This Week In ETFs: July 31st Edition

by on July 31, 2011 | ETFs Mentioned:

This week saw one of the worst strings of trading sessions in nearly a year as investors have grown increasingly worried that Congress will be unable to set aside their differences and come to terms on some sort of debt deal to avoid a default. If a deal is not passed soon, major credit rating  agencies have threatened to kick the U.S. out of the AAA club, which could be devastating for the global economy, as we would no longer be the go to safe haven economy. Gold saw new highs this week as the metal broke through the $1,600 per ounce mark and kept right on going. Meanwhile, oil suffered a rough week as crude is now below $96 per barrel. The ETF world saw a relatively slow week as far as launches are concerned, though a number of filings stuffed into the pipeline ensured that the industry would not be slowing down anytime soon.

Below, we outline the best ETF stories from around the web this week:

Who is Buying Gold and Silver? at iShares Blog:

One of the most fascinating metrics when it comes to investing is which kind of investor is buying which kind of securities, but this data is not always easy to find, as some funds trade hundreds of millions of shares every day. When it comes to precious metals ETFs, most of the purchases have been by major institutions rather than the individual investor. But new research from iShares shows that this trend may be reversing in favor of the individual. This article, from Kevin Feldman, explains the shift from institution to individual, and how it applies to two of their most popular products, SLV and IAU.

Social Media ETF Delusions at IndexUniverse:

As social media companies are skyrocketing in popularity, investors are chomping at the bit to get in at the ground level of some of these rapidly growing firms. This year has already seen LinkedIn and Pandora go public, with stellar first day performances, much to the delight of their investors. Now, Global X has filed for a Social Media ETF, in an effort to cash in on the investor excitement on this new space, but is it a realistic idea? With so many major social media companies still maintaining a private status the new product may be a bit ambitious. This article, by Ben McFadden, gives a current outlook on the social media world, and how this ETF might allocate its assets.

Biotech ETFs: Investing In The Fountain of Youth at ETF Daily News:

Aging is a natural part of life, but it is one that most people do their best to combat, as nobody wishes to feel or look their age when it comes to their elder years. Enter biotech firms; while they may not be tapping into the fountain of youth, they have been making strides to improve health in the elderly and are ensuring longer, more comfortable lives. In fact, by 2020, the world will have more than one billion people aged 60 and above, that’s nearly 14% of the globe’s population. This article, by Ron Rowland, outlines several ETFs to take advantage of this sector as well as the benefits that a biotech investment offers.

ETFs To Watch As Debt Ceiling Deadline Nears at ETF Database:

We are now just days away from the August 2nd deadline that is set for our nation to hit the debt ceiling, and many agree that if we do not take measures to allow for more spending, our economy will be in shambles. As Washington continues to publicly argue, it seems that little to no progress has been made, as this is a battle of stubbornness among Democrats and Republicans. Investors are anxiously awaiting the final decision, as no matter what happens, it will have a significant impact on our economy and its future. This article, by Michael Johnston, outlines a number of ETFs to watch amid the debates over our current debt ceiling crisis and those that could be impacted no matter what the final plan ends up being.

Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.