Investing In The Guns And Ammo Boom

If you thought lumber prices were high in 2021 or that the US housing market was hot, you might be missing the hottest market and the industry that is seeing the highest price increases; the gun and ammunition industry. In 2020 the US saw record levels of gun purchases halfway through 2021, and there is no slowing down.

In 2020, more than 21 million guns were sold in the US; that’s more than double the number of guns sold 20 years ago. And according to the FBI background checks done thus far in 2021, we are likely to see more than 21 million guns sold this year.

With that many guns being sold, it's not hard to see why ammunition is not only in short supply but why prices are up more than 100% when compared to just two years ago. However, despite ammunition prices rising, some people being interviewed say they would buy more if they could get it. Some gun owners have said it's not uncommon to own thousands of rounds for each different type of gun they own.

So, when you add the two factors together, 21 million new guns sold in 2020, and we are well on our way to see close to, if not more than that, sold in 2021, and of course you need bullets for these millions of guns being sold, maybe not thousands, but at least some. Well then, it makes perfect sense why ammunition is in low supply, high demand, and prices are soaring.
As an investor, how can you benefit from this gun-crazy situation? Continue reading "Investing In The Guns And Ammo Boom"

The Ever-Growing Number Of ETFs and Their Power Over The Markets

ETFs, like Mutual Funds and Index Funds, are often praised for their ability to offer exposure to ‘risky’ equities while offering portfolio protection and reducing single stock exposure issues.

The basic idea is that instead of trying to ‘cherry-pick’ a specific winner or loser in a particular industry or sector, you can just buy a sector-based exchange traded fund and reduce your risk that you chose the wrong company to be the dominant player in that industry. Furthermore, as long as the industry itself performs well, your industry-focused ETF should follow suit, and your investment will benefit.

As the demand for ETFs increases, the vast array of offerings has also been increasing. As an investor, you are no longer constrained to just buying industry or sector-focused funds. You can now buy funds that focus on pretty much any correlating data point imaginable. Those are the ones that have strict investment guidelines, unlike some ETFs that are actively managed and give the fund managers complete control and leeway to invest wherever and however they want.

Currently, there are over 2,500 actively traded Exchange Traded Funds in the US alone. There were 32 new ETFs offered to investors in May 2021 alone. Let’s think about that for a moment. Outside of the OTC or Over the counter equities available to investors with about 11,500 stocks in 2020, roughly around 6,000 companies’ investors can buy and sell stock in which are traded on the major US exchanges, the NYSE and the NASDAQ. Yes, that is correct, 6,000 US stocks and nearly half that in US ETFs. Continue reading "The Ever-Growing Number Of ETFs and Their Power Over The Markets"

Invest Alongside The Pros With These ETFs

Matt Thalman - Contributor - Exchange Traded Funds ETFs

As the popularity of Exchange Traded Funds has grown with investors, so have the options investors have when it comes to the type and style of ETF they want to own. Not only can an ETF investor buy specific asset class ETFs, but they can buy ETFs designed by specific investors.

Just like how different asset classes have different risks, different investors have different beliefs about what makes a good stock. Each investor, professional or retail, has different metrics they look at, have different investment timeframes, have different investment goals, and just approach the market and investing in a different manner. These differences often make one investor successful while another fail. Following alongside well known, successful investors can help teach you what works and perhaps what you have been missing in the past.

So even if you decide not to buy an ETF that is based on your favorite investor, at least take a look at it, you may learn something. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few ETFs I have found that track the pro’s, and see what we can learn. Continue reading "Invest Alongside The Pros With These ETFs"

Did You Own Any Of The Worst ETFs of 2017

Matt Thalman - Contributor - ETFs

2017 was a good year for investors as the S&P 500 increased 19.42%, but unfortunately, not all investors saw their investments grow in value during the year. Investors who had purchased some different Exchange Traded Funds saw their investments nearly disappear during what will be referred to as an “up” year for investors and the stock market.

What is not surprising though is that seven of the nine most prominent ETF losers of 2017 had something to do with investing in the Volatility Index. The worst performer was the ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (UVXY), falling 93.96%. This fund provides 2X exposure to short-term, first and second month, VIX futures. The UVXY is a fund essentially will offer investors a way to make money if the VIX itself increases. Furthermore, because this fund is leveraged 2X, if the VIX increases by 10%, UVXY investors will make 20%. But, due to the fund's exposure, it has high carrying costs, meaning investors who hold the fund for more than one day will lose money due to those roll costs.

Therefore, the UVXY needs both the market to be volatile regularly for investors to make any money, even over a small period of time. In 2018 its unlikely UVXY will lose as much as it did in 2017 because the end of 2016 was highly volatile following the election of President Trump. Continue reading "Did You Own Any Of The Worst ETFs of 2017"

ETFs to Buy, to Sell, and to Watch in 2017

Matt Thalman - Contributor - ETFs

Now that we have rung in the New Year, now is a good time to take a look at your portfolio and make some adjustments. But, before you start buying and selling, you need to know what to buy, what to sell and what you should have on hold.

So with that in mind, let's take a look at a few Exchange Traded Funds you may want to buy, a few you should sell, and a couple that you should have in your hold or watch list.

What To Buy

In 2016 one of the top-performing ETFs was the Direxion Daily Regional Banks Bull 3X Shares (PACF:DPST). DPST rose more than 114% in 2016 due to its exposure to regional banking stocks, and of course is three times bullish leverage. And while most of the time I would tell you not to follow a trend from one year to the next, 2017 is going to be different. The banking stocks rose in 2016 for a number of reasons, but mainly because the economy grew stronger and interest rates rose.

There are no signs at this point indicating that neither of those trends will cease to continue in 2017, so ride this trend.

Ok, let's slow down and understand why this trend will continue to work. Continue reading "ETFs to Buy, to Sell, and to Watch in 2017"