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How To Short Oil With ETFs

Posted on 23 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

A respite to the oil price havoc has been wiped out with some forecasting a further drop in the days ahead. The commodity has been on a wild ride over the past six months, plunging about 60%. In fact, oil saw the biggest weekly decline last week since March 1986.
This is especially true as a boom in U.S. shale oil production, abundant supplies, no output cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as slowing demand in the U.S., Europe and China are heavily weighing on the demand/supply picture. As per the latest EIA report, the U.S. crude stockpiles rose 5.4 million barrels in the week (ending January 9), much higher than the market expectation of a 417,000-barrel increase………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Precious Metal ETFs Breaking Downtrend

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The rally in precious metals and related stocks continues to push higher as the SPDR Gold Trust hits a new five-month high. The initial rally was spurred by oversold technical levels, but the last few weeks the fuel has been moves by central banks around the globe. On Wednesday, Canada was the latest country to surprise the markets with an interest rate move. Next up is the European Central Bank.
Even though the moves have hurt the value of the local currencies and helped push the U.S. Dollar Index to multi-year highs, gold has been viewed as an alternative. Typically, the U.S. dollar and gold move in inverse relationships, but this time may be different………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Materials ETFs Mauled by Falling Oil Prices

Posted on 22 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Oil’s slide has identified some winners at the sector level, namely consumer-related shares, but beyond the energy sector, there are some losers as well. Those losers include the materials sector, which was already scuffling heading into 2015.
Last year, the Materials Select Sector SPDR rose just 7.2%, including paid dividends. XLB’s 2014 showing was 630 basis points worse than the S&P 500 and enough to make the fund the second-worst of the nine sector SPDR ETFs behind only the Energy Select Sector SPDR. To this point in the new year, only three of the nine sector SPDRs have traded higher. XLB is not a member of that trio………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF Securities Branches out From Commodities ETFs

Posted on 21 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETF Securities, the London-based exchange traded funds issuer known primarily for its lineup of commodities funds, is making a foray into equity-based funds with the introduction of two new ETFs. The ETFS Zacks Earnings Large-Cap U.S. Index Fund (NYSEArca: ZLRG) and the ETFS Zacks Earnings Small-Cap U.S. Index Fund (NYSEArca: ZSML) launched Tuesday.
“ETF Securities and Zacks developed the new ETFs to capture Zacks’ proprietary investment ranking strategy based on earnings estimate revisions and earnings quality, which have been shown to greatly impact stock prices. While offering the potential for enhanced returns, key steps have been taken to help mitigate risk………………………………………..Full Article: Source

5 Dividend ETFs to Buy for Income in 2015

Posted on 21 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The volatile start to 2015 has once again highlighted the importance of income-focused investing. Be it bonds, high dividend equities, or pass-through securities, picks that zero in on higher yielding securities have done well to start this uncertain year.
And while some have been worried about the specter of a possible Fed rate hike later in the year and its impact on higher yielding securities, fighting deflation has really been the focus of central banks around the globe instead. Europe appears to be on the cusp of a QE program of its own, while central banks from India to Denmark have slashed rates in recent weeks, showing us that much of the world is still decidedly in easing mode……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Will Gold Miner ETFs Dig Up Solid Returns in 2015?

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Gold is shining since the beginning of 2015 on a spike in volatility. Paired with six-year low oil prices, QE talks in the Euro zone and the return of dour U.S. economic data that again spurred speculations of a push back in the Fed rate hike, the recent monumental move by the Swiss National Bank in its currency market earned the yellow metal the much-needed appreciation to start the year.
On Thursday, January 15, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) scrapped its long-standing exchange rate of 1.20 Swiss francs to 1 euro and caught the market off guard. Analysts took this as a deliberate move ahead of the likely QE policy from the European Central Bank………………………………………..Full Article: Source

How Can Exchanges Compete with a Bitcoin ETF?

