Exchange Traded Funds Primer
Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are a group of passive index funds that trade on an exchange like an individual stock. At the time of writing there are 162 ETFs with $220 billion in assets under management trading on U.S. exchanges.
ETFs hold a basket of securities that mimic the results of various indices including broad stock and bond market, industry sectors, and international securities. New niche funds are being created regularly. Recent introductions include gold and China funds, and there are rumors that a silver ETF will soon be available.
The most popular ETF is the NASDAQ 100 Tracking Stock (QQQQ) trading 50 million shares a day on the NASDAQ Stock Market. The volume leaders on the American Stock Exchange are the SPDRS (SPY) tracking the S&P 500 trading 25 million shares per day, the Energy SPDR (XLE), Japan iShares (EWJ), Russell 2000 iShares (IWM), and the Financial SPDR (XLF).
ETFs are widely used by institutional and individual investors as a tool for diversification, risk reduction, hedging, and an efficient way to acquire a basket of securities providing partial ownership in all holdings with only a single commission and small administration fees. ETFs are also transparent, meaning that investors know at all times what securities they are invested in.
There are now also options and futures contracts trading on of ETFs. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) lists 43 options on ETFs, while the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) offers futures contracts on the S&P 500 Depository Receipts, NASDAQ 100 Tracking Stock, and Russell 2000 Index Fund. And One Chicago, a joint venture between the CBOE, CME, and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), offers an electronically traded futures contract on the DIAMONDS Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF.
There are also a number of web sites offering information on Exchange Traded Funds. Check out Amex.com, Yahoo! Finance's ETF Center, ETFConnect, or ETFera.com. Meanwhile, investment research firm Morningstar compares the fair value estimates to market prices of exchange traded funds holdings to determine whether a fund is over or undervalued.
Exchange Traded Fund's low costs, liquidity, and diversification make them an excellent alternative to mutual funds, broad based index investments, and individual stocks in niche sectors.
Mark Mahorney is the owner of Cofishop Media Group located in Keystone, CO. Cofishop is a diverse marketing services organization and online content syndicator of a suite of financial sites. Mark has been a contributing author to The Motley Fool and published in numerous leading financial publications.
Mark inks The Market Speculator newsletter, a hedged approach to market profits for individual investors. You can also read his scrawls, scribbles, rambles, and rants on the markets and whatever other ilk gets his ire at BlogginWallStreet.com and Marketblog.com.
No Load Mutual Funds or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)?
If you are fed up with early redemption charges and ever increasing mutual fund management fees on top of bad-performing fund managers, read on. There is a quiet revolution going on in the no-load mutual fund industry and you, the individual investor, may benefit from it greatly.
Laws and Efficiencies and Theories of Diminishing Returns
The basis of diminishing return discussions surround such simple notions; that when you have a very fast aircraft, you also have coefficients of drag issues. When you are building a quarter mile car and want to go faster you must realize that for every tenth of a second you need to lose 100 lbs., but to go faster you also need more power, thus the problem in Einstein's theory of the threshold of speed being that of the speed of light. In aviation there is a hyperbolic curve with coefficients of drag that makes aircraft design nearly obsolete when dealing within the boundaries of the atmosphere with the relationships of time, speed and distance equations.
The Next Bull Market
We are already in it, but you can't see it. It doesn't look like the one we had in '99. Like the magician who has you watching what he wants you to and with the other hand he is doing something else that is what is happening in the stock market today. The magician is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq or the S&P500 Index. These have John Q. Public mesmerized.
You Wont Like This
Why? Because I am going to shatter your conventional wisdom as I have many times in previous columns about the lies that Wall Street continues to tell you. This time we are going to go deeper into the economy to unearth the truth about lies the politicians are telling you.
Race Horses and Mutual Funds
For years investors have been taught to lookinto the composition of a mutual funds. In otherwords the "experts" want you to take the time toanalyze the stocks within the mutual fundportfolio, categorize them by industry group andtry to understand the objective of the fundmanager. This is nonsense.
