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Smart Beta Grows In Commodity ETFs

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodities are notoriously hard to index. While rational people argue about how to make an equity index, it’s fairly easy to agree on a few basic principles like “what is a large-cap stock,” or even more fundamentally, “what’s a stock.”
In commodities, there’s no such common ground. Otherwise-rational people in the commodities world rarely agree on things as simple as whether gold is even a commodity that should be indexed, or which version of oil (Brent or West Texas crude oil) should be included…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Silver ETP Buyers Defy Hedge Fund Exit Amid Price Slump

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Buyers of exchange-traded products backed by silver are betting $11.86 billion that big speculators are wrong about the outlook for prices, which slumped last week to a 14-month low.
ETP holdings are up 1.5 percent since mid-July to 19,898.8 metric tons, nearing a record reached in October, data compiled by Bloomberg show. At the same time, money managers shrank bullish wagers by 95 percent, government data show. To protect against the risk of lower prices, producer Coeur Mining Inc. (CDE) has hedged about a third of its output…………………………………….Full Article: Source

Hedged European ETFs in Focus: Best Choice for Europe Now?

Posted on 18 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Mario Draghi finally announced his long awaited action plan to spur growth in the slumping Euro zone. The European Central Bank (ECB) cut its ultra-low interest rates even further and said that it will buy asset-backed securities and euro-denominated covered bonds from October to boost growth and inflation.
Among the latest measures, ECB cut its main refinancing rate to another historic low of 0.05% from 0.15% and drove the deposit rate paid by the ECB to banks for parking funds with it overnight further into negative territory at - 0.20% ……………………………………Full Article: Source

Is It Time to Buy Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF

Posted on 17 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Over the past month, I’ve written two articles about Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF discussing both reasons it could be a good investment and reasons it could lose value. The yellow metal is a divisive topic in the investing world. Some people tout gold investing — whether in gold itself through a vehicle like the SPDR Gold or in gold miners as a proxy for gold — as a safe and market-beating way to invest. Others are stoutly against gold as an investment vehicle.
What I haven’t discussed, however, is whether the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF is worth buying today. And my answer, in short, is no. Let me explain. Gold’s recent performance is alluring, but this gold miners ETF may not be a good proxy From early 2001 to 2011, gold had its best bull run in more than a century as an investment asset before losing about 30% of its value from 2011 until now………………………………………Full Article: Source

Predicted Iron Ore Demand Could Fuel Steel ETF

Posted on 17 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Steel prices–and thus steel companies and ETFs–are driven in part by the price of iron. Analysts are expecting the price to fall near term, but see reasons for a late year rally. Iron To Fall, Then Rally? The price of iron ore is hanging around the $82/ton level and some analysts are looking for a short-term drop of another 15 percent before the bottom is formed.
Morgan Stanley came out with a call this week that said it feels iron ore could hit $70/ton before a year-end rally in the price of the commodity. The research firm predicts it could rally to $90/ton by the end of the year. Vale SA VALE, +0.24% a large global metals company, stated last week it feels iron ore prices could reach $100/ton by the end of December. Related Link: 2 New Income ETFs Launched Catalysts The two catalysts that will be moving iron ore are Chinese demand and the supply at the ports………………………………………Full Article: Source

Silver ETF holdings set record high as price drop sparks interest

Posted on 16 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Holdings at the world’s largest silver-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) rose to a record high as a pullback in prices prompted long-term retail investors to increase purchases of the precious metal.
The tonnage of silver bullion held by the world’s six largest silver ETFs increased by 104 tonnes, or 0.6 percent, to a record 17,135.04 tonnes on Friday, the latest Reuters data shows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Who’s winning the ETF fee war? Hopefully, you are

Posted on 16 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Exchange-traded fund providers, including Vanguard, Charles Schwab and BlackRock’s iShares, have been slashing the expense ratios on their index ETFs in the past two years, trying to one-up each other and win more of your investing money.
The stakes are high among the ETF industry giants, as investors embrace the passive style of fund management in greater numbers. The exchange-traded fund industry reached more than $1.9 trillion in assets at the end of August, according to ETF.com data, and 2013 saw a record level of flows into ETFs—$188 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Shine Comes Off Gold ETFs As Dollar Gains Strength

