The ETF industry is off to a good start for 2010 with several new funds launching this week. In other news, Barack Obama proposed a new tax on banks in order to shore up the $100 billion deficit from TARP. Markets finished the week on a sour note after JP Morgan posted weaker than expected fourth quarter revenue, further adding to banks’ pain in the new year. Below, we offer our picks for the week’s most important and interesting ETF stories from around the Web:
Graham Tuckwell: “Pent-Up Demand” Behind Fund’s Success at Hard Assets Investor:
Graham Tuckwell, the chairman of ETF Securities discusses the amazing first day success of his firm’s new ETFS Platinum Trust (PPLT) and ETFS Palladium Trust (PALL) funds. After waiting nearly nine months to receive approval from the SEC, PALL and PPLT experienced asset inflows of over $100 million and both had over a quarter million shares trading on day one. Graham also discusses the benefits of buying these precious metals in ETF form and his thoughts on the impact of the funds on automakers and the relatively small platinum and palladium markets.
Ultimate Guide To Agricultural ETFs: Agriculture Investing 101 at ETF Database:
With inflation concerns mounting, we take a look at a way to hedge portfolios with an increasing popular choice; agricultural commodities. There are many options open to investors who are looking to increase their exposure to these commodities which fall into four categories; broad based, equity, livestock, and grains. In addition to highlighting the major funds in each category, we take a look at some of the price drivers for these funds and what investors need to look for when investing in the agricultural sector.
Can Laggards Become Leaders? at ETF Guide:
Often times, unloved and forgotten market sectors can turn around and provide investors with large gains. This article takes a look at some of the worst performing ETFs of 2009 to see if they have any chance of redeeming themselves in 2010. Among the funds highlighted are UNG, which was down almost 50% in 2009, and PowerShares Dynamic Banking fund (PJB). which declined almost 23%.
Dividend ETFs Offer Tempting Yields at ETF Zone:
As investors seek higher yields outside of bonds, an option that is becoming intriguing for income seeking investors are the dividend ETFs. These funds tend to offer better yields than bond funds and they offer much greater chances of price appreciation. Two popular options that have paced the market in 2009 were the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG), with yield of 2.1%, and SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY), with a yield of 4.1%.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.