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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

Why you should invest in ETFs

Posted on 27 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Exchange traded funds are the next big thing, a product which should have done well earlier but will definitely do now. Just as the name suggests, an exchange-traded fund, or an ETF, is essentially a fund that is traded on the exchanges. Since it trades like an equity share, it is easy for all investors to buy and sell.
They have a nomenclature similar to funds because they too track a basket of assets like the nifty or banking stocks or even gold. As the price of the underlying investment changes, so does the price of ETF on trading screens………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Coffee ETNs Surge on Pessimistic Brazilian Harvests

Posted on 27 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After pulling through its worst drought in decades, Brazil, the world’s largest supplier of coffee, is expected to experience an extended period of poor harvests, boosting coffee futures and related exchange traded notes.
The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN increased 5.7% Tuesday while iPath Pure Beta Coffee ETN rose 5.2%. Coffee has been the best performing commodity this year, with JO up 62.8% and CAFE up 59.0% year-to-date………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF Managed Portfolio Landscape Sees Consolidation

Posted on 26 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Assets in ETF managed portfolios remained flat in the second quarter, according to a new report. But a dive beneath that bland finding reveals a more interesting nugget about this fast-growing subindustry: Investor dollars are increasingly concentrated in the hands of a select few firms.
The 10 biggest asset managers in the ETF space hold roughly 75% of industry assets compared with 67% a year ago, says Morningstar’s second-quarter study on the ETF managed portfolio marketplace, released Friday. Overall, their portfolio strategies held $102 billion in assets, up 28% from $80 billion in the year-earlier quarter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Target Date Closures Highlight ETF Limits

Posted on 26 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The world’s largest ETF issuer, BlackRock, is closing 10 target-date ETFs for lack of interest. And that’s a shame. The ETFs have been efficient, low-cost vehicles providing a complete long-term investment solution. Funds like the iShares Target Date 2020 ETF (TZG) delivered thoughtful allocation to broad asset classes like stocks and bonds, as well as diversified exposure within each asset class.
Better yet, these funds were built for the long haul, dynamically adjusting their allocations over time, gradually reducing risk. The “target date” in the name refers to the intended retirement date of the investor………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity ETFs: Know Your Indices

Posted on 25 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

In May, BNP Paribas changed the benchmark of its broad-basket commodity ETF, namely the S&P GSCI Capped Component 35/20 THEAM Easy ETF, for the sole purpose of complying with ESMA diversification guidelines. The replacement index applies caps on a ‘component’ rather than a ‘commodity’ level, effectively reducing the index’s exposure to the energy sector.
This occurs because an index component such as oil, may include more than one, highly-correlated individual commodity such as Brent Crude, WTI Crude or Gasoil. Therefore a cap at component level restricts the combined weight, rather than individual weights, of commodities………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Nine top ETF picks: ‘The U.S. recovery is real’

Posted on 25 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With earnings season pretty much over and second-quarter profits priced into the stock market, we thought we’d undertake something of a midyear checkup, looking into top ETF picks positioned to perform well through the remainder of the year.
The ever-present risk of a destabilizing shock notwithstanding, the indicators mostly lend themselves to sustaining the bull market. The U.S. economy is perking up, inflation remains low, and interest-rate policy remains indefinitely accommodating, all of which bode well for stock prices………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Avoid hedge funds’ ETF termite problem

Posted on 25 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Some of the smartest investors are bad role models in their choice of exchange-traded funds, which are often celebrated for their low costs. The deadline for large investment managers to disclose portfolios to the Securities and Exchange Commission recently passed, and investors have pored over their buys and sells. One instructive part of how the big money invests gets ignored, though. A lot of hedge funds, and institutions in general, own some of the most expensive ETFs.
Hedge funds likely have their own reasons for holding certain ETFs when similar ones are cheaper. They need to know they can trade big stakes and still get good prices, so they want ETFs with lots of trading………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is The Depreciation In Commodity ETFs A Troubling Sign?