Posted on 20 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Much of the bitcoin community is excited at the prospect of a bitcoin ETF due to the assumption that it could bring many new speculators into the market. After all, if everyone with access to assets traded on the NASDAQ can just as easily trade bitcoin in the same account as their other investments, it’s possible that more traditional investors may take a shot at the digital currency.
While there’s been plenty of attention on the possible Winklevoss bitcoin ETF, there hasn’t been much discussion on the effect the ETF could have on current bitcoin exchanges. Once traders have access to a regulated bitcoin ETF on the NASDAQ, why would they spend time trading on one of the frequently-hacked bitcoin exchanges?……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Swissie Could Induce Commodities ETF Countertrend, but Tread Carefully

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The Swiss National Bank rattled global financial markets Thursday with its announcement that it is scrapping the franc’s euro peg, news that sent the CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust and scores of other well-known ETFs surging.
EUR/CHF is down 13.3% to 1.0410 and is flirting with parity, a once incomprehensible thought to forex market observers. The franc’s Thursday surge is having a wide-ranging impact across the ETF spectrum, particularly in the commodities space………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Key oil ETFs see significant decline since June

Posted on 16 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An investment fund traded on the stock exchange is called an exchange-traded fund (or ETF). An ETF holds assets like commodities, stocks, and bonds. It trades like a stock. Most ETFs track a bond index or stock index. The oil ETF consists of oil company stocks or futures contracts for various oils, gases, and petroleum-based fuels.
The massive decline in crude oil prices in the second half of 2014 has led to collateral damage for key oil ETFs. Most oil ETFs are down and trading at discounts………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2015 Outlook for Oil & Gas ETFs

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Currently, oil is deeply entrenched into bearish territory and has fallen below the $50-a-barrel level following OPEC’s decision to hold production unchanged, the effects of booming shale supplies in North America and a stagnant European economy. Moreover, a stronger dollar has made the greenback-priced commodity more expensive for investors holding foreign currency.
The cut in global crude demand growth by major energy consultative bodies has put the final nail in the coffin. While the OPEC international oil cartel cut its 2015 forecasted consumption by 280,000 barrels per day from its previous expectation, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) trimmed its demand outlook for next year by 240,000 barrels per day………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Miner ETFs Striking Toward 2009 Lows

Posted on 15 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The plunge in oil prices is beginning to ripple across sectors, pressuring industrial metal miners and related exchange traded funds. The SPDR Metals & Mining ETF fell 5.4% Wednesday and is down 28.2% over the past year. XME is now trading near its lowest since March 2009.
Global miners are not faring any better, with the iShares MSCI Global Metals & Mining Producers ETF down 5.1% Wednesday, dipping to an all-time low. PICK has decreased 18.6% over the past year. The ETF tracks global companies involved in the extraction and production of diversified metals, aluminum, steel and precious metals and minerals, except gold and silver, including big names like BHP Billiton 17.3%, RIO Tinto 8.4% and Glencore, which also fell to an all-time low………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2015 Outlook For Oil and Gas ETFs

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Currently, oil is deeply entrenched into bearish territory and has fallen below the $50-a-barrel level following OPEC’s decision to hold production unchanged, the effects of booming shale supplies in North America and a stagnant European economy. Moreover, a stronger dollar has made the greenback-priced commodity more expensive for investors holding foreign currency.
The cut in global crude demand growth by major energy consultative bodies has put the final nail in the coffin. While the OPEC international oil cartel cut its 2015 forecasted consumption by 280,000 barrels per day from its previous expectation, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) trimmed its demand outlook for next year by 240,000 barrels per day………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Copper ETN Trips to Lowest Since 2009

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The copper exchange traded note dipped Tuesday to its lowest point in almost six years as traders dumped copper on a weaker outlook in China and a potential pullback in oil-services-related industrial activity due to cheaper oil. The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: JJC) fell 3.4% Tuesday and was hovering around its lowest since May 2009. Over the past year, JJC declined 20.0%.
Short positions in copper are at a multi-year high as traders hold a more pessimistic outlook over China’s growth and diminished demand for the industrial metal, reports Jenny Cosgrave for CNBC………………………………………..Full Article: Source

2014 Commodity Exposure: Futures vs ETFs

Posted on 14 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Throughout the year, we track a simple strategy of buying the 12 month out Futures contract against the commodity ETFs that supposedly track those very same futures, to see just how the performance lines up; knowing that ETFs typically are the ones that underperform because of the contract roll. For more on how this looks long term, see our recent deeper look into the $USO Oil ETF.
But regardless of whether you’re tracking correctly – the concept of buying and holding commodities, whether it be via futures, or via ETFs via futures – isn’t proving to be all that great anyway, with an average performance of -7%, compared to the ETFs -11% (and -12% and -16% if don’t include Cofee)………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The Perils of Bargain-Hunting With Oil ETFs

