This Week In ETFs: February 20th Edition

by on February 20, 2011

This past week was another busy one in the financial world as markets reacted to major news coming from all corners of the global economy. On Monday, President Barack Obama’s 2012 fiscal budget was released, outlining $3.73 trillion in spending to save $1.1 trillion over the next decade. Harsh spending cuts as well as lower funding for numerous programs has many Congress members clamoring for immediate changes which could produce a battle over the path the country takes to get out of debt and return to a more sustainable model. Further from home, more violence erupted overseas, as several people were killed in a protest in Bahrain, furthering the trouble that emerging markets have faced in 2011, and keeping the spotlight on the troubled region for the time being. Meanwhile, the ETF world saw the launch of several new funds such as the ASEAN ETF (ASEA), and the Smartphone ETF (FONE) suggesting that although the world economy may be hitting a speed-bump the ETF world is not [see also Warning: Obama’s $3.73 Trillion Budget Could Sink These Three ETFs].Below, we profile three interesting ETF articles from around the web this week:

Time For Precious Metals Miners? at Hard Assets Investor:

In an unstable global economy, many investors have turned to precious metals, such as gold, to hedge against market volatility. None more famous than George Soros, whose heavy holdings in the most popular gold ETF, GLD, prove that even the most savvy investors are betting on gold to rise. This article, written by Lara Crigger, outlines precious metals mining funds, such as Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), and their impressive performance compared to their respective physical metals and which choice might be best for investors’ portfolios.

Emerging-Markets Investors Could Use Some Style at Morningstar

Frustrated with stagnant domestic markets, many U.S. investors have turned to international investments, specifically emerging markets, to find the gains they seek for their portfolios. Unfortunately, many investors are using exchange traded products that are too focused on mega-cap firms, missing out on the incredible growth opportunities that small cap emerging funds offer. This article outlines the pros and cons of small cap emerging market ETFs, and why investors may want to consider these alternate international vehicles for their emerging market exposure.

Creative ETF Ideas To Hedge Against Global Unrest at ETF Database:

The past few weeks has seen a wealth of unrest across the world, as protests in Egypt shook stock markets, only for more violence to erupt in Bahrain and Libya this week. With these kinds of events lying completely out of an investor’s control, it can be frustrating to watch securities take a hit due to issues overseas. This article, written by Michael Johnston, outlines several unique ETF strategies to help investors account for turmoil around the world as well as ways to profit from a more volatile and uncertain market.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.