SPDN: An Inexpensive Way To Profit When The S&P 500 Falls

Summary
SPDN is not the largest or oldest way to short the S&P 500, but it’s a solid choice.
This ETF uses a variety of financial instruments to target a return opposite that of the S&P 500 Index.
SPDN’s 0.49% Expense Ratio is nearly half that of the larger, longer-tenured -1x Inverse S&P 500 ETF.
Details aside, the potential continuation of the equity bear market makes single-inverse ETFs an investment segment investor should be familiar with.
We rate SPDN a Strong Buy because we believe the risks of a continued bear market greatly outweigh the possibility of a quick return to a bull market.
Put a gear stick into R position, (Reverse).
Birdlkportfolio

By Rob Isbitts

Summary
The S&P 500 is in a bear market, and we don’t see a quick-fix. Many investors assume the only way to navigate a potentially long-term bear market is to hide in cash, day-trade or “just hang in there” while the bear takes their retirement nest egg.

The Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 1X ETF (NYSEARCA:SPDN) is one of a class of single-inverse ETFs that allow investors to profit from down moves in the stock market.

SPDN is an unleveraged, liquid, low-cost way to either try to hedge an equity portfolio, profit from a decline in the S&P 500, or both. We rate it a Strong Buy, given our concern about the intermediate-term outlook for the global equity market.

Strategy
SPDN keeps it simple. If the S&P 500 goes up by X%, it should go down by X%. The opposite is also expected.

Proprietary ETF Grades
Offense/Defense: Defense

Segment: Inverse Equity

Sub-Segment: Inverse S&P 500

Correlation (vs. S&P 500): Very High (inverse)

Expected Volatility (vs. S&P 500): Similar (but opposite)

Holding Analysis
SPDN does not rely on shorting individual stocks in the S&P 500. Instead, the managers typically use a combination of futures, swaps and other derivative instruments to create a portfolio that consistently aims to deliver the opposite of what the S&P 500 does.

Strengths
SPDN is a fairly “no-frills” way to do what many investors probably wished they could do during the first 9 months of 2022 and in past bear markets: find something that goes up when the “market” goes down. After all, bonds are not the answer they used to be, commodities like gold have, shall we say, lost their luster. And moving to cash creates the issue of making two correct timing decisions, when to get in and when to get out. SPDN and its single-inverse ETF brethren offer a liquid tool to use in a variety of ways, depending on what a particular investor wants to achieve.

Weaknesses
The weakness of any inverse ETF is that it does the opposite of what the market does, when the market goes up. So, even in bear markets when the broader market trend is down, sharp bear market rallies (or any rallies for that matter) in the S&P 500 will cause SPDN to drop as much as the market goes up.

Opportunities
While inverse ETFs have a reputation in some circles as nothing more than day-trading vehicles, our own experience with them is, pardon the pun, exactly the opposite! We encourage investors to try to better-understand single inverse ETFs like SPDN. While traders tend to gravitate to leveraged inverse ETFs (which actually are day-trading tools), we believe that in an extended bear market, SPDN and its ilk could be a game-saver for many portfolios.

Threats
SPDN and most other single inverse ETFs are vulnerable to a sustained rise in the price of the index it aims to deliver the inverse of. But that threat of loss in a rising market means that when an investor considers SPDN, they should also have a game plan for how and when they will deploy this unique portfolio weapon.

Proprietary Technical Ratings
Short-Term Rating (next 3 months): Strong Buy

Long-Term Rating (next 12 months): Buy

Conclusions
ETF Quality Opinion
SPDN does what it aims to do, and has done so for over 6 years now. For a while, it was largely-ignored, given the existence of a similar ETF that has been around much longer. But the more tenured SPDN has become, the more attractive it looks as an alternative.

ETF Investment Opinion

SPDN is rated Strong Buy because the S&P 500 continues to look as vulnerable to further decline. And, while the market bottomed in mid-June, rallied, then waffled since that time, our proprietary macro market indicators all point to much greater risk of a major decline from this level than a fast return to bull market glory. Thus, SPDN is at best a way to exploit and attack the bear, and at worst a hedge on an otherwise equity-laden portfolio.

