NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Don Dion posts his current insights on the stock, bond, commodity and currency markets in his RealMoney blog, anticipating which ETFs will be in play next.

Here are three of his blogs from the past week.


Five Reasons to Own FDN

Published 7/27/2010 1:20 p.m. EDT

Here are four important, though seemingly different, headlines from the tech industry today: "Yahoo Japan Will Use Google Technology for Search"; "Ruling Lets iPhone Users Alter Phone Software"; "Verizon and AT&T Outages Upset Service in New York"; and "Citi Discloses Flaw in iPhone App."

All of these headlines appeared on various financial Web sites this morning. Investors like reading about tech, and the more connected that people get, the more concerned they get about connectivity itself.

As investors, we often concentrate on picking the best tech products and companies from a booming industry. Will the Apple ( AAPL) iPhone become eclipsed by Google's ( GOOG) new Android software? Will Amazon's ( AMZN) Kindle or Apple's iPad make traditional magazines and books obsolete? Which company will ultimately produce the one product that will become indispensable to users across the globe?

Who doesn't want to buy shares of that company and watch them double, triple -- make up for all that money lost during the Great Recession?

In our quest to tag the next great product, however, we fail to take the necessary step of observing the overall trend. Here's one statistic that should say it all: Facebook has 500 million users around the globe. Why do people flock to Facebook? We live in an age where we need to stay connected. You can't bet against the Net , a message I've been trying to send to investors since late last year.

Rather than trying to pick and choose companies that thrive on the Internet, stick with the First Trust Dow Jones Internet ETF ( FDN). Have my past blogs ( here and here ) left you unconvinced? Here are five reasons you should consider buying shares of FDN.

1. People Are Cheap, and Rightly So

After the Great Recession, consumers have tightened their purse strings. Investors learned today that consumer confidence is now at rock-bottom. Still, people need to buy essentials -- and the occasional gift -- and they want to make sure they get the best deal possible. FDN components like Google, eBay ( EBAY) and Yahoo! ( YHOO) help consumers find the best deal possible before opening their wallets.

2. People Are Traveling Again

Are you ready for takeoff ? Recent earnings from top airlines like JetBlue ( JBLU) and U.S. Airways ( LCC) show that consumers are once again taking to the skies for a much-needed (and perhaps much-delayed) vacation. Rather than shelling out the big bucks to take the family to Disney World, however, everyone's once again turning to the Internet to find the best deals. FDN components like Priceline ( PCLN) and Expedia ( EXPE) allow consumers to find the best deals from the comfort of their living rooms.

3. Looking For a Job? Or Reluctant to Hire?

It's equally easy to understand why Americans are obsessed with unemployment data and why private industry is reluctant to begin full-scale hiring efforts. No matter which side of the divide you're on, FDN offers exposure to companies that both help you find a job as well as help firms postpone hiring. Monster Worldwide ( MWW) is one of the best-known job sites out there, while Salesforce.com ( CRM) allows companies to outsource functions like marketing without having to hire a whole new department in improving economic times.

4. Investors Are Firing Their Brokers

In the wake of the 2008 meltdown, many investors are cautiously re-entering the market -- without the help of traditional brokers. This is good news for FDN components like TD Ameritrade ( AMTD) and E*Trade ( ETFC), low-cost online brokerage services that appeal to do-it-yourselfers. Investors are re-entering the market, albeit slowly, and the trend of online investing continues to look promising.

5. No Need to Pick and Choose

Online firms are always in flux, and a site that's popular one day can easily be forgotten the next. Rather than getting saddled with a firm that gets stuck in the mud, choose a well-balanced fund like FDN that doesn't stake its performance on the result of any one Internet firm -- just one more way to reduce risk in a difficult environment.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long FDN.

How to Play the IMF's Yuan Review

Published 7/27/2010 8:14 a.m. EDT

The IMF announced the results of a review yesterday determining that China's currency, the yuan, is still undervalued. This reinforces the view I have held that investors can use WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan ( CYB) as a vehicle for slow but steady gains.

The peg that China had maintained with the dollar was loosened on June 19; since then the currency has appreciated against the dollar by 0.7%. According to the IMF's review, though, it still has further to go before it can be considered appropriately valued.

CYB increased by about 1.0% in the week following the peg readjustment, and then leveled off to where it still currently is at gains of about 0.5% since that time.

Investors should note that the gains in CYB will be slow, and investors should only play this fund if they have overall confidence in the progress of the Chinese economy in the long term. As China moves away from export-oriented growth and toward domestic, consumer-generated growth, having a currency that is appreciating against the dollar and against other currencies will become less potentially harmful. Such a shift could mean that the government will be less likely to keep such a strong hold over it.

Investors should not assume that the IMF's findings are capable of bullying the Chinese government into taking a more liberal stance on its currency, since trying to predict any government's actions is tricky business. China has also not been easily muscled on the topic of its currency in the past. Looking for a short-term bounce after this announcement in CYB could be an option, but since the fund is not a fast mover, it is best used with a more long-term mindset.

So, the findings can give instead investors confidence that there is still room for appreciation in the currency as China's economy develops and that CYB will be a good long-term play.

Finally, timing is important with this ETF in order to maximize gains on the slow-moving fund even in the long term. Therefore, if there is a blip upward after the IMF findings, investors should wait for it to cool off -- just as the fund cooled in the weeks after the initial euphoria following the June 19 readjustment -- and then look to gain exposure.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long CYB.

Insurers Look Compelling

Published 7/26/2010 2:55 p.m. EDT

Few industries have had to endure the degree of regulatory scrutiny that's been lavished upon insurers during the past year. From health care reform to the financial reform bill, insurers have been in the spotlight on several fronts.

With so much ongoing scrutiny and uncertainty, it's easy to understand why some investors might want to avoid the group altogether. The group has had some bright spots in earnings so far, however, and investors should at least consider gaining exposure to the group in the short term with a well balanced ETF such as the iShares DJ Insurance ETF ( IAK) or the SPDR KBW Insurance ETF ( KIE).

Aetna ( AET) will be reporting results after the close today, and rival WellPoint ( WLP) will be following on Wednesday. Analysts are expecting both firms to report an increase in earnings per share and a decrease in revenue. UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), which has already reported results, set the stage by releasing a report that had a couple notable bright spots. With the health care reform bill behind us, UnitedHealth saw an uptick in enrollment and an increase in its medical care ratio. Aetna and WellPoint may very well follow suit.

Aflac ( AFL), which got a glowing report from Barron's over the weekend, could also surprise investors. The Barron's feature singles out operating earnings as one potential source of strength. I recommended exposure to Aflac through KIE in a post late June titled " Get Some Insurance." I continue to believe that insurers such as Aflac dodged the bullet when it comes to financial reform.

With earnings ahead, the picture for insurers is compelling. Investors who are looking to gain exposure to health insurers specifically should consider the iShares Dow Jones US Healthcare Provider ETF ( IHF). Those who are looking for a broader approach outside of the health care spectrum should check out KIE and IAK, both of which have exposure to Aflac.

At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long IAK.

Don Dion is president and founder of Dion Money Management, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.

Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.