As the bull market marches toward its 11th year, equities and stock ETFs may continue to maintain their momentum.
After a stellar year, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEArca: SPY) continued to strengthen in 2020 and is already up 3.1% so far, breaking out with six new all-time highs in the first 12 trading days.
Despite the strong gains, many investors still remain bullish on the equity market outlook. An E-Trade Financial survey of Americans with at least $1 million in a brokerage accounts and who trade stocks regularly on their own reveals the majority remain positive on the U.S. economy and stocks, CNBC reports.
According to the survey, 76% of wealthy investors place a high grade on the U.S. economy, and there has been a 16% jump among investors whom expect the market to rise by as much as 5% this quarter.
“Investors are more open to risk taking at this point,” Mike Loewengart, vice president of investment strategy at E-Trade, told CNBC. “If the environment is encouraging and conducive to additional gains, they want to be part of it.”
Accommodative policies have been the major contributor to the bullish outlook, along with improving economic data and dissipating trade tensions between the U.S. and China.
“The Fed will be in an accommodative posture for the year and you couple that with other elements — progress on the trade war and a tight labor market, decent consumer metrics — and all of it points to additional opportunities in equities,” Loewengart said. “And millionaire investors don’t want to miss out.”
The markets have also been watching a rotation into value and out of momentum stocks after value stocks underperformed growth in recent months after years of underperformance.
Those who are interested in shifting over to value have a number of ETF strategies to choose form. For example, the iShares MSCI USA Value Factor ETF (CBOE: VLUE) is one popular way for investors to track the value style. VLUE follows the performance of U.S. large- and mid-capitalization stocks with value characteristics and relatively lower valuations. Investors can also look to value-oriented plays on popular benchmarks, like the iShares S&P 500 Value ETF (NYSEArca: IVE), Vanguard S&P 500 Value ETF (NYSEArca: VOOV) and SPDR S&P 500 Value ETF (NYSEArca: SPYV).
Wealthy investors have exhibited particular interest in dividend stocks among value picks.
“Millionaires are more experienced and recognize dividend payers will be more fundamentally sound stocks. We see investors wanting to participate in the market after the considerable gains we’ve had, and they want to do it in the fundamentally strong franchise names,” Loewengart added.
In addition, one may look to quality dividend-paying ETFs that provide steady income in volatile conditions. The iShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (NYSEArca: DGRO), ProShares S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF (NYSEArca: NOBL), Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (NYSEArca: VIG), Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF (NYSEArca: SCHD), Invesco Dividend Achievers ETF (NYSEArca: PFM), SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (NYSEArca: SDY) and WisdomTree U.S. Quality Dividend Growth Fund (NasdaqGM: DGRW) all include companies with a history of raising dividends.
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