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Trying to hook a marlin-sized rebound in oil using exchange-traded funds isn’t as easy as it may look. Many see oil as a bargain now that it’s below $50 a barrel for the first time since 2009. Bottom fishers are piling into oil-related ETFs at the fastest rate in years, and the ETFs have taken in $6 billion in the past six weeks. But so far no one is catching anything but negative returns.
If you’re tempted to join the crowd, keep two things in mind. First, you’re not directly investing in oil as a pure commodity play with these products — unless you want to store barrels of oil in your backyard………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF/ETPs in Europe Reach Record of $62B in Net New Assets in 2014

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETFGI’s research finds 2014 was a good year for the European ETF/ETP industry. During 2014 the ETF/ETP industry in Europe gathered a record level of US $62 billion in net new asset (NNA), breaking prior full year NNA records. At the end of December 2014, the European ETF/ETP industry had 2,106 ETFs/ETPs, with 6,376 listings, from 49 providers on 26 exchanges.
Assets in European ETFs/ETPs ended the year at US $460 billion, which is below the record of US $477.4 billion in assets set at the end of August 2014. We expect the European ETF/ETP industry to break through the US $500 billion milestone in 2015………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETFs/ETPs Reached Record of $2.78 Trillion in Assets in 2014

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETFGI’s research finds 2014 was a very good year for the Global ETF/ETP industry. Some highlights are below: ETFs/ETPs listed globally: The global ETF/ETP industry has reached a new record level of US $2.79 trillion in assets invested in 5,580 ETFs/ETPs, with 10,770 listings, from 239 providers listed on 62 exchanges in 49 countries.
We expect the assets to break through the US $3 trillion milestone in the first half of 2015. There were US $61.5 billion in net new asset (NNA) inflows in December – the largest NNA month on record. Net inflows of US $338.3 billion are a new record beating prior full year net inflows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF/ETPs In Canada Reach Record Of $2.7B in Net New Assets in December 2014

Posted on 13 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETFGI’s research finds the ETF/ETP industry in Canada gathered a record level of 2.7 billion US dollars in net new asset (NNA) in December 2014. During 2014 net inflows totalled US $9.2 billion. At the end of December 2014, the Canadian ETF industry had 341 ETFs, with 475 listings, assets of US $66 billion, from 9 providers listed on 1 exchange, according to preliminary data from ETFGI’s end December 2014 Global ETF and ETP industry insights report.
“The global ETF/ETP industry enjoyed a very good year in 2014 gathering US $338 billion in net new assets. The US market outperformed other developed markets in 2014 marking the third year of double digit gains with the S&P 500 ending the year up 14%. Emerging markets gained 1% while developed markets were down 4% for the year,” according to Deborah Fuhr, managing partner of ETFGI………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Energy ETPs attract lion’s share of commodity inflows in 2014

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The collapse in the oil price attracted bargain hunters to energy exchange-traded products (ETPs) in 2014, with inflows leaping in December even as the sell-off in oil intensified, global data from BlackRock and ETF Securities showed.
Investors in the United States accounted for about 85 percent of the $3 billion-plus inflow into energy ETPs globally, ETF Securities, an issuer of ETPs, said. “A lot of the flows were in WTI (U.S.) crude ETPs,” said Martin Arnold, global FX and commodity strategist at ETF Securities. “It’s U.S. investors looking at the U.S. economy.” Natural gas accounted for about 25 percent of the inflows………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity ETFs Ravaged by Outflows in 2014

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Last year was a dismal one for commodities exchange traded funds, both from a performance and outflows perspective. Although it fell just 2.2% for the year, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and the ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) each lost more than 2%.
Frustrated by a lack of inflation and spurred by a soaring U.S. dollar, investors pulled $3.2 billion from GLD. That placed the world’s largest gold ETF on the 2014 top 10 list for largest outflows and now GLD is no longer among the ten largest ETFs………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETF industry booms in record-breaking year

Posted on 12 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors ploughed record amounts of cash into exchange traded funds last year as the expansion of the ETF industry accelerated worldwide.
Numerous records for ETF inflows were set in 2014 by providers, and across asset classes and geographies. This was helped by a massive surge in December, when investors allocated $61.5bn of new cash, a monthly record………………………………………..Full Article:

