In This Issue:
- A Yellen Turnabout on Rates?
ETF Talk: China Fund Awaits a Market Bounce
- New Rule for ETF Investors: Stop Using Stops
- ‘ETF Success with Doug Fabian’ Goes National!
- Chaos is a Ladder
A Yellen Turnabout on Rates?
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A Yellen Turnabout on Rates?
Last Thursday, the Federal Reserve decided to leave interest rates unchanged, citing recent global economic and financial developments that “may restrain economic activity somewhat and are likely to put further downward pressure on inflation in the near term.”
Fast-forward to this Thursday, Sept. 24, and we got a decidedly different spin on what’s likely to happen with interest rates.
In a speech given at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Yellen laid out a detailed case for raising interest rates later this year.
Here’s the money quote from last night’s Yellen speech, which included the drama of the Fed chair fainting toward the end of her talk. Apparently, Yellen suffered from dehydration but is okay today.
“It will likely be appropriate to raise the target range of the federal funds rate sometime later this year and to continue boosting short-term rates at a gradual pace thereafter as the labor market improves further and inflation moves back to our 2% objective.”
The market liked that news, as stocks were up about 1.5% across the board midway through Friday trading. The Dow finished up 0.7% but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed down.
But why would the prospect of higher interest rates cause stocks to go up? After all, since 2008, a “dovish” Fed has been great for stocks. Conversely, hints of a “hawkish” Fed have caused stocks to sell off.
Those roles may now be reversed, as traders around the world now want to see some definitive clarity from the Fed as to when rates may finally be lifted.
After nearly nine years without a rate hike, and after multiple rounds of quantitative easing, it seems like Ms. Yellen and company now realize that the market needs a vote of confidence in the economy in order to keep stocks moving higher.
Also, if the Fed does hike before the end of the year, it would serve to sharpen the focus on Fed policy and remove the current lack of clarity blurring traders’ vision.
So, will a Yellen turnabout on rates happen at the October Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting? Will it happen in December? Or, will it happen at all?
That’s the $64,000 question.
If you are an ETF investor who is looking for strategies to help take advantage of whatever the Fed decides to do next, then please check out my Successful ETF Investing advisory service today!
ETF Talk: China Fund Awaits a Market Bounce
This week’s ETF Talk moves on to another new category of top-performing exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The funds of the next three ETF Talks fall under the emerging markets category and offer the three best-performing ETFs for the first half of the year in that category.
The first and foremost is Market Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (CNXT).
If you can recall the first half of this year, it should come as no surprise that a fund focused on China tops this list. In fact, only two funds in the top 10 on this metric don’t focus on China; however, each of the top three funds that will be covered in the next several ETF Talk articles provide a different take on the Asian giant.
View the current price, volume, performance and top 10 holdings of CNXT at ETFU.com.
CNXT invests in Chinese companies listed on the small and medium enterprise (SME) and ChiNext boards of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The ChiNext board consists of fast-growing and innovative, usually high-tech, companies (much like the American Nasdaq Index), while the SME is focused on smaller companies.
Although China’s market has suffered greatly since the midpoint of 2015, in the first half of the year, this fund performed strongly, posting a 64.73% gain. With only $53.9 million in assets managed, CNXT falls beneath my recommended threshold for investment.
However, this ETF’s strategy is one that is worth bringing to your attention. The more knowledge you have as an investor, the better you can make informed decisions.
In regards to diversification, 28.8% of this fund’s assets compose its top 10 largest holdings. This list contains Eternal Asia Supply Chain Management Ltd., 4.95%; Suning Appliance Co. Ltd., 3.87%; Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co. Ltd., 3.23%; East Money Information Co. Ltd., 3.11%; and Beijing Kangde Xin Composite Material Co. Ltd., 2.88%. The most dominant sector holdings for the fund are in technology, industrials and consumer cyclicals.
Although the Chinese market is battered, it eventually may move back into investors’ good graces. If history is any indication, Market Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (CNXT) could be a solid beneficiary of such a shift.
Remember to look for the current price, volume, performance and top 10 holdings of CNXT at ETFU.com.
If you want my advice about buying and selling specific ETFs, including appropriate stop losses, 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.
New Rule for ETF Investors: Stop Using Stops
I am a huge fan of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In fact, there may be no bigger advocate of these products than me. I love ETFs for multiple reasons, including their transparency, ease of use, low cost and diversity.
It is my view that ETFs are perhaps the best innovation to ever come out of the financial services industry.
However, the recent price action in many ETFs during a period of extreme market stress has prompted very real concerns for investors.
It’s also prompted a PR firestorm for the ETF industry, a topic I discuss in detail in a recent ETF Success with Doug Fabian podcast.
The stress test in question came on Monday, Aug. 24, when the Dow plunged nearly 1,100 points in the first five minutes of trading. The massive imbalance of sell orders vs. buy orders in the market caused the broad-based S&P 500 Index to crater more than 5% in those tumultuous first five minutes.
A scary plunge in the S&P 500 is bad enough, but if that was the only damage ETFs suffered during that brief period, I wouldn’t be too concerned. The real cause for concern was that some ETFs that track the S&P 500 were down nearly 50% in the first five minutes of Aug. 24.
The massive imbalance between sell orders and buy orders was in part due to many individual investors who reacted to the early market action by logging onto their online brokerage accounts to put in sell orders “at the market.”
