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Showing posts from 2017

Added A Little General Electric To The ETF Monkey Core Monthly Dividend Portfolio

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In February, 2017, I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha entitled A Dividend Portfolio Built From The World's Best Dividend ETFs. I later expanded on the work I did in a second article, entitled 20 Top Stocks For A Monthly Dividend Portfolio. In this article, I expanded the original portfolio of 12 stocks to 20, with the specific goal of adding companies that, together, generated at least some level of income for the portfolio each and every month.

At the end of that second article, I revealed that I had "put my money where my mouth is," selling all my holdings in 4 dividend-focused ETFs and replacing them with the 20 stocks listed in the article, as well as two "bonus" stocks. I implemented all of this on July 20, 2017.

This morning, I added a few additional shares of General Electric (GE) to the portfolio.


My original position was purchased at $26.77 per share. Since that time, the share price has continued to decline, allowing me to pick up a small a…

Added A Little Starbucks to The ETF Monkey Core Monthly Dividend Portfolio

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In February, 2017, I wrote an article for Seeking Alpha entitled A Dividend Portfolio Built From The World's Best Dividend ETFs. I later expanded on the work I did in a second article, entitled 20 Top Stocks For A Monthly Dividend Portfolio. In this article, I expanded the original portfolio of 12 stocks to 20, with the specific goal of adding companies that, together, generated at least some level of income for the portfolio each and every month.

At the end of that second article, I revealed that I had "put my money where my mouth is," selling all my holdings in 4 dividend-focused ETFs and replacing them with the 20 stocks listed in the article, as well as two "bonus" stocks. I implemented all of this on July 20, 2017.

This morning, I added additional shares to one of the holdings for the first time. That holding is Starbucks (SBUX).


In brief, my original position was purchased at $58.12 per share. This price represented a decline of almost exactly 10% from th…

Synchrony Bank Raises Rates - A Great Day For Savers!

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Great news for online savers! Synchrony Bank, which at 1.05% already sported one of the most competitive interest rates for an online savings account, announced today that, effective 6/1/17, the rate is being raised to 1.15%.


Now, this is nothing earthshaking. It's one-tenth of one percent. However, this is the first time in years that I have seen one of the online banks actually raise their interest rate. A little research appears to reveal that competitor Ally Bank has also raised their rates. Their website appears to show their rate as 1.05% effective 6/1/17, as opposed to the previous long-standing rate of 1.00%. Another major competitor, Capital One, appears to be falling further and further behind, with their rate remaining at a comparatively paltry .75%.

Since the financial meltdown of 2007-2009, one of the groups that has suffered the most are small savers. While the stock market has soared, benefiting those fortunate enough to have both the money to invest as well as the…

ACTION ALERT: Added A Little T & VZ This Morning

Based on the principles I outline in this article, I added a small amount of AT&T and Verizon to the portfolio this morning.

My personal portfolio hit a recent high on March 17. This morning, I ran my personal report and evaluated the respective weightings of T & VZ as of 3/17 vs. this morning. Due to some recent uncertainty in the case of both companies, and a soft quarterly report from Verizon, their prices have softened and their relative weightings had slipped compared to the overall markets. I just thought it was a nice opportunity to pick up some dividends in the 5% range.

Worried About A Market Downturn? Protect Yourself With This ETF

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Play Defense With This 7-ETF Portfolio

The U.S stock market has had a great run. Let me give you just a couple of numbers to ponder. On March 1, 2017, the S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high of 2,395.96. That represented a 254% gain from its close of 676.53 at the low point of the bear market on March 9, 2009. Alternatively, viewed from a more recent perspective, it also represented a 31% gain from its most recent low close of 1,829.08 back on February 11, 2016.

Given all of this, investors may rightly be concerned with finding a good balance between maintaining some exposure to the possibility for gains while at the same time ensuring at least a reasonable level of capital preservation. After all, if the markets experience a sudden, sharp selloff, paying attention to this now may help to allay investors’ fears while also preserving capital to take advantage of subsequent market recoveries.

With all of this in mind, I decided to write a brief post for my friends over at Whotrades.com featuring a 7-ETF …

3 Best High Dividend Yield ETFs

Once you have established the core of your portfolio with a world-class total U.S. market or S&P 500 ETF, you may wish to add one or more ETFs that focus on dividend-paying stocks.

Broadly speaking, these fall into two categories: 1). High Dividend Yield and, 2). Dividend Growth. As can quickly be surmised, the priority for the first type is to select stocks that pay a high current dividend yield while the second type focuses on stocks that, while perhaps not currently paying as high a yield, are judged to have excellent prospects of growing that yield over time.

In this article I wrote for Seeking Alpha, I review what I consider to be your 3 best choices for high dividend yield.

Enjoy!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, as well as feature my work to friends, colleagues and/or relatives who may be interested in the subject matter. Growing one's rea…

3 Best Dividend Growth ETFs

Once you have established the core of your portfolio with a world-class total U.S. market or S&P 500 ETF, you may wish to add one or more ETFs that focus on dividend-paying stocks.