Posted on 16 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold continues to lose its luster. Last week, spot gold went on a five-day losing streak. Prices melted from $1,270 to $1,228 an ounce in New York trade, a drop of 3%. The metal fell to a six-month low as the European Central Bank moved to revitalize European economies. Those moves strengthened the dollar, which put downward pressure on gold.
Additionally, the Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday is increasing speculation about the first interest rate hike in eight years, says Chuck Self, CIO of investment manager iSectors. Precious metals decline in value as interest rates go up, since investors flock to interest-bearing bonds. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Commodity ETFs Are Dying And That’s A Good Thing

Posted on 15 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

One of the points I stress in my book is how commodities are not really a wise asset class to allocate assets to for long periods of time. History has shown us that commodities generate poor real, real returns over the long-term. But we don’t have only history on our side. It makes perfect sense that commodities aren’t good long-term performers because they’re huge cost inputs in the capital structure. So they tend to have a very high correlation with inflation.
It’s interesting to look at commodity trading exchanges where these financial products were created primarily as hedging products and slowly became trading vehicles. As a hedging vehicle commodities often make a lot of sense. But as a long-term allocation they make no sense………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Will 2014 Be The Tipping Point For Active ETFs?

Posted on 15 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The pace of new actively managed ETFs being released to the market has continued to heat up this year. Of the 106 total ETFs that are designated as active by the SEC, 35 have been released this year and many more are planned in the near future.
Active management has historically received a bad rap when compared to passive index funds that offer much lower costs, transparent holdings, and known risk parameters. The higher fees and fluctuating performance variables of actively managed portfolios has largely kept these strategies subdued in the ETF world………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity ETFs at Multi-Year Lows on Supply Glut

Posted on 12 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Slowing global growth has stifled demand for raw materials, pushing down commodity-related exchange traded funds to multi-year lows, with one broad commodity index trading near a five-year low. The PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund has declined 7.5% over the past three-months and is hovering around its lowest since September 2010.
Additionally, the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return ETN 8.8% and the iShares GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust fell 8.7% over the past three months………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Industrial Metal ETFs To Buy Amid Weak Global Trends

Posted on 12 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Industrial metals, in particular nickel, aluminum and zinc, have been showing strength and are gaining enough investor interest despite the recent broad commodity sluggishness and strengthening dollar.
The positive sentiment was mainly driven by increasing industrial demand and limited supplies from existing mines and absence of new development projects. Since industrial metals are used in a number of applications in construction and manufacturing businesses, rising global population, urbanization of other Asian countries and increasing need from developed countries will continue to create unprecedented demand for industrial metals………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Currency Hedged ETFs Are Back In Play

Posted on 12 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The recent weakness in the euro and yen currencies, along with subsequent strength in the U.S. dollar index, has put currency hedged ETFs back in the center of investors’ radar screens. The Guggenheim CurrencyShares Euro Trust and Guggenheim CurrencyShares Japanese have fallen 3.4 percent and 4.8 percent respectively over the last month. The monetary policies set forth by central banks in Europe and Japan has been one of the key drivers for this swift dive lower.
However, as with any significant shift in price, there are opportunities that have emerged from the turmoil in the currency markets that ETF investors can take advantage of. Specifically, currency hedged ETFs are now once again making waves for superior performance versus a similar basket of non-hedged stocks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Palladium Problems Could Spell Trouble for Precious Metals ETFs

Posted on 11 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With the recent weakness in gold and silver exchange traded funds, year-to-date returns for precious metals ETFs are turning increasingly mediocre. For example, the SPDR Gold Shares enters Wednesday with year-to-date performances of up 2.3% for GLD and down 5% for the iShares Silver Trust. The ETFS Physical Platinum Shares has not been anything to write home about, either, with a loss of 1.5%.
The lone beacon of light among physically-backed precious metals ETFs in 2014 has been the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares with a gain of 18.4%. PALL has surged amid a variety of catalysts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is There a Warren Buffett ETF?

