Have you ever thought to yourself “I would love if they could put the downside protection of structured products into an ETF”? Probably not, but someone did, as there is a new category of ETFs, called Buffer ETFs, which are seeing big capital inflows. The ETFs work by guaranteeing only a certain level of losses in exchange for limiting potential gains. The ETFs have a year-long term, and their details change constantly. But a good example would be one with a 9% “buffer”. This means that if the ETF loses 12% in the year, the holder would only see a 3% loss and the product provider would absorb the rest. The first and only provider of these ETFs is called Innovator and has partnered with MSCI, Nasdaq and more to create a handful of exchange traded funds. Check out KOCT, NOCT, EJUL, and IJUL.
FINSUM: These are very tricky ETFs, just like the structured products from which they drew their inspiration. That said, they seem like they have some utility if they are executed properly.
Well, the Dow might be about to suffer its longest losing streak in 40 years. The index has lost eight days in a row, and many of them were punishing. Now, if the Dow loses again today, making it nine days in row, it will be the longest streak since 1978. Since 1896, the Dow has only suffered ten losing streaks of nine days or more.
FINSUM: This seems like one of those stats that appears fairly meaningless when it is happening, but in hindsight might seem the start of a bear market/correction or recession.
Consider this a warning shot across the bow on a piece of information that no one seems to see coming. The Wall Street Journal has put out a piece saying that fourth quarter earnings season, set to start soon, is going to be miserable. The reason why is that many companies are going to intentionally incur some huge expenses as occurring in the fourth quarter as a way to take best advantage of the new tax regime being brought in during 2018. This will heavily cut into fourth quarter profits, leaving some very ugly numbers.
FINSUM: The piece says this is going to be the weirdest earnings season in years, and that seems right as these losses are somewhat artificial. However, it is never good to have some very poor numbers come out, which could lead to some short-term misunderstandings and volatility.