Broadly speaking, these fall into two categories: 1). High Dividend Yield and, 2). Dividend Growth. As can quickly be surmised, the priority for the first type is to select stocks that pay a high current dividend yield while the second type focuses on stocks that, while perhaps not currently paying as high a yield, are judged to have excellent prospects of growing that yield over time.

In this article I wrote for Seeking Alpha, I review what I consider to be your 3 best choices for dividend growth.

Enjoy!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, as well as feature my work to friends, colleagues and/or relatives who may be interested in the subject matter. Growing one's readers…

3 Best S&P 500 ETFs

The S&P 500 index holds a special place in stock market lore and history. It is widely regarded as the most accurate gauge of the performance of large-cap American equities. While it focuses on the large-cap sector, it includes a significant portion of the total value of the market. It is perceived as more representative of the market than the Dow Jones Industrial Average because it is made up of 500 companies, compared to the DJIA's 30. 
In this article I wrote for Seeking Alpha, I review what I consider to be your 3 best choices in this sector. What makes this article a little special is that one of these is the very first ETF.

Enjoy!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, as well as feature my work to friends, colleagues and/or relatives who may be interested in the subject matter. Growing one's readership base is critical to any author and I…

3 Best International Emerging Market ETFs

In a previous 'ETF Monkey Focus' article, I explained why there are good reasons to include exposure to foreign, or international, markets in your portfolio. Two key reasons are potential for growth and diversification. That article featured 3 international total market ETFs, which basically package exposure to all markets outside the U.S in a single ETF.

However, countries outside the U.S. are actually broken down into two categories; developed markets and emerging markets. 

In this article I wrote for Seeking Alpha, I review what I consider to be your 3 best choices for investing in emerging markets.

Enjoy!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, as well as feature my work to friends, colleagues and/or relatives who may be interested in the subject matter. Growing one's readership base is critical to any author and I am no exception. Your support wi…

3 Best International Developed Market ETFs

In a previous 'ETF Monkey Focus' article, I explained why there are good reasons to include exposure to foreign, or international, markets in your portfolio. Two key reasons are potential for growth and diversification. That article featured 3 international total market ETFs, which basically package exposure to all markets outside the U.S in a single ETF.

However, countries outside the U.S. are actually broken down into two categories; developed markets and emerging markets. 

In this article I wrote for Seeking Alpha, I review what I consider to be your 3 best choices for investing in developed markets.

Enjoy!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, as well as feature my work to friends, colleagues and/or relatives who may be interested in the subject matter. Growing one's readership base is critical to any author and I am no exception. Your support w…

3 Best International Total Market ETFs

As I feature in this educational article from my personal blog, there are good reasons to include exposure to foreign, or international, markets in your portfolio. Two key reasons are potential for growth and diversification.

In this article I wrote for Seeking Alpha, I review what I consider to be your 3 best choices in this sector.

Enjoy!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, as well as feature my work to friends, colleagues and/or relatives who may be interested in the subject matter. Growing one's readership base is critical to any author and I am no exception. Your support will enable me to continue my efforts.

4 Best Total U.S. Bond Market ETFs

Since the two broadest asset classes are stocks and bonds, a well-diversified portfolio does well to add as one of its core ETFs a first-rate U.S. Total Bond Market ETF.

In this article I wrote for Seeking Alpha, I review what I consider to be your 4 best choices in this sector. I pick 3 winners, and one runner-up.

Enjoy!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, as well as feature my work to friends, colleagues and/or relatives who may be interested in the subject matter. Growing one's readership base is critical to any author and I am no exception. Your support will enable me to continue my efforts.

3 Best Total U.S. Market ETFs

For most U.S. investors, the first ETF you add to your portfolio should be a top-quality U.S. total stock market ETF. As opposed to the S&P 500, which is comprised solely of large companies (large-cap), the landscape covered by these ETFs also encompasses many smaller companies (mid-cap, small-cap, and even micro-cap). Such companies, while offering a higher level of risk than their larger brethren, also offer greater opportunities for growth.

In this article I wrote for Seeking Alpha, I review what I consider to be your 3 best choices in this sector, with comments on 2 additional ETFs as a bonus.

Enjoy!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+, as well as feature my work to friends, colleagues and/or relatives who may be interested in the subject matter. Growing one's readership base is critical to any author and I am no exception. Your support will enable …

Position Your Portfolio For The Remainder Of 2017

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If you have been heavily invested in U.S. stocks, likely your portfolio has performed extremely well of late, particularly since Donald Trump's surprising win in the presidential election. Following an initial overnight drop in futures in the early-morning hours on November 9, the markets rocketed upwards once they opened and, more or less, have not stopped since. At their closing prices on March 31, the Dow was up 12.7%, the S&P 500 up 10.4% and the Nasdaq up a whopping 13.8% from their respective closing prices on November 8, 2016.