Posted on 11 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It’s a question ETF analysts are used to. The short answer is that no exchange-traded fund can replicate Buffett’s investing brilliance. For access to that, investors can buy Berkshire Hathaway B shares (BRK/B), which have gained 16 percent this year. Berkshire’s stock portfolio accounts for a minor portion of its earnings, though, and Buffett has two portfolio managers doing some of the stock picking now.
While there’s no Buffett-in-a-box, a handful of ETFs are often labeled Buffett-esque. Here’s a look at three that offer convenient, low-cost ways to get a piece of that oracular action out in Omaha………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Overweight Equity ETFs on Goldman Bullish View

Posted on 11 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With signs of a possible return to health for the world economy, global equity markets are set to climb. This is especially true, as the world’s largest economy is showing robust growth and China has stabilized after the slowdown early in the year.
Growth in Europe, which is currently struggling to boost growth and inflation, is expected to rebound in the coming months thanks to the latest round of European Central Bank (ECB) stimulus. Also, emerging markets have gained immense popularity in recent months and hit three-year highs last week on compelling valuations, growing middle class population, election euphoria and political reforms in key emerging markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold ETFs going out of favour with investors

Posted on 11 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Once popular, gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) now seem to be losing favour among investors. The commodity’s poor performance through the past three years has hit investment in this product. A 50 per cent rally in the equities market and adverse regulatory changes on gold import have further hit gold ETFs offered by mutual fund houses.
The poor returns from metal can be gauged from the fact that an investment of Rs 100 in gold three years ago is currently valued at Rs 92.6. For the last two- and one-year horizons, every such investment is valued at Rs 84 and Rs 85.6, respectively………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agribusiness ETFs Fight Summer Malaise

Posted on 10 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Agricultural business stocks have been fighting for survival amid falling commodity prices that threaten to pull them into the abyss. Corn, wheat and soybean prices all hit year-to-date lows this week as crop yields continue to produce an overabundance of supply.
These statistics have made an impact on the Market Vectors Agribusiness (ETF), which contains 52 stocks engaged in the global agriculture industry. Constituents of this ETF must be primarily engaged in the business of agriculture by deriving at least 50 percent of total revenues from it. This ETF currently has $1.7 billion in total assets and charges an expense ratio of 0.55 percent annually………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Assets in Global ETFs Hit $2.7 Trillion

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETFGI’s research finds ETFs and ETPs listed globally reached a new record high of 2.7 trillion US dollars at the end of August 2014. Year to date, net new assets gathered of US$185.0 Bn surpass the previous high of US$140.1 Bn set in the first eight months of 2012. The Global ETF/ETP industry had 5,421 ETFs/ETPs, with 10,467 listings, from 223 providers listed on 60 exchanges according to preliminary data from ETFGI’s end August 2014 Global ETF and ETP industry insights report.
New record highs in assets were reached at the end of August by ETF/ETP industries in Canada with US$67.9 Bn, Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) with US$103.7 Bn, Europe with US$477.4 Bn, the United States with US$1.91 Tn and globally with US$2.70 Tn. YTD NNA flows reached record levels for the ETF/ETP industries in Japan at US$16.5 Bn, Europe at US$50.4 Bn, the US at US$107.3 Bn and globally at US$185.0 Bn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Bulls Retreat as $1.6 Billion Erased From ETPs

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Money managers trimmed bullish gold wagers for a third week, mirroring the retreat in prices that helped erase $1.6 billion from the value of bullion funds. The net-long position in futures and options is at its lowest in 11 weeks after speculators added the most short bets in three months, U.S. government data show.
Investors sold 13.1 metric tons of gold held through exchange-traded products last week, the most since April, as prices fell 1.6 percent. Open interest in New York futures and options is near its lowest in five years as gains in the U.S. economy, dollar and equities curb investor demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Assets of ETFs and ETPs Listed In The U.S. Reach A Record $1.9 Trillion

