Category Archives: ETF Insight Articles

Between Unimpressive & somewhat negative (Perspectives – January 2018)

Between Unimpressive & somewhat negative (David Lafferty, Chief Market Strategist, Natixis) - With that as backdrop in terms of outlook for bonds, the question is: Have we seen the full effect of the great rotation? Are 2017's generally stellar returns all attributable to rising profits and the beneficial effects of a synchronized and strengthening global economy?...

Bitcoin: I’ll give you Volatility (TWTW – Dec 18-22, 2017)

Bitcoin: I'll give you Volatility -  Remember how, until Bitcoin started grabbing all the headlines a few months ago, it was all "Trump tweeted this ...", "Trump tweeted that..."?At the time, Bitcoin short-circuiting the Prez's endless stream of Tweets was welcome ... Now ... not so sure anymore... To top it all off, Bitcoin ETFs are...

Rationale Exuberance (TWTW – Dec 11-15, 2017)

Rationale Exuberance - David Kostin, Chief U.S. Equity strategist at Goldman Sachs,  describing the stock market recently, in a tongue in cheek reference to the famous Alan Greenspan 1996 warning against Irrational Exuberance ... The fact that the bullmarket we're in has repeatedly been described as the most hated in history has kept animal spirits -...

2018 – True Normalization?

2018 - True Normalization? -  With one more 2017 rate hike expected from the US Federal Reserve this Wednesday, market participants' attention is shifting to thinking about 2018, and the pace of FED hikes for the year ahead. Will it be 4 hikes as "telegraphed" by the FED itself, or something closer to what markets...

2018 – Onward & Upward? (Perspectives – December 2017)

2018 - Onward & Upward? 2017 will by then have gone down as the year when volatility didn't return, Bitcoin rocketed upward, "Normalization" took hold, the economic recovery turned Global and synchronized, and ... seemingly no matter what the headlines, stocks rose ... (Notice how I didn't mention a certain prominent US political figure here ...) The...

Energy Czar (TWTW – Nov 20-24, 2017)

Energy Czar - OPEC meets in Vienna this coming Thursday, with expectations revolving around whether or not production cuts will be extended to possibly as far out as the end of 2018 ... This may well be the case, in as much as both the Saudis, and the Russians need high oil prices - with...

Sid the Kid, Part Deux … Worthy yet?

Bottom line - call it high conviction, call it higher octane, call it higher FANG content ... (and thus maybe potentially harmful to your financial health? although I only see Netflix listed amongst holdings) ... BUT for the moment ... whatever you call it, SID is doing what it's supposed to. In Sid the Kid part...

Innnnsane growth: What ETFs are leading AUM growth in 2017?

These areas are where some of the heavy lifting of ETF growth in Canada is taking place amongst the Top Tier providers: "Core" ultra low cost; CAD unhedged (amongst which HY exposure); EM; Active Prefs; and TR, with, finally a "legalization" play (HMMJ) somewhat of a surprise ... Would I have thought through CAD 200MM? Nope. Is it there? Yep......

New Entrants beware …

ETFs in Canada continue to grow rapidly - but still of a relatively smaller base, relative to the Mutual Funds industry ... Year-to-date, Aggregate Industry Assets look to have risen by some 24.7%, with additional entrants injecting additional ideas, innovations, and wrinkles onto what already occupied the ETF shelves. Think some of the thematic ones launched...

Power … Consolidation? Grab? (TWTW – Nov 6-10, 2017)

Power ... Consolidation? Grab? When all headlines pointed North Korea's way, all of a sudden, Saudi Arabia grabbed them... Now, following a purge instituted by new ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the question, whether we are looking a consolidation or grab, is what are the implication for the region, as rising tensions including with...

All Treats, no Tricks (Perspectives – November 2017)

All Treats, no Tricks - Wrapping up what is considered a dangerous month for equity markets historically (to wit, we marked the 30th anniversary of Black Monday on Oct 19), the glaring disconnect for Oct 2017, is that a) market volatility remains extremely well behaved, and more importantly for investors b) market performance has further...

Nothing in Return (TWTW – Oct 23-27, 2017)

Nothing in Return - Also known as "Winner Takes all" in Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland parlance", is what the US has in mind when in comes to the current NAFTA re-negotiations ... That angle has been confirmed by US  Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a CNBC interview in which he stated "But...

Really Like Her (TWTW – Oct 16-20, 2017)

Really Like Her - President Trump, commenting on FED Chair Janet Yellen, who remains in the running as far as candidates for the position when her current term ends in Feb 2018. Other candidates favored by the President: Jerome Powell, and John Taylor. The decision should be forthcoming shortly, with possibly far reaching implications, seeing that...

Moron (?) in Chief? (TWTW – Oct 2-6, 2017)

Moron (?) in Chief? As the Donald's administration slaps on yet another duty on Bombardier C Series aircraft - sending troubling signals in the direction of NAFTA negotiators - the Commander in Chief's Commerce Secretary defended himself last week against rumors he'd use the M word to describe the current occupant of the White House...

30th Anniversary … (Perspectives – October 2017)

30th Anniversary ... October 19th will mark the 30th Anniversary of Black Monday ... Remarkably, markets these days appear - if not blissfully unaware of any and all manners of problems, risks and challenges - then certainly willing to overlook them. Will that change as the FED continues on its normalization path? September saw the...

