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Old 10-31-2014, 03:24 AM   #241
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LOL !

do you ever consider vxus instead ? Or do you dislike the small cap component of vxus?
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:14 AM   #242
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LOL !

do you ever consider vxus instead ? Or do you dislike the small cap component of vxus?
Yes, I consider VXUS, but have not used it for several small reasons.

1. It was not available when I initiated a LARGE position in VEU. I try to simplify my investments whenever possible, although it may not seem like it. So I prefer to add to VEU than start a new position in VXUS.

2. I like to overweight foreign small caps and like to slice-and-dice, so I own a VERY LARGE position in VSS (small-cap foreign index), less in SCZ (small-cap developed), and DGS+EWX (small-cap emerging markets). So these easily make up what is missing from VEU.

3. I own a little bit of VTIAX (same as VXUS) in a small IRA. It is in set-and-forget mode, so I don't write about it in this newsletter.

4. Splitting international into VEA+VWO+VSS or VEU+VSS is more tax-efficient than owning VXUS. I can have the less tax-efficient VSS in tax-advantaged accounts, while having the tax-efficient VEA, VWO, VEU in a taxable account.

5. VXUS just doesn't have the daily volume that VEA, VWO, VEU have and seems to have an average bid/ask spread about twice what these more liquid ETFs have. See https://advisors.vanguard.com/VGApp/...s/bidaskspread

6. And the most important reason of all: FSGDX (Fidelity Spartan Total Int'l index) is just like VXUS, but is available in my 401(k). I own lots of it and as noted in recent posts have purchased more of it.

Do you like my reasoning?

(Today is going to be a great day for VEU and VEA and FSGDX. Japan was up almost 5% overnight. I should charge for this newsletter )
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:43 AM   #243
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Something just doesn't make sense to me at today's opening of the US markets.

Why are my foreign ETFs such as VEA, VEU, and VWO trading at lower values after Draghi's ECB comments AND after Europe stock markets popped at the end of their day?

Here is a something from Yahoo finance:

I expected VEA and VEU at least to be up by 1% or more. Is Yahoo Finance giving me bad data?

Since Japan has started some QE and it does look like Europe is finally going do something and Ukraine has a gas contract with Russia, it just seems to me that foreign developed stock markets should be rocking and rolling. I guess I will have to make a prediction: Foreign developed stock markets will be going up sooner rather than later.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:01 AM   #244
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Single or same day prices for non-US assets have large tracking errors because markets aren't in sync. International ETFs often close with differences between price and NAV. Next day opening prices will reflect that. This seems especially so when there is important news on days after European markets close.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:08 AM   #245
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True, but it looks like bad data from Yahoo Finance to me right now as Bloomberg paints a different story. European Stocks Rise as ECB Says More Stimulus If Needed - Bloomberg
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:58 AM   #246
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Is it possible that the real-time price conversion of the foreign equities includes the effects of currency exchange, which moves against the foreign indices although the latter are going up in their local currencies?

On the other front, I just sold the remaining shares of the leveraged semiconductor ETF I bought on 10/15. Paid $79.33, and just sold for $110.40. The other shares, I would have sold too, but have already written covered calls on them.

Not at all a bad take, but hardly makes a dent to the rest of the portfolio (which is below its all-time high) as this is just a small bet of less than $50K as a lark.
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Old 11-06-2014, 03:19 PM   #247
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While int'l developed markets rose, the US$K rose even more, the net was negative. Looks like the $$ was up even more against some of the primary EM currencies while many of those markets fell, making for a big decline.

If tracking foreign markets directly it helps to keep an eye on UUP, which tracks the US$.
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Old 11-07-2014, 06:42 AM   #248
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@MichaelB, thanks for that. It looks like nothing big can happen until after a meeting in December.

@NW-bound, nice profit on your part. What's next?
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:02 AM   #249
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Have you thought about using currency hedged ETFs for some of your timing trades?
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:22 AM   #250
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I have not.

My timing trades are very rare, but not as rare as my tax-loss harvesting trades. My rebalancing trades occur less rarely. And unlike NW-Bound, I do not like to use leverage anymore.

I think I need to go sit on my hands for the month of November.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:03 PM   #251
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About the aforementioned leveraged semiconductor ETF that I bought in mid October, as a hedge I immediately wrote covered Feb 2015 calls on some of the shares, with strike prices of $90 and $95, pocketing premiums of $11 and $10. It was done a bit too early, and I left $20+ per share on the table. But as they say, nobody goes broke taking profits. The semiconductor sector is the most volatile of the volatile tech stocks, then when you go 3X leverage, oh la la !

Anyway, after I sold the unhedged shares for $110.40 yesterday, the price slumped and is now at $108. For the shares that I still hold, I bought at an average price of $84.37, and as long as the price stays above $73.87, I am still in the green. But of course, it can drop through that price too.

What to do now? I just sold off another ETF, this one a 3X leveraged small cap. For a commitment of $21K, I netted $3091 including some option premiums. This is not that great, as this trade started 5 months ago, before the correction.

