March 1, 2024

By David Snowball

Dear friends,

In like a lion, out like a lamb? The Total Stock Market Index has risen 12% in the past three months, as has the S&P 500. Nvidia stock is up 76% in the same period while semiconductor stocks inched up … 48%.

The thermometer in Davenport today topped 76 degrees, just a bit warm for a late winter day. We heard that participants in the March 1st Polar Plunges at locations across the upper Midwest had to be Continue reading →

We breathe rarified air

By David Snowball

As we go to press, the S&P 500 is at its highest level in history: 5137. It set a record by passing 5000 for the first time on February 12, then another record high of 5100 two weeks later.

In reality, of course, the S&P is not rocketing upward. The S&P 7-to-10 is, with the other 490-493 stocks as an afterthought. The top 10 stocks contributed 93% of the index’s 2023 gains. Goldman Sachs declares that the “S&P 500 index is more concentrated than it has ever been,” while Amundi, Europe’s largest Continue reading →

Outperforming Actively Managed ETFs

By Charles Lynn Bolin

David Snowball wrote The Rise of the Active ETFs in the July 2019 Mutual Fund Observer newsletter describing actively managed exchange-traded funds as:

“Active ETFs are a sort of hybrid between more traditional ETFs and actively managed mutual funds. Like traditional ETFs, they trade on the secondary market which means that the advisor doesn’t need to keep cash on hand in order to meet day-to-day withdrawal needs. Some of the expenses traditionally borne by the advisor either don’t exist (ETFs have fewer shareholder reports than, by law, mutual funds do) or are shifted to the brokerage firm. They also offer a structural tax advantage: shareholders aren’t responsible for the yearly tax consequences (and record-keeping) of the manager’s moves; shareholders are taxed only when they sell their shares.”

Continue reading →

fountain pen writing a note

Briefly Noted

By TheShadow


Beware of big promises! Several articles have been written recently about BOXX ETF. Alpha Architect 1-3 Month Box ETF which tries to outperform an ultra-cheap vanilla ETF by using an option swap strategy. In theory, the game will allow investors to pay the long-term capital gain rate on their games rather than the ordinary income rate.

Here’s the advisor’s description of their Continue reading →