Eq: Large Cap
Just three months after flashing a dreaded “death cross”, the Dow is now showing some very bullish indicators. The Dow is signaling a “golden cross”, or a strongly bullish sign. The last time the market showed this kind of technical sign was three years ago, a moment which was followed by a 30% rally. The “golden cross” is when the 50-day moving average passes the 200-day moving average, and is taken as a sign of when a rally becomes a longer-term uptrend.
FINSUM: We don’t give a lot of weight to technical analysis unless it is accompanied by some fundamental news. In this case the bullish signs seem to exist in isolation.
It is time to get out high yield. The sector has been seeing heightened fears for months, and prices have performed so well in the first two months of the year, that there is little value left. High yields returned 6.4% in January and February after the market came to a virtual standstill at the end of 2018. Part of the reason for the outperformance is that investors are demanding less spread to Treasuries, a fact that has not carried over to the investment grade market.
FINSUM: The pendulum has swung too far, and investment grade bonds now appear a much better value than high yield.
Barron’s has been running a series of articles outlining the best dividend funds by different category. They have also put out a piece outlining the best performing dividend funds overall. The funds mentioned below have all provided top performance over the last half decade. The three top funds are the Vanguard Dividend Growth Fund (VDIGX), The Bishop Street Dividend Value Fund (BSLIX), and the Madison Dividend Income Fund (BHBFX). The Vanguard fund has achieved an annual 10.19% average return over the last five years, just under the S&P 500’s 10.67%. Its fees are much lower than the others at only 0.26%.
FINSUM: VDIGX is a great option for solid dividends and returns, but the field of these kinds of funds is growing and diverse.
Today we wanted to write a story covering the topic of rate hedged ETFs. We have been examining these lately and feel they are in high demand because of the need for stable income for retirees and the still-relevant threat of higher rates. Mortgage REIT ETFs, such as iShares’ REM really caught our eye with 9%+ yields. However, they are very rate sensitive, so we wanted to find a better option. Enter ProShares’ HYHG, or the High Yield-Interest Rate Hedged ETF. The fund yields over 6% in a highly hedged manner, it goes long high yield US and Canadian debt and simultaneously shorts US Treasuries. The expense ratio is 0.50% and the fund has $127 under management.
FINSUM: This seems like a great fund to us—6% income with only 50 basis points in fees, all in a rate hedged package.
JP Morgan has plunged headlong into the ETF business since launching its first fund a few years ago. Now the asset manager has debuted a new broad equity tracker than undercuts the market on fees. JP Morgan’s new BetaBuilders US Equity ETF will track mid and large cap US stocks and will seek to track the results of the Morningstar US Target Market Exposure index. The fund costs just 0.02%, or $0.20 for every $1,000 invested per year, one basis point lower than its nearest competitor.
FINSUM: This is a good broad index tracker that costs next to nothing. We expect it will gobble up AUM nicely, but it remains to be seen how well its tracks the index versus competitors, as 1 bp is a tiny margin that could easily be eaten up by performance differences.
Where is the best place to find inexpensive income? That is a great question for any portfolio. With that in mind, here is a list of seven funds that can help investors get solid yields via inexpensive ETFs: iShares Core High Dividend ETF (HDV), SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 High Dividend ETF (SPYD), Invesco Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend ETF (DJD), Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM), JPMorgan U.S. Dividend ETF (JDIV), Xtrackers MSCI EAFE High Dividend Yield Equity ETF (HDEF). All the funds have expense ratios of between 0.07% and 0.20% and average yields ranging up to around 4%.
FINSUM: These are very core funds with good awareness, but always nice to have them all in one place. We particularly like the Xtrackers internationally-focused income fund because it can help get income from differing rate environments.