This week may have been shortened by the Labor Day holiday, but that did not leave a dearth of significant economic developments–even if trading volumes were persistently light. The Obama administration created quite a buzz early this week when it announced a $50 billion infrastructure plan along with some tweaks to our current tax system. This week also saw change of leadership in two major firms; Nokia named a forming Microsoft executive as its new CEO and Oracle hired former Hewlett-Packard head Mark Hurd in a move that drew a lawsuit from the competitor. Outside of the U.S., many central banks released their interest rate decisions, commenting on prospects for inflation and the governments’ economic outlook.
The ETF world was busy as well, with a major product launch from Vanguard that heightens the head-to-head competition in the industry, as well as a number of interesting new product filings. Below, we highlight three of the best ETF stories from around the Web during the last week:
Using ETFs to Mimic Mutual Fund Managers’ Ideas at Morningstar:
Investors have long used mutual funds as an easy medium to bring diversification and professional management to their portfolios, despite their relatively expensive fees. However, Robert Goldsborough discusses ways that investors can copy some of their favorite mutual fund managers’ techniques by using exchange traded funds instead. These funds have nearly identical holdings as their mutual fund counterparts but have stunningly cheaper expense ratios. This allows investors to buy into promising mutual fund strategies without getting bogged down by high costs.
Hedgers, Contrarians Piled Into TBT In August at Index Universe:
Last month saw major inflows to safe-haven ETFs, including gold and certain fixed income funds, but a surprisingly popular fund in August was the ProShares UltraShort Barclays 20+ Year Treasury (TBT). The fund brought in $585.2 million in just four short weeks, making it the most popular leveraged and inverse fund in the world. The fund has lost approximately 30% this year, but the large inflows last month may signify that investors believe that the rally that long term Treasuries have experienced may be coming to an abrupt end in the near future.
Three Legendary Investors With Huge Positions In GLD at ETF Database:
With many investors frustrated by trembling equities, gold-backed funds have seen large inflows, as well as a surge in prices this year. This trend has not been limited to small investors either as this article outlines three big name investors; George Soros, John Paulson, and Eric Mindich, who have amassed huge holdings in the popular gold ETFs.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.