Category Archives: Strategy

What’s in a Name

Picking the right ETF among the hundreds that are currently available is certainly a formidable task for many investors – one that has been made more difficult by iShares recent announcement that it is removing index names from a number of its ETFs. Why should this raise concerns for investors and for the financial industry Read more […]

Ready to Roll or Need to Weight?

In the past few years a number of indices have been launched with a goal of minimizing the impact of contango.  The first indices launched with this goal were the simple (1-5 month) forward indices and the relatively static S&P GSCI Enhanced. In the time period from Aug 2004-May 2011, mentioned in my prior post, these Read more […]

Keeping Up With Contango’s Twist

As mentioned in an article today in the Wall Street Journal, there may be a shift taking place in the commodities markets. In simple terms, there may be more predominant shortages of commodities. Generally as inventories are abundant, there are higher storage costs, which reduce returns from a condition called contango where the longer-dated contracts Read more […]

Getting What You Pay For

Today’s Wall Street Journal, among others, reported on a recent study by the Maryland Public Policy Institute arguing that the public pension funds which pay the highest fees haven’t reaped the highest investment returns.  In fact, the study shows, it’s just the opposite — for the 5 years ended June 2012, the 10 states which Read more […]

Dividends: Love’m or Leave’m

Now that the short-term speculators have left the dividend market, core investors can get back to their boring stocks, collecting their tax advantaged yield (you may not like the increase to 20% from 15%, but I remember when it was 70%, and that was before New York State, City or unincorporated business tax got hold of Read more […]

A Conventional Down Month

Whenever you want to argue that rising interest rates are bad for the stock market, count June 2013 as a point in your favor.  The long end of the US Treasury yield curve notched a -4.07% decline in June (following May’s -6.71% tumble), as rates on the S&P/BGCantor 20+ Year US Treasury Index rose by 66 Read more […]

Volatility: Love It or Leave It

Investors are rightly concerned about the future course of equity prices, especially in the context of the Federal Reserve’s bruited tapering of QE3, and it’s obviously true that equity market volatility has increased sharply since the beginning of May. Rising volatility typically means lower stock prices — the correlation of the S&P 500 and the Read more […]

The Best of Times and the Worst of Times

Since roughly the beginning of May, U.S. interest rates have been in an uptrend, with the 10 year Treasury note ending last week at a yield of 2.5%. Equity markets, not surprisingly, have reacted by weakening, especially in last week’s trading. Some of us of a certain age will admit to a degree of bewilderment Read more […]

Q1 Buybacks Slightly Up, But Fewer Shares Repurchased

Q1 Buybacks Slightly Up, But Fewer Shares Repurchased Breakdown shows a broader participation in share count reduction – but it is slow Q1,’13 S&P 500 buyback expenditures slightly increased 0.8%, to $100.0B from $99.1B in Q4,’12, and was up 18.6% for Q1,’12 $84.3B (record was Q2,’07 at $172B). 12 months ending Mar,’13 increased 3.8% to $414.6B from Read more […]

A PIP Off the Old Block

The staff of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued an opinion letter discussing the use of “pre-inception index performance (PIP)” data in communications about exchange-traded financial instruments.  Importantly, the letter permits the use of PIP data (i.e., backtested or simulated results) in presentations to institutions (although not to retail investors). No good deed Read more […]