Showing posts from November, 2015

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Clearly, Not Everyone Is Getting Rich Off The Stock Market

Well, the NY Fed was out today with its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for Q4 2017. Clearly, Americans are in a lot of debt. Take a look.

Just a couple of quick hits from the report. Total U.S. household debt rose $193 billion in the 4th quarter, to a new all-time peak of $13.15 trillion. That's 17.9% above the most recent trough in Q2 2013. Broken down by segment, what do you suppose was the largest gain in percentage terms? Credit cards, with a 3.2% increase. In the picture above, the widening gap represented by the red arrows reflects the fact that non-housing debt is rising at a faster pace than housing debt.

Here's what's troubling about that. Below is a picture of the stock market, as represented by the S&P 500 index, over that same period; from the most recent credit trough in Q2 2013 to the end of 2017.

And thus, the title of this article. Over that period, the S&P 500 index rose by 75%; from roughly 1,600 to 2,800. Apparently, however, the r…

Spicing Up My ETF Portfolio With A Little Individuality

In response to some reader requests, I just finished up my latest article for Seeking Alpha. Here is a quick peek at my summary:

In a recent article, I explained my reasons for adding Wal-Mart to my ETF-anchored portfolio.I promised that, should that article prove popular, I would share my other individual stock holdings as well as my reasoning for their place in my portfolio.This article will discuss all 4 holdings in my portfolio at the time I made that promise, as well as one very recent addition.
If this sounds intriguing, here's a link to the article.

Author's Note: If you find my work valuable, I would be greatly indebted if you would take a minute to follow me on TwitterFacebook, and/or Google+. My goal is for my work to remain entirely free of cost to my readers, and growing my following such that I generate an increasing number of page views will hopefully allow me to keep it this way.

UPDATE: BlackRock Announces The Cheapest ETF Ever

In previous articles for both Seeking Alpha and this blog, I have analyzed the iShares Core S&P Total Market ETF (ITOT).

BlackRock, Inc. recently announced huge changes to this ETF, effective December 18, 2015. First, at least for a short time, it became the cheapest ETF ever offered to the public. Secondly, it will be tied to a much broader index going forward, one that in my view much more accurately reflects the total U.S. market.

In a new article for Seeking Alpha, I take an in-depth look at all of these changes. Particularly if you are a Fidelity Brokerage client, I encourage you to check out my analysis. If you have ignored ITOT in the past in favor of competing ETFs, this article may encourage you to take a second look.

Author's Note: If you find my work valuable, I would be greatly indebted if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. My goal is for my work to remain entirely free of cost to my readers, and growing my following such that I g…

Portfolio Rebalancing: 2 Approaches And A Practical Example

I recently wrote an article on the topic of portfolio rebalancing that was selected as an Editors' Pick On Seeking Alpha.

Here is an excerpt from the article:
. . . Much like the landscape around your home, your asset allocation needs regular maintenance. When you landscaped your home (or started a garden, as the case may be), you likely worked with design and installation professionals to pick exactly the right plants for each location depending on your climate zone, the correct sun/shade mix and similar factors. No doubt, it all looked absolutely spectacular upon completion. However, left untended, your landscape or garden will not look nearly as good even weeks later, not to mention a year or more. In fact, it might ultimately look so bad that it would be hard for an impartial observer to discern that there had ever been a design or plan. People with a scientific mind call this entropy, one definition of which is "a gradual decline into disorder." Your asset allocatio…