Why Rebalancing Your Portfolio Is Important

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs - Rebalancing


Despite only being three months into 2018, investors have been on quite a wild ride. The market started off the year as it ended 2017, on a tear higher, then the brief crash in early February, which led to a nice calm recovery during the remainder of the month just to run into what I’m calling “Whipsaw March” with the market jumping higher and lower by more than 1% nearly every other day. Not only have the major indexes been extremely volatile, but some of 2017’s biggest winners, big technology and especially the FANG stocks have seen their prices fall more than 10% in 2018.

Big pops that reverse fortune and the big drops that follow always cause investors to wonder what they could have done to protect themselves from the decline without completely abandoning their position.

The most straightforward and most effective answer to that situation is to rebalance your portfolio. Rebalancing is when you bring the percentage of your holdings back in line with each other.

For example, if you have a portfolio made up of 10 stocks and each represents roughly 10% of your portfolio, you would have a ‘balanced portfolio.’ Now if one of your stocks outperformed the others and ended up representing say 25% of your portfolio, instead of just 10%, then you would rebalance by selling some of your shares in that company until it represented 10% of your total portfolio. Continue reading "Why Rebalancing Your Portfolio Is Important"

The Ultimate Buzz Word ETF

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs - Buzz Word ETF


On January 30th the team at Exchange Traded Concepts, an Exchange Traded Fund issuer, released the "Ultimate Buzz Word" ETF, the Innovation Shares NextGen Protocol ETF (KOIN). Alright, I’ll admit, the name may not be loaded with buzz words. But the fund’s concept is loaded with recently popular buzz words such as “Blockchain” and “Artificial Intelligence.”

The KOIN ETF is a fund that tracks an index that uses artificial intelligence to pick global stocks which have current or future interests in blockchain technology. On the surface, this ETF just feels like someone trying to take advantage of today’s hot investing buzz words.

Even after Bitcoin rose from under $1,000 to above $19,000 in less than a year, most retail investors didn’t fully understand what blockchain technology was. But they knew that while a lot of big-name investors and economist were skeptical of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’, the one thing most people would agree on was that blockchain technology was great. Continue reading "The Ultimate Buzz Word ETF"

No Bitcoin ETF Yet, But There Are Blockchain ETFs

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - Blockchain ETFs


While the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to approve an actual Bitcoin ETF, it is allowing investors to buy shares of ETF’s which are focused on the technology which makes cryptocurrencies tick, the blockchain.

After the explosion of Bitcoin back in the fall when the price of one coin jumped from around $4,000 to over $19,000, a number of different companies began clamoring to get involved in cryptocurrencies directly or just in the blockchain technology, and that is where these Exchange Traded Funds are focused. The thinking is that while you may not want to invest directly in a cryptocurrency, you may still want exposure to it through the businesses that help it operate.

For example, you could buy Square Inc. (SQ), the payment processing company that a few weeks ago announced it would now allow customers to pay with Bitcoin. Or perhaps it is through a less direct method of buying shares of NVIDIA (NVDA), the semiconductor company, which produces the microprocessors that are needed to make cryptocurrencies a reality. Or lastly, perhaps it just a previous beverage company, Long Island Iced Tea Corp. that now wants to get into blockchain and changes its name out of the blue to Long Blockchain Corp. (LBCC).

The first blockchain ETF to hit the market was Continue reading "No Bitcoin ETF Yet, But There Are Blockchain ETFs"

A Few Marijuana ETFs For U.S. Investors

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - Marijuana ETFs


The marijuana industry is taking North America by storm, well maybe that happened back in the 60’s, but now the legal marijuana industry is doing it today. Despite the fact that the U.S. Federal Government still considers marijuana a Schedule I substance and therefore illegal, it appears the “pot” movement is taking hold as 29 U.S. States have already legalized the use of medical marijuana and another eight have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

This movement has drawn the attention of everyday investors and those on Wall Street. Over the past few years, we have seen an explosion of small, risky, marijuana investments pop up. The sheer number of options has been overwhelming and very risky for average investors to get involved with, but that is all changing very quickly.

In the spring of 2017 the first marijuana ETF, Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (HMMJ), debuted. This was investors first chance to buy into the industry without taking on ‘single-stock’ risk in a very fragmented and risky industry.

The big issue though with HMMJ is that it is a Canadian ETF and thus it trades on the Toronto Stock exchange. That means for U.S. based investors it was either difficult, as in their online broker wouldn’t allow them to buy the investment, or very expensive, as in $60 per transaction (that is $60 trading commission to buy and $60 to sell it). Continue reading "A Few Marijuana ETFs For U.S. Investors"

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"