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CXA

The month of May was a generally disappointing stretch for investors, as both international and domestic equity markets struggled to overcome obstacles new and old. Commodities, which had been a nice source of absolute returns for much of the last year, fell on hard times as well; precious metals went into a brief freefall, and most other natural resources saw price declines as well.

May demonstrated the importance of a meaningful allocation to fixed income within any long-term portfolio, as most bond ETFs turned in nice gains during the month. The following tables highlight the best performers from each ETFdb Category during the month of May [ETFdb Pro members can download spreadsheets showing performance and expense data for the entire ETF universe]. [click to continue…]

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In the past two weeks, many large U.S. corporations have posted solid earnings which has sparked optimism over an economic recovery. However, recent testimony from Fed Chair Ben Bernanke has weighed on the markets and has kept many investors fearful about the near future. In his testimony, Bernanke called the American economic outlook ‘unusually uncertain’ and said that several tools were being discussed in order to help boost the economy. This gloomy proposition left many certain that a double dip was around the corner which has placed an extremely heavy burden on the federal government in order to quickly revive the economy before the November elections while simultaneously keeping the ever-increasing budget deficits in check. As a way to cut back on this deficit while keeping the vast majority of the electorate satisfied, legislators are discussing the possibility of allowing the now infamous ‘Bush tax cuts’ to expire for taxpayers that have an income of $250,000 or more. If the cuts are allowed to expire, the top individual tax rate would raise from 35% to 39.4% next year and many investors could see increased rates on capital gains and dividends as well [see Three ETFs To Protect Against Rising Taxes]. [click to continue…]

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To many investors, last  month’s data release showing that core CPI declined in January for the first time in nearly 30 years was a welcome bit of news. The fact that inflation has yet to rear its head might extend the already prolonged period of low interest rates a bit further, as the Fed looks […]

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The reasons for the rise of the ETF industry are numerous: intraday liquidity, (potentially) superior tax efficiency, and enhanced transparency relative to traditional actively-managed mutual funds have all contributed to the billions of dollars of inflows that these funds have seen in recent years. But the real attraction for most ETF investors is the reduced […]

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Perhaps no area in the U.S. (with the possible exception of Michigan) has felt the pinch of the recession worse than the Golden State. California, the most populous state (home to eight of the country’s 50 largest cities) and third-largest by land area, has seen tax revenues plummet and unemployment skyrocket over the past 18 […]

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