Precious metals drove commodity ETPs’ $20bn loss in 2014

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Declines in precious metals prices drove a drop of more than $20 billion in commodity exchange-traded product holdings in 2014, according to ETF Securities Ltd. Assets under management in commodity ETPs fell $20.6 billion to $101.5 billion by the end of the year, according to a report published by the Jersey, U.K.-based company today.
Some 70 percent of the decline was attributable to precious metal ETPs, the value of which slid $14.8 billion to $79 billion. Record inflows into energy products, mostly crude oil, in the final quarter partially offset the annual decline in global ETP values.“With the Federal Reserve having pushed out of quantitative easing and looking to interest rate hikes and as the dollar rallied quite considerably, gold has just been an unfavored asset,” Nitesh Shah, an associate research director at the company, said……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Investors flood into oil ETPs

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Investors have flooded into oil related exchange-traded products at record levels according to data from ETF Securities. The data indicates investors are already using the recent oil market rout as an opportunity to rotate exposure at attractive price levels.
Much of the money going into oil ETPs has come from reductions to gold exposure. Gold ETPs saw $3.1bn of withdrawals, the largest quarterly withdrawals in a year. US investors accounted for 78% of this as confidence in the US recovery grew. Commodity sector performance generally continued to deteriorate in Q4 2014, confirming it as the worst year for the asset class since the financial crisis………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity ETP Trends Q4 and full year 2014

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity performance continued to deteriorate in Q4 2014, marking the worst year for the asset class since the global financial crisis. A perfect storm of factors – the combination of strong supply across most commodity sectors, concerns about demand from China and a strengthening US Dollar – depressed prices and saw global AUM drop US$9.2bn in Q4 to US$101.5bn from Q3 2014.
Net flows into commodity ETPs were neutral and the AUM decline was entirely driven by price movements. Investors now appear to be looking at the current environment as an opportunity to increase cyclical commodity exposures, rotating away from more defensive exposures like gold………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Exchange-traded commodity funds lost more than $20-billion of assets in 2014

Posted on 09 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Declines in precious metals prices drove a drop of more than $20 billion in commodity exchange-traded product holdings in 2014, according to ETF Securities Ltd. Assets under management in commodity ETPs fell $20.6 billion to $101.5 billion by the end of the year, according to a report published by the Jersey, U.K.-based company today.
Some 70 percent of the decline was attributable to precious metal ETPs, the value of which slid $14.8 billion to $79 billion. Record inflows into energy products, mostly crude oil, in the final quarter partially offset the annual decline in global ETP values………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Strategy Based ETFs to Consider in 2015

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

ETF offering continue to expand with new types of funds coming available to investors. A small but growing niche is strategy-based ETFs. These ETFs attempt to replicate investment strategies of “guru” investors, hedge funds and “smart money.” This is accomplished in various ways, based on the ETF’s trading methodology.
Some strategy-based ETFs have researched the strategies of successful investors, such as Warren Buffett, and incorporated his practices into their trading approach. Other ETFs track publicly disclosed stock purchases by major hedge funds, attempting to replicate the return of the funds. Another strategy-based ETF group is managed futures. These ETFs invest in futures products in an effort to profit in up, down or sideways markets………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Positioning for an Oil ETF Rebound? Watch For Contango

Posted on 08 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As crude oil prices dip to fresh lows, contrarian traders are becoming increasingly antsy for a rebound. Traders may try to tap into an oil-related exchange traded fund to capitalize on a potential recovery, but one should first look under the hood and understand how the futures market can affect an ETF.
For instance, many would likely turn to the U.S. Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, to play a potential turn in the energy market. USO is the largest and most popular oil-related ETF option on the market, with $1.2 billion in assets and $387 million changing hands daily, according to Attain Capital………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Oil Services ETFs as Contrarian Plays

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Over the past three months, nearly all of the worst performing exchange traded funds have direct ties to oil. Wade through the commodities plays such as the iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Index ETN (NYSEArca: OIL) and the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) and the trail of tears includes scores of country ETFs and sector funds.
Oil services ETFs are predictable members of that less-than-illustrious list. The Market Vectors Oil Service ETF (NYSEArca: OIH), iShares U.S. Oil Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEArca: IEZ), SPDR Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEArca: XES) entered Tuesday with an average 90-day loss of 27.6%, firmly positioning oil services stocks and ETFs as a hated asset class………………………………………..Full Article: Source

