From the monthly archives:

December 2011

2011 Ends With A Whimper

by on December 31, 2011

Wall Street was fairly tame these last few trading days of the year as light volume trading and an uncertain economic backdrop gave way to a less-than-spectacular finale to one of the most volatile years in financial history. Amongst the major domestic equity indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was the only one to finish 2011 in positive territory; both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq posted minor losses on the year. Developed and emerging market equity indexes have endured a tougher year as risk-aversion has played a key role in funneling capital towards “safer” U.S. stocks. Despite recent headwinds, gold still came out on top in the end, clinching gains of 10% amidst a volatile trading year abundant with uncertainty. [click to continue…]

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The final week of trading in 2011 has shaped out be fairly tame relative to the volatile trading frenzy witnessed throughout the year. Looming debt woes on both sides of the Atlantic have paved the way for an uncertain economic backdrop that appears to be slowly spilling over into 2012. Amidst the turmoil, the ETF industry has experienced unprecedented growth as investors can now choose from over 1,400 different funds, including dozens upon dozens of unique offerings in virtually every asset class [see 25 Things Every Financial Advisor Should Know]. Given the string of positive economic data releases on the home front throughout the week, including improvements in consumer confidence and the housing market, many investors are looking to gain insights on how to favorably position their portfolios for the new year.

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Quant-Based ETFs In Focus

by on December 30, 2011 | Updated July 9, 2014

ETFs initially became popular with advisors and individual investors as tools for harnessing beta, allowing low cost ownership of broad equity markets through a vehicle that provided transparency, intraday liquidity, and potential tax efficiency to boot. The “first generation” of exchange-traded products were exclusively plain vanilla funds that targeted well known stock and bond benchmarks, […]

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Light trading volumes and sparse activity on the product development front are to be expected in the final week of what has shaped out to be one of the most volatile years in financial history. Industry giant iShares has laid down the groundwork for three actively-managed equity ETFs targeting popular broad market sectors [see Active […]

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Equity markets snapped back and recovered losses from yesterday as investors were in a cheerful buying mood following better-than-expected housing data on the home front. Wall Street started and ended the day in green territory with industrial stocks leading the way higher followed closely by financials, while utilities lagged behind as investors increased their risk […]

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Domestic equity markets staged a solid comeback today following yesterday’s dismal  sell-off. Better-than-expected housing market data bolstered markets higher on the second to last trading day of the year; the Dow Jones Industrial Average led the way higher, gaining 1.12% on the day, while the Nasdaq lagged behind, posting gains 0.90%. Upbeat economic data on […]

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Innovation has been a dominant theme in the ETF industry and this year, 2011, has shaped out to be perhaps the most exciting one yet. Growth is the other key ingredient for success and the exchange-traded universe has seen an abundance of new product launches; veteran issuers and newcomers alike have expanded their product lineups […]

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As the calendars prepare to flip forward, it appears as if 2011 will go down as a record-breaking year for the ETF industry on the product development front. More than 300 new ETPs began trading this year, shattering the previous record set in 2010. But despite the record size of the ETF lineup, it appears […]

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Traders sprang into risk-aversion mode as the Italian bond auction overseas rekindled worries and sparked a sell-off on Wall Street, ending the five day bull-run for domestic equity indexes. “A good test of the appetite for Italian debt will be tomorrow’s bond sales that have maturities past three years,” said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at […]

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Wednesday was a sour day for the markets are resurfacing Euro zone debt woes stemming from the latest Italian bond auction sparked a wave of risk-aversion as traders flocked to U.S. Treasuries and the dollar. The Nasdaq led the way lower, sinking 1.34% on the day, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average held its ground […]

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12 Rapid Fire ETF Ideas For 2012

by on December 28, 2011 | Updated December 12, 2012

For many investors, 2011 was an up-and-down year; risky assets came racing out of the gates, but a string of negative developments erased all of the early gains during a chaotic summer. Heading in to 2012, the outlook is mixed; there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the future, as well as some […]

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As the number of exchange-traded funds continues to multiply, investors have the ability to achieve increasingly granular exposure to narrow segments of the global economy. This development has worked out quite nicely for investors who utilize a “core and explore” strategy that calls for the bulk of exposure to be held in broad, plain vanilla […]

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