I've been out of the blogosphere for a while as I complete a book on the housing crisis entitled The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Revitalizing the American Dream, which will be published by Bloomberg Press early next year.
I'll be blogging more on that subject in the future.
But first, let me introduce you to my latest project, which I co-authored with my friend investment adviser Tom Lydon. It's entitled iMoney: Profitable ETF Strategies for Every Investor (FT/Prentice Hall). I'm proud to say that this book came out of nowhere to the top of amazon.com's mutual fund bestseller list. You can buy it online or in bookstores in July. It's only been out for a few days, but the first print run is sold out and new books will ship in about a week.
Exchange-traded Funds are hot and have gone from almost nothing five years ago to more than $612 billion in assets. They are not stocks, like dot.coms, and I believe they will be around for a long time. They are bundles of securities, currencies and commodities that trade on stock exchanges. They are like mutual funds, except that they are completely transparent and need to be bought through brokers. Their prices are constantly updated throughout the day and you can do everything from buy foreign currencies to small slices of the biotechnology sector.
I recommend ETFs for your portfolio. You can buy all of the US stock and bond markets in just two funds. In fact, the most basic portfolio you could own would be
-- Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF
-- Vanguard Total Bond Market Index ETF or iShares Lehmann Aggregate Bond ETF
Oh, and did I mention that these fixed portfolio index funds cost half as much to manage as their mutual-fund counterparts? That's another plus. They are fairly simple to understand until you get to some of the more complex products that allow you to benefit from downward swings in specific markets. That means you can bet against, or short, these funds and make money during price declines.
So far, the book has been well received and buyers starved for a readable book on this subject are flocking to it. It's full of stories from Tom and I and we had fun doing it. Now we are promoting it. If you invest or know someone who invests, please have them take a look at it. There's more information at etftrends.com or at johnwasik.com.
Here's some basic information from amazon.com:
From the Back Cover
The Up-to-the-Minute Guide to ETF Investing: Pick the Right ETFs for Your Unique Goals!
“The authors cover the ETF waterfront. Whether you are a young investor just starting out or a seasoned stock veteran looking for new investment opportunities, this book is a valuable resource.”
-- Sam Stovall, Chief Investment Strategist, Standard & Poor’s Equity Research
"Finally! Lydon and Wasik objectively analyze exchange traded funds for the average person. We particularly liked iMoney's comparisons with more familiar mutual funds, the clear discussions about risks, and the varying viewpoints from some of the industry's smartest minds."
-- Alan Lavine and Gail Liberman, syndicated columnists for Marketwatch.com and authors of Quick Steps to Financial Stability.
Smart investors have made ETFs today’s hottest investment. iMoney is the only ETF investment guide with up-to-the-minute advice that reflects today’s ETF marketplace: advice that is fully customized to your specific investment goals.
The authors explain exactly how ETFs fit into today’s investment universe. Even better, they present specific roadmaps, strategies, and model portfolios for a wide range of investors, from recent college graduates through retirees.
You’ll learn how to build and monitor your ETF portfolio; choose among the fast-growing array of ETFs; and profit from changing global market trends. The authors discuss domestic and foreign stock ETFs; sector, commodity, and currency ETFs; fixed income ETFs, long/short ETFs, and even “actively managed” ETFs. They preview emerging industry trends, and objectively assess the key criticisms that have recently been leveled at ETFs.
· Tomorrow’s ETF book, not yesterday’s! Reflects the newest ETFs and strategies, and prepares you for emerging market trends
· By two of the world’s leading ETF experts...
...Tom Lydon, founder of ETFTrends.com, the nation’s #1 consumer ETF site, and John F. Wasik, global personal finance columnist
Provides specific strategies and portfolio recommendations
Not just theory! Discover what to buy, based on your unique investment profile
Covers every major type of ETF...
...including overseas, sector, commodity, currency, and bond ETFs...even long/short ETF strategies!