This Week In ETFs: March 5th Edition
This week brought in the month of March on an unstable note as major indexes endured heavy turbulence as Libyan protests continued to heat up, causing worry for investors all across the globe. Thursday saw stock markets enjoy one of their best days in months, only to be slaughtered on Friday, after news came in that riots in Tripoli lead to the death of 15 protesters, with numerous injuries. Amid the roller coaster ride that was this week, oil prices settled above $100 per barrel, marking their highest prices in roughly two and a half years. Likewise, gold saw a strong week as it too reached astonishing highs during thanks to heavy demand for safe havens. The ETF world was also busy, as numerous funds debuted this week, including a line of “spread ETFs” from the new issuer FactorShares [see FactorShares “Spread ETF” Available Commission Free].
With this backdrop, we profile three interesting ETF articles from around the web this week:
As equity markets have gone through drastic changes over the past year, so too will some of the indexes that track them. Specifically, Russell Investments has recognized the changes in today’s market, and will be re-balancing its indexes in June in order to properly reflect those changes for their investors. Though indexes are typically re-balanced on an annual basis, on June 10th, Russell will release the preliminary add and delete list for several of their indexes, with the final process being completed on June 27th.
With protests and rebellions encapsulating the Middle East, oil prices have been a major focus as of late. With prices now over $100 per barrel, Nathan Alderman outlines several ETF options to play on surging oil prices. He first begins by outlining futures-based commodity funds to give short term investors a good way to play oil prices. Next, recognizing the issues of contango, Alderman outlines several equity funds for investors, including a solar fund, and a broad-based oil ETF.
Due to extremely low interest rates, investors have had to get creative to find yield as of late. One great way to find a substantial yield is through Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs), which are entities that generally own energy infrastructure, such as pipelines that transport natural gas and crude oil. In this article, Michael Johnston outlines several MLP ETFs and their performances over the past 6 months, to give investors a new way to gain yield in an unstable environment.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.