A Strong Start to Safe Haven ETFs in 2015

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

After a strong run-up last year, the U.S. stocks were off to a weak start in 2015. The relentless slide in crude oil, political turmoil in Greece, the tumbling Euro, and strong dollar weighed on investors sentiment, bringing volatility back to the market.
Oil price continued to fall in the New Year, plunging more than half of its value since its peak in June 2014. U.S. oil fell below $49 per barrel for the first time since April 2009 while Brent crude slid to less than $52 per barrel. Higher U.S. shale output as well as record oil production from Russia and Iraq raised fears of global glut……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Alternatives ETF in the Early Stages of Growth

Posted on 07 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With markets hovering around all-time highs, alternative exchange traded funds that help diversify risk and volatility could begin to attract more attention, but market observers require more education.
“Should the average investor have exposure to alternative investments? Yes and no,” Douglas Kobak, certified financial planner and principal of Main Line Group Wealth Management, said in a CNBC article. “‘Alternatives’ is such a nebulous word, and it encompasses so many strategies.”……………………………………….Full Article: Source

2015’s Most Promising ETFs

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The lesson 2014’s top exchange-traded funds appear to teach is paradoxical: Bad news can be very good news, at least if you see it coming. Four of the year’s top 10 exchange-traded funds were short funds, three of which bet against oil prices and a fourth that’s dour on the oil-dependent Russian economy, according to an analysis by On Wall Street.
The other top themes in ETFs were betting on the chip industry, betting on long-term U.S. Treasury bonds and following health care stocks………………………………………..Full Article: Source

5 Must-Have ETFs for 2015

Posted on 06 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As the U.S. economy bravely trumped all difficulties at home and abroad, 2014 was another great year for the country’s stock market. The S&P 500 posted the third consecutive year of double-digit gains of 11.4% while Dow Jones Industrial Average added 7.5%. With this, the U.S. bull market is strongly moving ahead to celebrate its sixth anniversary on March 9, 2015.
This is especially true given that the economy is growing at a faster rate in over a decade and is on track for the strongest annual job growth since late 1999. While lower oil prices , better job markets, improving business conditions, rising consumer confidence, and low interest rates should continue to benefit stocks in 2015, the expected first interest rates hike in a decade, an aging bull market, and a strong dollar might act as headwinds……………………………………….Full Article: Source

ETF Trade Ideas for First-Half 2015

Posted on 05 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

As a follow up to our note on Tuesday looking out to 2015, we discuss a few themes and representative trade ideas for the first half of the year. During the third year of the 1990s and 2000s low-volatility regimes, energy and materials were the two best-performing U.S. equity sectors.
But over the past year they’ve ranked 10th and 8th, respectively, and been vastly outpaced by the leadership of utilities (up 29.7%), health care (up 24.9%) and technology (up 20.5%). In addition to defying generally accepted sector rotation axioms, there is reason to question the potential for energy and materials stocks to begin outperforming in 2015 against the backdrop of a strengthening U.S. dollar and relatively weak global commodity demand outlook………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Best ETF Strategies for 2015

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Stocks are on their way to close this year on a strong note–with the S&P 500 index up 15% year to date-the third consecutive year of double-digit growth for the index. With the economy growing at the fastest clip in more than a decade, stocks are expected to continue their upward move, as companies will be able to boost their profits. Plunging energy prices and low interest rates will further benefit stocks.
At the same time, after a bull run of almost six years, stocks are not cheap. And with the Fed expected to start raising rates sometime next year, many wonder how long the stock market party can go on. As we head into 2015, it may be a good time to look at the investment landscape and reposition your investment portfolio for the new year………………………………………..Full Article: Source

ETFs Could Have a Big Year in 2015

Posted on 02 January 2015 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The exchange-traded fund industry heads into the New year having notched a fresh milestone: $2 trillion in assets under management, achieved just last week. This caps asset growth of 18% in 2014.
While the most complex and quirky ETFs tend to garner disproportionate attention in a field of nearly 1,700 funds, it is the low-cost, tax-efficient bread-and-butter ETFs that are fueling the industry’s growth. The top three recipients of new investor cash this year each tracked the S&P 500 index of U.S. stocks, according to ETF.com………………………………………..Full Article: Source