Posted on 22 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

What counts for an economy that primarily depends upon its consumers? Family income needs to increase beyond inflation. Otherwise, families find themselves with less purchasing power and, ultimately, those families spend less.
Since the U.S. economic recovery effectively began in July of 2009, inflation-adjusted wages have actually dropped 3%. In other words, at least in terms of purchasing power, families are no better off than when the recession had concluded………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Finding An Alternative With Currency ETFs

Posted on 22 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With the broad stock market continuing to hit new highs despite worries of a correction, investors have been getting a tad worried. That has them looking towards various alternative asset classes to help stem the volatility and diversify their portfolios. Everything from long/short strategies to commodities have become common holdings for investors.
However, one alternative asset classes remains absent from many investor’s assets. Currency trading or foreign exchange (Forex) shouldn’t be ignored by retail investors, especially now that there are a host of products that allow Regular Joes access to the once-guarded realm, such as exchange traded funds (ETFs)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Examining Your ETF: Active, Passive & ‘Smart Beta’ Indexes

Posted on 22 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors looking to build a portfolio of ETFs may get caught up in the analysis of the fund provider, fees and tax structure. When selecting an ETF, however, the single most important determining factor is how the index is constructed.
The makeup of the underlying portfolio of assets is key because it determines how the ETF will react to a variety of market conditions. This includes the security selection, weighting methodology and ongoing changes to the fund construction over time………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Materials ETFs Join All-Time High Club

Posted on 22 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Basic materials sector-related exchange traded funds are reaching new highs as expanding global economies demand basic inputs to fuel further growth. The Materials Select Sector SPDR added 0.1% Wednesday, trading at an intra-day high of $50.49. The largest materials ETF is up nearly 10% this year.
The materials sector ETF tracks a broad range of companies that operate in chemicals, metals, mining, paper, forestry, containers, packages and construction materials. “Most of these companies sell into commodity markets and are susceptible to cyclical demand,” according to Morningstar analyst Alex Bryan………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF providers take on pension and sovereign wealth challenge

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Pension and sovereign wealth funds are not traditionally big investors in ETFs because of concerns over cost, flexibility and restrictions on buying listed securities. But that may be about to change as providers look to woo big institutional investors.
Of the 3,367 institutional buyers of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) across 50 countries in 2012 only 1% was a pension fund, while investment advisers accounted for 60%, according to consultancy ETFGI. Meanwhile few sovereign wealth funds admit to buying ETFs and some are decidedly negative about the products. For example, the $850 billion Government Pension Fund of Norway - the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund - states: “The fund does not invest through ETFs.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Unusual ETFs give investors options

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

For many, exchange-traded funds represent the vanilla part of the financial product market. While it’s true most track a common equities index such as the ASX 200, more unusual ETFs are now starting to emerge.
As Ilan Israelstam, head of strategy, BetaShares notes, the ETF market has broadened significantly over the past few years to move beyond traditional index trackers. “A number of products have been launched that provide cost-efficient access to investment strategies that were only previously available to larger investors or through unlisted funds,” he says………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Oil ETFs React To Falling Energy Prices

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The summer months are generally regarded as a seasonal period of strength for oil prices and energy stocks. The considerable demand for energy consumption peaks with the summer driving season, as cyclical forces impact this heavily traded commodity. In addition, this year we are in the midst of geopolitical unrest throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Both of these regions are well-known producers of crude oil and natural gas.
The combination of these factors should be pressing energy prices higher amidst fears of energy supply concerns coupled with seasonal demand trends. Instead, the opposite effect is occurring and it’s impacting several key ETFs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Is The Depreciation Across The Commodity ETF Space Surprising?

Posted on 21 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As the Fed winds down its third iteration of quantitative easing here in 2014, it is not difficult to imagine the same type of market tantrum alongside a few troublesome economic data points. There are many signs of a weak U.S. economy beyond the aforementioned consumer sentiment gauge and the abysmal retail sales numbers.
There may be no greater sign of trouble around the bend than what is happening to key commodities like copper, oil and livestock………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New Active Multi-Asset ETF to Ride Out Current Turmoil

Posted on 20 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Actively managed ETFs are gaining immense popularity in recent months courtesy of increasing demand and the potential for more favorable regulations. While these represent just a small slice of the broad ETF world, they aim to beat the benchmark index or the passively managed counterparts even if the odds are against them.
Geo-politics make counter attacks on the economy and investors are seeking such smart investments for diversification and superior returns. Keeping this in mind, First Trust launched the multi-manager, multi-strategy First Trust Strategic Income ETF on the NASDAQ on August 14. It is the eleventh actively managed ETF issued by First Trust……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Daily ETF Watch: ETF Securities Branches Out

Posted on 20 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The summer slowdown in filings is picking up, with filings from ETF Securities, State Street Global Advisors and Pacer Financial that should stir investor interest. ETFS is looking to expand its lineup to include equities funds, while SSgA has outlined its plans to launch another actively managed ETF. Meanwhile, newcomer Pacer is laying the groundwork to enter the ETF market as a first-time issuer.
ETF Securities, a longtime presence in the physical and futures-based commodity ETFs space, has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission that outlines plans for its first equity ETFs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Can We Count On Absolute Returns?

