It’s been an interesting week the world of ETFs: Technology stocks reported strong earnings and oil finished the week at the $80/bbl mark. Here are the ETF Database staff picks of the week’s most important and interesting stories from around the Web:
Grail’s Active Strategies: A Deeper Look at Index Universe:
This article looks at four new funds from Grail Advisors managed by RiverPark. The four funds are RiverPark Technology ETF (RPQ), RiverPark Financials ETF (RFF), RiverPark Growth ETF (RPX) and RiverPark Focused Large Cap Growth ETF (RWG). All four funds are very active and have relatively high expense ratios. However, the funds offer concentrated positions in a good mix of both big S&P 500 companies as well as large non S&P 500 companies. All are still very illiquid and are probably not appropriate for large investors or for those that are looking to actively trade in and out of a security. The funds do however, offer a great opportunity for investors that are looking for “tradable, tax-efficient mutual funds.”
The Definitive Oil ETF Guide: Crude Oil ETFs 101 at ETF Database:
We discuss a multitude of ways to play the oil markets with ETFs. There are numerous options for investors who are looking to track the price of crude oil (USO), heating oil (UHN), or gasoline (UGA). We also highlight various ETFs for investors that are looking to invest in oil related equities and the factors that move the oil markets and their related securities.
Although precious metals have run up considerably in 2009, they still may deserve a place in your portfolio, if for no other reason than the poor alternatives that are currently offered to investors who are focused on protecting their wealth. Gary Gordon takes a look at the idea that true purchasing power protection can only come from precious metals that can’t be diluted by governments.
Can Equal Weighting a Portfolio Minimize Risk? at ETF Guide:
The focus of this article is equal-weighted funds such as the Rydex S&P Equal Weight ETF (RSP) which has every stock in the S&P 500 and assigns them all an equal weight of 0.20% in the portfolio. Equal-weighted funds have outperformed their market capitalization weighted counterparts this year with RSP nearly doubling SPY‘s performance: 38.7% to 21.5%. The author says that this is due to the fact that the equal weight funds have a more generous weighting towards small and mid cap equities which have outperformed the overall market in 2009. Another interesting option for investors who are big on equal-weighting is the ALPS Equal Sector Weight ETF (EQL). This fund “is an ETF of ETFs that invests equal proportions in each of the nine Select Sector SPDR funds.”
How a Currency Basket ETF Can Benefit You at ETF Trends:
Discussed in this article are several reasons why investors should look to currency basket ETFs such as the WisdomTree Dreyfus Emerging Currency Fund (CEW) in order to diversify their portfolios and gain exposure to emerging markets without as much risk as equities. The currency basket provides investors with access to money markets in emerging market countries across the globe that range from Mexico to Poland, ensuring that if one country’s currency has problems it does not drag down the entire fund. WisdomTree’s fund is up roughly 6% since inception.
That’s it for This Week in ETFs: happy reading. Have a great weekend everyone!