Currency ETF Palooza

IndexUniverse reported that iShares filed for 14 actively managed, single currency ETFs as follows; iShares Australian Dollar (AUDS)iShares British Pound (GBPS)iShares Canadian Dollar (CADS)iShares Chinese Offshore Renminbi (CNHS)iShares Euro (EURS)iShares Japanese Yen (JPYS)iShares Mexican Peso (MXNS)iShares New Zealand Dollar (NZDS)iShares Norwegian Krone (NOKS)iShares Singapore Dollar (SGDS)iShares Swedish Krona (SEKS)iShares Swiss Franc (THBS)iShares Thai Offshore Baht (THBS)iShares Turkish Lira ETF (TRYS) Obviously there are a lot of other currency ETFs out there. The CurrencyShares suite from Guggenheim is probably the largest offering. WisdomTree and Market Vectors are both in the space along with a few other providers. Several years ago, before the financial crisis, WisdomTree filed most of the above currencies along with quite a few others but brought very few to the market to trade. The context for actively managed, per the IU article, is that the funds will own short term USD debt and forex contracts and so there will be activity in managing the derivatives used. The audience for currency ETFs has probably turned out to be smaller than was probably expected back when CurrencyShares Euro (FXE) first hit the market. For the right type of investor I do believe there is room for some currency exposure but to be clear it will not be right for everyone. It is a little surprising that iShares plans to jump in with such a broad line (if that is their intention and the funds actually do list) but over the years I have been lead to believe that iShares is sensitive to client needs and so if they actually come out with these funds it might be because of...

Currency ETF Palooza

IndexUniverse reported that iShares filed for 14 actively managed, single currency ETFs as follows; iShares Australian Dollar (AUDS)iShares British Pound (GBPS)iShares Canadian Dollar (CADS)iShares Chinese Offshore Renminbi (CNHS)iShares Euro (EURS)iShares Japanese Yen (JPYS)iShares Mexican Peso (MXNS)iShares New Zealand Dollar (NZDS)iShares Norwegian Krone (NOKS)iShares Singapore Dollar (SGDS)iShares Swedish Krona (SEKS)iShares Swiss Franc (THBS)iShares Thai Offshore Baht (THBS)iShares Turkish Lira ETF (TRYS) Obviously there are a lot of other currency ETFs out there. The CurrencyShares suite from Guggenheim is probably the largest offering. WisdomTree and Market Vectors are both in the space along with a few other providers. Several years ago, before the financial crisis, WisdomTree filed most of the above currencies along with quite a few others but brought very few to the market to trade. The context for actively managed, per the IU article, is that the funds will own short term USD debt and forex contracts and so there will be activity in managing the derivatives used. The audience for currency ETFs has probably turned out to be smaller than was probably expected back when CurrencyShares Euro (FXE) first hit the market. For the right type of investor I do believe there is room for some currency exposure but to be clear it will not be right for everyone. It is a little surprising that iShares plans to jump in with such a broad line (if that is their intention and the funds actually do list) but over the years I have been lead to believe that iShares is sensitive to client needs and so if they actually come out with these funds it might be because of...

Shocking & Fascinating McBudget

From the last to know category I stumbled across this proposed budget that McDonalds put together for its front line employees, most of whom make minimum wage. The budget as follows via Minyanville; Monthly Income 1st Job $11052nd Job $955Total Income $2060 Monthly Expenses Savings $100Mortgage/Rent $600Car Payment $150Car/Home Insurance $100Health Insurance $20Heating $0 (this was later changed to $50)Cable/Phone $100Electric $90Other $100Total Monthly Expenses $1260 Monthly Spending Money $800 Daily Spending Money Goal $27 I will say up front that the idea of a company trying to provide education in the name of promoting financial literacy is a positive. The particulars of this episode appear to have caused a PR mess for the company. For anyone who hasn’t thought about their budget in the context of a minimum wage salary the numbers above probably come as a shock. One aspect of the PR mess is the items that are missing like groceries, gas, taxes and some other things. Another aspect of the PR mess is the apparent suggestion that front line employees need a second job–the company is conceding that employees don’t make enough to get by, at least when they start out. To get to $2060/month at $7.25/hour people would have to work 284 hours per month which works out to 71 hours per week (simple math 284 dividend by 4). The $800 for monthly spending might be intended to cover gas, groceries and anything else and there is also an assumption that the employees have no debt to service. As far as taxes they still would have to pay their share of FICA. Working 70 hours...

Shocking & Fascinating McBudget

From the last to know category I stumbled across this proposed budget that McDonalds put together for its front line employees, most of whom make minimum wage. The budget as follows via Minyanville; Monthly Income 1st Job $11052nd Job $955Total Income $2060 Monthly Expenses Savings $100Mortgage/Rent $600Car Payment $150Car/Home Insurance $100Health Insurance $20Heating $0 (this was later changed to $50)Cable/Phone $100Electric $90Other $100Total Monthly Expenses $1260 Monthly Spending Money $800 Daily Spending Money Goal $27 I will say up front that the idea of a company trying to provide education in the name of promoting financial literacy is a positive. The particulars of this episode appear to have caused a PR mess for the company. For anyone who hasn’t thought about their budget in the context of a minimum wage salary the numbers above probably come as a shock. One aspect of the PR mess is the items that are missing like groceries, gas, taxes and some other things. Another aspect of the PR mess is the apparent suggestion that front line employees need a second job–the company is conceding that employees don’t make enough to get by, at least when they start out. To get to $2060/month at $7.25/hour people would have to work 284 hours per month which works out to 71 hours per week (simple math 284 dividend by 4). The $800 for monthly spending might be intended to cover gas, groceries and anything else and there is also an assumption that the employees have no debt to service. As far as taxes they still would have to pay their share of FICA. Working 70 hours...

Granite Mountain Hotshot Update

This week I attended a regularly scheduled chiefs meeting at the local dispatch center. This was the first time I had seen Prescott Chief Fraijo since the incident and he gave a recap of sorts of what that day was like in terms of how he found out, what some of the work involved will be in investigating what happened and he talked about the dollars involved that have been raised for the families. It was obviously riveting but I believe we were told things in confidence so I can’t go into detail but the series of phone calls involved on June 30th sounded crushing. Research/investigating will go on for a while (the local paper said 60 days but I think it could be longer) which will be difficult for everyone. One thing I may not have mentioned was the extent to which there were trucks here from all over the state during the immediate aftermath of the incident to backfill shifts for Prescott Fire so they could start the grieving process. The support for this was amazing and Chief Fraijo expressed his gratitude (that one is probably safe to share). The dollars being raised for the families is looking to be very substantial. In case no one thought of it, I offered to Chief Fraijo to provide free financial education to any of the families who might be interested. This is not about landing clients–think more financial literacy. I don’t expect that I will be asked to be involved in this way but I have offered. One thing I learned at this meeting was that the loss is...