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Weekly ETF Report: Digesting the Fed Decision

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 Fabian's Weekly ETF Report |  |  Weekly ETF Report  |  Successful ETF Investing 12/18/2015
In This Issue:
  • Podcasts
  • Digesting the Fed Decision
  • ETF Talk: Introducing a Steady Bond Investment
  • The Best ETF Ideas for 2016
  • On Holiday Gifts
By: Doug Fabian | Editor, Successful ETF Investing | President, Fabian Wealth Strategies
Digesting the Fed Decision
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Janet Yellen and company just served up a platter consisting of a 25-basis-point increase in the cost of capital. Now the market is trying to digest that decision.

As I’m sure you know by now, this was the first increase in the Federal Funds rate in more than nine years. It also marks the end of the zero-interest-rate-policy, or ZIRP, era.

Now, a ¼-percentage point hike isn’t really a material move, but the Fed had to start somewhere, so they started small this week. The focus now turns to when the Fed will hike rates next and what the market wants to see.

The initial digestion by the markets on Wednesday following the rate hike announcement, and the Fed chair press conference, was bullish. Stocks surged big nearly across the board, and that was due largely to Yellen signaling to the market that the pace of any future rate hikes would be “gradual.”

This was basically the Fed coming out for the so-called “one-and-done” policy, which means one rate hike in December and the next rate hike sometime around the middle of next year (June Federal Open Market Committee meeting).


Although markets saw a nice bounce on Wednesday following the Fed, a continued slide in oil prices returned to center stage on Thursday and Friday to put a renewed hurt on the major indices.

Oil prices now are at seven-year lows, and that’s put a lot of pressure on stocks in the energy space, many of which are large-cap oil and energy companies that weigh heavily on the Dow and the S&P 500.

The slide in oil is the biggest factor holding markets down, not the Fed’s first rate hike in nearly a decade. In fact, despite the slide in energy stocks, equities in the United States and around the globe have held up nicely.

The charts here of the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) and the iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA) show that both the domestic market (VTI) and the international markets (EFA) have exhibited relative strength.


The bottom line here is that the Fed’s first rate hike in nearly a decade actually went down pretty smoothly.

And though we aren’t done digesting the U.S. central bank’s move just yet, the bigger plate of interest rates served up by Fed Chair Janet Yellen this week seems to agree with market masticators.

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ETF Talk: Introducing a Steady Bond Investment

This week’s ETF Talk marks the beginning of a new series on what I see as the best income funds for prospective investors to pay attention to as we enter 2016.

These investments seem to me to have strong prospects going forward. First, we will discuss one of my favorite income-oriented exchange-traded funds (ETFs), SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF (TOTL).

View the current price, volume, performance and top 10 holdings of TOTL at

This fund uses bonds and fixed-income securities to generate yield for its investors at a relatively stable price. Most of its holdings are Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, with some exposure in emerging markets, corporate debt and more. This fund is quite new, as its date of inception was February of this year.

Considering the types of assets in which it invests, it should come as no surprise that this fund’s price is steadier than most. However, likely due in part to the current interest rate environment, TOTL has declined 2.56% in terms of nominal price since its inception, roughly balancing out its dividend payments.

Its expense ratio is 0.15%, and the fund’s yield currently adds up to about 4.3% annually. Despite its recent creation, it already holds more than $1.6 billion in assets.


TOTL is made up of a number of different security types. By far the largest component is mortgage-backed securities, weighing in at 58.53%. Treasury bonds make up 8.82% of the portfolio. This is followed by emerging market-based securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities and investment-grade corporate debt.

If you’re looking for a stable bond fund to add to your portfolio, SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF (TOTL) could provide the payouts you seek.

I’ll be back next week with another income fund for your consideration.

Remember to look for the current price, volume, performance and top 10 holdings of TOTL at

If you want my advice about buying and selling specific ETFs, including appropriate exit points, please consider subscribing to my Successful ETF Investing newsletter.

As always, I am happy to answer any of your questions about ETFs, so do not hesitate to send me an e-mail. You just may see your question answered in a future ETF Talk.

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The Best ETF Ideas for 2016

During the last several weeks, we’ve covered what I think are the best exchange-traded fund (ETF) ideas for 2016 for growth investors and income investors.

Here’s a quick review of all 10 ETFs on our list.

Growth ETFs

1) Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLV). Healthcare is an industry that continues benefitting from demographics, innovation, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and insurance mandates. XLV is the ETF that holds the biggest and best healthcare stocks around.

2) First Trust Dorsey Wright Focus 5 ETF (FV). This is a “fund of funds” that simultaneously holds other funds that have allocations to top-performing sectors. Biotech, Internet, consumer staples, consumer discretionary and healthcare all are part of this fund.

3) PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK). This is the cybersecurity stock ETF, one that we’ve written about extensively in this publication, as well as in the Successful ETF Investing newsletter. We also recently conducted a FREE webinar on HACK, which I encourage you to check out before you start making investment decisions in 2016.

4) iShares India 50 ETF (INDY). India is a country that has a pro-capitalist political climate, a huge amount of human capital and citizens hungry for economic growth and an enhanced living standard. INDY is a way to get exposure to the companies benefitting most from these trends.

5) WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ). Japan continues to put the pedal to the metal on “Abenomics,” which means more quantitative easing from the Bank of Japan and likely more upside for Japanese stocks. And, with DXJ’s hedge component, you get that performance without the negative influence of any currency disparities.

Income ETFs

1) SPDR DoubleLine Total Return Tactical ETF (TOTL). This bond fund is actively managed by the “New Bond King,” Jeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital, and it takes advantage of the best bonds in the market. The fund invests across global fixed-income sectors with an eye toward shorter-duration bonds. See above for a more in-depth analysis.

2) iShares US Preferred Stock (PFF). This fund gives you exposure to the best preferred stocks in the market. These hybrid securities are sort of like stocks and sort of like bonds, as they tend to move higher with the equity markets while also delivering strong yields.

3) PowerShares CEF Income Composite ETF (PCEF). This ETF “fund of funds” gives you exposure to the closed-end fund market. That market consistently has delivered outstanding yields for income-oriented investors.

4) iShares US Real Estate ETF (IYR). Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a fantastic tool for generating yield. In this fund of funds, you get broad-based exposure to the best REITs operating in the market today.

5) iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY). This is the best ETF for exposure to the biggest and arguably the best dividend-paying stocks in the market today. DVY gives you a very solid yield along with the upside potential of the broader equity markets.

If you want more ideas, including which funds we’re buying right now, then I invite you to check out my Successful ETF Investing newsletter today!

On Holiday Gifts

“The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value.”

-- Charles Dudley Warner

Giving the right holiday gift is usually tricky, so to help you in this effort you might want to keep the above sentiment in mind. The way I see it, the key to giving the right gift is to give what’s appropriate, not just what costs a lot.

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Ask Doug.

In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week about why the classic Santa Claus rally seemed to be missing this year. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below my Eagle Daily Investor commentary.

All the best,
Doug Fabian
Doug Fabian
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