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETFGI’s research finds ETFs and ETPs listed in the United States reached a new record high of 1.9 trillion US dollars at the end of August 2014. Year to date net new assets of US$107.3 Bn are a new record level of NNA surpassing the US$97.8 Bn set in the first eight months of 2013.
At the end of August 2014, the US ETF/ETP industry had 1,643 ETFs/ETPs, from 63 providers listed on 3 exchanges according to preliminary data from ETFGI’s end August 2014 Global ETF and ETP industry insights report. New record highs in assets were reached at the end of August by ETF/ETP industries in Canada with US$67.9 Bn, Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) with US$103.7 Bn, Europe with US$477.4 Bn, the United States with US$1.91 Tn and globally with US$2.70 Tn………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Steaming Hot Coffee ETNs Lead The Pack

Posted on 09 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Coffee prices could be poised to rise faster than steam off a piping-hot cappuccino. That’s according to commodity experts, who point to Brazil’s worst drought in 40 years that has ravaged its agricultural crops. The Latin American country is the world’s largest coffee producer, accounting for roughly a third of global output.
“We’re actually going to run out of supplies over the next 12 months,” said Shawn Hackett of Florida-based Hackett Financial Advisors, which focuses on agricultural markets. Given the bleak production outlook, coffee bean prices have soared………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold Bulls Retreat as $1.6 Billion Erased From ETPs: Commodities

Posted on 08 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Money managers trimmed bullish gold wagers for a third week, mirroring the retreat in prices that helped erase $1.6 billion from the value of bullion funds. The net-long position in futures and options is at its lowest in 11 weeks after speculators added the most short bets in three months, U.S. government data show. Investors sold 13.1 metric tons of gold held through exchange-traded products last week, the most since April, as prices fell 1.6 percent.
Open interest in New York futures and options is near its lowest in five years as gains in the U.S. economy, dollar and equities curb investor demand. Prices dropped last week after Ukraine’s government agreed on a cease-fire with pro-Russian separatists and the dollar appreciated to its highest in more than a year against the euro as the European Central Bank cut interest rates………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Join the platinum circle

Posted on 08 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A ring, band, coin or ETF — the white metal can add glitter to your portfolio in any form you choose to invest. Do you know what South Africa’s biggest fund is betting on today? Not gold, South Africa’s most famous export, but platinum. Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages about $150 billion of South African pension money, is betting big on platinum producers.
A recent Bloomberg interview quoted Daniel Matjila, the fund’s Chief Investment Officer, as saying, “We like industrial metals, not those about sentiment.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

When Does an ETF Not Look Like an ETF?

Posted on 08 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Exchange-traded funds started out as a low-cost, transparent way for investors to earn the markets’ returns. Yet these days, the hottest ETF investment strategies involve layers of fees and managers who, using complicated formulas, design model portfolios with ETFs that aim to outperform the market.
Welcome to the expanding world of “ETF managed portfolios.” The pitch is that ETF strategists can build precisely targeted portfolios across a range of investments and take advantage of the ease of trading afforded by ETFs to get in and out of markets at the right time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

What Investors Should Know About ETFs

Posted on 08 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Exchange-traded funds are some of the fastest-growing investments today. And apparently not all that understood. That growth may be part of the problem. With around 1,400 ETFs now and more being created, the ETF universe is getting ever-tougher to navigate. Investors feel it: A survey by a unit of Charles Schwab Corp. found that about 40% of a sampling of Schwab investors wished they had a better handle on ETFs.
In some ways, choosing an ETF is similar to picking a traditional mutual fund. But because most ETFs aren’t run by people who actively buy and sell the securities in the portfolio, investing in them is more of a do-it-yourself effort………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF market hit record high

Posted on 08 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Growth in the Australian exchange-traded fund (ETF) market is continuing to rise as it hit a record high of $12.4 billion in assets under management in August, according to BetaShares.
The latest BetaShares Australian ETF Review, showed that the ETF market increased by 1.9 per cent (or $234 million) in August, while the share market remained stagnant. The review showed that the EFT market had thrived over the last 12 months, with market cap growth rising by $3.9 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Bearish ETFs for Gold’s Lost Luster

Posted on 05 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold bullion and related exchange traded funds are under pressure as a stronger U.S. dollar makes purchases more expensive and demand dips overseas. The SPDR Gold Shares has declined 1.8% over the past month but is still up 5.2% year-to-date.
COMEX gold futures are currently trading around $1,266.8 per ounce. Bullion prices have been dipping as the U.S. dollar index rises to a near 14-month high, with the euro currency crossing below the psychological $1.3 level Thursday. Gold becomes more expensive for foreign investors as the USD strengthens………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF Consolidation