At the same time, while the Nasdaq managed a small gain in March, both the Dow and S&P 500 actually declined slightly for the month. Several market commentators have discussed the stretched valuations in U.S. stocks. Additionally, a combination of increased utilization of technology, aging populations in the developed world, and the rise of globalization point to a high probability of muted returns for the remainder of the year, and indeed pos…

On Warren Buffett, ETFs, And The Democratization Of Investing

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I’m an average guy. When I travel to New York City, I stay at the Affinia Shelburne in Murray Hill. I usually pick up breakfast at the bagel shop just down the street, or the Pret A Manger at 41st and Lex. Maybe I’ll grab a little lunch at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. And the last time I visited, I had a great $12 bowl of Tokyo Chicken at Momosan Ramen & Sake, Chef Morimoto’s cool ramen bar at 342 Lexington.

I’ve never been able to stay at the Plaza Hotel, nor have dinner at Per Se or Masa. As I say, I’m an average guy. Not poor, by any means. But not so wealthy that I can consistently engage in pursuits where money is no object.
Perhaps that is why a particular point that Warren Buffett made in his 2016 Shareholder Letter, and the way he explained it, really caught my attention. You see, for about two years now, I have been writing on the topic of ETFs. As I have done so, I have focused on the issue of cost; of keeping your expenses low and putting as much a…

Let's Be Careful Out There

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You may remember that classic line from the series Hill Street Blues. Each morning, as he concluded his morning briefing, Sargeant Phil Esterhaus reminded his officers of the importance of staying alert and being careful.


This may be very timely advice for investors as well. I got to thinking about this as the market closed today. Why? Because, as of today's close my personal portfolio is at an all-time high. That in and of itself is not unusual. U.S. market averages are also at all-time highs. In fact, the Dow just posted its 9th straight record close.

What is a little unusual is that I have now achieved new all-time highs for 10 straight days. And what THAT means is that there is an unusually low amount of volatility in the market.

Think about it for a minute. Would you agree that there is currently what can only be described as a higher-than-normal level of volatility in the world? Might you even go so far to describe it as fear and uncertainty? Normally, …

ETF Monkey And The Fiduciary Rule

Earlier today, President Trump signed an executive order delaying the implementation of the fiduciary rule, an Obama-era Labor Department rule that requires brokers to act in a client’s best interest, rather than seek the highest profits for themselves, when providing retirement advice.

While the merits of this rule are a subject of fierce debate, anyone interested in saving and investing towards their retirement has a vested interest in this topic.

What does all of this have to do with me? For a little over a year-and-a-half, I have been writing using the pseudonym ETF Monkey. In this blog post I wrote for WhoTrades.com, I offer a few thoughts regarding my own work, and what I believe to be the benefits I offer readers whichever way things shake out with respect to future implementation of the fiduciary rule.

I hope you enjoy it.

ETF Monkey Focus Series Update: 24 ETFs Now Covered

With my latest article on dividend-growth ETFs, I have now covered a total of 24 ETFs in the ETF Monkey Focus series on Seeking Alpha.

For an updated list of all 24 ETFs and their related articles, feel free to take a look at the handy index I provide right here on my blog.

If you like my work, be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+ to receive the latest updates as they happen.

Trumping Trump's Trump Of The Trumped-Up Trump Trade

It is certainly an interesting world that we live in.

As some of my readers know, I am a contributor on the Seeking Alpha website. As such, I receive daily emails featuring the top articles being featured for the day.

One of the titles in particular jumped out at me this morning. The title was: Did Trump Just Kill The Trump Trade? For whatever reason, it stopped me in my tracks, pondering the question of how many articles I have seen attempting to make more and more use of Trump's name in the title.

Now, not all of them are attention-grabbing in nature. Some flow very naturally, like another one I recently came across: Trump's Comments Send The Dollar Reeling. OK, reasonable enough. But several others along the way have struck me as nothing more than blatant attempts to work Trump's name into the title.

In a spirit of full disclosure, I did it myself on two articles I wrote this past November;  Trump's Deplorable Effects On The ETF Monkey Portfolios and The Trump Reset…

The 5 Best ETFs For Investors In 2017

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As 2016 drew to a close, I was busily working both on encouraging millennials to make investing their New Year's Resolution, as well as on the ETF Monkey Focus series of articles. To-date, I have reviewed no less than 21 ETFs in this series, all of them with expense ratios of .19% or less. I hope to continue adding to this series on approximately a weekly basis until I have reviewed somewhere in the area of 100 ETFs.

Along the way, however, a couple of readers asked me to do a quick article suggesting some great ETFs to own going into 2017. I thought I would oblige, so spent a little time doing some research. Here is the resulting article.
Readers must be loving it. Although, as I write this, the article has only been online for 11 days, it is already my top-read article of the last year. The last year!
Thanks to every one of my readers!

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Authors Note: If you like my work, I would be profoundly grateful if you would take a minute to follow me on Twitter, Facebook,…

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Goldman Sachs -- Isn't It Ironic?