Feb 28, 2010
Currencies | Emerging Markets
The Chinese Yuan is pegged to the US Dollar --- with occasional 'adjustements' or small revisions by the Chinese government. This chart shows a general, vague idea of what 'may' be the movement of the currency if it were allowed to float. Both the Australian Dollar (developed market) and the Brazilian Real (emerging market) are considered 'commodity currencies' and are in a way comparable to China.
To see other timeframes for this relationship, type CYB BZF and FXA into the text boxes and push the 'Compare Returns' button here:
Feb 27, 2010
These 3 'different' markets all showing remarkably similar return and risk profiles --- symbolizing broader forces at work:
Feb 26, 2010
Lower vol sectors like consumer staples outperform in down market and gives absolute return in up markets. Classic characteristics of absolute return strategies.
Feb 24, 2010
Commodities | Correlation
I know that this may be implied by others --- but its not enough that something simply be non-correlated to be included in a portfolio. It also needs to have positive expected return.
Structurally speaking, commodities markets are both 1) quite volatile and 2) generally quite sensitive to the overall economy -- which is what the stock market is sensitive to. In times of crisis, its been shown over and over again that correlations generally rise, so that you thought you were getting non-correlation, but instead you just get a more volatile asset that delivers an even larger drawdown for your portfolio. An excellent example is what just happened with crude oil in 2008, see images:
Feb 22, 2010
European indexes have generally tracked the S&P 500 when adjusted for currency.
Alter time periods and/or change symbols here:
Feb 20, 2010
Examples of the statistical risk-profiles of the S&P 500 and the Aggregate Bond Market (AGG). I have added the 2x Leveraged S&P 500 ETF as an example of going the wrong direction. The goal is to create a portfolio with low standard deviation and relatively high returns. Sound familiar? Yes, these are the core components of the sharpe ratio. The S&P 500 has never had an attractive sharpe ratio.
Feb 06, 2010
Options market makers use daily volatility as their measure of how to handle securities with different sensitivities to broad events and market moves. Getting a basic understanding of volatility can be quite useful when thinking about how to weight your holdings. If you expect high returns, then high volatility is fine -- you are expecting to be paid for the risk. A major problem would be owning securities that are very volatile but you do not expect them to offer high returns.
The Emerging Markets Index (EEM) has been more volatile from a daily standard deviation perspective every month for the last few years. There has been no change in this in 2010. Looking at the returns by month as in the first chart shows how this YTD period is hardly an unexpected outcome.
Our layout at ETFreplay.com has been designed to offer visual representation of data. Financial relationships are much easier to understand with a well laid-out chart than a set of numbers in a data table.
To vary the timeframe of the above analysis and gain deeper understanding of this relationship, visit: ETF Charts
Feb 04, 2010
This chart compares ETF's with similar durations and varying credit quality. From treasuries to investment grade bonds to high-yield bonds. The chart below shows the direction of credit spreads -- in an intuitive total return chart. All distribution adjustments are made for you -- do not expect a price chart found on most websites to be able to do this analysis.
Feb 03, 2010
S&P 500 | Yield
Historical dividend yield for the S&P 500. The decade began with very low yield and increased sharply as dividends (and earnings) grew.
Jan 26, 2010
What has currency done to US bond market returns for foreign investors? While various currencies have performed notably differently, the overall Deutsche Bank Dollar Index ETF is a good proxy to make a weighted judgment of overall effect. Since February 2007, when the UUP was launched, there has been a depreciation of the dollar of about -6%. With domestic currency bond market index returns in the +17 to +19% over this period and understanding that some currencies fared much better or worse than the underlying DB dollar index, you can see that currency can be quite a meaningful contribution to overall return.
To update this chart to today or visualize similar relationships using other ETF combinations, go here: http://www.etfreplay.com/charts.aspx