11 ETFs that could make your new year

Posted on 23 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Looking for bold investing ideas for 2015? Or perhaps you’re just searching for diversified, high-quality and low-cost index funds. Here are a few picks that run the gamut. MarketWatch asked several investing experts each to recommend 3 ETFs for 2015 — funds that ought to perform well, or that are at least worth watching.
Morningstar’s Sam Lee likes XLF, IEIL, SCHD. The financials SPDR holds big banks, broker-dealers and insurers that look cheap to fairly priced, and these companies should perform well in a rising-rate environment, said Sam Lee. He is a strategist covering passive funds at Morningstar and edits the investment research company’s “ETF Investor” newsletter………………………………………..Full Article: Source

5 Great ETFs for 2015

Posted on 23 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Exchange-traded funds continue to proliferate like kudzu. Many of them invest in overly narrow market niches or charge excessive fees. But if you look carefully, you can find dirt-cheap ETFs that will do at least as well as traditional mutual funds that often charge more. With ETFs, you get to pocket the cost savings in the form of higher returns.
I don’t consider the picks described in this article to be buy-and-hold investments. I think U.S. and foreign stocks will earn you money in 2015, but plainly U.S. stocks are no longer cheap, and foreign economies—both developed and emerging—face strong headwinds. Meanwhile, bonds look wildly overpriced to me……………………………………….Full Article: Source

US regulator probes ETF pricing structures

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Extreme movements in the prices of bonds, commodities and other assets have prompted regulators at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to take a closer look at the inner workings of exchange traded funds.
Wall Street’s top regulator has been talking to the firms responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of such ETFs as it seeks to gauge the resilience of the structures to sharp fluctuations in the underlying market they track………………………………………..Full Article: Source

Our ETF Hits and Misses of 2014

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

An assessment of this column’s picks in 2014 shows that its authors were rightly skeptical about straying from passive index exchange-traded funds in favor of active management, which again struggled in a year of steady stock-market gains. And while the temptation to buy complex ETFs is as intense as ever in the nearly $2 trillion industry, this column proved prescient in pointing out substitutes for trendy (and expensive) alternative indexes, such as an equal-weighted S&P 500.
It missed the mark, however, by flagging a buying opportunity in beaten-down business-development companies, and in prematurely calling a top in the “low-volatility” trend, which outpaced the broader market………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The 10 Best ETFs to Own for 2015

Posted on 22 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Best ETFs to Own for 2015: Each week our experts dish out the latest profit plays and asset-protection moves for our Money Morning Members – all for free. Today we want to do something different. Rather than provide a roundup of last week’s stock picks, we’re going to focus on 10 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) our experts like right now.
They are among the best low-cost ways for you to profit from next year’s top trends. “The great thing about ETFs is that you get a lot of potential upside while also greatly diversifying away your risk,” Money Morning Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson, a 30-year tech market veteran, said Dec. 11………………………………………..Full Article: Source

3 Sectors ETFs That Should Thrive On Low Oil Prices

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The crash in oil prices has truly reached shocking levels at this point. Oil prices which were trading above the triple-digit mark only months ago, but have now given up gains to gravitational forces and are now hovering around the five-year low of $65 a barrel.
Oil has collapsed more than 40% this year, thanks to sluggish global demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. oil production - which has risen to the highest output from the U.S. in three decades. Moreover, a lack of geopolitical concerns has also dragged oil prices lower……………………………………….Full Article: Source

Oil Crash Hits These European ETFs Hard

Posted on 19 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Countries with heavy oil exposure have faced extremely rough trading in recent months as steep losses started to pile up in the space. This prime commodity has entered bear territory having slid more than 40% since June and touched the five-year low level. Brent crude prices are presently hovering around the $60/bbl. level.
A supply glut, ‘no production cut’ by the OPEC nations and anemic demand outlook are wrecking havoc on this liquid commodity. This has taken a toll on oil-rich nations which are among the top exporters of the commodity. As a result, the stocks and related ETFs of these nations have seen plunging share prices for quite some time now………………………………………..Full Article: Source

The 5 Best ETFs to Buy for 2015

Posted on 18 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

With the clock about to roll past 2014 and into the New Year, it’s time for investors to be looking ahead with regards to their portfolios. That can be a daunting task, however, as it’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen over the progression of a year. An easy way to prepare and plan is by using exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
ETFs are intraday tradable baskets of stocks or other assets that make playing various global trends — both short and long-term — easy. And as some trends are already beginning to emerge, we can use them to tweak our portfolios accordingly to maximize profits…………………………………….Full Article: Source

The Best and Worst Precious Metals ETFs

Posted on 18 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Among all that glitters, the palladium exchange traded fund is outperforming while silver ETFs have been the most tarnished in the precious metals group. The ETFS Physical Palladium Shares has increased 8.9% year-to-date, leading the precious metals pack. The palladium spot prices is currently hovering around $780.8 per ounce.
While 80% of commodity ETFs showed a negative return so far this year, PALL was among the few commodity funds to remain afloat, writes Eric Balchunas for Bloomberg…………………………………….Full Article: Source

5 Hot ETF Trends To Avoid In 2015

Posted on 18 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Though it may be hard to do, we need to shift our attention away from the twisted wreckage within the energy sector for a second. That’s because, as 2014 winds to an end, investors need to make a plan for 2015. And in order to formulate a strategy, we need to reflect on the past year.
Thus, I’ve taken a look back to see where the “hot money” was flowing. If we want to poach the investing herd in 2015, then we’ll have to identify the most popular trades. Analyzing exchange-traded fund (ETF) flows is a great way to do this and can help us avoid overly crowded trades going forward…………………………………….Full Article: Source

The Best and Worst Exchange-Traded Funds of 2014

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

There’s no shortage of cliches used to describe the rapidly expanding exchange-traded fund industry — it’s growing like wildfire, like weeds, like kudzu. ETFs are definitely an invasive species in the financial services world, and for many investors a welcome one, thanks to their low costs and targeting of niche, hard-to-access investing areas.
And, yes, the industry is getting really big: Assets hit $2 trillion in 2014 as $196 billion in new cash rolled in. The pace of new ETF launches has also picked up, and the 196 new offerings in 2014 is a 29 percent jump over 2013. There are now ETFs for about everything you can think of — and 1,000 more in registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission……………………………………..Full Article: Source

The 10 Best ETFs to Own for 2015

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Each week our experts dish out the latest profit plays and asset-protection moves for our Money Morning Members – all for free. Today we want to do something different. Rather than provide a roundup of last week’s stock picks, we’re going to focus on 10 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) our experts like right now.
They are among the best low-cost ways for you to profit from next year’s top trends.”The great thing about ETFs is that you get a lot of potential upside while also greatly diversifying away your risk,” Money Morning Defense & Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson, a 30-year tech market veteran, said Dec. 11……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Identifying ETF Global Values Plays for 2015

Posted on 17 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

The global equity landscape is at an interesting crossroads as we make our way into 2015, with many individual countries and sectors showing marked divergences. The drop in commodity prices this year has been the obvious factor in widening the gap between the strongest and weakest names around the world.
Economies such as Russia, Venezuela, and Brazil, which rely heavily on oil production to support their burgeoning market infrastructure, have been crushed under the weight of falling prices over the last six months. Conversely, developed countries with consumer-focused capital systems such as the United States have continued to show low volatility and relative strength when measured on a global scale……………………………………..Full Article: Source

Commodity ETFs That Know How to Navigate the Futures Market

Posted on 16 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Most commodity-related exchange traded funds track a basket of futures securities. Consequently, investors should understand how the underlying futures markets work and the effects they will have on ETFs.
In a paper titled The Strategic and Tactical Value of Commodity Futures, Claude Erb and Campbell Harvey argue that returns on commodity futures can be broken down into four parts: the risk-free rate, the spot-price return, the roll yield and the diversification return, writes Morningstar strategist Samuel Lee………………………………………Full Article: Source

You can use ETFs to short commodities, but it’s difficult

Posted on 15 December 2014 by VRS  |  Email |Print

Commodity prices have been in a waterfall decline for most of this year, with the largest declines experienced in the fourth quarter. This is due to many factors, including anemic global economic growth which limits demand and a stronger U.S. dollar DXY,Commodities typically respond inversely to dollar movements since commodities are priced in dollars.
Generally a weak dollar means stronger commodity prices, and a strong dollar the opposite. Beyond avoiding the sector, how can investors benefit from these serious price declines? By shorting commodity indexes………………………………………..Full Article: Source

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