Thankful For Another Great Year On Wall Street

This past Thanksgiving, millions of Americans sat at the dinner table and proclaimed what they were thankful for. For some, it was loved ones, new family members, a promotion at work or a new job altogether, but at the very least, the food that was about to be eaten was mentioned. The success of the stock market in 2019 was undoubtedly one of mine, but I may be in the minority when it comes to people who said such out loud.

However, with the major indexes again trading at new all-time highs, something we have now had occur more than 20 times in 2019, 18 times in 2018, 62 times in 2017 and another 126 times from the start of 2013 until the end of 2016, its hard not to think about how much further this bull market can run.

Adding new money to the market seems very risky today based on how far the market has come the past few years and considering we have seen so many new all-time highs over the past few years.

However, new all-time highs is a very normal thing for the market. Since 1928, the U.S. stock market has seen new all-time highs on 5% of the trading days. Think about that! That’s on average, one in every 20 trading days, the U.S. stock market is hitting an all-time high. From that perspective, a new all-time high sort of seems like not that big of a deal.

Another crazy thought is that since World War II, the U.S. stock market has spent nearly 40% of its time within 5% of all-time highs. Ok, so almost half the time stocks are trading within reach of an all-time high. Furthermore, 54% of the time stocks are trading within 10% of all-time highs.

However, that means 46% of the time stocks were more than double digits below their highs. Continue reading "Thankful For Another Great Year On Wall Street"

2 Out Of 3 Americans Are Involved In this Industry

Roughly 2.5 billion people around the world play video games, which includes two out of every three Americans per research from the newest Exchange Traded Fund manager Roundhill Investments. Deloitte's research showed $4.5 billion was invested in the eSports industry in 2018 alone, which represented an 818% increase from 2017. Currently, 454 million people watch eSports events, and estimates have that number growing to 645 million by 2022. The global gaming market is expected to hit $152 billion by the end of 2019, a 10% year-over-year growth rate.

The rise of multiplayer battle royale games such as ‘Fortnite,’ increased technology, which includes higher internet speeds, virtual reality headsets, increased processing power. It’s also ushered in the ability to allow gamers to use multiple devices to access games that have been key drivers in changing the industry. In the past, the industry relied on single gaming consoles sales or single games to bring in all the revenue. Today we have in-game purchases; massive esports arena’s selling out for tournaments, advertising revenue from watching streaming video of other players competing in games.

While the video gaming industry has been around for decades, the investment opportunities have never been as good as they are today, especially because from most accounts, it would appear the next catalyst for growth is still in its infancy stages today.

Currently, five Exchange Traded Funds focus on the gaming industry and allow you the opportunity to buy into this industry that could see massive growth over the next decade. Let’s take a look at your options. Continue reading "2 Out Of 3 Americans Are Involved In this Industry"

Zero Fee Trades Likely Means Lower Fee ETFs - Part 2

Now that its clear investors understand how fees affect their returns and the financial industry as a whole is responding by lowering trading commissions to zero and cutting management fees on funds, its just a matter of time until we see ‘indexed’ funds begin to offer zero or near zero, as in 0.01% expense ratio, fee funds.

Why? Simple because they have to stay competitive if they want to stay in business.

For years the biggest argument for one someone would buy an index fund is because it would be so cumbersome and costly to go out and buy a few shares of all the different stocks that make up a specific index. For example, if an investor wanted to mimic the Dow Jones Industrial Average, they would need to go out and buy one share of each of the 30 companies that currently make up the index.

In the past, that would be 30 different stocks in someone’s personal portfolio, which honestly isn’t that much higher than what the average retail investor owns, typically somewhere between 15 and 20. However, that would also mean the investor would have paid a trading commission 30 different times in order to set up that portfolio (1 trading commission for each different company they bought a share or multiple shares of). If the average investor was paying $4.95 per trade, that’s $148.50 in trading commissions just so they could mimic the Dow Jones Industrial Average without having to pay a mutual fund or ETFs fees every year. Continue reading "Zero Fee Trades Likely Means Lower Fee ETFs - Part 2"

Zero Fee Trades Likely Means Lower Fee ETFs - Part 1

The investment world was flipped upside-down recently when Charles Schwab eliminated trading commissions on stocks, ETFs, and options last month. The move prompted TD Ameritrade, E*TRADE, and other players in the industry to follow suit quickly or risk losing clients. The move is not the first time we have seen trading commissions reduced, but never before have retail investors been able to trade literally for free.

Most people would claim that the late Jack Bogle started this ‘war on fee’s’ decades ago when he introduced the low-cost index fund at Vanguard. The first low-cost mutual funds offered investors an inexpensive, at the time, option for investors. The low fee option Vanguard introduced proved to be a good move as Vanguard grew its asset base into what is now more than $5.5 trillion. Over the years, other firms began to fight back by cutting their fees, but the war had already started, and investors began to see the value in low-cost options.

Jack Bogle himself would often talk about how fees cost investors hundreds of thousands of dollars over their investing lifetime. The simple idea of paying lower fees equates to higher account balances over time makes perfect sense, especially to anyone who understands the power of compounding returns.

Zero fees on trading commissions will leave millions of dollars in investors' hands. It has been estimated that Charles Schwab alone will lose out on somewhere between $90 and $100 million in quarterly revenue now that they cut their trading fee to zero. That is just $100 million for one firm and one quarter. Based on those figures only of Schwab, we could easily see somewhere close to $1 billion is left in the hands of investors over the course of a year.

Now that we have hit zero fees on trading commissions and investors continue to learn how low-cost investing helps their overall returns, it's likely we will see more fee-cutting throughout the investing industry. The high fee’s on mutual funds have already begun pushing investors to ETFs. And the ETF industry has already started fighting the battle to cut costs. Continue reading "Zero Fee Trades Likely Means Lower Fee ETFs - Part 1"

It May Be Time To Buy Marijuana ETFs

All the hype and excitement surrounding the marijuana industry over the past few years has finally died down. Unfortunately for some investors, who got caught up in the hype and excitement, are now realizing what some knew all along; the marijuana industry has a long way to go before it achieves its full potential.

But, regardless of whether you were an ‘early’ investor in the industry or someone who has been sitting on the sidelines, now is the time to start getting serious about marijuana funds. Over the past three months, the five marijuana ETFs have lost 30% or more of their value. Obviously, this is due to the marijuana industry as a whole, seeing their stock values decline. However, this means some of the stocks in the industry which had been trading at ‘lofty’ valuations have come back down to earth quite a bit.

Over the last three months, Tilray is down 45%, Canopy is down 38%, Aurora is down 42%, Cronos is off by 40%. These are some of the big names in the marijuana industry and stocks held by the marijuana ETFs; ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), AdvisoreShares Pure Cannabis ETF (YOLO) , Cambria Cannabis ETF (TOKE), The Cannabis ETF (THCX), and Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (CNBS).

But why is now the time to start buying? Continue reading "It May Be Time To Buy Marijuana ETFs"