Mid-Cap Stocks: Asset Class with an Identity Crisis
Much like the middle child, mid-cap stocks have long struggled to find their identity. Carved out from the upper echelons of the small caps and the lower end of the large caps, the mid-cap sector has a rough definition of stock with a market capitalization of greater than $2 billion, but less than $10 billion. Taking components from both worlds, some analysts argue that mid-cap stocks can offer growth opportunities found in the small caps and the relative stability found in the large caps.
Oil Stocks As A Long Term Investment
The demand for world oil is increasing while world reserves are decreasing. This is a known fact. The current price of oil can certainly confirm this statement. Consensus also agrees that we will never see $25.00 oil again. The logical conclusion to our above statement is oil stocks should be a good long term investment. However, the location of the oil companies' reserves can affect their bottom line and valuation.
Struggling Stocks, Booming Commodities
First let's see what protectionism is. According to Mr. Webster it is the advocacy, system, or theory of protecting domestic producers by impeding or limiting, as by tariffs or quotas, the importation of foreign goods and services.
Mutual Funds: The Modern Den of Thieves!
Mutual funds were created with the idea that one person can specialize and manage the investments of a large pool of money from multiple investors. Before the great depression mutual funds were called investment pools and mutual fund managers were called pool operators. The bull market of the 1920's created a time of economic prosperity akin to the 1990s. The conceptualization of the pyramid scheme occurred at this time as well.
As I said in Part I everyone in the insane asylum looks normal, but at least the doctors are sane. Unfortunately, in the insane asylum known as the stock market all the doctors (brokers) are also insane.
Big Buildings Can Mean Big Economic Disaster
AS BUILDERS BEGIN WORK ON THE FREEDOM TOWER in New York City, to be the world's tallest building, economist Mark Thornton offers a history-based theory of the relation between super-buildings and the economy. Thornton surveyed economic performance worldwide following the completion of each of the world's tallest skyscrapers, and suggests what these events foretell.
Box Of Chocolates
Ever have one of those sample boxes of candy? Each little piece is beautifully wrapped in colorful foil or decorated with an interesting design. Taste just one. So good! One more. And another. Before you know it the box is empty. Nothing left.
Managing Investing and Stock Market Risks
Reduce your investing and stock market risks by:
Again With the Bubbles?
A few years back ? it seems like an eternity today ? the U.S. stock market experienced a severe bubble burst. Legitimate stocks rose beyond reasonable valuations and ideas merely in the germination stage sold for prices far beyond those of real proven companies. When the bubble burst, billions of dollars of shareholder value evaporated. One would have thought we'd learned our lesson.
Understanding a Stocks PEG Ratio
A PEG ratio cannot be used alone but is a very powerful tool when integrated with the basics (price, volume and chart reading). You must enjoy crunching numbers and have a calculator handy to estimate your own PEG ratio. Access to quality statistical information from the web such as past earnings and future earning estimates is essential to calculate this fundamental indicator. A variety of websites produce a PEG ratio but I have not found one site that has a reliable PEG ratio that I can use for my own research, so I calculate it myself, ensuring accuracy with the final number.
VooDoo Training For the Stock Market
If you go to Haiti or other places in the Caribbean you may run into the Voodoo tradition of magic. There are long and mostly noisy rituals with the medicine man spouting words that bring great power and conjure up whatever it is the supplicant desires. Great amounts of smoke and mirrors.
12 Basic Stock Investing Rules Every Successful Investor Should Follow
There are many important things you need to know to trade and invest successfully in the stock market or any other market. 12 of the most important things that I can share with you based on many years of trading experience are enumerated below.
The Surgeon General
The Surgeon General of the United States says that smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health. It is printed on every pack of smokes you buy. When was the last time a smoker read or paid any attention to it?
Intervention. Now don't let that big word scare you. The talking heads on TV have been discussing it all week because the major banks of the world are going to "prop up" the Euro.
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