Posted on 20 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

“True faith,” said William Ralph Inge, the one-time dean of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, “is belief in the reality of absolute values.” Apparently, American exchange-traded fund (ETF) investors can be counted among the faithful. Why? Because they’ve committed nearly $1.7 billion into so-called “absolute return” products.
These funds aim to consistently produce positive returns, regardless of market conditions, through non-traditional management, i.e. by employing short sales, derivatives, leverage and/or investing in unconventional assets. Rather than being benchmarked against the more common metrics such as the S&P 500 or the Barclays Capital Aggregate Bond Index, the hurdles for absolute return ETFs are typically the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) or Treasury Bills………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Not just the smart money getting into gold

Posted on 19 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Despite gold coming close to dropping below the psychologically important $1,300 an ounce level at the end of the week and silver drifting away from $20 an ounce, precious metals investors added to their holdings. Total holdings in exchange traded products backed by physical gold and silver rose last week, albeit modestly, with two tonnes of gold bringing total holdings to 1,728.7 tonnes. More than 19 tonnes of silver trickled back into ETFs for a total of 19,616 tonnes.
Retail investor sentiment in precious metals were buoyed on Friday when second quarter filings by hedge fund gurus John Paulson and George Soros indicated continuing belief in good prospects for the sector………………………………………..Full Article: Source

7 Reasons to Like Silver

Posted on 19 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

When considering the catalysts for silver, let’s first ignore short-term factors such as net short/long positions, fluctuations in weekly ETF holdings, or the latest open interest. Data like these fluctuate regularly and rarely have long-term bearing on the price of silver.
I’m more interested in the big-picture forces that could impact silver over the next several years. The most significant force, of course, is what I stated above: governments’ abuse of “financial heroin” that will inevitably lead to a currency crisis in many countries around the world, pushing silver and gold to record levels………………………………………..Full Article: Source

New type of ETF promises to shrink spreads

Posted on 19 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With the launch of their ‘international’ range of ETFs, iShares and Euroclear are creating a new type of ETF issuance inside an established structure. If their hopes pan out, all ETFs will look like this three to five years from now.
Squint at the factsheet for the iShares MSCI USA Dividend IQ Ucits ETF (QDIV), an exchange-traded fund (ETF) sold in Europe, and you will probably find nothing that strikes you as especially peculiar. But in one important respect, QDIV is not a typical ETF. The settlement process for ETFs has been the same for almost two decades, but QDIV ignores this and settles in a way that is different from any other ETF that has come before………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF shoppers become more selective

Posted on 18 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Price wars continue in the exchange-traded fund market as providers seek to gain market share in Europe. However, investors say costs are just part of the puzzle when it comes to choosing an ETF. At the end of last month, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management became the latest ETF provider to slash costs for investors by releasing a product that tracks the MSCI World index and has a total expense ratio of 0.19%, the lowest yet for a European-listed ETF offering global equity exposure.
It is the latest of the company’s low-cost “core” range of db X-trackers ETFs launched in February. The range includes ETFs tracking the FTSE 100, DAX and Euro Stoxx indices, charging 0.09%, and the MSCI USA index Ucits ETF, which charges 0.07%. The FTSE product, the cheapest on the market, has a TER less than a third of the 0.3% of the existing db X-trackers that cover the same index………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Proliferation of ETFs both good and bad

Posted on 18 August 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Just when one might have thought all the available niches for exchange-traded funds had been occupied, a couple new ones appear on the market. The most recent one tracks the stock holdings of 10 highly successful investors, such as Warren Buffett, David Einhorn and Carl Icahn.
iBillionaire Index ETF identifies the holdings of these iconic investors by examining their quarterly 13F filings in which investors overseeing more than $100 million in U.S. equities must list their equity holdings. The filings are due no later than 45 days after the end of the quarter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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