So You WflNNfl BE fl Gunslinger Too

The average investor has no interest in putting on large leveraged positions. For most this type of trading was too stressful and overwhelming. The only avenue for retail investors to raise the risk level of their investment activity was investing in futures and options trading directly or through an investment in a managed futures fund. But even these ventures were too risky for most. FIGURE 7.9 Monthly Chart MCSI Emerging Markets ETF Source Chart Courtesy of StockCharts.com. FIGURE 7.9...

Commodity And Currency Etfs

This is an area where the naysayers really get worked up in negativity. And yet this area has been one of the biggest areas of sector investment opportunity that I've seen in nearly 35 years. Commodity trading or speculating has a poor public image conjuring up negative images of wild pork belly trading. Currency trading has suffered by a similar image since heretofore investing in commodities or currencies was intimidating to the average investor and carried with it the stigma of a poor image....

Merrill And Goldman Try To Shake Things Up Can Passive Indexes Destroy Fees

To add to the convergence and passive investing stories recently both Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs have created indexes that attempt to copy typical hedge fund performance. According to a BusinessWeek article ''Hedge Funds Attack of the Clones,'' December 4, 2006 the intent is to fashion indexes that should match hedge fund returns at a fraction of the cost. Merrill Lynch launched its Merrill Lynch Factor Index while on the same day Goldman Sachs unveiled its Absolute Return Tracker Index...

Im Forever Blowing Bubbles

One consequence of the attitude and behavior of former Chairman Greenspan has been the creation of asset bubbles and an unwillingness to deal with them in a timely fashion. First, there was the stock market bubble. Greenspan tried to jawbone markets lower in 1996 with his famous ''irrational exuberance'' testimony. The bearish effect was temporary lasting just a day or two and thereafter Greenspan let markets rise in bubble-like fashion. The notion that the Fed could save markets from any...

Convergence Story

With mutual funds threatened by the growing popularity of ETFs, it shouldn't be a surprise that there would be an effort to compete. Further the popularity of hedge funds makes them candidates for mainstream investors in either an ETF or mutual fund format. And DIY investors now have the ETF issues and tools necessary from which they can construct their own hedge funds. Given these circumstances it shouldn't surprise one that these products would converge in one form or another. In order to...

The Regulators Crackdown

The frenetic growth of both mutual funds and the brokers selling them could only mean there would probably be trouble ahead. Pushing more lucrative commission laden mutual funds at the expense of others and receiving commission kickbacks started to give the industry a black eye and hurt them in the wallet. In 2003 Morgan Stanley was fined 50 million for pushing their own and other more costly mutual funds at the expense of more cost-effective offerings. In late December 2004 Edward D. Jones was...

Rydex Investments Leads A Big Change

In March 2007 Rydex Investments launched the Rydex Managed Futures Fund RYMFX . The Rydex fund creates a new opportunity for investors to be involved with a nonleveraged, more liquid, and lower-cost investment structure to parallel the more expensive limited partnerships outlined above. RYMFX per its brochure ''seeks to provide investment results that closely track the daily performance of the Standard amp Poor's Diversified Trends Indicator S amp P DTI .'' It goes on to say, S amp P DTI is a...

Indexing Versus Active Management

The argument over index investing versus active management continues and with each passing study indexes continue to be the more effective strategy in cost and performance. According to a recent and very thoroughly researched study by Millicent Holmes published in the January 2007 edition of Journal of Financial Planning, passive index management beat most categories of active management. CASE STUDY Improved Study Finds Index Management Usually Outperforms Active Management This study seeks to...