The Fed's Role In GameStop

All of the news articles and media commentary on the volatility in GameStop (GME) stock last week centered on the supposed war between retail investors who were buying the stock, putting a squeeze on those evil rich hedge-fund managers who had shorted the stock. And the Davids, at least for now, were beating the Goliaths. Good versus evil is always easy to understand and makes for a compelling story, especially when "the little guy" prevails.

Morality play aside, a lot of people were probably scratching their heads as to why some people would be so enthusiastic about buying stock in a company that appears to be 10 years behind the times, seeing as how its main business consists of selling or reselling physical copies of digital games even as the rest of the world has moved onto streaming. It also cast a lot of attention on short-selling, with many people receiving a crash course in the tactic.

However, it's also another example of how the Federal Reserve's super-loose monetary policy and 0% interest rates are distorting investor behavior. While retail investors on Robinhood and other platforms are driving up the price of what otherwise might be a stock headed in the other direction, we need to remember one of the reasons why investors are willing to make such outlandish bets like this.

It demonstrates the lengths some investors will go to make money because it's become difficult to do so in more conventional (i.e., safe) investments, such as quality stocks and bonds. It also reveals the almost devil-may-care attitude some investors have adopted, believing that the Fed will eventually ride to their rescue. Continue reading "The Fed's Role In GameStop"

Short-Term ETF Investment Capitalizing On This Time Of Year

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs


The Holiday Season is now upon us, and in just a matter of days, millions of dollars will be spent buying presents. On Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday we will see millions of shoppers spending billions of dollars on gifts for the holidays.

But since we have a 'holiday' shopping season every year the more important thing from an investors perspective is whether holiday sales will be higher or lower than last year. Luckily this year the National Retail Federation expects annual holiday spending will increase by 3.6% to 4% this holiday season over last year.

Soon after the weekend, sales figures will start rolling in, and investors will either start selling or buying shares of the companies winning the retail holiday war. This makes it hard for investors to accurately predict ahead of time which companies will be the winners and which will be the losers, and therefore Exchange Traded Funds are the best way to make this investment.

With ETF's you can easily purchase a small or large basket of retail stocks right before the holiday shopping season, benefit from the winners while not getting crushed by the losers, and then get out of investing in retail before the end of the year.

So, if this sounds like the kind of purchase you want to make this holiday season, let's look at a few different ETF's you can buy now. Continue reading "Short-Term ETF Investment Capitalizing On This Time Of Year"

Now May Be the Time to Buy Retail ETFs

Matt Thalman - INO.com Contributor - ETFs


A Wells Fargo analyst recently said retail has bottomed and now may be time to start buying into the sector. With a weak holiday shopping season, followed by poor retail numbers in January and February retail stocks have hit hard times.

Compound that with the need for clarity on a possible border tax and other political issues hanging in the background, uncertainty in the industry is high. But while high uncertainty leads to lower stock prices, it also brings opportunity for smart investors.

Currently we are seeing specialty retailers outperforming the big box retailers like Macy's, Kohl's, Sear's, and JCPenny's. The downsizing of the big box retailers is also a good thing for the smaller players since it gives shoppers fewer options to choose from. But as a whole, this downsizing is hurting the group's overall performance as share prices of the big names companies have been beaten up. Continue reading "Now May Be the Time to Buy Retail ETFs"