NEW YORK (ETF Expert) -- Recently, I talked about reducing risk by leaning toward revenue beaters.
Today, with a meager 37% of corporations surpassing expected sales targets, investors appear nervous about the possibility that companies will lose their footing on "Revenue Mountain."
Disappointing earnings reports, year-over-year revenue declines and uninspiring growth projections are not the only reasons for the selling pressure, however. President Obama appeared to be a lock in September. Now, many wonder about the prospect of county-by-county recounts in Ohio during the first few weeks of November.
And that's not all.
Spain's borrowing costs jumped back into fretful territory as ratings agencies once again discussed downgrades. Speculation about Chairman Ben Bernanke exiting the
regardless of who wins the presidency made the rounds. Most importantly, there has been precious little evidence that fiscal cliff fears will be resolved in a bipartisan, "cool heads will prevail" manner.
Interestingly enough, though, the
three ETF categories I recently highlighted for standing tall in the face of fiscal cliff concerns demonstrated relative safety on the 240-point
sell-off on Oct. 23.
Those categories included: (a) assets with historically wide spreads with comparable treasuries, (b) assets that offer positive real returns after inflation and (c) Asia-Pacific ETFs that tap into a stabilizing economic situation in and around the region.
Here are some of those relatively safe ETFs and their percentage rise or decline on Oct. 23.
- Vanguard Intermediate Corporate (VCIT) - Get Report, 0.2%
Market Vectors Latin America Bond (BONO) , 0.1%
iShares S&P Preferred (PFF) - Get Report, -0.1%
SPDR Barclay High Yield Bond (JNK) - Get Report, -0.2%
PowerShares Emerging Market Sovereign (PCY) - Get Report, -0.3%
iShares MSCI New Zealand (ENZL) - Get Report, -0.7%
iShares MSCI Hong Kong (EWH) - Get Report, -0.8%
iShares MSCI Philippines (EPHE) - Get Report, -0.9%
First Trust Dividend Leaders (FDL) - Get Report, -1.1%
By comparison the
was off 1.4% while the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 1.8%.
The above-mentioned ETFs -- and the three categories described earlier -- provide a combination of income, relative safety and opportunistic growth. In truth, circumstances aren't likely to change enough in the near term to warrant additional risk taking.
Some are predicting that disaster is about to unfold. Perhaps. Yet, you don't want to become a panicky seller, nor do you want to listen to the doomsayers who have been whistling the same monotonous tune throughout the year. (For that matter... gloom-and-doomers have predicted the demise of market-based securities in every month and in every year in the new century!)
Here is one way to tune out the cacophony of perma-bears as well as perma-bulls. Employ a trustworthy benchmark like the S&P 500. If the index closes below its 200-day moving average, sell a portion of your growth-oriented assets. And if you're genuinely concerned that the corrective phase is turning into a systemic, 2008-style collapse,
use a tight stop-limit loss order on the remainder of your riskier ETF holdings. That's it!
Don't fret the price movement of your intermediate bond holdings at this stage. Corporations are sitting on more cash in the history of their existence, making Vanguard Intermediate Corporate Bond safe. Meanwhile, emerging market countries have a far better debt-to-GDP ratio than their counterparts in the developed world. That makes the dollar-denominated PowerShares Emerging Market Sovereign Debt a safer haven, too.
This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Disclosure Statement: ETF Expert is a website that makes the world of ETFs easier to understand. Gary Gordon, Pacific Park Financial and/or its clients may hold positions in ETFs, mutual funds and investment assets mentioned. The commentary does not constitute individualized investment advice. The opinions offered are not personalized recommendations to buy, sell or hold securities. At times, issuers of exchange-traded products compensate Pacific Park Financial or its subsidiaries for advertising at the ETF Expert website. ETF Expert content is created independently of any advertising relationships. You may review additional ETF Expert at the site.
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