Category Archives: Research & Economic Commentary

Articles discussing current economic situations

2014 – Interview with SeekingAlpha.com

This is the fourth piece in Seeking Alpha’s Positioning for 2014 series. This year we have once again asked experts on a range of different asset classes and investing strategies to offer their vision for the coming year and beyond. As always, the focus is on an overall approach to portfolio construction. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

2013 in Review

The US stock market produced a record year in terms of performance, increasing over 34%. This was all despite some market headlines that seemed to be doom and gloom. The key events were as follows:

Looking back at 2013 through key market indicators we see that there was relatively low

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Retooling Your Bond Portfolio

Many investors, especially retirees and conservative investors are investing in bonds either individually, through a bond mutual fund or a bond exchange traded fund (ETF). Investors seem to associate bonds with safety, but this may not be the case going forward. How can you protect your bond portfolio in these uncertain times? Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Chase Returns

Very often individual investors choose mutual funds based on the historical performance of the fund. To many individual investors it seems logical that past great performance would only indicate a tendency for future great performance. According to a July 2013 report from S&P, this may not be the case.

Twice …

Share
Posted in ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Leave a comment

Wiser Wealth’s 2013 Outlook – Interview by SeekingAlpha.com

Casey Smith is President of Wiser Wealth Management, a Marietta, Georgia-based fee-only fiduciary wealth management firm offering asset management, tax preparation, estate planning and financial planning services. Wiser’s unique investing techniques have earned Casey speaking engagements at top ETF conferences around the world. When not running Wiser Wealth, Casey doubles as a pilot for an Atlanta-based commercial airline. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog, Wiser News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Low Volatility Effect

In any market, your portfolio should be constructed to meet your risk tolerance. But what does this really mean? Advisors should know the historical volatility of their portfolios; many on the selling side of this business don’t have a clue, they just want to sell you a product. For the individual investor there are tools to measure portfolio volatility. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vanguard Changing Index Benchmarks

Vanguard shocked the investing world today by announcing that they are changing the benchmark of 22 of its funds from MSCI to FTSE indexes. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ETFs are Getting Cheaper

One of the many benefits of using Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) is cost. An investor today can build a complete portfolio using all ETFs for less than 25bps (0.25%). The low cost leaders in ETFs have been Vanguard, State Street and Blackrock’s iShares.

Recently Charles Schwab entered the ETF business …

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Europe – ETF Investment Strategies

Buy and hold investors should always focus on long term healthy asset classes. In regards to investing in Europe, the key question is whether or not Europe will be a financially healthy asset class over the next ten years. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Global Real Estate in Your Portfolio

With the impact that the European debt crisis is having on portfolios, many people are looking for ways to diversify from this impact. Adding real estate to your portfolio is one way to do this. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ETFs in a 401k: The Wave is Building

There has been a lot of discussion concerning the use of exchange traded funds (ETFs) as the primary investment vehicle within 401k plans. The barriers that once stood in the way are being removed by innovative record keeping and the growing use of ETFs in private and institutional accounts. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

ETF Capital Gains 2011

IndexUniverse.com recently published a report with all the ETFs that pass though capital gains to its investors. Apparently in 2011 only 93 ETFs made this list. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hedging a Falling Dollar

We often get questions about what can be done in a portfolio to protect from a falling dollar. Often many people refer to gold for this solution, especially with every other advertisement on Fox News from companies trying to sell you- guess what- gold! Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, Currency & Gold, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wiser Research – Emerging Market ETFs

Emerging Markets should be a part of every portfolio. With many ETF choices this post dives into Emerging Market modeling. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best Execution in ETFs, how much do you really pay?

***Originally published in the July 2011 edition of NAAIM’s “The Active Manager” By Scott Freeze.

Best Execution is a very difficult metric to measure since it is such a subjective benchmark. In a “thinner” ETF with a wide spread, such as MNA (IndexIQ Merger Arbitrage), you have a 20 cent …

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Emerging Markets VWO vs DEM

The research staff here at Wiser Wealth recently analyzed all the broad based ETFs that track emerging market indices. The staple in Emerging Markets is currently Vanguards VWO and iShares’ EEM. The comparison articles on these funds are endless. One fund that filtered to the top of the Emerging Market ETF list that might be less known is Wisdom Tree’s DEM. We compared it in this article to Vanguards VWO. The following report helps compare the DEM and VWO Emerging Market strategies as well as the results of the last few years. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where’s the Yield? Generating Income in Your Portfolio

Portfolio yields are under pressure due to the worldwide flight to safety over the last few years, making conservative and income growth portfolios more difficult to manage. While bond investments made a few years ago have done historically well, new investments have greater principal risk with low historic yields. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Egypt – A Better Understanding

“The problem with freedom and democracy in the Muslim world is that it is a figment of the imagination that only exists in the minds of Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.” Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Leave a comment

Can An ETF Collapse? The Study that was proven false.

