Concentration Consternation

“There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”- Mark Twain Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal pointed out that a mere six stocks (Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, Gilead, and Disney) had accounted for more than 100% of the S&P 500’s year-to-date gains.  This degree of concentration (reminding some of the peak Read more […]

A Game of Thrones Using ETFs

As hedge funds arguably best embody the spirit of active management you know it’s a watershed moment when “exchange-traded funds, which are the primary vehicle for passive management, now have assets under management greater than hedge funds, according to a count from research firm ETFGI.”  Industry-wide, it has been observed that “growth in ETF assets Read more […]

U.S. Bond Prices Have Moved Up as Chinese Stock Prices Have Plunged

This week (starting July 27, 2015), the bond market has been off to a strong start, with the yield of the U.S. 10-year Treasury bond at 2.22%.  U.S. bond prices have moved up as Chinese stock prices have plunged.  Last week saw Treasury yields move lower, as dropping commodity prices followed the weaker CPI numbers Read more […]

Commodities Hit Lowest in More Than 13 Years

The S&P GSCI has lost 13.6% month-to-date through July 27, 2015, bringing its level to the lowest since February 25, 2002. It has now exceeded the bottom of the 2008 global financial crisis. Please see the chart below: Thus far, July 2015 is the seventh worst performing month in the history of the S&P GSCI Read more […]

Two More Disruptive Ideas for Advisors

My last post summarized some of our notes from the recent S&P DJI ETF Masterclass conference in Toronto, on the topic “ETFs as a Catalyst for Canadian Advisory Growth”. We discussed some disruptive innovations that are changing the fabric of wealth management, and how some of Canada’s leading wealth management thought leaders propose to address them. This post will continue Read more […]

Weaker June CPI Moves Bond Prices Higher

The yield-to-worst of the S&P/BGCantor Current 10 Year U.S. Treasury Index closed out the week of July 17, 2015, at 2.35%, which was 6 bps lower than the previous Friday’s 2.40% close. The 2.40% close on Friday, July 10, 2015, came in after a quick two-day increase, as the yield-to-worst jumped 10 bps on Thursday, Read more […]

Did Apple Weigh Down Your ETF?

Despite posting second quarter 44% earnings growth, Apple declined 4.3% on Wednesday July 22. According to S&P Capital IQ, 33% sales growth was more modest than expected and the company’s third-quarter revenue guidance was below Capital IQ consensus. Further, iPhone and iPad shipments were weaker than expected. As the largest company in the U.S., with Read more […]

Record Supply of Chinese Muni Bonds

The Chinese Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently rolled out another muni replacement program of legacy local government debt, as the previous muni replacement quota of RMB 1 trillion only addresses about half of the local government debt that is due to expire in 2015. With the robust expansion plan, it is expected that the total Read more […]

Navigating Rising Rates: Municipal Bond Ladders

With rising rates potentially on the horizon, protecting the value of bond portfolios is top of mind for many investors. Holding bonds to maturity via a bond ladder can be considered a way to navigate these volatile investing waters. Why Ladder? In a typical ladder, an investor would invest an equal amount of money into Read more […]

China and Memories of 1987

China’s actions in recent days to shore up its market are reminiscent of actions taken in the US after the 1987 stock market crash. Changes in monetary policy, support for margin calls and stock buybacks were all tried in 1987.  At the same time, some other steps taken in China currently – restricting short selling and halting Read more […]