How To Play This Volatile Market

Over the past few weeks, I have been on the phone with tons of different market participants. Some are professional investors, people investing a little of their own money, financial advisors who manage a few million and others who manage hundreds of millions, and to first-time investors in their 20's, 30's, and 40's and even one as young as 17 years old.

While everyone wants to talk about what is going on or wants to know what to do or has a strong opinion on what to do within the market, only one thing holds true of every person I have spoken to; no one truly knows what is going to happen next.

Let me emphasize that, "No one truly knows what is going to happen next."

This is true for the people I have been speaking with, investors who managed billions in hedge funds or retirement funds. The Jim Cramer's or other talking heads on CNBC, the President of the United States, nor Congress, nor the Pope himself, knows what is going to happen next.

Although some people may tell you they do or just be very convincing that they do, let me assure you, they don't know what the market is going to do tomorrow, next week, next month, or the rest of the year.

And let's be clear, this would all be true whether or not we're in the midst of a pandemic or not.

However, you can't blame people for making predictions or looking at the past performance of stocks following significant economic turmoil. Comparing the past and trying to find similarities to help us make 'predictions' is very common and can be useful at times, but that doesn't mean we should blindly follow those predictions. (This is even true for my suggestions.)

So, if no one knows what's going to happen, then what should we do? Continue reading "How To Play This Volatile Market"

Now May Be The Time To Buy A FANG ETF

The phrase the FANG stocks, which was coined by CNBC’s Jim Cramer, represents five high flying technology stocks, Facebook (FB), (AMZN),Netflix (NFLX), and Google’s parent company Alphabet (GOOG - GOOGL). Cramer coined the phrase because how incredible these stocks where performing when compared to other technology stocks, or the market as a whole. These stocks have been market leaders for a few years, during which time we have seen their valuations go through the roof. But, the old saying on Wall Street, “stick with what’s working” has simply continued to work with the FAANG stocks. Until recently.

Facebook,, Netflix, and Google’s parent company Alphabet have all now reported quarterly earnings for the second quarter and while Amazon, Google, and Netflix didn’t get destroyed like Facebook, the group combined with Apple (AAPL), had lost $185 billion in market value during the last few days of trading in July. This decline had some investors wondering if the FANG rally is over, while others are considering this a good buying opportunity.

I personally am in the latter camp considering Gross Domestic Product figures came in at 4.1%, the recent job reports have all been strong, and despite some issues, mainly caused by those in Washington, all economic data indicates that the US consumer and economy is strong.

Furthermore, a strong case can be made that Facebook hurt itself regarding growth due to changes it is implementing following the data scandal back in the spring. The stock fell 19% in one day after reporting earnings. For the most part, the rest of the FANG stocks reported good quarterly earnings from most points of view, despite perhaps not topping lofty expectations set by Wall Street analysts. Continue reading "Now May Be The Time To Buy A FANG ETF"

New Tax Laws Could Mean a Boom for Stock Buy-Back ETF’s

Matt Thalman - Contributor - ETFs

Now that the Senate has passed a tax bill and President Trump has signed off on it, investors should get ready for a few significant changes that are likely to begin happening. While the bill has been touted as a way to boost the economy and help the middle class, some economists disagree; mainly on the idea that if corporations have a lower tax bill, they will higher more workers and pay their current employee’s more money.

History has shown that when repatriated money comes back to US soil, it is largely used for share buybacks. In 2004 there was a one-time tax holiday when repatriation of foreign earnings was brought back home and taxed at a rate of 5.25%, not the usual 35%.

In 2004 fifteen companies brought back $155 billion, of the total $312 billion. Those 15 companies increased their share repurchases by 38% between 2005 and 2006. There was a clear correlation between share buybacks increasing the repatriation of overseas cash. Continue reading "New Tax Laws Could Mean a Boom for Stock Buy-Back ETF’s"