Can an ETF Fail? A study by two PHD’s makes one believe that ETFs are unsafe investments. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mosque vs. Capitalism

It really comes down to symbolism. The World Trade Towers symbolized American Capitalism created from a free people. The Towers reminded us that Americans have the freedom to invest. The freedom the innovate. The freedom to take risks and earn great rewards. The freedom to learn. The freedom to live…. a free people.
Continue reading

Share
Posted in Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Active Management Comes To Emerging Market Bond ETFs

WisdomTree has introduced an addition to the ETF landscape with an active ETF in the emerging market bond category.

Emerging market bonds are a unique asset class with extraordinary characteristics which many ETF investors have made part of their portfolios for many reasons. Emerging market bonds have high absolute returns with low correlation to other markets and are high yielding vehicles. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2nd Quarter Market Landscape

First-quarter gains have taken a huge hit against large declines in the second quarter. According to Morningstar’s ‘super sectors’ reports, Information is down 10.46%, Service 12.23%, and Manufacturing 10.92%. Some market data would suggest that an underlying cause of these losses is uncertainty in the market. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lower Duration For Better Inflation Protection

TIP Securities have been around only since 1997, placing them a time period with only relatively tame levels of inflation. That being said, the need for inflation protection is very relevant, and investors now have access to five TIPS ETFs. They give investors a choice among broad based, intermediate, short-term, and long-term durations. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Debt

Debt, while once viewed as a negative for the average American, now seems to simply be a part of life. Using credit and having debt outstanding is normal now not only for the most people, but for the government as a whole. The US federal government deficit is currently over $13 trillion and is growing by about $4.09 billion each day. To put this amount into perspective, with a $13 trillion debt obligation, each person in the world owes almost $2,000. That is $2,000 for 6.7 billion people. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Financial Reform Freedom?

The Senate sweats this week over the self imposed July 4th deadline for President Obama to sign the Financial Reform Overhaul Bill. The bill is reported to be over 2,000 pages, and reaches into every corner of the financial industry from credit card transactions to advisors.

The bill ventures into some places where legislation has previously left alone. In many ways, the financial system needs some changes, however, for the most part, the Independence Day bill is more confusing than freedom-promoting. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Economic Commentary, Fiduciary Duty, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

International Corporate Bond ETFs Have Arrived

PowerShares listed the second-ever international corporate bond ETF for trading this week, behind State Street Global Advisor’s international corporate bond product, falling right in step with the unfolding of the debt crisis in Europe. The PowerShares ETF provides a broad exposure to international, investment-grade corporate bonds issued in developed countries. Continue reading

Share
Posted in ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Efficient Market Theory and ETFs

One of the most popular ideas in the investing world, the Efficient Market Theory, argues, very simply, that a stock’s price equals its value. This would mean that a stock’s price reflects all publicly known data, including future expectations of the stock’s performance. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ETF Fixed Income Assets Climb in April

ETF cashflows have climbed despite worries about rising rates in fixed income ETFs. Investors also seem to be pouring money into global ETFs even though overseas markets continue to abound.

Share
Posted in ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Unemployment Report – 5/7/10

The amount of jobs added went up in April even well above what is expected, adding 290,000 jobs to the market. Up from 200,000 added in March. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Goldman Sachs – Not the Real Problem

The government allows companies like Goldman and other brokers to act under suitability rules. This means that a client has to be suitable for the investment, but does not mean that the product is the best for the client. Continue reading

Share
Posted in Fiduciary Duty, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ETFs in Europe – Amsterdam ETF Conference

ETFs in Europe are starting to get some interest. This is my journal from the ETF Conference in Amsterdam. Continue reading

Share
Posted in ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Dollar Hedged ETF; How To Allocate Around The Falling Euro

The end of 2009 saw the entry of a new ETF in the already dense ETF landscape:  a currency hedged ETF.  This new feature is of interesting significance due to its packaging inside an ETF.…

Share
Posted in Currency & Gold, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faith Based ETFs: Investing with Conviction

Faith Shares launches the first faith based ETFs. Continue reading

Share
Posted in ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Boca Experience – Inside ETF Conference 2010

I was recently privileged to be on a panel at the Inside ETF Conference in Boca Raton, FL last week.  The event was a great success with over 800 attendees, and was broadcasted live by CNBC.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indexing Inspiration + Gold