Posted on 05 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As we enter the last trimester of the year it looks to me like the stock markets might be setting up for a fall rally. The main reason is that many markets have spent a lot of time consolidating in 2014. It’s more likely those consolidations lead to a resumption of the trend higher before they put in a major top.
Biotech is one of these markets for instance. I think healthcare and biotech stocks might be setup for big gains going into the fall and winter. The iShares Nasdaq Biotech (NASDAQ:IBB) ETF has completed a large cup and handle consolidation pattern in 2014 and looks set to explode higher if a fall rally kicks off………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETFs To Watch On The Industrial Metals Recovery

Posted on 05 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

So far this year we have witnessed a downward trend in iron prices while the prices of non-ferrous metals such as aluminum and copper regained lost ground and have been on the rise since. This is in stark contrast to the 2013 scenario, when iron ore prices enjoyed a bullish run unlike other base metals, thanks to heightened demand from steel end-consumers, particularly in the Chinese construction sector.
Let us have a look at what led to the disparity in circumstances: Iron: The commodity has lost 33% of its value so far this year impacted by myriad reasons like excessive inventory, abundant supply of iron as mining companies increased their output, as well as tight credit and slow economic growth in China………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Introductory Guide to Soft Commodity ETFs

Posted on 04 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The broad commodity space has regained momentum this year with most of the items performing exceptionally well on a combination of supply constraints and rising demand. However, the gains seem limited in the agricultural space including softs - a group that includes products such as coffee, cocoa, sugar and cotton.
While coffee and cocoa are seeing huge gains, sugar and cotton are crumbling from a year-to-date look. The major culprit for the weakness in these two soft commodities is the broad oversupply trend resulting from accelerated crop plantations and rising stockpiles………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Time To Get Bullish On Silver ETFs

Posted on 04 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Don’t let the August performance of silver ETFs fool you – there’s a big buy signal for silver flashing right now. At first glance, silver investment activity in August would have you believe that bearish sentiment is pervading the sector.
The premier silver ETF, iShares Silver Trust (NYSE Arca: SLV), which is backed by physical bullion held in the vaults of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) in New York and London, fell $0.87, or 4.4% to $18.71. A close alternative, the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSE: SIVR) dropped $0.97, or 4.8% to $19.19………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Coal ETF: Next up for a Russia Rally?

Posted on 03 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Exchange traded products tracking commodities ranging from palladium to wheat have been in focus due to geopolitical tensions this year with the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares residing as this year’s top-performing physically-backed precious metals ETF due to Russia’s status as the world’s largest palladium producer.
Another commodities ETF, though of the equity-based variety, could be the next to get a lift from the goings on in Russia: The Market Vectors-Coal ETF. Somewhat quietly, KOL gained 2.7% last month and the ETF’s run may not be over………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Solar ETFs Hot Again; Brighter Days Ahead?

Posted on 03 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Solar stocks were victims of growth and momentum meltdown this year but roared higher last month. This was primarily thanks to improving industry fundamentals including a high level of panel installations, a surge in demand for solar power, supply shortfall expectation, falling equipment and financing costs as well as stable incentives.
Though uninspiring earnings from most of the solar companies and increased regulatory policy took a toll on the stock prices last week, this could be viewed as a solid entry point given the bright outlook for the industry……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US ETFs Hauled In $15bln Flows In August

Posted on 03 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors plowed about another $15 billion into exchange-traded funds so far this month and, together with the S&P 500 Index rising to the 2,000 milestone, total assets in U.S.-listed ETFs rose 3 percent in August to a record of nearly $1.913 trillion.
Still, the pace of asset gathering for the 21-year-old ETF industry is lagging 2013. A total of about $106 billion has been hauled in year-to-date, compared with more than $131 billion in the first eight months of 2013. Indeed, it looks unlikely, but not impossible, for asset gathering this year to top last year’s record level of $188 billion………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agriculture ETPs losing investors on record harvest

