Will 2019 Be A Better Year For Bitcoin?

In 2017 Bitcoin became a household name as the price went from below $1,000 per coin at the start of the year to well over $19,000 as the year came to an end. In 2018, the price of the most well-known cryptocurrency fell from its lofty heights to close the year below $4,000 per coin.

As we roll into 2019, some cryptocurrency experts are predicting Bitcoin to break the 2017 record high and fulfill its destiny of going as high as $1,000,000 per coin by 2020. Other more modest expectations have Bitcoin at around the $50,000 range by year end 2019. But the mass consensus of Bitcoin experts has the crypto ending the year in that $20,000 range.

I personally still believe that is way, way, way too high, and I’ll go even as far as saying Bitcoin will end 2019 lower than where it starts the year.

There are two reasons I believe Bitcoin will not perform well in the coming year. Continue reading "Will 2019 Be A Better Year For Bitcoin?"

GE's Recent Dividend Cut Highlights The Problem With Dividend Investing

General Electric (GE) has been paying a dividend to shareholders for 119 consecutive years. But if you look at the history of GE’s dividend, it regularly has been cut. Most recently, just at the end of October, the company lowered its $0.12 per share quarterly dividend down to $0.01 per share quarterly dividend. It should also be noted that its dividend was only at $0.12 per share after the company cut it from $0.24 per share per quarter in November of 2017.

GE’s move to slash its dividend down to the mere bone is just another reminder of the massive downside risks associated with investing in dividend-paying stocks. You see because when GE cut its dividend from $0.24 per share per quarter down to $0.12 per share per quarter, the stock dropped more than 7% from where it was the previous day. The same decline occurred this past October when the dividend was cut from $0.12 down to $0.01; the stock fell 8.7%. Furthermore, since the day prior to the announcement of the first dividend cut, GE stock is down an astonishing 63%.

But just because GE cut its dividend and its stock price has fallen off a cliff doesn’t necessarily mean all dividend-paying stocks are extremely risky. Or more so, that there is no way to lessen the risk associated with dividend-paying stocks. Continue reading "GE's Recent Dividend Cut Highlights The Problem With Dividend Investing"

REIT ETFs May Be Better Than Equity ETFs

A report issued last year called the “Historical Returns of the Market Portfolio,” looked at the performance of worldwide financial assets for the modern era, from 1960 to 2015. The researchers Laurens Swinkels of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Trevin Lam of Rabobank, and Ronald Doeswijk, found that during the observed time frame global stocks returned 5.45% a year, non-government bonds returned 3.5% a year, and government bonds returned 3.06% a year. But, shockingly the best assets class from 1960 until 2015 was actually real-estate investment companies and trusts, which produced a yearly return of 6.43%.

The difference of a Real-Estate Investment Trust portfolio and a global equity portfolio for a period of 20 years would mean the REIT portfolio would have beaten the global stock portfolio by nearly 30%. Furthermore, the REITs performed very well when looked at on a per decade basis. The 1990s was the only decade in which REITs didn’t perform, as returns were just above zero. But that decade following the 1980s when things were booming. This all while stocks performed poorly in the 1970s, which just barely producing positive returns, and from 2000 until 2010 when global stock returns were actually negative.

In addition to performing better than stocks on a per-decade basis, real-estate’s worst year was never as bad as stocks worst year but its best year was better than global stocks best year. More so, it had fewer years in which it fell more than 10% than the number of years in which stocks fell 10% or more. Continue reading "REIT ETFs May Be Better Than Equity ETFs"

Treat Yourself To An Early Christmas Gift

The Christmas season can be a time that makes or breaks a retailer's entire year. With that being said, most investors already know this information. It's not typical for a retailer's stock to experience a major pop or drop around the holiday season just because of revenue and earnings were three times that of the previous quarter.

But most reports currently indicate the American Consumer is healthy and feeling good. Which would indicate this holiday shopping season could be a record-setting year regarding the amount of money spent buying holiday presents. And a record-setting year is the type of event that would make a retailer’s stock pop. A large year-over-year revenue and earnings beat is the type of performance that Wall Street likes and rewards with a higher share price.

One report, in particular, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was unchanged in November and remained higher thus far in 2018, at a 98.4, then in any prior year since 2000. Furthermore, the report indicates "income expectations have improved, and consumers anticipate continued robust growth in employment." "The renewed strength in nominal income expectations is critical to overall spending prospects. Among the working age population, those between the ages of 25 and 54, the anticipated annual gain in nominal household income was 3.6% in November, the best in the past decade" per the November report.

If the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index is correct, we could be in for some really big number this holiday season. That being said, to fully realize the share price increase, it is best to buy the retailers before early holiday shopping reports are released. Obviously, by doing so, you take the risk of this year being an average or poor shopping season, but if you’re willing to take that risk, it could pay off nicely this year.

So, let's take a look at a few of the Exchange Traded Funds that you could purchase if you want to attempt to ride the retail waved this holiday season. Continue reading "Treat Yourself To An Early Christmas Gift"

Do Not Buy A Mortgage-Backed Security ETF

I know what you are thinking, mortgage-backed securities, aren’t those what caused the financial crisis in 2008? The answer, in a nutshell, is, well yes! But, despite these products causing all that destruction just a decade ago, they have never really disappeared. Some investors have been using ever since and will likely continue using them in the future.

But, just because your neighbor jumps off a bridge, doesn’t mean you should follow along.

Besides just ‘blindly’ following your neighbor, there are a number of reasons why these MBS ETFs can look appealing. The first and foremost is certainly their high yield. The iShares MBS ETF (MBB) currently offers a yield of 3.73%, while the Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities ETF (VMBS) is offering a yield of 3.47% and the First Trust Low Duration Opportunities ETF (LMBS) currently yields 3.5%.

Another is the fact that some of the MBS ETFs boast the idea that the mortgage’s they own are backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae, which are essentially offering insurance to MBS investors on the chance that a large number of mortgagors begin to default.

MBS ETFs offer a great yield and insurance to protect your investment, what is not to like? Continue reading "Do Not Buy A Mortgage-Backed Security ETF"