Lords a-Leaping

Wed, 2018/01/03 - 3:08pm | Your editor
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News in 2018 is proving predictably scandalous. The Brazilian Minister for Industry, Marcos Perreira, resigned today. As a result, the bolsa in São Paulo rose 3.4% (the Brazil S&P index). Whether he was implicated in the Lava Jato (car wash) scandal or did something else naughty, I know not. But it is not illegal to engage in sexual harrassment in Brazil so that was not it.

 

Brazil also plans to investigate Apple updates because they took too long on older iPhones, a key accessory when you are sunbathing on Ipanema Beach. If your iPhone is out of date you may miss a key link-up with a bikini-clad beauty. Perhaps that did ex-Minister Marcos Perreira in.

The British equivalent of the SEC, their Financial Services Authority, is investigating the results reported over the last two years by Carillion plc, a company which provides track and train mechanical and construction support to British railroads. It reported serious losses, but only last month. Meanwhile the new railway station at London Bridge opened on time and on budget. We had lunch there today. Last week when we went to the theater they were still working at night to get the work done.

 

The British papers are full of stories about enlightened mothers of infants referring to their sprogs as them (although there is only one) to avoid pushing a sexual identity on the baby while its diaper is being changed. Having been raised partly in German I can assure the British mothers that there is a better way to avoid sex-casting their babies. Just use the German, es, or it. When I was a kid I would get furious that my mother would say es regnet (it is raining) and es weint (the child, me, is crying.) The neuter goes on well into your teen-age years if you are female. You are a Maedchen, a Maedl, or some other neutral noun until you become a Frau by getting married. So the British moms should start calling their babies it.

Jewish girls don't get away with anywhere as much. As a tiny child I was taught to say a prayer upon awakening to bow down symbolically to thank God for restoring my soul to me. The trouble is that the Hebrew present tense uses a different first person verb form for a girl bowing down (modah ani) than for a boy bowing down (modeh ani.) I would guess Arabic does too, but I don't know for sure.

 

Pimco has doubled the number of “smart beta” exchange-traded funds it offers on Charles Schwab’s ETF OneSource list, with new three smart beta share products. ETF OneSource list is a commission-free ETF platform which offers 254 products from 16 different fund shops, including Pimco, Deutsche Asset Management, and Invesco’s Powershares, with over $100 bn in assets. Retail investors with Schwab brokerage or retirement accounts can buy ETFs completely commission-free. I have such an account.

Schwab has today added 12 new ETFs to the platform, from 7 providers, 3 of them from Pimco which created them along with Research Affiliates (RAFI) last Sept. The $109.3 mn Pimco RAFI Dynamic Multi-Factor Emerging Markets Equity ETF, the $24.7 mn Pimco RAFI Dynamic Multi-Factor International Equity ETF, and the $17.7 mn Pimco RAFI Dynamic Multi-Factor US Equity ETF are now on the Schwab platform. Earlier Pimco offered bond funds to Schwab customers: the Pimco 0-5 year High Yield Corporate Bond Index ETF, the Pimco Investment Grade Corporate Bond Index ETF, and the Pimco 25+ Year Zero Coupon US Treasury Index ETF. That makes it the biggest player on the Charles Schwab ETF OneSource list.

While I tend to be ngative about the ETF phenomenon, because most ETFs are index-huggers and underperform, that is certainly not the case with Pimco and RAFI. Smart Beta stock picking requires that the analyst ponder other factors apart from whether a stock is in the index. And the result is that these funds can outperform. Because of this move we have a strong buy stock pick for our paid subscribers today. We also have news from Canada, Britain, Germany, Israel, Belgium, Ireland, Bermuda, Colombia,Finland, The Dutch Antilles, and Brazil.

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