Posted on 03 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The investment binge in U.S. agriculture funds has ended as record crops and the promise of improving meat supplies send prices plunging. After taking in more money than precious metals or energy funds during the first five months of 2014, exchange-traded products backed by agriculture had a net outflow for the year of $57.7 million as of Aug. 29, down 2.9 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Energy, precious-metal, industrial-metal and broad-based funds saw net inflows over the period, boosting total raw-material investment by $341 million, or 0.5 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Agriculture ETPs Losing Investors on Record U.S. Harvests

Posted on 02 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The investment binge in U.S. agriculture funds has ended as record crops and the promise of improving meat supplies send prices plunging. After taking in more money than precious metals or energy funds during the first five months of 2014, exchange-traded products backed by agriculture had a net outflow for the year of $57.7 million as of Aug. 29, down 2.9 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Energy, precious-metal, industrial-metal and broad-based funds saw net inflows over the period, boosting total raw-material investment by $341 million, or 0.5 percent………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold ETF holdings drop again, hedge funds lose interest

Posted on 02 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Precious metals investors poured money into the sector during July, but safe haven buying dried up in August despite an escalation in geopolitical tensions. Global exchange traded funds backed by physical gold saw outflows last week of 6.5 tonnes, dropping total holdings to 1,726.4 tonnes, not far off four-year lows of 1,708 reached in June.
17 tonnes left during August and that compares to inflows in July which was the best since November 2012. Year to date 36 tonnes have left the dozens of funds traded around the globe and investment bank Barclays believes 100 tonnes could exit the market in 2014………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF: A new investing strategy

Posted on 02 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An exchange traded fund (ETF) is a pooled investment that operates like a mutual fund. The main difference is that an ETF is listed in a stock exchange. Its availability in a centralized exchange market benefits investors through its diversity, trading opportunities, and accessibility, among others. While the investment is represented by the issuance of shares, the underlying asset varies.
A mutual fund usually carries the traditional portfolio of stocks, bonds and money market instruments. On the other hand, an ETF can stretch its portfolio into metals, real estate, soft commodities or foreign currencies. Hence, investing in ETF can create a more diversified portfolio spanning a wider array of asset classes. Moreover, an ETF can be differentiated by its investment style and strategy………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How ETFs Define “Quality”

Posted on 01 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The ETF industry has a new favorite product: “Quality” ETFs, which focus on stocks that should hold up better in a downturn. How to tell them apart. “Quality stock investing” is the latest marketing meme in ETFs. But for some investors, it’s a joke: How do you define “quality”?
“Quality is the stuff I own, and crap is the stuff I don’t own,” quips Doug Sandler who, as co-manager of the RiverFront Moderate Growth Income fund, owns one of the 18 quality ETFs, most of which have launched in the past three years. “When you hear managers say ‘it was a low-quality rally,’ it means all the stuff they didn’t own worked. It’s a nebulous term.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Best And Worst ETFs Of The Week Amid Summer Send-Off

Posted on 01 September 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The markets managed to finally hurdle the psychologically significant 2,000 mark in the S&P 500 Index this week. The broad large-cap index remained largely flat, however, after Monday’s strong leap forward.
As a result, traders are digesting both technical data and geopolitical headlines to divine any clues about the next move in stocks. The following ETFs represent a sample of the best and worst performing funds over the last five trading sessions………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold ETFs Lose Predictive Power

Posted on 29 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

During the height of gold’s bull run, market observers frequently complained that exchange traded products backed by physical holdings of bullion, including the SPDR Gold Shares, were criticized for being the tail wagging the dog of the gold market.
Said differently, traders and investors were often stumped by what asset class truly moved the gold market: Futures or ETFs. Although investors have put money to work in gold ETFs this year, the predictive power of GLD and rival funds is seen as waning following a 2013 drubbing that saw GLD tumble 28.3%………………………………………..Full Article: Source

3 Reasons Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) Could Fall

Posted on 29 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A week or so ago, I wrote an article that listed three reasons to buy Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF . It’s important to understand that gold went on an unprecedented bull run from the early 2000s through late 2011, but it has largely been in decline since. Further, gold has historically been an underperforming asset as compared to the stock market.
And while the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF is made up of stocks, the companies are all in the gold mining business, and this group tends to move with the price of gold. With that said, here are three reasons the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF could fall. Should you consider limiting your exposure to gold and gold miners? Let’s take a closer look………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Investing In Natural Gas? Eye ETFs, Seasonality

