Stephen Simpson

Stephen D. Simpson, CFA is a former Wall St. sell-side analyst who currently spends most of his time writing about investments, business, and the economy. He has worked as an equity analyst for both sell-side and buy-side investment companies in both equities and fixed income, and been a freelance writer for ten years. Stephen's consulting work has focused primarily upon the healthcare sector, while he has also written extensively for publication on topics pertaining to investments, security analysis, and healthcare. Simpson operates the Kratisto Investing blog.

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Stephen Simpson

International investing has earned its place in portfolio construction, as both academic studies and real-world experience have supported the idea that investing outside the United States can improve returns and actually reduce risk and volatility. Investors have a wealth of choices when it comes to using ETFs for international exposure, as there are over 400 equity ETFs that focus on non-U.S. investments [Download How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time]. [click to continue…]

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Ultimate Guide To COBO

by on February 18, 2013

Bonds are an enormous investment category, but investors often have to accept one of two related drawbacks with fixed income investments. Bonds where repayment is not an issue (like U.S. government securities) offer very low yields, while higher-yielding bonds like corporate debentures offer significantly greater repayment risk. Covered bonds are something of a “middle ground,” offering a much more secure credit profile than corporates, but also higher yields than government securities. Now investors can take advantage of an ETF that focuses on these fixed income securities: the ProShares USD Covered Bond ETF (COBO, B) [see How To Pick The Right ETF Every Time]. [click to continue…]

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Imitation just may be the sincerest form of flattery, as any sufficiently profitable ETF idea seems to eventually attract clones. Competition is usually a good thing for investors, as it can drive expenses lower and incentivize fund sponsors and managers to deliver better and better service to investors. At the same time, though, competition can […]

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Ultimate Guide To TDIV

by on January 28, 2013

One of the common historical criticisms of tech stocks is that they by and large do not pay dividends. That has changed dramatically in recent years, as the blue chip tech stocks of the 1980s and 1990s have matured and accumulated more cash than they can effectively reinvest. With numerous tech stocks now offering dividends, […]

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Almost as soon as the confetti stopped falling on election night, the popular news media began focusing almost incessantly on the fiscal cliff that would occur on December 31 of 2012. A combination of tax cut expirations and automatic spending cuts, the fiscal cliff was created by Congress as an unacceptable outcome [see Visual History […]

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Emerging markets have long been popular investment destinations, as these countries generally offer considerably greater growth potential than more mature markets. Given the lack of emerging market listings on major U.S. exchanges and the difficulties of direct investments in many of these countries, ETFs have become a compelling means of achieving diversified exposure to these […]

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As an investment category, master limited partnerships (MLPs) have long been popular with investors who want to generate tax-advantaged income from their investments. These entities are generally built around natural resources (especially the transport of oil and/or gas), and in exchange for passing along a very high percentage of earnings to shareholders, they are given […]

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Real estate has long been a popular asset class as it tends to offer excellent long-term returns with relatively low correlation to equities and can also serve as a viable hedge against inflation. One of the best things about the expansion of the ETF universe is the extent to which it has spawned numerous vehicles for […]

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Fixed income securities have long been a major part of investor portfolios; corporate bonds in particular often hold a key role. In many cases investment-grade corporate bonds can have a “win-win” impact on portfolios, reducing overall volatility while also delivering income. Unfortunately, bonds have some attributes that make them less than ideal for many individual […]

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Gold ETFs have become exceptionally popular as these instruments mitigate many of the most pressing drawbacks to gold ownership – wide bid/ask spreads, physical storage needs, and convenient buying and selling options. Investors have more than a couple of choices within the gold ETF space, including choosing between bullion-oriented funds, futures-oriented funds, and funds which […]

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While the correlations of various asset classes have increased significantly over the past decade, emerging market investing is nevertheless likely here to stay. Even if foreign market returns are now more correlated with U.S. returns, the higher growth of emerging markets is still appealing in its own right. For investors looking for a convenient vehicle which […]

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Interest in commodity investments has boomed in recent years, and billions of dollars have poured into the space, most noticeably in the form of exchange-traded products. With so many choices out there, it’s well worth taking the time to highlight special cases that may offer investors unique opportunities; the United States Commodity Index Fund (USCI) […]

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