Juggling With Knives: Profits, protection and planning for volatility in stocks, bonds, real estate, and real life.
This website is based on my book, Juggling with Knives. Both the book and website are about volatility in everything from stocks and bonds to real estate, and real life topics such as jobs and education.
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My fifth pick for my new Perfect 5 ETF portfolio: iShares Emerging Markets (EEM) but with a caveat or two
I’m illustrating this post on adding the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) with a Chinese flag because that’s what you get (China) with this “diversified” emerging markets ETF. 10 of the first 20 stocks, ranked by percentage of the portfolio each holding makes up, is a Chinese company.read more
Now we get to a really, really hard pick. It’s so hard because our rules, assumptions, and portfolio allocations for fixed income assets is so heavily influenced by a fifteen year period that’s now over. Done with. Gone.read more
For my third pick for my new Perfect 5 ETF Active Passive Portfolio I looked to fill the Commodities slot in the portfolio with an ETF that would provide a hedge for the portfolio if the market tumbled but that would also produce a positive return if the market didn’t fall but other recent trends continued. The pick that achieves those two goals is the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD)read more
For my second pick for my new actively allocated, passive ETF portfolio, I’m going to keep working on the equity core. To yesterday’s pick of the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV), today I’m adding the SPDR Euro Stoxx 50 ETF (FEZ). This ETF concentrates on European blue chip stocks and tracks the Stoxx 50 Net Return Index. This ETF will fill the Non-U.S. Developed Markets slot in the portfolio. Why a European stock fund?read more
Let’s start with the core of any ETF portfolio for a U.S.-based investor: U.S. equities. But what’s the choice for the next, say, six months? In 2017 the major indexes have taken turns leading the pack.read more
Why a portfolio of “passive” ETFs requires active management by you–announcing my new ETF portfolio to do just that
Can I clear up one bit of confusion? ETFs are indeed passively managed investment vehicles. Their portfolios passively follow indexes rather than allocating money into the picks of a fund manager. But portfolios of ETFs put together by investors aren’t–and indeed can’t be–passively managed. And that’s why, this week, I’m launching my new Perfect 5 Active Passive ETF portfolio.read more
U.S. oil producers have hedged more of their oil production in the last two weeks than in the last four to five months. In August a sample of 43 large and small U.S. producers had hedged just 23% of 2018 production. But now with West Texas Intermediate back above $52 a barrel (the U.S. crude benchmark was at $52.06 at 3:49 p.m. New York time today), producers have rushed to finish hedging 2017 production, and the bulk of their 2018 production, and started to establish hedges for 2019.read more
Another day, another vacancy on the Federal Reserve for President Donald Trump to fill. That adds previous three vacancies on the seven-member board of governors. The seat for the vice chair in charge of financial supervision is empty, although Trump has nominated Randal Quarles for the slot. The slot for governor for community banking is vacant and the administration hasn’t sent a name to Congress for confirmation. A third governor’s position is also open.And then, of course, there’s the big vacancy that will occur when the term of current Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen ends on February 3. (Although Yellen’s term as a Fed governor doesn’t expire until 2024.) The four open seats–plus the end of Yellen’s term as chair–give Trump an extraordinary opportunity to shape the Fed–and policy at the world’s most powerful central bank.read more
By this time you’re certainly aware that volatility in the U.S. stock market is near record lows. (It’a actually below record lows when you recalibrate the VIX for revisions to that index.) But the lack of volatility in the bond market may have escaped your attention. It’s even more pronounced than the lows in the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX.)read more
Today it’s JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon telling a conference in Paris that the unwinding of central bank bond-buying programs is an unprecedented challenge that may be more disruptive than people think. Tomorrow (and Thursday) it’s Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen giving Congress some clue (maybe) on when the Fed will begin to reduce its $4.5 trillion portfolio of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt instruments.read more