Posted on 29 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investing in natural gas sounds like a winner: demand keeps rising, fracking promises to meet that demand, and prices have jumped in the past several years. Meanwhile it’s touted as an alternative to coal, and to a lesser extent, oil. There’s a lot to like.
But investing in commodities on a futures market is still a complicated business for most retail investors. Taxes and expenses can be complicated to work out. Hence the exchange-traded fund can be a better vehicle. ……………………………………….Full Article: Source

4 Currency ETFs To Watch Right Now

Posted on 29 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The U.S. dollar is breaking out and that means a number of currency exchange-traded funds are seeing significant moves right now. Currency ETFs provide a way to access the foreign exchange (forex) market, while using the stock market to do it.
Currencies, like other assets, can spend a lot of time doing nothing, but when a major trend or reversal occurs, the moves can be large and fast-moving. Such a trend is underway now in the U.S. dollar, which affects other currencies as well………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Gold-Price Indicator Fading as ETPs Tumble by $71 Billion

Posted on 28 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold-backed funds that heralded record prices in 2011 and last year’s biggest sell-off in three decades are becoming less useful as market predictors. After a decade of changing mostly in tandem, gold prices and holdings in exchange-traded products backed by bullion have the most-negative correlation since 2004.
Investment in ETPs are headed for a fifth straight week of moving in the opposite direction of New York futures, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That would be the longest stretch since 2012, before investors began dumping gold………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Soft Commodities ETFs Search for Support

Posted on 28 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

It has been a rough year for some soft commodities exchange traded products. Strip out the stellar performances offered by the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN and the iPath Pure Beta Coffee ETN, and the agricultural/soft commodities complex looks even more glum.
Despite drought conditions in some parts of the U.S., high crop yields have forced the Teucrium Corn Fund down 19.5% on the year while theTeucrium Soybean Fund is off more than 11%. The government has already predicted record crops and believes exports will drop – Russian counter sanctions against Western countries will diminish overseas demand………………………………………..Full Article: Source

No Bottom in Sight for Silver ETFs

Posted on 28 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Precious metals like gold and silver started off the year with much promise after staging a counter trend rally that defied their tremendous fall last year. However, the sellers have re-established downward momentum and are focusing their efforts specifically in the silver market.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, short bets in silver futures contracts reached a 14-month high last week as prices fell to new August lows. Investors are clearly increasing their net short exposure on the expectation that this hard asset will re-test its June lows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Why Gold And Silver Prices Are Range-Bound

Posted on 27 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Frustrated investors in physical gold and its derivative asset classes have fumed quietly as a mal-regulated market for counterfeit gold and silver (futures contracts, certain ETFs) leads precious metals prices around by the nose for the exclusive enrichment of an elite cadre of financial institutions.
Entities such as Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barclays, J.P. Morgan, and others are able to issue contracts deemed to represent millions of ounces of gold for future sale or purchase anonymously, and without limit. These paper representations of gold, while notionally tied to the prices of silver and gold, have the effect of suppressing the prices of the physical commodities because they represent exponentially more gold and silver than is physically available, thus creating a supply scenario that is utterly false………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Accessing Pimco’s Alpha Via ETFs

Posted on 27 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After launching the actively managed Pimco Total Return ETF (BOND | B)—an ETF version of Pimco’s flagship Total Return Fund (PTTRX)—in February 2012, Pimco is looking to strike it big again in ETFs. BOND was the second-most-successful ETF launch in the 21-year history of ETFs, gathering its first $1 billion in less than three months. Pimco in a recent regulatory filing has detailed a similar approach as it took with BOND, replicating three existing mutual funds in tradable ETF wrappers.
I’ll talk about one of those three proposed ETFs, partly because—like BOND—Gross will manage the new ETF version of the sister mutual fund he already manages, but also because the fund’s strategy is designed to outperform—and has outperformed—the S&P 500 Index in the past five years………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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