "When fund companies compete, the investor wins." This week, the investor won and won big.
    Nov 7, 2009. 04:56 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Emerging Market Rally to Continue, ETF Gurus Agree [View article]
    Just FYI: Following is an interesting comment on the recent Schwab ETF launch.
    In My Opinion - Very innovative - and will cause many industry changes for the better of individual investors - especially among other ETF sponsors and financial entities using and offering ETFs. Somewhat negative for most - all? - continued growth of Mutual Funds.
    Tal Fletcher
    Nov 7, 2009. 04:54 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dollar Update: Inflation Forces Are Brewing [View article]
    So the prudent investor should continue to be long accumulating selected "Emerging market economies" does that mean their "Government Debt" and or their "Equity" securities/ETFs or Mutual funds?
    With regard to "Equities in General" does this include "growth companies" OR "Value Companies? and/OR "Growing Dividend Income" securities, ETFs or Mutual funds?
    And presumably is it OK to buy TIPs - but NOT the non inflation protected T bills, Notes and bonds?
    And how about US Short term - no more than 5 years) Corporate - High quality and/or Junk Debt orConverts?

    "Emerging market economies should continue to do better than industrialized countries, since they benefit from a weaker dollar and rising commodity prices, and many of them (e.g., Brazil, Chile, China, Peru, Singapore, Thailand) have managed to keep their currencies quite strong relative to the dollar in recent years. Equities in general should do well, since markets are still braced for recession and fear continues to distort investment decisions. The things to avoid like the plague are the "risk-free" investments such as T-bills, T-notes, and T-bonds."
    Aug 30, 2009. 04:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Major Banks Now Much Too Big to Fail [View article]
    maybe too big to fail but not too big to short (or hedge):
    see below for list of recent research comments by an analyst who has been quite accurate with his investment researched conclusions

    I still have a small oddlot position of JPM from a recent deferred comp distribution (I retired from Bear Stearns) and have no relationship with Reggie Middleton but have seen his research on the internet and find it to be value added and informative.
    Aug 30, 2009. 04:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • New Index of Highly Defensive Market Cap Leaders [View article]
    Interesting - but many questions - a few for starters:
    on what day/date did this index start?
    how often would such a portfolio be reallocated to maintain the equal weightings?
    "who" (at ETF Innovators ?) and how often would exchanges to take place going forward to allow for mergers?
    Feb 26, 2009. 06:05 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Dear Mr. President-Elect: Advice on Combating White-Collar Crime from a Convicted Felon [View article]
    Hopefully, those who read and agree with your comments ill take the time to forward your remarks as well as the comments on - by email - to any and all of OBAMA's staff with a request that it is brought to the attention of "the man" - in hopes that HE WILL BE THE "...tremendously strong, dedicated, and incorruptible leader to even begin to fix this problem".
    Nov 16, 2008. 04:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Fannie Mae's Housing Forecast Seems Too Optimistic [View article]
    Maybe the persons responsible for the filing of the FNM report were at the same golf club or at the same bridge tournament at which a few othres slipped away for a few minute smoke break - but without inhaling...
    Nov 11, 2007. 04:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Our 2 Healthcare Picks For April [View article]
    In addition to BCLI, CTYK, CTYX, STEM and CUR I recently heard that SYN was involved with R&D research on ALS in their pipeline.Is this true? Are their other companies with an R&D effort toward ALS solutions besides the above?
    I have been long SYN but was unaware of this purported interest in ALS.
    Apr 14, 2015. 09:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brainstorm Takes Major Leap Forward In Battle Vs. ALS [View article]
    Since your article first appeared four months ago, have there been any new BioPharma Companies - other than CUR, BCLI, SNY, CYTK, CYTX, STEM which have recently come out as competitive leaders in the search for ALS solutions?
    In order of potential timing in breakthroughs in each of their piplines, which are the two or three "leading horses" to ride during this next 12 to 24 lap.?
    Best sell side FIRMS AND OR analysts who cover ALS R&D research efforts?
    Apr 14, 2015. 03:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment