ETFs started February on a down note, with most equities slumping to finish the week. The euro sank to a new eight-month low against the dollar as sovereign debt concerns, specifically from Greece, continue to hang over the economic bloc. Meanwhile in the U.S., the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 9.7% despite losing 20,000 jobs in January. Below, we offer our picks for the week’s most important and interesting ETF stories from around the Web:
If Consumption Is King, India ETFs May Reign Supreme at ETF Expert:
With over 300 million people in its middle-class, India is fast becoming a consumer powerhouse. In addition to having more than twice as many people in its middle-class than China, Indian businesses are owned by Indians instead of state-run corporations as is usually the case in China. So for investors who are bullish on the growing consumer power of people in the BRICs, India may deserve a closer look.
Seven More ETFs That Don’t Exist But Should at ETF Database:
We discuss seven more ETFs that do not currently exist but should. We detail a broad range of ideas ranging from technology ETFs to more traditional market sectors. Some of our ideas include an online education ETF in order to take advantage of the growing market for virtual classrooms, a Southeast Asia ETF to match similar funds in Europe and South America, and a newspaper ETF to track the struggling but interesting print media industry.
This article compares socially responsible ETFs to general index investing in order to see if nice guys finish last in the investing world. For the most part, socially responsible investments such as iShares KLD Select Social Index (KLD) or iShares KLD 400 Social Index (DSI) have outperformed SPY over the past 52 weeks. However, this trend does not hold true when investing in alternative or ‘green’ fuels. Most green energy ETFs, including Claymore/LGA Green ETF (GRN) and Van Eck Global Alternative Energy ETF (GEX) have underperformed the market, suggesting that going green has not been as profitable as being socially responsible.
Cocktail Talk: A Gold Turnaround? at Hard Assets Investor:
Two popular investments as of late have been the SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) and Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) but many investors are having trouble deciding which to purchase in order to satisfy their gold allocation. The author claims that gold bullion currently makes the better investment because the ratio of GLD to GDX is quickly going higher, suggesting better momentum for GLD. However, investors must keep in mind that GDX has a much higher beta suggesting that it is a much more volatile play on the precious metal.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.