ETFs experienced a rocky week, as president Obama gave his first State of The Union Address and Apple debuted its much anticipated tablet computer, the iPad. In other news, Ben Bernanke won a secnd term after passing Senate confirmation in a 70-30 vote. Below, we offer our picks for the week’s most important and interesting ETF stories from around the Web:
How ALT Stacks Up at Hard Assets Investor:
This article takes an in-depth look at iShares’ Diversified Alternative Trust (ALT) to see how the fund has performed in its first two months. The fund, which seeks to minimize volatility and remain uncorrelated with major indexes, generally uses futures and currency forwards in order to accomplish its objective. Thus far the fund’s performance has been somewhat of a mixed bag; it has over-delivered in terms of limiting volatility, but the fund has underperformed its equal weighted peer GreenHaven Continuous Commodity Index Fund (GCC) in terms of overall return.
Ten Commodity ETFs Every Investor Should Know (But Most Don’t) at ETF Database:
More than half of all commodity assets are in GLD, yet there are plenty of options available for commodity ETF investors. We highlight several commodity funds that have probably flown under investors radars as easy ways to diversify commodity allocations. Among the 10 funds highlighted, we discuss several metal ETNs, agricultural commodities, and even an alternative to UNG.
Can China Pull the World Out of Recession? at ETF Guide:
Many investors are counting on China to pull the global economies out of a slump. But according to Ron DeLegge, that will not be the case. He believes that the idea of “decoupling” (the notion that emerging economies are no longer correlated or dependent on developed countries) is a myth. Investors should also concern themselves with China’s recent attempts to slow down the pace of lending in order to prevent a bubble that some believe China’s own stimulus helped start.
iShares Drafts Four New Country-Specific ETFs at IndexUniverse:
iShares will soon expand their specific country offerings by including funds based on securities in China, Poland, Indonesia, and New Zealand. While the first three represent countries that already have dedicated ETFs, the New Zealand fund will be a completely new offering to U.S. investors. Although ETFs already exist for three of the countries, iShares may still be bringing something new to the markets by focusing on small-caps in its China fund, large-cap firms in Poland, and including more securities than the competitor for its Indonesia fund.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.