Allegiance … (TWTW – Sept 25-29, 2017)

Allegiance ... - There seems to be no boundaries as far as what the Donald's Tweets might go after ... With one more controversy involving NFL players taking a knee ahead of their games ... Thankfully, owners, smarter than the leader in chief, are displaying the right attitude: Respect. As for the Donald, well, according to...

Tantrums no more? (TWTW – Sept 18-22, 2017)

Tantrums no more? And much as earlier guided toward, the FED's latest pronouncements at the conclusion of their most recent FOMC meeting pointed to another quarter point hike in 2017, and the onset of the FED's balance sheet unwind - beginning in October. That, and oh, the dot plot of what to expect in terms...

Lala borrows page from Seif’s playbook – launches HERS and CYBR

Q: How do you connect with end Investors and their Advisors? A: By delivering relevant investment solutions to them, with ready access, and easy to grasp investment rationales / fundamental attributes to speak to. Q: How do you overcome the psychological hurdle for Advisors related to their fear of being disintermediated by the ETF value proposition, respectively...

“Surprise” Stephen … (TWTW – Sept 4-8, 2017)

"Surprise" Stephen ... Well, one thing is for certain, markets didn't see Stephen Poloz coming with his second 25bps hike, delivered this week. The consensus was - later aka October, likely - but September, nope, et pourtant - a second BoC hike materialized... CAD surged, and meanwhile, the odds of a further hike by year...

Seasonal Glitch? (Perspectives – September 2017)

Seasonal Glitch? Aside from the fact that September and October have generally proved plenty challenging to markets, we now have to contend with a continuing escalation of both rethoric, as well as provocative acts on the part of North Korea ... Markets, which to this point, have been rather resilient and seemingly immune to politics,...

Probable Termination (TWTW – Aug 21-25, 2017)

Probable Termination - President Trump - at his finest "posturing" - this time with regards to #NAFTA, the renegotiations of which, naturally - MUST produce for him a tremendous SUCCESS ... Hence his uttering the notion the agreement will probably have to be terminated as he otherwise doubts renegotiations will yield that for him ... Latest...

Alt Trump (TWTW – Aug 14-18, 2017)

Alt Trump -  It's getting lonely on planet Trump, no matter what the luxurious trappings. And consistently succeeding in alienating one and all has got to have its drawbacks. In terms of additional fireworks on the way to getting even more folks upset, respectively even less accomplished overall (?) - enter NAFTA re-negotiations - The...

Fire and Fury (TWTW – Aug 7-11, 2017)

Fire and Fury - Locked and Loaded ... the rhetoric heated up significantly this past week, with President Trump signalling he wouldn't tolerate North Korea making threats against US territory.  Not to be outdone (do we really need that? isn't one potentially trigger happy leader enough?), North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un responded by threatening...

Divergence (TWTW – Jul 31-Aug 4, 2017)

Divergence - While the Dow crossed the 22,000 level last week, Transports struggle, and as noted by pundits, many companies beating earnings and even guiding higher for 2017 aren't being "rewarded" by the market post "beat". A change of "fortunes" going forward? July Payrolls beat as well, and unemployment dipped to 4.3%. Room for further...

Red Line? (TWTW – July 24-28, 2017)

Red Line? North Korea's continued defiance of the US - via a second ICBM launch test on Friday - is probably the last thing the US Administration needs after an overwhelming week on the Washington dysfunction front ... Skinny Healthcare: defeated, courtesy Senator John McCain striking the final blow to it; Trump's new communications director: went...

Sid the Kid? SID could grow nicely … Will it?

Bottom line: SID's methodology - underpinned by a systematically applied Technical Analysis methodology - looks to deliver in an ETF format, a disciplined, and risk controlled means of accessing returns which on a historical basis - had the strategy been "live", in an ETF over the last decade - would be deemed rather enviable -...

Sweet #MAGA (TWTW – July 17-21, 2017)

Sweet #MAGA - Or ... Sweet Nothing, which seems to be what the Administration has accomplished thus far on numerous fronts... Oh well, at least a weaker USD provides a window for the FED to continue to hike rates, even if Janet Yellen remains a perma Dove, and US stocks continue to do rather well,...

Mid-July Flows: Summer lulls …

Hardly anything to report as at mid-month, as far as inflows, respectively market impact, both of which are considered rather modest in relation to June 30, 2017 AUM levels. Likely the pause that refreshes as it were, with plenty of action on the way, presumably, for back to school......

10 ETFs I’d get rid of …

10 ETFs I'd get rid of ... and no, I don't own any of them ... While product proliferation and expansion in the ranks of ETFs Providers is the order of the day and likely to continue to be at the forefront for some time to come, last week's announcement by iShares of some ETF terminations...

Suppressing Decoherence (TWTW – July 10-14, 2017)

Suppressing Decoherence - A Quantum Computing concept that capture well the essence of what Central Bankers face going forward as they push ahead with a long overdue normalization ... Getting out from under the massive damage inflicted by the 2008/2009 Global Financial crisis has proven no small feat, and any glitches from here could...