Understanding The Most Important Investment Concepts

It’s always good to have at least a basic foundation of fundamental investment knowledge whether you’re a beginner to investing or working with a professional financial advisor. The reason is simple: You are likely to be more comfortable in investing your money if you understand the lingo and basic principles of investing. Combining the basics with what you want to get out of your investment strategy, you will be empowered to make financial decisions yourself more confidently and also be more engaged and interactive with your financial advisor.Below are a few basic principles that you should be able to understand and apply when you are looking to potentially invest your money or evaluate an investment opportunity. You’ll find that the most important points pertaining to investing are quite logical and require just good common sense. The first step is to make the decision to start investing. If you’ve never invested your money, you’re probably not comfortable with make any investment decisions or moves in the market because you have little or no experience. It’s always difficult to find somewhere to begin. Even if you find a trusted financial advisor, it is still worth your time to educate yourself, so you can participate in the process of investing your money and so that you may be able to ask good questions. The more you understand the reasons behind the advice you’re getting, the more comfortable you will be with the direction you’ve chosen.Don’t Be Intimidated by the Financial Lingo If you turn on the TV to some financial network, don’t worry that you can’t understand the financial professionals right away. A lot of what they say can actually boil down to simple financial concepts. Make sure you ask your financial advisor the questions that concern you so you become more comfortable when investing.IRAs Are Containers to Hold Investments-They Aren’t Investments Themselves The first area of confusions that most new investors get confused about is around their retirement vehicles and plans that they may have. If an investor has an individual retirement accounts (IRA), a 401(k) plan from work, or any other retirement-type plan at work, you should understand the differences between all the accounts you have and the actual investments you have within those accounts. Your IRA or 401(k) is just a container that houses your investments that brings with it some tax-advantages.Understand Stocks and Bonds Almost every portfolio contains these kinds of asset classes. If you buy a stock in a company, you are buying a share of the company’s earnings. You become a shareholder and an owner at the same time of the company. This simply means that you have equity in the company and the company’s future – ready to go up and down with the company’s ups and downs. If the company is doing well, then your shares will be doing well and increase in value. If the company is not doing well or fails, then you can lose value in your investment.If you buy bonds, you become a creditor of the company. You are simply lending money to the company. So you don’t become a shareholder or owner of the company/bond-issuer. If the company fails, then you will lose the amount of your loan to the company. However, the risk of losing your investment to bondholder is less then the risk to owners/shareholders. The reasoning behind this is that to stay in business and have access to funds to finance future expansion or growth, the company must have a good credit rating. Furthermore, the law protects a company’s bondholders over its shareholders if the company goes bankrupt.Stocks are considered to be equity investments, because they give the investor an equity stake in the company, while bonds are referred to as fixed-income investments or debt instruments. A mutual fund, for instance, can invest in any number or combination of stocks and bonds.Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket An important investment principle of all is not to invest all or most of your money into one investment.Include multiple and varying types of investments in your portfolio. There are many asset classes such as stocks, bonds, precious metals, commodities, art, real estate, and so on. Cash, in fact, is also an asset class. It includes currency, cash alternatives, and money-market instruments. Individual asset classes are also broken down into more precise investments such as small company stocks, large company stocks, or bonds issued by municipalities, or bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury.The various asset classes go up and down at different times and at different speeds. The purpose of a diversified portfolio is to mitigate the ups and downs by smoothing out the volatility in a portfolio. If some investments are losing value at some particular period, others will be increasing in value at the same time. So the overarching objective is to make sure that the gainers offset the losers, which may minimize the impact of overall losses in your portfolio from any single investment. The goal that you will have with your financial advisor is to help find the right balance between the asset classes in your portfolio given your investment objectives, risk tolerance, and investment time horizon. This process is commonly referred to as asset allocation.As mentioned earlier, each asset class can be internally diversified further with investment options within that class. For example, if you decide to invest in a financial company, but are worried that you may lose your money by putting everything into one single company, consider making investments into other companies ( Company A, Company B, and Company C) rather than putting all your eggs in one basket. Even though diversification alone doesn’t guarantee that you will make a profit or ensure that you won’t lose value in your portfolio, it can still help you manage the amount of risk you are taking or are willing to take. Recognize the Tradeoff Between an Investment’s Risk and Return Risk is generally looked at as the possibility of losing money from your investments. Return is looked at as the reward you receive for making the investment. Returns can be found by measuring the increase in value of your investment from your original investment principal.There is a relationship between risk and reward in finance. If you have a low risk-tolerance, then you will take on less risk when investing, which will result in a lower possible return at any given time, relatively. The highest risk investment will offer the chance to make high returns.Between taking on the highest risk and the lowest risk, most investors seek to find the right balance of risk and returns that he/she feels comfortable with. So, if someone advises you to get in on an investment that has a high return and it is risk-free, then it may be too good to be true.Understand the Difference Between Investing for Growth and Investing for Income Once you make the decision to invest, you may want to consider whether the objective of your portfolio is have it increase in value by growing overtime, or is it to produce a fixed income stream for you to supplement your current income, or is it maybe a combination of the two?Based on your decision, you will either target growth oriented investments or income oriented ones. U.S. Treasury bills, for instance, provide a regular income stream for investors through regular interest payments, and the value of your initial principal tends to be more stable and secure as opposed to a bond issued by a new software company. Likewise, an equity investment in a larger company such as an IBM is generally less risky than a new company. Furthermore, IBM may provide dividends every quarter to their investors which can be used as an income stream as well. Typically, newer companies reinvest any income back into the business to make it grow. However, if a new company becomes successful, then the value of your equities in that company may grow at a much higher rate than an established company. This increase is typically referred to as capital appreciation.Whether you are looking for growth, income, or both, your decision will fully depend on your individual financial and investment objectives and needs. And, each type may play its own part in your portfolio.Understand the Power of Compounding on Your Investment Returns Compounding is an important investment principle. When you reinvest any dividends or other investment returns, you begin to earn returns on your past returns.Consider a simple example of a plain bank certificate of deposit (CD) that is rolled over to a new CD including its past returns each time it matures. Interest that is earned over the lifetime of the CD becomes part of the next period’s sum on which interest is assessed on. At the beginning, when you initially invest your money compounding may seem like only a little snowball; however, as time goes by, that little snowball gets larger because of interest compounding upon interest. This helps your portfolio grow much faster. You Don’t Have to Go at It Alone Your Financial Advisor can give you the investment guidance that you need so that you don’t have to stop yourself from investing in the market because you feel like you don’t know enough yet. Knowing the basic financial principles, having good common sense, and having your Financial Advisor guide you along the way can help you start evaluating investment opportunities for your portfolio and help get you closer toward achieving your financial goals.

Are Compounding Pharmacies Safe?

Compounding pharmacies work to create pharmaceutical products which are specifically designed to fit the unique needs of each patient. They specialise in preparing and dispensing bespoke pharmaceutical products to patients who cannot or do not want to (for whatever reason) take standard, mass produced medication. Many consumers are turning to these pharmacies because they have previously had problems with standard prescription drugs.Because the compounded prescription medications that they sell are different from those that are already available on the rest of the market, some consumers may be worried about whether or not using a compounding pharmacy is safe. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have stated that compounding is perfectly legal and ethical so long as the pharmacy is fully licensed and the pharmacist who carried out the compounding is also fully trained and licensed.Because of the potential health implications associated with all medicinal drugs, compounding pharmaceuticals is a heavily regulated business, and the FDA and individual state boards of pharmacy have introduced strict guidelines to help ensure that customers and patients using these compounding pharmacies should remain safe. All bulk drug substances that are used in these types of pharmacies should be on an approved-list of substances that it is legal and safe to compound with. Any previously marketed substances which have been proven to be ineffective or unsafe do not make the approved-list of substances suitable for compounding. Pharmacists are not supposed to compound with any substance that is not on the approved-list. Although many states do not require practices to report any newly discovered side-effects associated with compounded drugs, ethical pharmacies will voluntarily report them.The compounding pharmacy itself is also subject to strict guidelines, as well as the substances that they compound with. The pharmacy must meet high quality control standards and each individual laboratory must meet strict facility guidelines, to ensure safety and consistency in each batch of drugs produced. Pharmacies in America are regulated by individual “state boards of pharmacy”, and therefore each state has slightly different sets of regulations. It is possible to check with the board of pharmacy in your state if you are still unsure. Inspectors from the state board will carry out regular checks on licensed pharmacies and random sampling checks may be carried out on batches of drugs that are being dispensed to check the safety and potency.Pharmacists who practice in compounding pharmacies are heavily regulated as well. They must be fully trained and licensed in order to dispense medicine that they have compounded, so that they are able to fully understand the drugs that they are making.If you still have doubts, you can contact your chosen pharmacy and they will be able to explain the standards, testing and quality control exercises that are used by their practice in order to ensure the safety of their customers. If you are in any doubt, you do not have to use that pharmacy. Remember that it is the interest of pharmacies to ensure that their products are safe, legal, ethical and effective.