Invest Alongside The Pros With These ETFs

Matt Thalman - INO.com 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 ETF's of 2017

Matt Thalman - INO.com 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 ETF's of 2017"

ETF's to Buy, to Sell, and to Watch in 2017

Matt Thalman - INO.com 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 Fund's 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 ETF's 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 "ETF's to Buy, to Sell, and to Watch in 2017"

ETF's That Let You Trade the Volatility Index "VIX"

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs


One of the many great side effects to the rise in popularity of Exchange Traded Funds, ETF's, is that they have increased the types of investments individuals can buy into. The average investor can now easy buy and sell funds that hold actual commodities, indexes, bond portfolios, and even dabble in the options markets without ever making a signal put or call trade themselves.

Today, I would like to point out how investors can use ETF's to play the S&P 500 Volatility Index or VIX.

But, before we get into the ETF's that allow you to profit from the VIX's moves, let take a look at the VIX itself and what causes it to move in one direction or the other. The VIX is calculated using option pricing. It looks at the price of the call and put options because we know that higher option prices mean that investors believe there is a greater chance of volatility. Without getting into too much detail about options, the reason this works is because if an underlying security has high volatility it can make an option more or less valuable depending on what side of the trade you are on. Because the level of volatility will change the likelihood, the option will expire in or out of the money.

Are you confused yet? Continue reading "ETF's That Let You Trade the Volatility Index "VIX""

3 ETF's That Focus on Share Buybacks

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs


Some investors love large dividends. Some like to see strong revenue growth quarter over quarter. Others look for management teams they believe in. There are a hundred different metrics or indicators investors look for in a company or throughout the economy that makes them believe one stock will before better than another.

One that I haven't mentioned, but is very important to some investors, is share buybacks. While this form of returning capital to shareholders, the other being dividends, is questioned by many as whether it is the best use of company capital, in a lot of cases it’s a better use of capital than letting it just sit in the bank or even worse wasting it on risky acquisitions.

Regardless though of your stance on share buybacks, the fact remains they are a huge part of investing. They affect per share earnings, a company's ability to offer a higher dividend, and while, in most cases very small, they give investors a larger piece of the pie. Continue reading "3 ETF's That Focus on Share Buybacks"