Irving Kristol, “an indexer is stock-picker who has been mugged by reality.” Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, Currency & Gold, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unpacking Global Sectors

Recently, many have reasoned that sectors drive market returns. Using the complete lineup of global sector ETFs from iShares, an investor can utilize the power of sectors within the US while reaching into developed and emerging international markets for simple to complex asset allocation strategies.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Debt Problem in Bond ETFs

This article was written for www.etfmarketpro.com

International bond ETFs are an asset we can no longer ignore, but as some industry experts have brought up in the past, bond ETF construction has many inherent flaws.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Moves a Currency

We have been bombarded with spam emails claiming that the dollar is falling and that we must purchase their strategy to save our portfolios.…

Share
Posted in Articles, Currency & Gold, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Passive vs. Active: 1,3 and 5 Year Comparison

Morningstar has released their BoxScore Report covering actively managed mutual funds to Morningstar indexes.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

ETF Index Optimization

The article was created for www.etfmarketpro.com.

Investable indexes are designed to be realistic representations of actual market spaces (the S&P 500 index represents the securities in the S&P500); however, in some asset classes, indexes are too idealistic to be managed as ETFs in a cost effective and efficient manner.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Commodities are Different

This ariticle was also posted at ETFMarketPro.com

Commodity ETFs are different than traditional, plain vanilla ETFs and investors need to be made aware of the risks.

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commodity ETFs Having Problems

Recently, some commodity ETFs have been forced to stop the creation process of ETF creation units, meaning that the funds and trusts are being forced to act like closed in funds. …

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Correlations of the Crash

Correlation is generally defined as “the strength and direction of a linear relationship between two random variables.”…

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Currency Effect in Foreign Investing

This article was written for and also appears at ETF Market Pro.

Currencies are different than any other type of investment. …

Share
Posted in Articles, Currency & Gold, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harvard Endowment Looks to Become More Liquid

The managers of the Harvard Endowment have long been hailed as innovators. Their alternative investments include commodities like timber (famously employing lumberjacks), private equity, and hedge funds.…

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Georgia’s Failed Banks

Georgia’s banks made the front page of the Wall Street Journal yesterday (6/10/09). The article notes that Georgia is home to 4% of the banks in the United States, but is responsible for 20% of the US bank failures since August.…

Share
Posted in Articles, Economic Commentary, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trading ETFs

Trading ETFs

When investing in mutual funds, the investor is handing his money over to a mutual fund manager, giving him or her full discretion in trading the asset as he or she sees fit.  …

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Switching to ETFs

In an environment where the stock market recovers and the credit crisis is in the rearview mirror, will your investments recover with the stock market, lag behind or remain at today’s levels? The investment tool you are using will make the difference.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PowerShares Set to Close 19 ETFs

PowerShares, a company who has lead the way for fundamental ETFs, closes 19 of these funds. Are more closings in other ETFs to follow? Continue reading

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hedge Fund ETFs: They’re Here

Click Here to view PDF With Charts inserted.

IndexIQ, on March 25, 2009, launched its first hedge fund ETF. This is following in the wake of 2008 where many hedge funds were affected by mass withdrawals and highly leveraged bets went bad, causing many to shut down.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gold Revisited

In recent years, gold has seen spectacular price increases. Looking at some history may reveal where gold is heading in the future and why.

Share
Posted in Articles, Currency & Gold, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forbes Best & Worst ETFs List

Something I’ve been big on lately is ETF tracking error.  An ETF’s ability to track an index can be a bigger cost (implicit cost) to an ETF, and investors should be very concerned with this. …

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hedge Fund ETF

Index IQ came out with their first Hedge Fund ETF last week. A lot of press has been surrounding this ETF in the industry. The ETF, the IQ Hedge Fund Multi-Strategy Tracker ETF, ticker symbol QAI, has an expense ratio of .75%.  Below is the fund’s strategy.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barclays Selling iShares

Barclays Global Capital announced Monday that recent rumors were true and they plan to sell iShares.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Currency Must Be Considered When Investing Abroad

In a recent article submitted by us here at Wiser Wealth Management covers what we think is something investors should consider about their international investments and give a way to hedge the currency risk in general.…

Share
Posted in Articles, Currency & Gold, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VIX ETNs

The VIX Index tracks the amount of defensive options being purchased on the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE).  This represents the amount of insurance investors are seeking to protect their portfolios against downside risk.  As volitity  and downside fear increases these indexes increase in value.…

Share
Posted in Articles, ETFs & Indexing, Research & Economic Commentary, Wiser Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment