Q: Pat, I’m thinking of increasing my oil and gas exposure. Do you recommend either the XLE ETF or VDE ETF (each a basket of U.S. energy companies) as a way to do that? Thank you.

A: We still feel that investors will profit the most with a well-balanced portfolio of high-quality individual stocks, but ETFs can also play a role in a portfolio. Here’s a look at the ETFs you’ve asked about:

Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF, $83.70, symbol XLE on… Read More

We agree with Elliott on these two

Activist investor Elliott Investment Management is now targeting two firms it feels could boost shareholder value with asset sales or spinoffs. We agree with its proposals, and see both stocks as attractive buys.
CROWN CASTLE INTERNATIONAL CORP. $117 is a buy. The company (New York symbol CCI; Manufacturing… Read More

Three ETFs—two buys and one we don’t like

Here’s a look at three popular ETFs in three different areas—medical-device makers, natural resource producers and S&P 500 companies (but with a twist). We like the first two, but we think the third is likely to underperform its “plain vanilla” counterpart.
Meanwhile, the Supplement on page… Read More