Another key factor that caused these massive price discrepancies was a little-known and rarely used SEC regulation called “Rule 48.” Rule 48 permits designated market makers to not tell anyone where things are going to open until they start trading. This lack of transparency takes critical information away from markets. The “blindness” that ensued caused many investors to sell into the landslide.
Additionally, because ETFs are made up of individual securities, they are subject to circuit-breaker rules in individual stocks. So, if a stock falls 10%, it is halted from trading for a short period, usually five to 10 minutes. Once this period passes, the stock is reopened; however, on Aug. 24 the backlog of orders continued to press ETF share prices lower. This situation, in turn, caused another 10% circuit breaker to be triggered, hence another security stop.
In some ETFs, this happened three or more times, causing those ETFs to trade down as much as 50% below the actual price of the securities within them.
This is a major problem for the ETF industry, and it is especially a problem for investors who had “market order” stop losses in place. While I think the actual cause of the big declines wasn’t due to a flaw in the ETFs themselves, but rather a case of poor management, bad rules and scared investors running for the exits, the damage was still done.
In light of these events, I have been forced to rethink a principle that I had previously held on to for many years, and that is the principle of always putting in a stop-loss order on any ETF position you enter.
So, from here on, I am implementing a new rule for ETF investing, and that is to cease using stop losses.
I will not be using stop-loss orders on ETFs, either personally, or in my newsletter advisory services.
Instead, I am going to use mental stops, or something I call “exit points.”
The way I see it, if we want to navigate the current volatile market landscape, we need to adjust course. We simply cannot do what we have been doing and hope for good results.
By setting your own personal “exit point” on a position, you can determine how much you are willing to lose and when you should cut and run.
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‘ETF Success with Doug Fabian’ Goes National!
Are you a regular listener to my radio show, “ETF Success with Doug Fabian”?
If not, then I hope you soon will be, and here’s your chance.
Today, I am very excited to announce that my weekly radio show is now syndicated nationally throughout the Salem radio network.
The table below shows the station, city and day and time the show will be aired (check your local listing for start dates, as not all stations carry the show yet).
The syndication of “ETF Success with Doug Fabian” is something I’ve been looking forward to for some time, and it’s a dream come true for me.
|WAFS-AM ||Business Radio 1190 ||Atlanta ||Sundays 6:00 am |
|WGKA-AM ||AM 920 The Answer ||Atlanta ||Sundays 10:00 am |
|WHK-AM ||AM 420 The Answer ||Cleveland ||Sundays 6:00 am |
|WTOH-FM ||89.8 FM The Answer ||Columbus ||Sundays 5:00 pm |
|KVCE-AM ||AM 1160 The Business Authority ||Dallas ||Sundays 2:00 pm |
|WDTK-AM ||News Talk 1400 ||Detroit ||Sundays 8:00 am |
|KGU-AM ||AM 760 Business Radio ||Honolulu ||Wednesdays 2:00 pm |
| || || || |
|KNTH-AM ||AM 1070 The Answer ||Houston ||Weekdays 9:00 pm |
|KHTE-FM ||96.5 FM The Answer ||Little Rock ||Saturdays 8:00 am |
|WGTK-AM ||AM 970 The Answer ||Louisville ||Saturdays 7:00 am |
|WZAB-AM ||AM 880 Business Radio ||Miami ||Sundays 2:00 pm |
|KYCR-AM ||AM 1570 Business Radio ||Minneapolis ||Sundays 6:00 am |
|WNYM-AM ||AM 970 The Answer ||New York ||Sundays 4:00 pm |
|WBZW-AM ||AM 1520 Business Radio ||Orlando ||Saturdays 8:00 am |
|WNTP-AM ||News Talk 990 AM ||Philadelphia ||Sundays 9:00 am |
|KKNT-AM ||960 AM The Patriot ||Phoenix ||Saturdays 5:00 am |
|WPGP-AM ||AM 1250 The Answer ||Pittsburgh ||Saturdays and Sundays 5:00 pm |
|KSAC-FM ||Money 105.5 FM ||Sacramento ||Saturdays 9:00 am |
|KLUP-AM ||AM 930 The Answer ||San Antonio ||Saturdays 6:00 pm |
|KCBQ-AM ||AM 1170 The Answer ||San Diego ||Sundays 3:00 pm |
|KDOW-AM ||AM 1220 Business Radio ||San Francisco ||Sundays 8:00 am |
|KKOL-AM ||AM 1300 Business Radio ||Seattle ||Wednesdays 3:00 pm |
|KLFE-AM ||AM 1590 The Answer ||Seattle ||Saturdays 1:00 pm |
|WGUL-AM ||AM 860 The Answer ||Tampa ||Saturdays 5:00 pm |
|WWRC-AM ||AM 1260 The Answer ||Wash. DC ||Sundays 4:00 pm |
I hope you’ll join me in living this dream each week, on the station, day and time near you.
Chaos is a Ladder
“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder.”
-- Littlefinger, Game of Thrones
Sometimes you find great gems of wisdom on TV. In the HBO drama Game of Thrones, we find some profound thoughts that can be applied to investing. You see, when the market is seemingly in chaos, that’s usually a great opportunity to stand aside and contemplate the next ladder to big gains.
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 on Eagle Daily Investor about why investors shouldn't use stop losses on ETFs. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below my Eagle Daily Investor commentary.
All the best,
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