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Weekly ETF Report: Behold the Golden Breakout!

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 Fabian's Weekly ETF Report
Fabian.com |  ETFU.com  |  Weekly ETF Report  |  Successful ETF Investing 10/16/2015
In This Issue:
  • Podcasts
  • Behold the Golden Breakout!
  • ETF Talk: This S&P Healthcare Fund is Gaining
  • Despite the Bad Press, ETFs are Better than Mutual Funds
  • ‘ETF Success with Doug Fabian’ Goes National!
  • Twain on Facts
By: Doug Fabian | Editor, Successful ETF Investing | President, Fabian Wealth Strategies
Behold the Golden Breakout!
The Truth Behind Vanguard’s Warning to Advisors
We recently received a reminder of just how volatile the market can be. The 1,000-point Dow drop was certainly a shocking event, and industry titan Vanguard claims this could be the start of a “lower growth world.” If only that were the case...

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What do you get when the dollar is getting weaker due to the growing unlikelihood of a Fed rate hike in 2015?

You get a golden breakout.

This week, we saw a dramatic rally in gold, silver and gold mining stocks. In the case of gold bullion prices, the chart here of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) shows the strong move back above the technically and psychologically significant 200-day moving average.

gld_1015

We saw the same lift in silver, as displayed in the chart below of the iShares Silver Trust (SLV). The benchmark silver exchange-traded fund (ETF) now also trades above its 200-day moving average, a bullish sign for the precious metal going forward.

slv_1015

While it remains to be seen if the flow going into gold is “new money,” or whether it is the result of a lot of short positions unwinding, I suspect it’s a combination of both, and I also think that’s why gold and silver are likely to continue going higher from here.

This week, gold also received a vote of confidence from famed investor Paul Singer of Elliott Management. The billionaire told attendees at an investment conference in Israel, “In a world where the value of paper money is affirmatively aimed at being degraded by central bank policy, it’s kind of surprising to me that gold can’t catch a bid.” Singer added, “I like gold. I believe it’s under-owned. It should be a part of every investment portfolio, maybe five to ten percent.”

This week, the Fabian Gold Plan confirmed Singer’s precious metal intuitions, as we received our first new Gold Plan buy signal in quite some time.

The Fabian Gold Plan is designed to get investors into gold and gold mining stocks when things are just breaking out, and that’s exactly what happened this week.

If you want details on how you can get in on this golden breakout, including what specific ETFs we are recommending right now, then check out my Successful ETF Investing newsletter today!

ETF Talk: This S&P Healthcare Fund is Gaining

This week’s ETF Talk is the first in a new series that will feature funds that focus on specific market sectors and highlight the SPDR Select Sector funds of State Street, which I wrote about in an ETF Talk last year. The first exchange-traded fund (ETF) to be discussed is Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV).

SPDR stands for Standard & Poor’s depository receipt. The Select Sector funds are later additions to State Street’s flagship S&P 500-based fund, SPY. The specific industry ETFs allow investors to focus on a segment of the S&P. Most broad market industries are covered in one of these ETFs.


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Each S&P company is classified as part of one or more sectors, and the fund provider has categorized them further. XLV, therefore, includes all S&P companies that are considered to be part of the healthcare industry. This sector includes pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies, as well as healthcare providers, equipment, technology and other related services.

View the current price, volume, performance and top 10 holdings of XLV at ETFU.com.

In the last 12 months of trading, even considering the recent market pullback, XLV has posted a 9.8% gain to improve its current assets managed figure to $12.9 billion. The fund also offers a dividend yield of about 1.5% as an added benefit for its investors.

xlv_1015

XLV holds a considerable 54.46% of its assets in its 10 largest positions. Much like the S&P itself, the fund gives more weight to companies with larger market caps. XLV’s top holdings include Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), 10.27%; Pfizer Inc. (PFE), 8.00%; Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD), 5.67%; Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK), 5.48%; and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH), 4.61%.

If the healthcare industry seems broadly appealing to you, you may want to take a look at Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV). In this column next week, I’ll have another sector highlighted for your consideration.

Remember to look for the current price, volume, performance and top 10 holdings of XLV 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.

Despite the Bad Press, ETFs are Better than Mutual Funds

When it comes to public relations, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) haven’t had it all too well. It was just more than seven weeks ago that the world of ETFs suffered the embarrassment of Aug. 24. That was the day of the crazy mispricing action that resulted in some of the market’s most stable and widely held ETFs opening 25%, 35% and even nearly 50% below the prior session’s close.

A toxic combination of massive imbalances between sell orders and buy orders, the implementation of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “Rule 48” that caused a lack of transparency and circuit breaker rules that halted trading for short periods added up to a public relations (PR) nightmare for ETFs.

This situation also forced us to rethink a principle that we had previously held on to for many years, and that is the principle of always putting in a stop-loss order on any position we enter.

Another likely result of the August ETF PR kerfuffle will be the bashing of ETFs as “too dangerous,” “too volatile” and “too risky” by the mutual fund industry.

Although I haven’t yet seen widespread, public bashing of ETFs happen in earnest, I do know that many traditional mutual fund advisors have been using the pricing disruption in ETFs as a tool to criticize the use of ETFs. While we still recommend mutual funds from time to time in my Successful ETF Investing newsletter, for the most part I am vehemently opposed to their widespread use.

Here are just some of the reasons why you shouldn’t be buying mutual funds (the exception here is in your 401(k)-type accounts).
  1. Outrageous fees. I know there are many reasonably priced funds out there, but the number of funds that still sport extraordinarily high fees is ridiculous. Although mutual funds should be disclosing the amount of fees they’re charging in dollar terms within their statements, the mutual fund lobby has still managed to blunt any simple, transparent disclosure of such fees.
  2. Exit charges and sales loads. In addition to the high management fees of 1-2% on many funds vs. expense ratios of 0.15-0.25% on similar ETFs, there also are plenty of exit fees and sales loads that never really seem to be fully explained or disclosed in a really clear manner when you redeem shares.
  3. Inefficient taxation. Because mutual funds tend to have high turnover in terms of the positions bought and sold by active fund managers, investors get stuck with the tax consequences of capital gains (unlike indexed ETFs, which have little or no turnover).
  4. Lack of access. Although there are many mutual funds out there, most do not invest in commodities, currencies or alternative strategies. Compared to ETFs, mutual funds do not give investors anywhere near the flexibility of ETFs when it comes to investing in single countries, single sectors, industry groups, leveraged funds, etc.
  5. Lack of innovation. There hasn’t been much innovation in mutual funds these days. Since launching a new mutual fund is very expensive, and since the field is crowded already, fund companies have basically been stagnant in terms of new offerings. It’s the opposite situation for ETFs, where each year we see hundreds of new ETFs offering interesting ways to gain low-cost exposure to markets.
When it comes to ETFs vs. mutual funds, there really is no comparison for individual investors.

Are there problems with ETFs? Yes. The August mispricing incident did expose a flaw in the system during times of acute market stress. However, that incident should not be a sufficient reason to listen to the ETF naysayers -- and I especially don’t want you to make the mistake of buying into the anti-ETF PR from mutual fund advocates.


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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).
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
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.

I hope you’ll join me in living this dream each week, on the station, day and time near you.

Twain on Facts

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

-- Mark Twain

Although Twain’s humorous take on the tendency for humans to distort facts will likely make you smile, when it comes to your investments, looking facts straight in the eye, free of distortion, is a much better approach.

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 ETFs are a better investment than mutual funds. 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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