|Bid||63.30 x 3200|
|Ask||63.94 x 4000|
|Day's Range||62.16 - 63.81|
|52 Week Range||49.50 - 63.82|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.70|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.15%|
The stock market took a gut punch recently as a number of on-again, off-again headwinds started to blow at the same time. Investors quickly turned tail, seeking out more protective positions. Unsurprisingly, this trend led to an influx of inflows into some of the best defensive exchange-traded funds (ETFs).The Federal Reserve knocked Wall Street off-balance with a recent quarter-point drop in its benchmark Fed funds rate. Yes, it was the first such cut since the Great Recession. But some investors were hoping for a deeper reduction, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's subsequent press conference kept experts guessing about whether future rate cuts were any more or less likely.The U.S.-China trade war escalated next. At the start of August, President Donald Trump threatened to slap a 10% tariff on another $300 billion in Chinese imports effective Sept. 1, prompting Beijing to threaten retaliation. So far, China has announced it will suspend imports of U.S. agricultural products and let its currency, the yuan, tumble to an 11-year-low. The latter move is expected to agitate Trump, who has accused Beijing of currency manipulation in the past.Standard & Poor's 500-stock index dropped quickly, losing almost 4% between the July 30 close (the day before the Fed announcement) and the Aug. 5 market open. Some investors are going to cash - but others are seeking out areas of the market that might rise as the market falls, or places to collect dividends while waiting out the volatility.Here, we examine 11 of the best ETFs to buy if you're looking for portfolio protection. This relatively small cluster of funds covers a lot of ground, including high-dividend sectors, low-volatility ETFs, gold, bonds and even a simple, direct market hedge. SEE ALSO: The Kip ETF 20: The 20 Best Cheap ETFs You Can Buy
As the broad stock market and many other corners felt the pain of the proposed tariff, it triggered a flight to safety. Given this, investors should stash their cash in some safe investing zones.
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are growing at an astronomical rate. U.S. assets are closing in on $4 trillion. The ETF share of total assets at investment firms has expanded to nearly 16% from 8% at the start of the decade, while mutual funds have lost market share. The only problem with this explosive growth? The industry now boasts thousands of funds, making it difficult to determine the very best ETFs.But investors are getting smarter about how they use ETFs in their portfolios. "After a decade of market gains, ETFs now play a unique role for investors as the foundation of a portfolio and also as vehicles that enable investors to be nimble," says Kari Droller, who oversees third-party mutual funds and ETFs at Charles Schwab.We see a need to be nimble at present, so we're making some changes to our Kiplinger ETF 20 list of our favorite ETFs (with an eye toward small fees). Out are iShares Edge MSCI USA Momentum (MTUM), Vanguard Russell 2000 Value ETF (VTWV), Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small Cap ETF (VSS) and Invesco Dynamic Large Cap Value (PWV).So what's in? Some of the newcomers are meant to cushion your portfolio in a market downturn. One new entrant is simply a better strategy for investing in small-company stocks; another is a way to buy into some of the most innovative trends of our time.Read on for our analysis of the 20 best ETFs that allow investors to tackle various strategies at a low cost - including the four newest additions to the list. SEE ALSO: The 45 Cheapest Index Funds
After a stellar Fed-induced rally in the first half, the U.S. market looks pricey. These ETF techniques could save you from any overvaluation-related downside risks.
Smart beta ETF strategies that track alternative or customized indices have been gaining traction, reflecting the various dynamics of different markets in varying conditions.
During the recent market swoon in May, the iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF held its gains, while the S&P 500 fell.
Opportunity lies with low and falling interest rates, says Mark DiOrio of Brookstone Capital Management. You just need to position yourself right.
Low volatility ETFs have the potential to outpace the broader market in bearish conditions or in an uncertain environment providing significant protection to the portfolio.
With the growing trade war with China, slowing economic growth in Europe and political problems here at home, there's a lot on investor's plates these days. That could explain why the markets have gone haywire over the last few weeks. With volatility rising and big market swings now a common occurrence, the stocks to buy these days may not be the high flyers, but those come with a hefty dose of safety.The stocks to buy these days are those with steady revenues, big cash balances and a hefty dose of dividends. The kind of equities that could be immune to the various geopolitical and economic events that are plaguing the markets currently.There are plenty of studies that show if a portfolio can have a smoother ride, then returns can be better over the long haul. Given the craziness and potential for doom and gloom, these less volatile safe stocks could be exactly what the doctored ordered.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips * 10 Names That Are Screaming Stocks to Buy But which are the safe stocks to buy today? Here are five that will help you ride out the summer with relative ease. McDonald's (MCD)Source: Shutterstock McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) needs no introduction. The burger joint is iconic at this point with millions of customers stepping into its restaurants daily. This flood of customers continues to produce ample revenues, cash flows and profits for MCD. The best part is that McDonald's tends to be pretty immune to the effects of the economy. People want their Big Macs and fries no matter what.That point alone makes it one of the best stocks to buy for the summer.But the burger joint is now adding a touch of growth to its safety. Over the last year or so, MCD has increased its use of technology in its restaurants. This has included updating its mobile apps, increasing options for online ordering, adding self-ordering kiosks and even began offering delivery via Uber (NYSE:UBER). However, the real win has been its forays into artificial intelligence and data mining via its buyout of Dynamic Yield. All of these initiatives are designed to boost revenues and margins.And it looks like they are working. Two years into MCD's Velocity Growth Plan and the golden arches are much more golden these days. Both sales and profits have jumped.With a yield of 2.32%. MCD stock is an ideal place to wait out the market's current volatility. Waste Management (WM)Source: Shutterstock