And then, I still have several hundred shares of 3X leveraged emerging market ETF, which I bought at $26.50 as mentioned in an earlier post. I was in the green a few days ago, but now slightly in the red (price at $25.92).

So, I made a bit of money with these trades, but am I happy? Heck no. I still lost beaucoup money in my long-term holdings, and need around $100K to get back to my all-time high. Well, maybe less if I consider what I have withdrawn and spent.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:09 PM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
About the aforementioned leveraged semiconductor ETF that I bought in mid October, as a hedge I immediately wrote covered Feb 2015 calls on some of the shares, with strike prices of $90 and $95, pocketing premiums of $11 and $10. It was done a bit too early, and I left $20+ per share on the table. But as they say, nobody goes broke taking profits. The semiconductor sector is the most volatile of the volatile tech stocks, then when you go 3X leverage, oh la la !

Anyway, after I sold the unhedged shares for $110.40 yesterday, the price slumped and is now at $108. For the shares that I still hold, I bought at an average price of $84.37, and as long as the price stays above $73.87, I am still in the green. But of course, it can drop through that price too.

What to do now? I just sold off another ETF, this one a 3X leveraged small cap. For a commitment of $21K, I netted $3091 including some option premiums. This is not that great, as this trade started 5 months ago, before the correction.

And then, I still have several hundred shares of 3X leveraged emerging market ETF, which I bought at $26.50 as mentioned in an earlier post. I was in the green a few days ago, but now slightly in the red (price at $25.92).

So, I made a bit of money with these trades, but am I happy? Heck no. I still lost beaucoup money in my long-term holdings, and need around $100K to get back to my all-time high. Well, maybe less if I consider what I have withdrawn and spent.
You could always recoup the losses by doing some part time work.
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Old 11-07-2014, 03:13 PM   #253
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Speak for yourself, buddy!

I consider my short-term stock trades my part-time work. And of course all the time I spend BS'ing on this forum.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:14 PM   #254
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I had to raise some cash to pay some bills in November including property taxes and a big travel bill, so I sold a few hundred shares of the VEU that was recently purchased for a small inconsequential gain.

Still holding on to the rest, but a college tuition payment is coming up. I'd like these recently purchased shares to go up 50% before I have to pay that tuition.
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Old 11-28-2014, 02:54 PM   #255
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I put in my November order (equal amounts of FSITX and FINPX).

Just two more months to go. That final month will have a lot of piddly orders to drain all the cash in the account, but still try to get close to the original allocation.
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:27 AM   #256
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Today I exchanged some shares of VEU (with a short-term gain) back to VEA mostly because I am less interested in emerging markets in the short-term plus VEA was down slightly today. As background, VEA(developed)+VWO (emerging markets) is essentially VEU, so it was like unloading some emerging markets equities. This will probably backfire on me since EM (VWO) has dropped recently as much as 3.5%.

Anyways, this completes the tax-loss harvesting move of VEA to VEU and then back to VEA. I guess the plus is that VEU was up for a small profit, while VEA was re-purchased at about 1% lower. Thus, the transactions did not hurt me.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:27 PM   #257
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So my 12/03 purchase of VEA is underwater. And the rest of those recently purchased shares of VEU are also underwater. This calls for some more tax-loss harvesting. Since next week both VEA and VEU go ex-dividend, I do not want to be receiving dividends from short-term shares that I am going to tax-loss harvest (otherwise any qualified part of the dividend will not be qualified). Thus, I have to sell these positions between now and 12/18.

In addition, VWO has dropped more percentage-wise than both of VEA & VEU.

So here is what I am going to do: I submitted an order to exchange from FSITX (bond fund) into FSGDX (FTSE ex-US international) in my 401(k) today for about the total dollar amount of the VEA and VEU positions that I am going to sell in the next 5 days. I will not sell VEA and VEU today, so will be "doubled-up" in this bit of international with the hope that I can sell VEA and VEU after they go up a little bit more.

After I sell them, I will stay in cash until after a few other Vanguard ETFs go ex-dividend, then I will decide what to do with that cash. It is likely I will buy some VTI (total US market) in taxable and/or in Roth IRAs*, then exchange from FUSVX (S&P500 index) back into FSITX (bonds) in the 401(k).

(*We will use some of the cash to make our Roth IRA contributions for both 2014 and 2015.)

Got that? It's a bit complicated, but I typed it in here more as notes for myself to follow in the next couple of weeks.

Anybody else got some year-end maneuvers that they would like to chime in with?
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Old 12-11-2014, 03:48 PM   #258
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I also need to sell VWO to lock in a short term loss; but, I have not decided where to redeploy those funds yet.

I have also taken a bath on DBC (PwrShs DB Cmdty Idx) since purchasing it. So, I need to sell and am looking for a replacement since I actually want to increase my allocation to commodities (at least my GTU trade to get some gold exposure is paying off).
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Old 12-11-2014, 07:53 PM   #259
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When looking for replacement shares of the same asset class, I always go look at the links at www.altruistfa.com/dfavanguard.htm
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:59 PM   #260
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That last exchange of mine was pretty bad market timing. Oh, well.
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