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MBB

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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Euphoria hit Wall Street as the Federal Reserve announced its third round of quantitative easing to bolster the sluggish economy. In the new “open-ended” plan, the central bank will buy $40 billion of mortgage debt each month and continue to purchase assets. Bernanke set no end date to this program, indicating that those purchases could be potentially extended if the labor market does not improve. In addition, the Fed also extended its existing “Operation Twist”, keeping short-term interest rates near zero until at least mid-2015. Despite investors’ relief, Bernanke was adamant that these unprecedented measures will not be the end all be all to our nation’s economic problems. Instead he states that “We’re not promising a cure to all these ills, but what we can do is provide some support.” And looking at today’s market response, it is clear that investors are seemingly satisfied with Ben’s response [see also ETF Plays To Heed Bill Gross' Warnings].  [click to continue…]

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Everyone is familiar with the SPDR S&P 500 Fund (SPY). SPY is by far the most popular ETF in the world, with nearly $100 billion in assets and an ADV around 150 million. Those numbers ensure that this is not only the largest ETF in the world, but one of the largest funds in the investing space. […]

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Last year was a good year for most asset classes, as investor portfolios continued to recover from the recent recession. The difference in performance between many comparable funds was significant, and many of the best performers of 2010 are relatively small funds that maintain considerably smaller asset bases than their more popular competitors. Below, we […]

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ETF Tax Efficiency Report Card

by on December 22, 2010 | Updated April 25, 2013

When rattling off the advantages that ETFs hold compared to traditional actively-managed mutual funds, most investors usually start with the issue of expenses. The easiest comparison to make involves expense ratios, the fees charged by ETF and mutual fund companies for investing in a product. Though some mutual funds offer single-digit expense ratios, most actively […]

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As investors have become more comfortable with the marriage of fixed income exposure and the ETF wrapper, billions of dollars have flowed into bond ETFs in recent years. Impressive innovation in the space has provided investors with more options than ever before, including enhanced granularity in virtually every corner of the fixed income market. Still, […]

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As the economy continues to flat-line, many investors have forsaken investments in the United States for higher growing economies in emerging nations around the world. Growth levels in many of these countries continue to impress–in excess of 8% in some instances–and are attracting significant amounts of capital away from developed markets which have struggled to […]

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After lingering in the background of the ETF industry for the last several years, fixed income funds have stepped up in recent months to become one of the primary drivers of growth. Through the first seven months of 2010, cash inflows to ETFs totaled $49 billion. Of this amount, more than $23 billion has been […]

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Five Critical Questions To Ask When Investing In ETFs

by on February 11, 2010 | Updated July 7, 2014

ETFs surged in popularity in the late 2000s in part because of the numerous advantages they offer over traditional actively-managed mutual funds: lower costs, potential tax efficiencies, intraday trading, and enhanced transparency. But ETFs aren’t without potential drawbacks of their own. Although most funds appear relatively simple on the surface, there are some rather complex […]

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Four Ways To Slash Your ETF Expenses

by on December 10, 2009 | Updated June 30, 2014

The reasons for the incredible rise of the ETF industry are numerous. Intra-day trading, enhanced transparency, and efficient tax features are all features that investors, individual and institutional alike, have embraced in record numbers. But perhaps the main reason why ETFs have attracted hundreds of billions of dollars in assets in recent years is the […]

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Due to the role they played in spawning the recent global financial crisis, mortgage-backed securities are viewed by many as “portfolio poison.” As individual and institutional investors looked to dump these securities last year, the federal government was “forced” to acquire a huge MBS position. With signs of a sustainable recovery popping up, the Fed […]

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Even the most vocal supporters of passive management and indexing have to admit that certain investor track records are far too stellar to attribute entirely to luck. While I’ve frequently disparaged the concept of active investing, I’m still eager to hear what trends legendary investors are following. The Wall Street Journal’s Gregory Zuckerman recently compiled some […]

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