We make a lot of trash and it has to go somewhere. Increasingly that job continues to fall toward Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM). WM owns the largest network of landfills, transfer stations, and recycling facilities in the industry. It's a massive moat that can only be matched by a few competitors. Because of this scale and virtual monopoly, Waste Management enjoys some pretty hefty pricing power.It has been successfully able to pass on price increases to customers.And WM keeps on getting bigger. The firm has been able to smartly use M&A to buyout smaller waste hauling operations to entrench its position in key areas. This includes its recent $4.9 billion buyout of Advanced Disposal (NYSE:ADSW). That deal -- like many of WM's buyouts -- will be instantly accreditive to earnings.This should be a boon to its operating income and cash flows. Already, the firm reported record profitability and operating cash flow for 2018. But with the addition of new customers and continued volume strength, Waste should keep the growth going. This should benefit shareholders as well.WM has become a dividend champion and it has consistently increased its dividend for the last 15 years straight -- with a compound annual growth rate of about 6% over the last five years. Currently, shares yield 1.9%. * 7 Marijuana Stocks to Play the CBD Trend All in all, WM has the goods to be one of the best stocks to buy this summer. Consolidated Edison (ED)Source: Shutterstock Utilities are known for their safety and steadfast nature. After all, you have to keep the lights on and heating your home despite what the economy is doing. This makes them a prime stock to buy when the going gets rough. And none could be stodgier than Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED).ConEd has been providing electricity, steam and natural gas for metropolitan New York for more than 180 years. New York is a tough town, but NYC, Westchester, and New Jersey feature strong economic fundamentals and continued growing populations. This has allowed ED to "keep the lights on" for itself as well as reward shareholders.In fact, Con Ed has managed to grow its payout for roughly five decades. The latest was another 3.5% bump at the start of the year.And the dividends could keep coming in. ED has earmarked around $12 billion in CAPEX spending over the next two years. The key is that the vast bulk is going towards its regulated operations. That's a key factor in determining future rate hikes and profits at a utility. With improvements on this side, ED should be able to boost its cash flows further.In the meantime, the safety of being the utility in the biggest city in the U.S. has plenty of advantages for a rocky market. During the last downturn in 2008, ED held up better than the broader market. ED currently yields 3.38%. Aflac (AFL)Source: Shutterstock The duck, its quack and those commercials are pretty iconic. But the parent company is pretty darn iconic as well. Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL) makes an ideal stock to buy for this summer.AFL provides so-called voluntary supplemental health and life insurance products. This niche -- and Aflac is the leader -- is generally a high-margined insurance variety. This provides AFL with plenty of underwriting profits. Moreover, AFL has been very smart with its float and has used it to generate plenty of returns. Net investment income jumped 1.1% and 4% in the last quarter for its U.S. and Japanese operations, respectively. The combination of strong underwriting and gains on its float/investment portfolio have allowed AFL to up its guidance for the rest of the year.At the same time, AFL's conservative nature has allowed it to become a dividend machine. The duck has been paying increasing dividends for 36 years. The latest was nearly a 4% increase at the start of the year. With a low payout ratio -- of less than 30% -- there's plenty of wiggle room left for AFL to keep the payout growing socially if profits keep rising. * 10 Small-Cap Stocks That Look Like Bargains Overall, Aflac represents a strong niche insurance agency with conservative fundamentals. It's exactly the kind of stock to buy for a rocky market like this one. iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF (USMV)Source: Shutterstock The best safe stocks to buy this summer might actually be all of them. And that's where the iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF (NYSEARCA:USMV) comes in.USMV tracks a smart-beta index that uses various screens to kick out high-volatility stocks in order to capture the upside of the market while eliminating the downside. With the exchange-traded fund, you're basically buying all the stocks on this list with one ticker. And so far, USMV has delivered on its promise of providing a smoother ride for portfolios.Since its inception in November 2011, USMV has managed to capture roughly 82% of the S&P 500's gains, while only realizing about 56% of its losses. This past December, when the market's imploded, the S&P 500 lost 9%. USMV only lost 7%. This highlights that the stocks to buy are safe ones in this rocky environment.This summer, investors can swap USMV for a core index holding or use it to boost the robustness of an equity portfolio and provide a safety net for the summer. USMV features an expense ratio of just 0.15%, or $15 annually per $10,000 invested.As of this writing, Aaron Levitt did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 6 Stocks to Buy for This Decade's Massive Megatrend * The 7 Best Stocks to Buy From the IPO ETF * 7 Athletic Apparel Stocks With Marathon Pace Compare Brokers The post 5 Safe Stocks to Buy This Summer appeared first on InvestorPlace.
An ETF expert explains how investors can hedge against market swings, by focusing on ETFs that specifically target lower volatility stocks.
Renewed trade clash between the United States and China has prompted investors to re-access their portfolio, leading to higher demand for safe-haven avenues or lower-risk securities.
Momentum and low volatility have been remarkably effective investment strategies, despite their simplistic focus on past performance. Momentum is built to deliver market-beating returns, while low volatility reduces risk. Low volatility tends to work the best during market downturns and in risk-off environments.
Among factor-based strategies, low or minimum volatility and quality are again proving popular with advisors and investors in 2019. The iShares Edge MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (Cboe: QUAL) and the iShares ...
As the U.S. stock market sold off in the fourth quarter of 2018, lower volatility smart-beta ETFs gathered approximately $7 billion of net inflows, providing investors with a more defensive approach of staying invested in equities, notes CFRA Research analyst Todd Rosenbluth in The Outlook.
Global growth worries, declining corporate profits in the United States and lingering U.S.-China trade tensions have given a life to low-volatility ETFs this year.